AMHERST, N.H. - Lenny Bruce, the pioneering American stand-up comic whose frank, sometimes "obscene" commentary on a variety of taboo subjects made him one of the most controversial yet popular performers of the 1950s and 1960s, put his thoughts on paper with the publication of How to Talk Dirty and Influence People. An archive of material Bruce used in preparation of that book will be offered in the May RRAuction, which begins on April 26.
The material includes annotated photo proofs, unsigned candid photos, an original, and possibly unpublished short story, one of his "Stamp Help Out" homemade brochures, and a typed spiral-bound manuscript of his autobiography. The handwritten captions were most likely created when the comic's book was serialized in Playboy in 1964 and 1965. Most pertain to his 1961 arrest following a performance in San Francisco and the subsequent landmark obscenity trial.
Also of note is an original 13-page typewritten draft of an original unpublished story entitled "The Grinder." Notated and signed on the title page in pencil, "This I submitted twice. The first rejection was coupled by an address of a free mental clinic and the second an inquiry as to how I got the agent's address. Good luck, Lenny Bruce," adding "Written 1955."
Also featured in the May RR Auction:
Einstein shows his work
A scientifically intriguing "discovery" from the world of physics as Albert Einstein pens several mathematical equations and notes-including the formula for Planck's law-in his quest to explain Unified Field Theory.
The contract that brought audiences Ali-Frazier II
"The Greatest" and "Smokin' Joe" faced each other for a second time in 1974-each man with something to prove. This 11-page contract, signed by both Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, is the very document that set the stage for that contest.
A Jeffersonian commentary on Christianity
Thomas Jefferson, the nation's third president, writes his daughter regarding his "Syllabus" on the merits of Christianity-responding to attacks over his religious views.
Dr. King comments "the struggle for racial justice in the United States"
Amidst civil unrest in Watts and Harlem, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., signs a letter to a minister in Edinburgh, England, thanking him for an invitation to speak to his congregation but regretfully declining, instead rededicating himself to the Civil Rights Movement due to "the temper of events in the struggle for racial justice in the United States."
Perhaps the greatest electric guitarist in Rock & Roll history, Jimi Hendrix signs an oversized magazine photo while on tour in Germany during the waning days of the Experience.
A rebel without a cause borrows a few bucks for the road
Heading to the bright lights of L.A. to shoot East of Eden, a young James Dean hits up Warner Bros. Pictures for a hundred bucks spending cash, signing this IOU in agreeing to pay it back in about a month.