A reel-to-reel tape featuring three early and previously unreleased David Bowie songs is to be auctioned through Omega Auctions in Merseyside town Newton-le-Willows on 21 May.
The tape is expected to sell for more than £10,000. It features four songs recorded in 1966 and 1967 that were earmarked for Bowie’s debut album, but ultimately rejected.
One song, ‘Bunny Thing’, is described by Bowie expert Paul Kinder as “a beat poem about rabbits smuggling drugs, complete with in-character reminiscences of an aged German bunny”. He added: “There’s also a very solid and catchy R&B number, ‘Funny Smile’, and a version of totally weird music hall, Mockney accent-heavy ‘Pussy Cat’. For Bowie fans, these tracks represent part of the holy grail of unreleased recordings.”
Another song, ‘Did You Ever Have A Dream’, has been released before, on the 1981 compilation, Another Face.
The tracks date from the formative and often overlooked period of Bowie’s career, when the future superstar was forging an identity from blending vaudeville and music hall songs with the guitar-pop of swinging London. “I didn’t know if I was Max Miller or Elvis Presley,” Bowie once said of this period, which pre-dated the release of Bowie’s first major hit ‘Space Oddity’.
Other unreleased songs from this era appeared in 2018 on the bootleg album Occasional Dreaming, and in April this year, Parlophone officially released Spying Through A Keyhole: a box set of seven-inch singles collecting rare late 1960s demos.
As uDiscover Music previously reported, during the summer of 2018, Bowie’s very first demo was also discovered stashed away in an old bread basket. Bowie recorded the track, entitled ‘I Never Dreamed’ in 1963 with his band The Konrads in a bid to secure a record deal with Decca. Unfortunately, the record label and The Rolling Stones’ manager Eric Easton rejected it, so by the time Bowie started to gain notoriety, no one knew if the musician’s earliest recordings had survived the test of time.