Rare, unreleased David Bowie demo from 1965 sells for £14,448 at UK auction

Bowie acetate
(Image credit: Martin Hughes / Wessex Auction Rooms)

A rare, early David Bowie demo on vinyl, recorded while the singer was fronting Davy Jones and the Lower Third, has sold at auction for almost £14,500. 

The seven inch vinyl acetate, featuring Bowie’s band’s 1965 recording of I Want Your Love, written by John Dee and Jack Tarr, sold to a UK buyer for £14,448 on December 16 at an auction hosted by specialist vinyl auction house Wessex Auction Rooms. The track was later recorded by The Pretty Things, on their 1965 album Get The Picture?

The record was expected to attract bids of up to £12,000. The seller purchased the physical archive of one of the UK’s largest publishing companies a few years ago: the archive includes approximately 500,000 records including many demos, promos, and unmarked acetates.  This particular acetate was one of the ones with no info other than the name of the track, so it took some months trawling through the publishing company database info, and speaking with music industry insiders, to determine which artist recorded it.  This is the third Bowie track that has been discovered in the archive over the last two years, with unreleased Bowie recordings of I Do Believe I Love You (from 1966) and Run Piper Run (from 1967) having previously gone under the hammer.

“It’s been a real buzz to be the custodian of such an important piece of musical history,” says Martin Hughes, Director / Music Specialist at Wessex Auction Rooms. “As a specialist vinyl auctioneer I am lucky enough to handle rare vinyl records every day, but something like this does not come along every day.  As you can imagine, we had interest from David Bowie enthusiasts around the world as well as general music collectors and there wasn’t a single spare phone line when the auction took place.  The gavel eventually came down to an internet bidder in the UK.”

In other David Bowie news, Parlophone Records have revealed they'll release a limited edition vinyl picture disc of Bowie's Hunky Dory album to mark its 50th anniversary on January 7.

Bowie vinyl

(Image credit: Martin Hughes / Wessex Auction Rooms)
Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.