David Bowie's first demo tape from 1963 discovered in old bread basket
The demo tape titled 'I Never Dreamed' for The Konrads featuring lead vocals by David Bowie is expected to fetch up to $13,000 when it is auctioned in September
The first-ever recording of David Bowie on lead vocals has been discovered — in a bread basket of all places. Long before the colorful alter egos of Aladdin Sane and Ziggy Stardust helped establish Bowie as one of the most innovative forces in modern pop music, a 16-year-old Bowie — who then went by the name David Jones and was an aspiring saxophonist — decided to do lead vocals for a band called The Konrads in 1963.
The resulting demo tape titled 'I Never Dreamed' is considered the first and only existing copy featuring Bowie on lead vocals and was thought to have been long-lost until now. The credits for the song name David Jones and Konrads lead guitarist Neville Wills. The tape was discovered by The Konrads drummer David Hadfield stashed in a bread basket when he was moving in the 1990s. Hadfield decided to keep it a secret until announcing on July 23 that it will be up for auction in September, The Guardian reported.
The band’s agent Eric Easton, who would go on to become the manager of The Rolling Stones, planned to use the recording to gain the attention of Decca Records. Though the tape was rejected, the band did score an audition with the label some months later, where vocalist Roger Ferris took over lead vocals and Jones/Bowie stepped into the background.
“We had decided that we would do a couple of guitar instrumentals and one original song,” Hadfield said of those original recording sessions. “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.”
Bowie would leave the band by the end of that year, going on to launch his massive, legendary career six years later with 'Space Oddity.' Bowie died of cancer in January 2016, two days after the release of his 25th studio album 'Blackstar'. The auction of his personal art collection, which included works by Frank Auerbach and Damien Hirst, raised £33m in a two-day sale at Sotheby’s – more than twice the pre-sale estimate, the Guardian notes.
The demo tape is expected to fetch up to £10,000 (about $13,105) when it heads to auction alongside early Bowie letters, bills, booking forms, photographs, and promotional sketches. The auction will be held in September via Omega Auctions in Newlon-le-Willows, England. As a preview, Omega has shared a 12-second clip of 'I Never Dreamed', which you can hear below: