A demo of David Bowie singing his hit song Starman has been sold for £51,000 after gathering dust in a loft for nearly 50 years.
In the 1971 recording, thought to be the first demo of the pop classic, Bowie can be heard telling his guitarist Mick Ronson that he has not finished singing the song when he tries to end the demo.
Ronson, who died in 1993, gave his friend, Kevin Hutchinson, the demo in 1971.
Bowie was yet to make his name and Hutchinson, then a teenager and aspiring musician, was unimpressed by what he heard.
Hutchinson put the recording up for sale and on Tuesday Dan Hampson, assistant auction manager at Omega Auctions, said it sold for about £51,000 with commission.
The demo, which had a £10,000 estimate, also contains recordings of Bowie songs Moonage Daydream and Hang Onto Yourself.
The song, about a Starman who’d “like to come and meet us but he thinks he’d blow our minds” was released as a single in 1972 and featured on the Ziggy Stardust concept album, which catapulted Bowie into international rock and pop stardom.
Hutchinson, who also penned a song for Bowie which he considered putting on the album, retrieved the tape from his loft after watching a documentary about the star, who died in 2016.
Hutchinson said of his decision to sell the demo: “I’m 65… It’s not used in my life… so I’ve started what they call on TV decluttering.”