Donielle Flynn

Pink Floyd (L-R): Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Syd Barrett and Rick Wright.

Syd Barret’s Handwritten lyrics are going up for auction through Bonham Auction House in London.  The two pages of handwritten lyrics and musical chords for an unreleased Pink Floyd song called “Vegetable Man” are expected to go for somewhere between $23,000 – $46,00.

According to the Bonham website, this song was originally a part of the band’s second album, A Saucer Full of Secrets. The song was later pulled.  The band DID perform the song for a BBC Special.

Per Bonham’s website: “The song was recorded and broadcast for a BBC Radio One Top Gear session on 20 December 1967 at BBC Maida Vale Studios.  Let’s give “Vegetable Man” a listen…

 

The YouTube clip above is the song only. I had a hard time finding decent audio (it was recorded in 1967). I did find the actual BBC performance, but the sound quality is considerably muddier.  Here’s the best audio I could find from the BBC One Top Gear performance:

 

Syd Barrett was the original face and lead singer of Pink Floyd… he even came up with the band name.  Due to a degenerating mental state, the band made the very hard decision to replace Syd with David Gilmour.  “Vegetable Man” was his last BBC performance with Pink Floyd and one of the last songs he wrote for Pink Floyd.

Handwritten lyrics have gone for some INSANE money.  The most expensive went for TWO MILLION DOLLARS.

Here’s a list of some of the most expensive handwritten lyrics:

  • #5 John Lennon - "Nowhere Man"

    ‘Nowhere Man’ marked a shift in John Lennon’s writing. It was the first Beatles song that didn’t have a love theme of some nature to it. It was the beginning of John Lennon’s more philosophical songwriting days. Written in 1965, “Nowhere Man” was a part of Rubber Soul. Rolling Stone Magazine picked Rubber Soul as the 5th greatest record of all time.  Lennon’s original lyrics sold for $455,500 at a Christie’s auction in 2003.

     

  • #4 The Beatles "A Day in the Life"

    The final track on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. “A Day in the Life” gives writing credit (as usual) to Lennon and McCartney, but the song was mainly written by John Lennon (the beginning and end… McCartney wrote the middle section). Lennon’s lyrics were mainly inspired by news stories of that time period (1967). The song ends with one of the most famous chords in music history, played on several keyboards, and sustained for over forty seconds.  Lennon’s handwritten section of the lyrics sold for $1,202,500 at Sotheby’s in 2010.

  • #3 Don McLean "American Pie"

    Talk about making the most of one signature song… McLean’s handwritten lyrics to “American Pie” auctioned for $1,205,000 at Christie’s in April 2015. The 16 pages included McLean’s original handwritten manuscript complete with explanatory notes and deletions, plus typed drafts. A previously unknown final verse was also included. 

     

  • #2 The Beatles "All You Need is Love"

    The song was originally written for ‘Our World’, the first live international satellite TV show which included segments from 19 different countries. The Beatles were asked by the BBC to write a song and perform it live during the British section, to an international audience of more than 150 million people worldwide. Imagine THAT.  John Lennon’s original hand-written lyrics for the song sold at a Cooper Owen auction in 2005 for $1.25 million.  Here’s a clip from the show:

     

  • #1 Bob Dylan "Like a Rolling Stone"

    The lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” sold for $2m at Sotheby’s New York in 2014, setting a new world record. The song is considered one of the most influential compositions in postwar popular music.

     

    The world of rock can be crazy!  Check out this list of opening acts and headliners combos that actually happened!

     

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