David Bowie’s Starman demo fetches £41,000 at auction

David Bowie in 1971 (Image credit: Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives - Getty)

A tape containing a demo of David Bowie’s Starman has sold at auction for £41,000.

It’s thought to be Bowie’s first recording of the track and was discovered in a loft belonging to Kevin Hutchinson – a friend of guitarist Mick Ronson.

Ronson gave budding musician Hutchinson the tape in late 1971 so he could learn the tracks to help him in his career. It had been packed away in Hutchinson loft for almost 50 years and contains a total of 18 tracks, including unheard demos of Moonage Daydream and Hang Onto Yourself.

Other tracks on the 44-minute tape titled David Bowie Rehearsal Tape include Five Years, Rock & Roll Suicide, Round & Round, Amsterdam, Holy Holy, Ziggy Stardust, Velvet Goldmine, Soul Love and Lady Stardust along with some studio chat.

The tape sold by Omega Auctions had been estimated to sell for between £5000 - £10,000.

A Bowie vinyl box set titled Spying Through A Keyhole featuring nine previously unreleased demos will go on sale on April 5 via Parlaphone.

David Bowie: Spying Through A Keyhole

David Bowie: Spying Through A Keyhole
This David Bowie vinyl box set will be released in April and features nine previously unreleased demos, including the earliest known versions of Space Oddity.

Scott Munro
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Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.