By Eric Gasa
Even two years after his death in 2016, the world is still finding posthumous work from the legendary David Bowie. Before he was the singer/fashion icon known as Ziggy Stardust, Bowie, or then David Robert Jones, was an aspiring saxophone player for his teen band, The Konrads. In typical Bowie fashion, a long-lost demo recording from Bowie’s time with The Konrads has been recently discovered in of all places, a bread basket. The tape, recovered in the home of the band’s drummer, David Hadfield, is expected to auction for £13,000 and reveals a side of Bowie that few people knew.
Before the glam, platinum records, and sold-out stadiums, Bowie was just a 16-year-old performer fighting for his time in the spotlight. In fact, at the time of the recording Bowie was not even sure he wanted to be a vocalist.
“David had no inclination to become a singer at this point, his heart and mind were focused on becoming a world class saxophone player,” Hadfield explained to The Guardian. “Our agent, Eric Easton, who also managed the Rolling Stones, asked us to do a demo so he could try and get us an audition at Decca.”
Easton had persuaded the 16-year-old Bowie to lend his vocals on the song, “I Never Dreamed” but the song was unfortunately rejected by Decca Records. Taped in 1963, the demo is the very first recording of Bowie singing.
As the story goes, The Konrads failed to secure a record deal and Jones left the band. Six years later he reemerged as David Bowie, achieving stardom with 1969’s classic David Bowie, and it’s 1972 reissue Space Oddity.
The iconic singer died of cancer in January 2016. His last album, Blackstar was released as planned two days after the singer’s death, coinciding with his 69th birthday. Recorded in secret, Bowie’s swan song was meant as a parting gift to his fans upon his death.
Blackstar received Gold and Platinum certifications and won awards at the 2016 Grammys for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Rock Performance.
With the discovery of this long last demo, the world has another glimpse of the artist from the grave, only adding to the mystique and legacy of Bowie.
Hadfield’s recording will go on auction this September at Omega Auctions in Newton-le-Willows in Merseyside.