A rare piece of music history will be up for grabs for the right price.
The handwritten lyric sheet for one of Bob Dylan’s most famous songs – Desolation Row (1965) – is going up for sale for the first time in history.
Memorabilia dealer Moments in Time are handling the sale, with the asking price set at whopping $425,000, which isn’t unsurprising considering the rarity of the item.
Piece of music history: The handwritten lyrics for Bob Dylan’s classic song Desolation Row are being sold through memorabilia dealer Moments In Time for $425,000
Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman), now 81, wrote the poetic lyrics on two sheets of paper by hand, and even feature a few of Dylan’s edits sprawled across it.
TMZ is reporting that the seller is a man who has been friends with the legendary musician since they were kids, and that he was given the lyrics sheets over 20 years ago.
That unidentified man opted to hold on to the lyrics initially, but more recently made the decision to sell them, which expects to be a very profitable move for his old pal.
As many of Dylan’s devoted fans would agree, Desolation Row is widely considered to be among his greatest songs, alongside the likes of Like A Rolling Stone, The Times They Are A Changing, Mr. Tambourine Man, Hurricane Man and Blowin’ In The Wind, among so many others.
Handwritten poetry: Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman), now 81, wrote the poetic lyrics on two sheets of paper by hand, and even feature a few of Dylan’s edits sprawled across it
Personal connection: TMZ is reporting that the seller is a man who has been friends with Dylan since they were kids, and that he was given the lyric sheets over 20 years ago
Clocked in at over 11 minutes in length, which had long been a rarity in popular music songwriting, Desolation Row was the ninth and final song on Dylan’s sixth studio album Highway 61 Revisited (1965), which came as he was transitioning from traditional folk music to electronic.
The iconic singer-songwriter used rock musicians as his backing band on every song of the album, with the exception of Desolation Row.
Using surreal verbiage in a series of vignettes, Dylan paints the picture of a large cast of characters living in a chaotic and unpleasant place in Desolation Row.
On the heels of the classic and catchy Like A Rolling Stone as the opener, many fans and critics still consider Highway 61 Revisited to be his crowning achievement.
Classic: Using surreal verbiage in a series of vignettes, Dylan paints a picture of a large cast of characters living in a chaotic and unpleasant place in Desolation Row; Dylan is seen recording Highway 61 Revisited in 1965
According to Moments In Time, handwritten lyrics for Dylan’s classic The Times They Are A-Changin (1964) were sold during a private sale in 2020 for $2.2 million, while the lyric sheets for Like A Rolling Stone (1965) fetched a world-record $2.045 million when they were sold at auction by Sotheby’s in New York in 2014, according to Reuters.
In yet another sale, lyrics for Blowin’ In The Wind were purchased in 2020 for nearly $500,000, Moments In Time reported.
Just this past January, Sony Music Entertainment acquired the entire back catalog of recorded music, as well as the rights to multiple future recordings, for between $150 million and $200 million, Variety reported.
‘Columbia Records and Rob Stringer have been nothing but good to me for many, many years and a whole lot of records,’ Dylan said in a statement. ‘I’m glad that all my recordings can stay where they belong.’
In late 2020, Dylan sold his song catalog to Universal Music Publishing for an amount sources say was near $400 million.
Music royalty: With Like A Rolling Stone as the opener, it was only fitting that another classic like Desolation Row would be the final song on Highway 61 Revisited (1965); many consider the album to be his crowing achievement in a career that started with his debut release in 1962