A rare set of complete lyrics for 'The Jean Genie,' the 18 lines handwritten by David Bowie in black ballpoint pen on a single page of cream lined notepaper. Titled, dated, and signed by Bowie, the lyrics were gifted to Neal Peters, who was then President of the Original David Bowie Fan Club in the USA.

Written to entertain model and Warhol associate Cyrinda Foxe in her New York apartment during his first US tour, the lyrics represented 'a smorgasbord of imagined Americana.' The song's debauched protagonist was based on friend and contemporary Iggy Pop, or in Bowie's words, 'an Iggy-type persona.' Released in 1972 as the lead single for the 1973 album 'Aladdin Sane,' 'The Jean Genie' became Bowie's biggest hit to date and remained one of his signature songs throughout his career.

With characteristic foresight, Bowie is believed to have kept almost all of his original lyrics, notes, and manuscripts, creating an archive that spanned his entire career. As a result, major pieces of memorabilia rarely come on the market, and only a handful of key items have sold at auction over the years. This is the only set of complete handwritten lyrics to have come to auction.

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Additional Information

Popular Culture: Rock and Pop Memorabilia, Christie's, London, June 24, 2010
Entertainment Memorabilia, Bonhams, London, July 3, 2013
Acquired from above by present owner

Wear commensurate with age; unexamined out of frame.
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About David Bowie

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David Bowie, born David Robert Jones (British, 1947-2016) was a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actor, and painter who was a major figure in the world of popular music for over four decades. He was best known for his distinctive baritone voice as well as the intellectual depth and eclecticism of his work. Aside from his musical abilities, he will continue to be recognized for his androgynous beauty, which was an iconic element to his image, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s.

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Signed Handwritten Lyrics for "The Jean Genie", 1972
Lot Number 13
Ink on paper
Item: 11 x 8.5 in (27.94 x 21.59 cm)
Frame: 53 x 45.5 x 3.5 in (134.62 x 115.57 x 8.89 cm)
Signed, titled, and dated by David Bowie in black ink; accompanied by letters of provenance

Online bidding for this work ended on March 31, 2016 at 1:00pm ET.

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David Bowie
Signed Handwritten Lyrics for "The Jean Genie"
  • Dimensions
    11 x 8.5 in (27.94 x 21.59 cm)