Manuscript of Man on the Street. Bob Dylan.

Manuscript of Man on the Street

1961. Original holograph manuscript of Man on the Street. Let’s do it physically first. 1 page, 20 lines, 126 words, all in pencil, in Dylan’s own handwriting, on the recto side of a 3 1/4” X 5” piece of TWA note pad stationery. The manuscript is in fine condition, and this draft is complete, though when it was recorded, the first verse was repeated at the end, and a few words were changed or deleted. For example, our lyrics start with the word “Well” which was dropped in the recording, “Now a crowd gather” became “Well, the crowd, they gathered,” and “only went” became “walked” when recorded, “policeman” was contracted to “p’liceman” and “about” was contracted to “’bout.” There are some other small exchanges like “well” for “now” or such changes as “I’m taking” to “I’m a–takin’” but the song was obviously conceived and written down in a flash of artistry. Dylan walked on the plane with an idea in his head, and walked off it with this scrap in his pocket. Might there have been an earlier, discarded, worked over draft, transposed to this cleaner draft while in–flight? Ask Bob. Ok, now for the history. John Hammond discovered Dylan (Sept. 14, 1961) and forced Columbia to sign him. Dylan went into the recording studio for his first album (Nov. 20, 1961) with arrangements of 14 traditional folk songs, and 3 of his own, including this one. They recorded all 17, but Dylan popped his Ps, hissed his Ss, wandered off mike, and (of course) wouldn’t do second takes, so Hammond shuffled through the tracks and kept the cleanest 13 (11 of the traditionals, and 2 of Dylan’s own songs, Talkin’ New York and Song to Woody) on the finished album, and Columbia didn’t release their imperfect, original recording of Man on the Street until the Bootleg Series, vol. I, in 1991. Near fine. Item #251

Price: $40,000.00

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