David Bowie's First Recorded Song Found in Bread Box, Heading to Auction

Potter/Express/Getty Images
Potter/Express/Getty Images

David Bowie's very first studio recording is finally seeing the light of day after spending decades tucked away in a bread box, according to Spin. Featuring Bowie on lead vocals, the tape was recorded by the would-be Starman’s first band, The Konrads, and it will head to the auction block this fall.

At the time of its recording in 1963, Bowie was just 16 years old and was still going by his birth name, David Jones. He later changed it to David Bowie to avoid being confused with Davy Jones, lead singer of The Monkees.

The tape was found in an old bread box by David Hadfield, former drummer and manager of The Konrads, while he was moving homes. Bowie and another band member had written a few songs for a demo, but Hadfield ultimately chose the song “I Never Dreamed” because “it was the strongest—the other two were a bit weak,” he told the UK-based Omega Auctions house.

“I also decided that David was the best person to sing it and give the right interpretation,” he said. “So this became the very first recording of David Jones [Bowie] singing 55 years ago! There is no other recording featuring David as lead in existence.”

The track sounds a little like an early Beatles song, but Bowie’s distinctive voice is easily recognized. A snippet of that audio recording can be heard in the clip below:

The track was rejected by Decca Records and Bowie left the band later that year. It wasn’t until six years later that he made a name for himself with his hit single “Space Oddity.”

The tape is expected to fetch over $13,000 when it goes under the hammer in Newton-le-Willows, England, this September. Other memorabilia from Bowie’s early career, including letters, booking forms, photos, and promotional sketches, will also be auctioned off.

[h/t Spin]

Aretha Franklin Concert Documentary Being Released, Nearly 50 Years After It Was Filmed

Al’s Records and Tapes
Al’s Records and Tapes

In January 1972, soul queen Aretha Franklin went to the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in the Watts  of neighborhood Los Angeles to record what would become the highest selling live gospel album of all time, her Grammy-winning Amazing Grace. With her was director Sydney Pollack, who was there to turn her two days of performances into a concert documentary to accompany the album. Unfortunately, technical and legal issues have kept footage locked away ever since. Now, as Konbini alerts us, it's finally getting its big-screen debut, 46 years after it was filmed.

Amazing Grace will premiere during DOC NYC, a documentary film festival in New York. Filmed when Franklin was just shy of her 30th birthday, the 87-minute movie—which DOC NYC artistic director Thom Powers calls "a lost treasure of documentary filmmaking"—captures the singer at her peak, performing for a packed house with the help of a live gospel choir.

Before Pollack died in 2008, the award-winning director behind 1985 movie Out of Africa and 1982 film Tootsie expressed his wish that his long-dormant film finally be revised and released. Producer Alan Elliott bought the rights in 2007. Though Franklin herself died in August 2018, Elliott worked with Franklin's estate—led by her niece, Sabrina Owens—to ready the film for its premiere.

It debuts on November 12, 2018. You can see some highlights in the trailer below.

Amazing Grace Trailer 072718 from alan elliott on Vimeo.

[h/t Konbini]

Does Hearing Christmas Music in Early November Enrage You? You're Not Alone


While some people still haven't gotten around to taking down their Halloween decorations, stores around the country are already blaring Christmas music. If the opening notes of "Jingle Bells" fill you with dread, you're not alone: a significant portion of shoppers find the seasonal soundtrack grating, and hearing it too early may be taking a toll on your mental health.

According to clinical psychologist Linda Blair, people who already find the holidays stressful may be triggered when holiday music creeps into early November. "It's a reminder that we have to buy presents, cater for people, organize celebrations," she told Sky News. "Some people will react to that by making impulse purchases, which the retailer likes. Others might just walk out of the shop. It's a risk."

This may sound like a no-brainer to anyone who's in touch with their inner Grinch, and past research backs up the claims. In a 2011 Consumer Reports survey of more than 1000 people, 23 percent of respondents cited seasonal music as the thing they dread most about the holidays, placing it above holiday parties and disappointing gifts. A Research Intelligence Group poll from 2014 [PDF] found that holiday music can be so bothersome that 36 percent of people have admitted to leaving a store because of it.

For many, holiday music straddles a thin line between comforting and annoying. If seasonal songs have you humming along rather than plugging your ears, it may have something to do with the "mere exposure effect"—a psychological phenomenon where people tend to enjoy things they're familiar with. But at a certain point this effect wears off, with some songs becoming so familiar that they're no longer pleasant to listen to.

Of course that's not the case for everyone. The holidays are a happy time of year for many people, and seasonal music and decorations are a reminder of that. If that applies to you, feel free to start blasting your favorite Christmas tunes before Thanksgiving. (You may just want to keep it at a low enough volume that you don't annoy your neighbors.)