Springsteen's Handwritten 'Born To Run' Lyrics Fetch $197,000 At Auction
Handwritten lyrics to Bruce Springsteen’s 1975 hit “Born to Run” sold today at Sotheby’s in New York for $197,000.
“Born to Run,” the title song on Springsteen’s third album, energized audiences with a story of escape and marked a career turning point for The Boss, as New Yorker editor David Remnick notes in his 2012 profile for the magazine.
The consignor for the manuscript being auctioned at Sotheby’s remains anonymous, but theauction house has traced its provenance to Mike Appel, Springsteen’s manager at the time he wrote the song, who sold it to a collector, who sold it to the most recent owner.
The opening bid was $40,000, and offers quickly escalated through online, telephone and in-person hopefuls. The manuscript had been expect to fetch as much as $100,000.
Apart from its apparent value as a collectible, this item is powerful evidence of the creative process as it evolves from first draft through revisions. Very little of what’s in these 30 lines of handwritten text, torn from a spiral notebook, ultimately made it into the song. Click here to see Springsteen’s second thoughts and margin musings.
Other rock star manuscripts in the auction of Fine Books and Manuscripts, included a 1967 handwritten letter from John Lennon that went for $18,000 and three of Mick Jagger‘s 1965 love letters ($8,000).
With most writing and correspondence now done on a computer or on mobile devices, artful scribbles like these may become rarer, still.