Rare copy of demonstration-only David Bowie single Liza Jane - recorded when he was just 17 under name of Davie Jones - set to sell for thousands at auction
PUBLISHED: 11:06 27 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:09 27 September 2017
The seven-inch single will be sold on October 9 through a Folkestone auction house
A rare record released by David Bowie when he was just 17 is set to go under the hammer later this month with expectations it could sell for thousands of pounds.
The seven-inch vinyl pressing of Liza Jane was first released back in June 1964.
Still living in Kent at the time, the record was released under his real name of Davie Jones and failed miserably to have any impact on the chart.
In fact Liza Jane by Davie Jones and the King Bees sold so badly the group were subsequently dropped from the record label, Vocalion Pop.
But after the young performer changed his name to Bowie his fortunes transformed and he elevated himself from the humble beginnings of life growing up in Beckenham to global superstardom.
And as a consequence of his fame, fans have since clamored for anything related to the star. That value has only increased since his death in January 2016.
Now the rare vinyl - which is a demonstration-only version of the single - is to be sold via a Folkestone auction house with even experts admitting they have little idea just how much it will sell for.
Going up with an estimate of between £500-£1,000 experts suggest it could eventually sell for many times that.
Demonstration-only records were limited run pre-release copies of the single sent to radio stations and reviewers in a bid to whip up excitement ahead of its official release.
Robin Newcombe is a general valuer at Grand Auctions in Folkestone which is selling the disc.
He explained: “We held a general valuation day and a woman came in with the record. She had it in her possession for years. She knew Davie Jones was actually David Bowie but didn’t know much more about it than that.
“When I first saw it I knew it was potentially valuable and having done some additional research I realise it is likely to be one of very few remaining copies out there.”
According to David Bowie’s own website, DavidBowie.com, two similiar versions of the record - both demonstration discs - were sold through online auction site eBay in 2014 for £2,150 each.
But with interest in the late star never higher, that price could be dwarfed.
Adds Mr Newcombe: “On the record collecting website Discogs there is only one copy for sale and that is valued at around £4,000. The problem is that it is so rare we simply don’t know what price it will sell for.”
The record itself is said to be in a ‘fair’ to ‘good’ condition - which means it shows signs of wear and tear. Prior to sale it will be professionally cleaned, with the auction house confident it will be able to be played without skipping.
However, for collectors the value lies in its rarity rather than the ability to hear the track.
Explains Mr Newcombe: “For collectors it will be appeal of simply owning such a rare piece rather than the condition of the record itself.
“It is almost impossible to ascertain how many copies of the record would have been printed. It could be as low as 20 or 100. The one thing we do know is that items like this rarely come on to the market and we’re expecting a great deal of interest.”
The sale takes place on October 9. The item is expected to attract global attention as it will be sold via the online site, www.thesaleroom.com.