July 29, 2021

Bob Dylan sells 6,000 personal items to university for $ 15 million

Almost everything about Bob Dylan. This is what the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has just acquired with the support of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Namely, no less than 6,000 pieces testifying to the immense creativity of the American singer-songwriter, musician, painter and poet, now 74 years old.

These objects will be grouped together in a permanent space intended for researchers, and in other rooms that the public can visit. Among them, notebooks dating from 1974 containing handwritten lyrics by Bob Dylan of songs that were eventually recorded for the artist’s best-selling album, “Blood On The Tracks” his 15th studio album, with legendary titles such as as “Tangled Up In Blue”, “Simple Twist Of Fate” or “Idiot Wind”.

Notebooks with the lyrics of the album “Blood on the Tracks.”

The site dedicated to this event by the University of Tulsa also announces that we will find sketches, writings with their modifications of the work “Tarantula”, lyrics by Dylan and chord progressions for unregistered songs. , handwritten notes, a 1966 poet’s wallet with many inserts, including a piece of paper with Johnny Cash’s address and phone number, and a business card from Otis Redding.

First recordings

These treasures also include Bob Dylan’s earliest recordings of 1959, the leather jacket worn by Dylan on stage at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, the year he played the electric guitar, and previously unreleased films by concerts.

The Bob Dylan Archive

The archive gives us a chance to dive deeply into the elements that helped cultivate Bob Dylan as the iconic American storyteller he is today.

Posted by Bob Dylan Archive on Thursday March 3rd, 2016

Other curiosities: the piano frame on which he composed “Like a Rolling Stone” or the manuscript, on hotel stationery, of the lyrics of “Chimes Of Freedom” (song published in 1964 on the album “Another Side of Bob Dylan” and covered by many artists), with additional annotations and verses. The list is not exhaustive. Already a thousand pieces have been sent to Tulsa, the rest still being stored in various places awaiting delivery to the university in the next two years.

The handwritten lyrics of “Chimes of Freedom”.

According to estimates by the “New York Times”, Dylan would have pocketed between 15 and 20 million dollars (that is to say between 13.6 and 18.2 million euros), while other buyers were in the running to afford this. Ali Baba’s cave of music.

Bob Dylan comments:

“I am glad that my archives, which have been collected over the years, have finally found a home.”

And he is all the more satisfied, as these archival funds are housed near that of the American folk singer and guitarist Woody Guthrie, idol of Dylan whose first song was “Song to Woody”. Cherry on the cake, his personal belongings will be on display “alongside all the valuable pieces of the United Nations Native American” (Native American objects, collected in the Gilcrease Museum, also located in Tulsa). Dylan confie :

“To me that makes a lot of sense and it’s a great honor.”

Jean-Frédéric Tronche