Bob Dylan is a one off.
While other stars of the era are either retired or cashing in on their greatest hits, he’s still relentlessly touring. Releasing new material. Challenging his audience.
In 2016, he became the first songwriter ever to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In the months that followed, demand for his autograph hit fever pitch.
But there’s more to it. Here’s a few thoughts on the specific factors raising price.
Place in history
Bob Dylan is a name for the ages.
The nine records he put out in the 1960s were era defining.
His 1962 debut re-imagined American folk standards. His controversial adoption of electric instruments in 1965 brought him even greater acclaim.
But it’s not all about the music.
Dylan is one of the biggest icons of his time. He’s tied in with the history of the American counterculture - the civil rights movement and the protests against the Vietnam War.
And that’s important.
Because there are plenty of other great songwriters from the 1960s.
But Dylan has maintained his credibility. Buyers are interested in him as a person as well as his music.
Huge fan base
Dylan enjoys a multi-generational fan base.
Go to one of his shows and you’ll see those who saw him first time round alongside young teenagers.
His appeal to all age groups is what keeps prices rising skywards.
And, crucially, it indicates that demand will not drop off in the future.
His autograph is rare
Dylan is notoriously short with fans.
He’s surrounded by bodyguards at all times and he hates signing.
That makes him a notoriously difficult “get” for autograph hounds.
Fakes, as you can imagine, are rife.
This resulted in a strong seller’s market. Autographs on paper start at around $1,000, with signed photographs and albums going for upwards of $3,000.
And those prices look to be just the start, as the number of autographs is highly unlikely to go up in years to come.
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