Listen: First Demo Of David Bowie’s ‘Starman’ Goes Up For Auction


A demo believed to be possibly one of the first recordings of David Bowie‘s ‘Starman’ is about to go up for auction.

The demo dates back to 1971 and it’s reported that both David Bowie and his Spiders from Mars guitarist Mick Ronson made the recording.

The demo will go under the hammer today at Merseyside’s Omega Auctions, where it is anticipated to sell for over £10,000.

Ronson later gave it to Kevin Hutchinson, a burgeoning musician and close friend who wished to learn the legendary track. Also included on the demo are early versions of ‘Hang Onto Yourself’ and ‘Moonage Daydream’.

The tape was then left in Mr Hutchinson’s attic when he finished listening to it. Speaking to the Press Association, Mr Hutchinson revealed how it felt to listen to the demo years later,

“Now I’m 65 and I played it, I just couldn’t believe how good it is. But at the time, I thought: It’s not bad. At 16 you’re not totally impressed, nothing impresses you.”

“couldn’t believe it”

Mr Hutchinson explained how he rediscovered the precious demo,

”I found it and got my old tape recorder out of the loft as well and threaded the tape into the machine. We couldn’t believe it when we heard it. It’s superb.”

The listener can hear Bowie tell Mick Ronson that the song wasn’t quite over when he tries to end the recording.

“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’”. Check out the awesome demo below:

Dan Hampson, assistant auction manager at Omega Auctions said in a press statement via NME, “In consultation with a Bowie expert, we can say with confidence that this tape contains a very early and possibly the first ever demo version of Starman”.

“There’s a lot of Bowie mythology around the writing of this timeless classic, and the raw and truly beautiful version heard here helps to provide a fascinating insight into the creative process of a bona fide genius”. 

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