David Bowie’s First Recording Discovered in Unlikely Place
A 1963 demo recording of David Bowie’s first band, the Konrads, has been unearthed by the band’s drummer, and is expected to fetch big money at an upcoming auction.
David Hadfield found a copy of “I Never Dreamed” in a bread basket in his garage while in the midst of a move in the ‘90s, and kept its existence secret until now. The demo is expected to go for $13,000 at auction.
You can listen to a 12-second snippet of “I Never Dreamed” below.
Bowie, then going by the name David Jones, was 16 years old at the time of the recording, and served chiefly as the band’s saxophonist. “David had no inclination to become a singer at this point,” Hadfield is quoted as saying. “His heart and mind were focused on becoming a world-class saxophone player.”
The demo tape was recorded at the request of the Konrads’ manager Eric Easton, who also managed the Rolling Stones; Easton thought he could get the band an audition with Decca, the Stones’ record label.
Easton’s attempt was for naught; Decca passed on the band. Neither the label nor the Konrads’ members thought the recording of “I Never Dreamed” had survived.
Auctioneer Paul Fairweather has said the tape is “significant ... completely unique and of great historical interest, being the earliest studio recording of a fledgling musician who would go on to super stardom.”
The recording is part of a collection of Bowie memorabilia that will be auctioned off in September at Omega Auctions, in Newton-le-Willows, U.K.