David Bowie’s Earliest Studio Recording Heads to Auction
UPDATE: An anonymous bidder purchased “I Never Dreamed” for £39,360 ($51,239), according to Omega Auctions. Bowie’s promotional sketches, photographs and band documents sold for £17,130 ($22,299).
David Bowie‘s earliest studio recording as a singer, long-lost but unearthed by a former band mate, will head to auction in September.
The late icon recorded “I Never Dreamed” as a 16-year-old with his band the Konrads in 1963; the track, co-written by the then-David Jones, was part of a demo tape the band sent to talent scouts.
“We had decided that we would do a couple of guitar instrumentals and one original song,” Konrads drummer David Hadfield said in a statement for Omega Auctions. “I chose ‘I Never Dreamed’ as it was the strongest, the other two were a bit weak. I also decided that David was the best person to sing it and give the right interpretation. So this became the very first recording of David Jones singing 55 years ago.”
Decades after the recording was made, Hadfield rediscovered his copy of the demo in a breadbasket, the Guardian reports. Along with the “I Never Dreamed” recording, the Omega Auctions lot also comes with letters, bills, booking forms, photographs and promotional sketches from Bowie’s Konrads tenure. The entire lot has a pre-auction estimate of $13,000 ahead of the September 11th sale.
“There is no other recording of the demo featuring David as lead in existence,” Hadfield said, adding of another “I Never Dreamed” demo that exists, “Decca initially turned us down, but when they eventually gave us an audition later that year, vocalist Roger Ferris was the lead voice and David sang backing harmonies.”
Auctioneer Paul Fairweather said, ” For Bowie collector’s this really is a significant recording, completely unique and of great historical interest, being the earliest studio recording of a fledgling musician who would go on to super stardom.”
Primarily a saxophonist with the Konrads, Bowie soon left the group and, in 1964, recorded his first single as a solo artist “Liza Jane,” credited to Davie Jones with the King Bees.
Omega Auctions also provided a 13-second sample of “I Never Dreamed”; the winning bid will receive the full demo of the song:
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