Bruce Springsteen’s early, handwritten manuscript to “Born to Run,” the rocker’s 1975 star-making hit, is expected to fetch between $200,000 and $300,000 when it goes up for auction in June, Sotheby’s said on Friday.
The working draft, a single page of ruled paper pulled from a spiral notebook, is written entirely in Springsteen’s hand, the auction house said.
Most of the handwritten lyrics did not make it into the final version of the 4-1/2-minute song, a soaring rock anthem in which the singer asks his lover to break free with him from a small U.S. town. The manuscript does contain a near match to the completed chorus, Sotheby’s said.
Rolling Stone magazine has rated “Born to Run” Springsteen’s greatest achievement and No. 21 on its list of greatest songs ever recorded.
The song was the first track on side two of the album “Born to Run,” Springsteen’s third. The album was his breakout success that sold more than 6 million copies in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
The manuscript, which Sotheby’s said is being put up by a private American collector, last went under the hammer in 2013 where it sold for $197,000 at the auction house.
Original song lyrics have become a booming market for collectors. Bob Dylan’s original, handwritten lyrics for “Like a Rolling Stone” sold for more than $2 million at auction in 2014, and Don McLean’s original manuscript for “American Pie” fetched $1.2 million in 2015.
Springsteen is currently starring in his own one-man show, “Springsteen on Broadway,” in New York in which he tells stories about his life and career, and plays some of his songs.
The “Born to Run” lyrics will be sold as part Sotheby’s June 18-28 online auction of books and manuscripts.