Bruce Springsteen handwritten lyrics may see $100,000 at Sotheby's

On December 5 in New York, Sotheby's will auction a handwritten working manuscript from Bruce Springsteen that records the lyrics of his greatest hit, Born to Run.

Bruce Springsteen handwritten lyrics
Born to Run propelled Springsteen into the limelight

The early version of Springsteen's 1975 hit, the song that rocketed him into the limelight, is expected to achieve between $70,000 and $100,000.

Springsteen's first two albums were well received, but failed to bring him the success that he had dreamed of. Aged 26, he needed to produce a hit record and, after a six-month-long writing process, he produced Born to Run.

The single became his first worldwide release, achieving "musical perfection and Spector level grandeur", according to Sotheby's.  

The manuscript features many lines of the song that were unpublished and unrecorded, though it does include a near-complete chorus section, capturing what Sotheby's describes as "the most powerful of any Springsteen lyric":

"This town'll rip the (out your) bones from your back / it's a suicide trap (rap) (it's a trap to catch the young) your dead unless / you get out (we got to) while your young so (come on! / with) take my hand cause tramps / like us baby we were born to run."

Born to Run was recognised as Springsteen's greatest hit in Rolling Stone magazine this year, and he was also listed in the number one spot on the list of "50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now".

The manuscripts were originally part of the collection of Springsteen's manager, Mike Appel.

"[Appel] sold it to a collector, who sold it to the current consignor," explained Sotheby's Richard Austin in the Times newspaper. "Bruce Springsteen manuscripts don't come up often... There are verses here that will be unfamiliar even to hardcore fans."

There are some major music memorabilia sales coming up in December, with Christie's offering Bob Dylan's Newport guitar and Profiles in History selling Jim Morrison's unpublished notebook.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a great selection of music memorabilia you can buy now.

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