Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
FILE - This Nov. 7, 2013 file photo shows musician Bruce Springsteen stands on stage at the Stand Up for Heroes event at Madison Square Garden in New York. A handwritten working manuscript of Bruce Springsteen's 1975 hit "Born to Run" will be offered at auction on Dec. 5 in New York. Sotheby's said Wednesday, Nov. 27, the presale estimate is $70,000 to $100,000. (John Minchillo/Invision/AP, File)
Auction: Springsteen manuscript sells for $197,000
First Published Dec 05 2013 02:00 pm • Last Updated Dec 05 2013 11:10 am

New York • Tramps like us, baby we were born to bid.

A handwritten, working lyric sheet for Bruce Springsteen’s 1975 hit "Born to Run" sold for $197,000 on Thursday at Sotheby’s.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The document used to be in the collection of Springsteen’s former manager, Mike Appel, according to Sotheby’s. It did not reveal the identity of either the seller or the buyer, a person bidding by telephone.

Most of the lines in this rough 1974 version, written in Long Branch, N.J., are apparently unpublished and unrecorded, but the manuscript does include "a nearly perfected chorus," the auction house said.

The title track of Springsteen’s 1975 album has revved up generations of fans — some of whom still refer to themselves as "Tramps," like in the song.

Springsteen is known to scrawl his songwriting stream-of-consciousness in notebooks. His thought process, written in blue ink on an 8 1/2-by-11 sheet of ruled notepaper, could trigger a spell-checker meltdown:

"This town’ll rip the (out your) bones from yourback / it’s a suicide trap (rap) (it’s a trap to catchthe young) your dead unless / you get out (we gotto) while your young so (come on! / with) take myhand cause tramps

/ like us baby we were born to run."

There are also some notes in the margins — "Wild" and "Angels" and a word that looks like "velocity," with the letter "t" in Springsteen’s curlicue cursive.

"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," Sotheby’s said.


story continues below
story continues below

Springsteen’s website describes the "Born to Run" album as "a sheer epic fueled by tangible energy, the idealized notion of escape and the romance of youth."

His "Darkness on the Edge of Town" album came out three years after "Born to Run." For much of that interlude, Springsteen was prevented from releasing music due to a lawsuit involving Appel. Material from the "Darkness" sessions may have been influenced by the acrimonious fallout from their business breakup.

"Darkness" was "noticeably sparer than ‘Born to Run,’" according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website, which says Springsteen described the evolution as "a certain loss of innocence."

"If ‘Born to Run’ was epic cinema, ‘Darkness’ was brutal reality, its characters not dreaming of idealized escape as much as struggling against their circumstances," notes Springsteen’s website.

A lot of water has since ebbed and flowed under that bridge.

In November 2009, Springsteen invited Appel and his son to fly with the E Street Band to their tour finale in Buffalo, N.Y., which featured "Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.," an album Appel co-produced. At the show, Springsteen publicly acknowledged Appel’s contributions to his career.

Springsteen told The Associated Press in 2010 that he and Appel were "very good friends."

The "Born to Run" manuscript was included in a sale of fine books and manuscripts. It had a pre-sale estimate of $70,000 to $100,000.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.