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Bruce Springsteen harmonicas and handwritten lyrics to be sold at auction


In exciting news for Bruce Springsteen fans, handwritten lyrics to the songs ‘Thunder Road’, ‘For You’, and ‘Night’ will, later this month, be up for auction. The sale is set to take place at Bonhams on October 28th and will also see the two harmonicas Springsteen used on the original recording of ‘Thunder Road’ and ‘Johnny 99’ go under the hammer.

The four-page manuscript for ‘Thunder Road’ was written by Springsteen in pen on ruled notebook paper and contains all the lyrical content for the recorded song. The final page also includes a number of different drafts for the opening verse. The pages, which were used for the recording of the 1975 Born To Run track, are set to go for anywhere between $50,000 and $70,000.

The pages of the ‘For You’ lyrics are also written in pen on ruled notebook paper. They match up perfectly with the final album version of the track, aside from the line: “But you did not need my urgency”. Another notable difference is the presence of the word “your” where, in the recording, Springsteen sings “my” in the line “don’t give me my money, honey”. These pages are estimated to sell for somewhere between $25,000 to $30,000.

Meanwhile, the first of Springsteen’s personal harmonicas – used on the recording of ‘Thunder Road’ – is estimated to sell for anything $5,000 to $7,000. The Hohner Marine Band “F” harmonica is housed in its original box and comes it comes with a signed and dated letter from Mike Batlan, a musical technician who worked for Springsteen from 1973 to 1985.

The second is the Hohner Marine Band “E” harmonica, used by Springsteen on ‘Johnny 99’ from his 1982 album Nebraska. Like the first, this harmonica is housed in its original box and, once again, comes with a signed and dated letter Batlan. It is expected to draw $2,000 to $2,500.

If you are interested in finding out more about the auction and how to bid, head over to Bonhams website here. All of the items up for sale have been put up by a private collector who previously acquired them from Batlan himself.