Earliest Known David Bowie Recording Up for Auction

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David Jones (later Bowie) in 1963, at left, playing saxophone with the Konrads

A tape recording from 1963 by a British rock group called the Konrads—believed to be the first recording to feature the future David Bowie (then known as David Jones)—has been discovered in an old bread basket, and will be put up for auction. According to an article posted on the BBC’s website, the song, titled “I Never Dreamed” (co-written by Bowie), features a lead vocal by Bowie, who was, at the time, a 16-year-old budding saxophonist and did not usually sing. The recording was made as a demo to attract record label attention, but was rejected by Decca Records.

According to the article, the tape recording was discovered by the band’s drummer, David Hadfield, in an old bread basket in his loft. It is expected to sell for £10,000 (approx. $13,100 U.S.) when it is sold by Omega Auctions in Britain in September.

Related: A senior record label executive got Bowie to look back at his ’70s career

David Jones (later Bowie) in 1963

Hadfield said, in a statement issued by Omega, “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. 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. 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.”

Bowie would undertake several other musical endeavors throughout the remainder of the ’60s, finally emerging as  star with the release of “Space Oddity” in 1969, when he was signed to Mercury Records. Beginning in the early ’70s, when he assumed the persona of Ziggy Stardust, Bowie was well on his way toward superstardom. He died of cancer in January 2016.

Listen to another recording of Bowie with the Konrads, “Slide”


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