Early Bob Dylan poem highlights Christie’s Pop Culture Sale, June 23

NEW YORK –  Christie’s Pop Culture sale on June 23 in New York will be highlighted by an exciting discovery of a handwritten poem by the teenage Bob Dylan, created when he was a camper at Herzl Camp in Northwestern Wisconsin during the mid-1950s for publication in the camp newspaper The Herzl Herald (estimate: $10,000-15,000). The auction also features a variety of Hollywood, music, sports, and pop culture ephemera. 

The poem entitled Little Buddy is Bob Dylan’s earliest known poem to come to auction. Written in the mid-1950s, the editor of the camp newsletter, who was a peer of Dylan’s, preserved the poem for over 50 years and recently donated it back to the camp to support its capital campaign fund. Proceeds from the sale of this poem will be used to fund maintenance and upkeep at the Herzl Camp.

The two-page poem, composed on both sides of a single sheet of paper, is written in blue ink and is signed Bobby Zimmerman. The poem reveals the prodigious talent of the prolific singer-songwriter who is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the 20th century, both musically and culturally. Foreshadowing Dylan’s gift for storytelling, Little Buddy is a dark and mournful poem, about the murder of a boy’s dog, “But I’ll meet my precious buddy up in the sky/ By a tiny narrow grave/ Where the willows sadly wave.”

Another highlight in the sale by Bob Dylan are the rare handwritten, partial lyrics for the song “With God On Our Side” from the artist’s seminal 1964 album, The Times They Are A-Changin’ (estimate $20,000-$25,000). Showing Dylan’s corrections and even a coffee ring stain, it is an intimate invitation into the working process of this legendary musician.

The handwritten lyric notebooks of Bon Scott, lead singer of the Australian band AC/DC from 1974 to 1980, includes the lyrics to some of Scott’s most memorable, chart- topping hits (estimate $20,000-$30,000).  The notebooks feature 24 songs including many heard on the legendary High Voltage album such as “It’s A Long Way to the Top,” “T.N.T.,” “High Voltage,” “The Jack” and “Live Wire.” 

Other rock memorabilia in the sale will include a rare sheet of seven original “unpeeled” Banana stickers designed by Andy Warhol for the groundbreaking 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, and is one of two sheets known (estimate $10,000-15,000). Other material relating to the Velvet Underground will feature seven posters from the collection of Velvet’s drummer, Maureen (Moe) Tucker. Hip Hop art is also featured in the sale and includes the original artwork for a flyer dated Dec. 12, 1980, for a Night to Boogie by the aerosol artist known as “Phase 2” (estimate $8,000-$12,000).

Representing counter culture ephemera in the sale is a group of political posters from the student riots in Paris in May of 1968 (estimates range from $1,000-$3,500). A series of student protests, boycotts and strikes, with the motto “Question Everything” as the driving force behind the movement, helped to rally French youth around the collective demand for equality, freedom and human rights.  A collection of 27 scarce New York counter culture posters and flyers from the mid-1960s to the early-1970s are also featured (estimate $15,000-$20,000). 

Major celebrities will be showcased the auction including handwritten letters and signed photos (estimates $1,500-$2,000) and an original script of The Godfather (estimate $5,000-$7,000) signed by Marlon Brando; over a dozen examples of film scripts and ephemera owned by River Phoenix (estimates start at $800); and a group of signed photos and costumes worn by Madonna (estimates range from $1,000-$7,000). 

One of the most important artifacts of television memorabilia to appear at auction is the iconic leather jacket worn by the actor Bob Crane’s in his role as “Robert E. Hogan” during the six year run of the series Hogan’s Heroes (estimate $15,000-$20,000). The jacket was additionally worn by Greg Kinnear who played Bob Crane in the 2002 film Auto Focus and by Frank Sinatra in Von Ryan’s Express.  

Sports memorabilia collectors will be excited by famed auto maker John Delorean’s Augusta National Golf Club green members jacket and golf bag tag (estimate $3,000-$5,000). Five examples of original artwork used for the Absolut Vodka campaign ads are available and include a six foot high “Absolut Boston” imitating the Boston Garden basketball court, complete with parquet floor, backboard, rim and hoop (estimate $3,000-$5,000). 

For more information, visit www.christies.com.