On Auction Block: Draft Of 'Like A Rolling Stone,' And Some Doodles

May 2, 2014
Originally published on May 3, 2014 11:17 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's not all politics here in Washington. On Pennsylvania Avenue, there used to be a hotel called the Roger Smith. The top of the hotel's stationery proclaimed it was just one block from the White House. And it's under that heading that one of rock 'n roll's most important figures scribbled out the lyrics to one of his biggest songs.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIKE A ROLLING STONE")

BOB DYLAN: (Singing) Once upon a time you dressed so fine, you threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Bob Dylan wrote the 1965 hit "Like a Rolling Stone" on four pages of that hotel stationery. Along with the lyrics, there are doodles: a hat, a chicken, a deer.

SIEGEL: A few years ago, Dylan either sold or gave the stationery to someone who won't reveal his identity. And now, the auction house Sotheby's has announced that next month, these pages of rock history will be offered to the highest bidder.

CORNISH: Whoever that someone is, one thing's certain: He won't be scrounging around for his next meal. The papers are expected to bring in millions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIKE A ROLLING STONE")

DYLAN: (Singing) How does it feel to be without a home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone...

SIEGEL: Well, how does this all feel to Dylan fans?

MEL PRUSSACK: Yeah, I think it's a shame.

SIEGEL: That's Mel Prussack of Old Bridge, N.J.

PRUSSACK: I am the curator of The Bob Dylan Shrine.

CORNISH: Prussack is a pharmacist by day.

PRUSSACK: I can't imagine why Dylan would sell this. The only thing I could think of - he wanted to help somebody out, and I would imagine he sold it for a dollar or something.

CORNISH: The draft of "Like a Rolling Stone" is expected to go for up to $2 million.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIKE A ROLLING STONE")

DYLAN: (Singing) You used to be so amused at Napoleon in rags and the language ... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.