Bob Dylan Like a Rolling Stone lyrics to go on sale
- 1 May 2014
- From the section Entertainment & Arts
Bob Dylan's original hand-written lyrics for his ground-breaking song Like a Rolling Stone are to be sold at auction in New York in June.
Experts at Sotheby's have described the manuscript as "the most significant piece of rock material to appear at auction."
Dylan wrote the song in pencil on four small sheets of hotel stationery in 1965. The manuscript features corrections, revisions and additions.
Sotheby's say bids could reach £1m.
Notes attached to the lyrics relate to the singer/songwriter's life at the time, with a reference to a club appearance by the American musician Joan Baez.
There are doodles in the margin, including a rooster, a fedora hat and a high heeled shoe, as well as abstract shapes.
Bob Dylan also experimented with alternative rhyming schemes for the "How does it feel ..." chorus.
He tries out "get down and kneel," "raw deal" and "shut up and deal."
Richard Austin, head of books and manuscripts at Sotheby's, New York, said the manuscript reveals Dylan's "method of composition".
"You can see how much work he put into it. There is a real feel of immediacy," he added.
The song transformed Bob Dylan's career, from a folk singer to a rock star.
It also changed the course of popular culture.
"Before the release of Like a Rolling Stone, music charts were overrun with short and sweet love songs, many clocking in at three minutes or less," said Mr Austin.
"By defying convention with six and a half minutes of dark, brooding poetry, Dylan rewrote the rules for pop music."
And Dylan himself knew it was good.
'Rolling Stone's the best song I wrote," he said at the end of 1965.
The manuscript is being sold by a Californian friend and business associate of Dylan, who bought it from the singer three years ago.
It is accompanied by a letter from Dylan's lawyer, verifying its authenticity.
Although the song was kept off the top of the Billboard chart by The Beatles' Help, Rolling Stone magazine went on to name it the Greatest Song of all Time in 2011.