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2 May 2013  |  London, South Kensington   |  PRINT  |  PDF
For Immediate Release

RELEASE: Unreleased Bob Dylan Lyrics at Christie's in June

Christie’s announces the sale of important, unreleased lyrics by Bob Dylan which will be offered in the Pop Culture sale on 26 June 2013.

Christie’s announces the sale of important, unreleased lyrics by Bob Dylan which will be offered in the Pop Culture sale on 26 June 2013. The ‘Bomb’ song, Go Away you Bomb, was written for an unpublished book of anti-nuclear protest songs in 1963 when Dylan was working on his seminal album The Freewheelin Bob Dylan. The lyrics were never released and have never before been seen on the market. They include handwritten deletions and alterations, providing invaluable insight into the mindset of the great artist as he composed. The lyrics are being sold by Israel ‘Izzy’ Young, founder of the Folklore Center in Greenwich Village, New York, who organized Bob Dylan’s first ever concert. The lyrics are estimated to realise between £25,000 and £35,000 and proceeds will benefit the Folklore Center in Stockholm.  

Nicolette Tomkinson, Director, Christie’s: “We are delighted to be involved with the sale of these historically important lyrics. This ‘Bomb’ song was written by Dylan in 1963, during the time when he was recording his album ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’, the album which propelled him into international stardom and first showcased his songwriting talent. His compositions during this era were his most political and led to Dylan being referred to as the ‘Spokesman Of A Generation’. This unreleased song, written against the background of the threat of nuclear warfare, is not only a beautiful example of Dylan’s songwriting, representing his political protest activities during that era but is also a potent symbol of the anxieties of the American public in the early 1960s.”

Dylan wrote about Izzy Young in his 1962 song Talking Folklore Center. In the song he stresses the importance of the center as a place where musicians and songwriters could get together to share their inspirations and experiences. After Dylan asked Izzy to listen to some of his music, he was so convinced of his talents that he organized Dylan’s first concert at the Carnegie Center New York in 1961.

Israel ‘Izzy’ Young: “I was compiling a book of songs against the atom bomb and asked Dylan to contribute; he gave me this song the very next day. I have never sold anything important to me until now and the funds raised will help to keep the Folklore Center in Stockholm going. I have always had a passion for folk music and I have collected books and music since I was a kid. I produced my first catalogue of folk books in 1955, comprised of books that nobody had ever heard of – this was the beginning of the interest in American folk music. Bob Dylan used to hang around the store and would look through every single book and listen to every single record I had. Since opening the Folklore center I have organised over 700 concerts with some of the biggest names in this music world. I’m a fun-loving Jewish boy who loves folk music and never gave up – that’s why I’m still alive.”

Related Sale Sale 9467
Pop Culture
26 June 2013
London, South Kensington


Related Departments Popular Culture & Entertainment



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Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction and private sales in the first half of 2013 that totaled £2.4 billion/ $3.68 billion. In 2012, Christie’s had global auction and private sales that totaled £3.92 billion/$6.27 billion making it the highest annual total in Christie’s history. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War and Contemporary, Impressionist and Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery. Private sales totaled £465.2 million ($711.8 million) in the first half of 2013, an increase of 13% on the previous year, and for the third successive year represents the highest total for the period in both company and art market history.

Christie’s has a global presence with 53 offices in 32 countries and 12 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Mumbai. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.

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