Lot 214

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Bob Dylan Handwritten Signed Lyrics to Counterculture Anthem "Subterranean Homesick Blues" w/ Jeff Rosen COA

Handwritten lyrics, signed "Bob Dylan 2013" at lower right, 1p on Holmenkollen Park Hotel Rica stationery, measuring 8.25" x 11.75", Oslo, Norway. Boldly penned lyrics to Dylan's influential rock song "Subterranean Homesick Blues" (1965), all in his hand. Fine condition with minor areas of isolated soiling and creasing. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity signed by Jeff Rosen, Dylan's manager and President of Bob Dylan Music Co., dated September 22, 2014.

"Subterranean Homesick Blues" was recorded on January 14, 1965, and appeared as the lead track on Dylan's fifth studio album Bringing It All Back Home. Equally inspired by figures of the Beat Generation and the rock stylings of Chuck Barry, Dylan's lyrics make reference to the emerging counterculture's increasing drug use, turmoil caused by the Vietnam War, and struggles surrounding the Civil Rights movement. Due to his reverence for the Beat scene, it is generally surmised that the song's title was derived from Jack Kerouac's 1958 novella The Subterraneans, which acts as a semi-fictional account of the author's romantic relationship with an African American woman. Since its release, numerous artists have cited "Subterranean Homesick Blues" as a major influence, among them being John Lennon who was reportedly captivated by its lyrics.

Perhaps adding to the song's fame is its appearance in Dylan's 1967 documentary film Don't Look Back directed by D. A. Pennebaker, which follows his 1965 concert tour in England. The iconic opening scene shows Dylan displaying and discarding a series of cue cards bearing selected words and phrases from the lyrics to "Subterranean Homesick Blues" (including intentional misspellings and puns). In turn, many music critics consider this to be a precursor to the modern music video as we know it today.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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September 6, 2023 11:00 AM EDT
Wilton, CT, US

University Archives

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