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David Bowie’s first-known studio recording sells for quadruple estimated price

David Bowie in 1966 © PA Images

The first known David Bowie studio recording has sold for almost £40,000 at auction.

The extremely rare 1963 demo tape features 16-year-old Bowie, then known as his birth name David Jones, singing lead vocals on a song called ‘I Never Dreamed’ with his band The Konrads.

The band’s drummer David Hadfield found the tape in an old bread basket while clearing out his loft and decided to put up for sale.

Predicted to fetch £10,000 under the hammer, Newton-le-Willows based Omega Auctions say it sold for a whopping £39,360 – almost four times its original estimate - following an intense bidding frenzy involving overseas buyers.

You can listen to a snippet of the track here:


The demo was the last lot of the day following a number of other Bowie related sales including an early 1963 poster of The Konrads that went for £6,600 and promotional sketches by Bowie from his time in The Konrads together with photos and band documents, which fetched £17,130.

Paul Fairweather from the auctioneers 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.”

Explaining the history behind the recording, David Hadfield said: “Our agent, Eric Easton, who also managed The Rolling Stones, asked us to do a demo so he could try and get us an auction at Decca. 

“So in early 1963 I booked into R.G.Jones small studio in Morden.  In preparation for the demo David and our guitarist Neville Wills wrote 2/3 songs. We had decided that we would do a couple of guitar instrumentals and one original song. 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 (Bowie) singing 55 years ago! There is no other recording 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.”

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