Fifty years since Bowie recorded in West Hampstead

He was just 16 and still known as David Jones, but this was his first ever professional recording session. He wasn’t even on lead vocals.

David Jones (via the David Bowie official website)

Die hard fans can visit the David Bowie website for the full story, but here’s the overview.

On August 29 1963, The Kon-rads, David’s band, quickly recorded just one song live at Decca Studios on Broadhurst Gardens in West Hampstead (now the ENO building). They laid down a new song of their own composition called ‘I Never Dreamed’. There were talent scouts waiting to give the thumbs up or down. This was just two years after The Beatles had been turned down by Decca of course.

Once again, Decca said no. The Rolling Stones’ manager Eric Easton followed suit, as did the bookers of TV talent show ‘Ready Steady Win’.

Bowie wouldn’t be Bowie for another few years – David Jones was too close to the Monkees’ Davy Jones – but this recording session would mark the stat of one of the most remarkable careers in pop music. Bowie was only on backing vocals, it would be another 10 months before Davie Jones and the King Bees recorded “Liza Jane”, also in West Hampstead.

Decca’s master recording of I Never Dreamed has vanished, but there were some metal acetate discs cut at the studio. However, none have ever surfaced and two of the Kon-Rads have lost their copies.

The Bowie website has, however, managed to come up with the original lyrics to this historic track:

I never dreamed
That I’d fall in love with you
I never dreamed
That your eyes could be so blue

Till I looked your way baby
And saw your tender smile
I wanted you so badly
My heart was captured for a while

I never dreamed
Your caress could hurt so much
I never dreamed
That I would shake to your tender touch

Till you held my hand
Run your fingers through my hair
The other guys all laughed at me
But I didn’t really care

I never dreamed
I never dreamed
I never dreamed