The screen door slams; Anne's dress sways...
If it doesn't sound quite right to you, well, it didn't to Bruce, either. An early handwritten 1975 draft of Springsteen's lyrics to the iconic "Thunder Road" are going up for sale at Sotheby's this month, featuring several lines that were tweaked, changed or cut entirely. The online auction starts June 7 and runs until the 21st.
The Boss often assigned names to the women in his songs — Wendy in "Born to Run," Sandy in "Asbury Park," Kitty, Candy, Theresa — and scrapped versions of "Thunder Road" featured all sorts of them. After trying out Anne, Angelina, Chrissie, and more, he ultimately settled on Mary. (He would also use the name Mary in a few other songs.)
Torn from a spiral notebook, the single sheet of ruled paper also includes a deleted line that sparked its own song. You might recognize it: "Maybe we were born to run."
The "Thunder Road" manuscript is poised to sell for somewhere between $40,000 and $60,000. Some fans might consider that a steal: In 2018, handwritten lyrics to "Born to Run" sold for $250,000.
Those who can read music will also notice that the chord arrangement also differs from the one Springsteen later settled on. The song opens with a harmonica and piano and later brings in the saxophone, originally played by the E Street Band's Clarence Clemons.