'Like a Rolling Stone' Draft by Dylan Sells for $2M
He wrote it on hotel stationery, recorded it in 1965
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 24, 2014 6:26 PM CDT
his undated file photo provided by Sotheby’s shows a working draft of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone."   (AP Photo/Sotheby’s, File)

(Newser) – A draft of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" sold today for $2 million, which Sotheby's auction house called a world record for a pop-music manuscript. A working draft of the song in Dylan's own hand went to an unidentified bidder for $2.045 million. The manuscript is "the only known surviving draft of the final lyrics for this transformative rock anthem," Sotheby's said. The draft is written in pencil on four sheets of hotel letterhead stationery with revisions, additions, notes, and doodles: a hat, a bird, an animal with antlers. The stationery comes from the Roger Smith Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Dylan was 24 when he recorded the song in 1965 about a debutante who becomes a loner when she's cast from upper-class social circles. "How does it feel To be on your own," it says in his handwriting. "No direction home Like a complete unknown Like a rolling stone." Scrawls seem to reflect the artist's experimentation with rhymes. The name "Al Capone" is scrawled in the margin, with a line leading to the lyrics "Like a complete unknown." Another note says: "...dry vermouth, you'll tell the truth..." Sotheby's described the seller as a longtime fan from California "who met his hero in a non-rock context and bought directly from Dylan." He was not identified. (Last year, Dylan's iconic electric guitar sold for $1 million.)

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Showing 2 of 5 comments
ZAXXON
Jun 26, 2014 9:20 AM CDT
$2.00
tpvero
Jun 25, 2014 4:11 AM CDT
This is interesting because Bob Dylan could walk down the street today and even call the police and after he mentions his name, no one knows who he is and can not tell if he is a old vagrant or not. This song can be revived in 20 years and then 20 years after that,but then it will be forgotten. So this investment will not be worth the paper it is printed on. Pop culture depends on the memory of a population. What a waste of money! Someone must have a huge disposable income, or no sense at all.