The very first demo recording by musical chameleon David Bowie has been rediscovered in an old bread basket, of all places, and is set to go under the hammer in a couple of months.
Prior to the release of David Bowie’s debut solo album back in 1967, the musical icon had been spending the last half-decade putting in the hard yards and trying to kick off his musical career. Having performed with a number of acts including The Riot Squad, the Manish Boys, and the King Bees, only a handful of recordings from this era of Bowie’s career are known to exist, but now the earliest of these has resurfaced after more than half a century.
As The Guardian reports, an old demo featuring David Bowie performing the track ‘I Never Dreamed with his first band, The Konrads, has now seen the light of day after being hidden for many years.
Back in 1962, David Bowie teamed up with a group of young musicians under the name The Konrads. The group’s success was extremely limited, and when Bowie joined the workforce as an electrician, he decided to leave the group after becoming tired of his bandmates’ lack of ambition.
However, it appears that one recording from this period survived, and it showcases David Bowie laying down his first ever studio vocals in a South London studio.
The tape was reportedly rediscovered by David Hadfield, who served as both the group’s drummer and manager, while moving home. Found in the loft of the garage, the tape was apparently located amongst other memorabilia in an old bread basket that belonged to Hadfield’s grandfather – not exactly the best storage spot for such a notable piece of musical history.
“David had no inclination to become a singer at this point, his heart and mind were focused on becoming a world class saxophone player,” Hadfield said of David Bowie, who went by his birth name of David Jones at the time.
“Our agent, Eric Easton, who also managed the Rolling Stones, asked us to do a demo so he could try and get us an audition at Decca.”
“We had decided that we would do a couple of guitar instrumentals and one original song,” he continued. “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.”
“There is no other recording of the demo featuring David as lead in existence. 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.”
The demo tape is set to go under the hammer in September thanks to Omega Auctions. Auctioneer Paul Fairweather explained that the tape 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.”
It’s expected to fetch at least £10,000 when the auction rolls around, but you can be certain that as with most David Bowie items, it’s bound to go even higher.