David Bowie’s first ever demmo has been unearthed and is, naturally, due to be auctioned off. The recordings are said to have been discovered in an old bread basket of all places. Interestingly, the demmo itself was dismissed by the record label at the time.
David Bowie was an artist interested in many things. That was especially true in the early days of his career. His career could have been wildly different. Bowie played around with the idea of being a songwriter, a singer of other people’s songs, a dancer, or even giving up music to pursue a higher spiritual path. Perhaps it was fitting that in the end his career involved all of these aspects.
Bowie’s first demmo recording has now been found. It was meant as a showcase of his talent to a record label. The label passed on a deal. At the time the singer went by his birth name of David Jones. The recording features his first vocals ever caught to tape, on the song I Never Dreamed. His stage name and the nature of his music would soon undergo serious changes.
The discovery in itself seems to have been a spot of luck. The tape was found in an old bread basket. It was unearthed by David Hadfield, a member of Bowie’s original backing band, the Konrads, in his old house. Hadfield goes on to explain:
“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.”
“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.”
There was less interest in the tape at the time of recording. Conceived as a type of audition tape for Decca Records, it was turned down by the executives. Bowie would go on to have his first big success with the song Space Oddity. The artist would hit his stride, commercially at least, in the early 1970’s. His most famous albums at the time were released by RCA Records.
His vision would soon involve a much higher creative input, with his original songwriting evolving over the course of the next years. Fittingly the demmo that ended up costing Decca millions of pounds will go on to cost a collector a hefty sum.
Another demmo recorrding. This time it’s Bowie’s version of a song that would become a standard for Frank Sinatra under a different. Bowie took his revenge, using this as inspiration for the song Life on Mars?
The demmo recording is set to be auctioned off. It could fetch a sum in the region of £10,000. Not bad for a lad from Brixton, England.