London: A demo believed to be the first recording of David Bowie’s hit song “Starman” will be up for auction on Tuesday.
The song featured in the 1972 Ziggy Stardust concept album, which propelled Bowie to fame.
The auction of the 1971 tape at the Omega Auctions in Newton-le-Willows, is expected to garner 10,000 British Pounds, the BBC reported.
Dan Hampson, assistant auction manager at Omega Auctions, said the tape was “possibly the first ever demo version of Starman”.
“There’s a lot of Bowie mythology around the writing of this timeless classic,” Hampson said, adding that the raw and truly beautiful version heard here “helps to provide a fascinating insight into the creative process of a bona fide genius”.
The Bowie tape was packed away in a box in 1971 and “totally forgotten about” for almost 50 years.
In the tape, Bowie can be heard telling guitarist Mick Ronson he had not finished the song at the time of the demo recording.
Later Ronson had given the tape to his friend Kevin Hutchinson, a 16-year-old aspiring musician, to help him learn the song.
In his turn, Hutchinson listened to the song, labelled it “David Bowie rehearsal tape” and packed it away in his loft, the BBC report added.
Hutchinson only retrieved it from that loft after watching a documentary about Bowie, who died aged 69 in 2016.
He told BBC Radio in 2017 that he had forgotten about the tape and was “staggered” when he heard the quality of it.
The demo also contained recordings of Bowie songs “Moonage Daydream” and “Hang Onto Yourself”.
Hutchinson, who is now selling the tape, said: “I remember listening to it and thinking, ‘This is OK.’ I didn’t think, ‘This is fantastic.’ At 16, you’re not totally impressed. Nothing impresses you.”
Luckily the tape remained with Hutchinson despite him moving houses several times.
“You can tell that Mick has never heard the song before because at the end he is just about to turn the tape recorder off and Bowie says, ‘Hang on. There’s a little bit more,” Hutchinson said.