News & Opinion | July 23, 2018 11:23 am

David Bowie’s First Demo Track Discovered, Expected to Go to Auction

The demo was found in an old bread basket.

david bowie
British pop singer David Bowie pictured when he was known as Davie Jones, outside the BBC Television Centre waiting to speak to Barry Langford, producer of the show 'Gad Zooks Its All happening'. (Alisdair MacDonald/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

Long before he became famous as David Bowie, a skinny 16-year-old with dreams of becoming a saxophonist agreed to do lead vocals on a demo track in a small studio in south London. Now, the only known recording of the resulting session, with David Bowie singing “I Never Dreamed” with his first band, The Konrads, has been discovered in an old bread basket. The demo is expected to fetch over $13,000 at auction.

The tape was discovered by David Hadfield, who was the band’s drummer and manager. It was stashed in an old bread basket that had belonged to his grandfather with a host of other material like photographs, promotional sketches, and letters and bills. Hadfield remembers that Konrad’s agent, Eric Easton (who also managed an unknown band called the Rolling Stones), asked them to make a demo, so he booked them a session in south London. At the time, David Bowie still went by David Jones.

“There is no other recording of the demo featuring David as lead in existence,” said Hadfield, according to The Guardian. “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.”

Hadfield’s memorabilia will be sold by Omega Auctions. Auctioneer Paul Fairweather called the tape “completely unique and of great historical interest, being the earliest studio recording of a fledgling musician who would go on to superstardom,” according to The Guardian.