The original, hand-written lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” are expected to fetch between $1 million and $2 million At auction this summer.
Sotheby’s announced Thursday that it will make “the only known surviving draft of the final lyrics for this transformative rock anthem” available on June 24th as part of the auction house’s “History of Rock and Roll From Presley to Punk” sale, which will also feature Joni Mitchell’s manuscript for “Big Yellow Taxi,” guitars owned by John Lennon and Eric Clapton and a contract Jimi Hendrix signed in 1965 agreeing to perform live and in the studio for $1.
The “Like a Rolling Stone” lyrics, which Dylan wrote in pencil on four sheets of Roger Smith hotel stationery, include possible additional lyrics. For example, in addition to “how does it feel,” there’s also the lines “it feels real,” “does it feel real,” “shut up and deal,” “get down and kneel” and “raw deal.”
“In this near complete four-page working draft, the distinctive often repeated ‘how does it feel’ lyric is clearly visible alongside unused lines, stray thoughts on American cultural imagery, and interesting doodles,” Sotheby’s said in a press release.
The auction will also feature two pages of Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall,” which are expected to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000. The lyrics are in finished form, and they also include the biblical quote (“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew and approved of you”) and the notation “diamond desert” in the margins of the second verse.