David Bowie tragically died following a battle with cancer in 2016, now two years later, his first ever demo has been found by a former band mate. During a move, the old tape has surfaced in a bread basket, containing work from his first ever band, the Konrads, and is now going up for auction, expecting to fetch up to £10,000 GBP.
Dated back to 1963, David Bowie was an aspiring Saxophonist but agreed to do the lead vocals on a demo tape for the Konrads, singing “I Never Dreamed”. Pitching to record label Decca, and Rolling Stones manager Eric Easton, the group was turned down for a contract and as Bowie soon became a music icon, it was believed that any original recordings were lost – until now.
Konrads drummer, David Hadfield found the tape in his loft during a move in 1990, but kept it a secret until the recent announcement of the auction. A short snippet has been released online, listen below.
“We had decided that we would do a couple of guitar instrumentals and one original song,” Hadfield said in a statement. “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 tape will be auctioned in September along with other Bowie memorabilia found, such as letters, photographs and promotional sketches. The auction will take place in Newton-le-Willows on Merseyside, held by Omega Auctions.