Bruce Springsteen Manuscript Sold at Auction for $197,000

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Bruce Springsteen

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What is one band’s trash is  some fan’s treasure. This holds true for Bruce Springsteen, whose handwritten, working lyric sheet for his 1975 hit “Born To Run” sold for a hefty $197,000 at Sotheby’s in New York City.

The lyric sheet, which dates back to 1974, was written in his hometown of Long Branch, NJ. The lyrics are written in blue ink on an 8 1/2-by-11 sheet of ruled notepaper. Sotheby’s states the manuscript at one point in time belonged to Mike Appel, Springsteen’s former manager and producer.

Springsteen’s stream-of-consciousness style of writing can be seen in the lyrics on the manuscript, such as those in the excerpt below:

“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.” Possible lyrics on the margins of the manuscript include words like “Wild” and “Angels”, as well as a word resembling “velocity”.

RELATED: Not Fade Away: Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle’ Turns 40

Sotheby’s explains that “although Springsteen is known to have an intensive drafting process, few manuscripts of ‘Born to Run’ are available, with the present example being one of only two identified that include the most famous lines in the song.” This of course rationalizes the act of spending almost $200,000 for a piece of paper.

Both the seller and buyer’s personal information remains unknown outside of Sotheby’s, with the buyer having made the winning bid via telephone.

Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming album High Hopes is scheduled for January 14 release date.

-Matthew Levine,

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