David Bowie's very first studio recording is finally seeing the light of day after spending decades tucked away in a bread box, according to Spin. Featuring Bowie on lead vocals, the tape was recorded by the would-be Starman’s first band, The Konrads, and it will head to the auction block this fall.
At the time of its recording in 1963, Bowie was just 16 years old and was still going by his birth name, David Jones. He later changed it to David Bowie to avoid being confused with Davy Jones, lead singer of The Monkees.
The tape was found in an old bread box by David Hadfield, former drummer and manager of The Konrads, while he was moving homes. Bowie and another band member had written a few songs for a demo, but Hadfield ultimately chose the song “I Never Dreamed” because “it was the strongest—the other two were a bit weak,” he told the UK-based Omega Auctions house.
“I also decided that David was the best person to sing it and give the right interpretation,” he said. “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.”
The track sounds a little like an early Beatles song, but Bowie’s distinctive voice is easily recognized. A snippet of that audio recording can be heard in the clip below:
The track was rejected by Decca Records and Bowie left the band later that year. It wasn’t until six years later that he made a name for himself with his hit single “Space Oddity.”
The tape is expected to fetch over $13,000 when it goes under the hammer in Newton-le-Willows, England, this September. Other memorabilia from Bowie’s early career, including letters, booking forms, photos, and promotional sketches, will also be auctioned off.