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Mystery of missing recording from David Bowie’s first session in West Hampstead’s Decca Studios

PUBLISHED: 12:39 11 January 2016 | UPDATED: 10:45 13 January 2016

David Bowie, who died on Sunday (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire)

David Bowie, who died on Sunday (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Tributes have poured in from around the world for glam rock icon David Bowie, who started his recording career at the Decca Studios in West Hampstead,

Bowie died on Sunday in New York after a private eighteen month battle with cancer.

His 50 year career made him an international superstar, but the Brixton-born singer began his professional career at the Decca Studios in West Hampstead, when he was still known as David Jones.

On August 29, 1963, 16-year-old David’s band, The Kon-rads, recorded just one track live at the Broadhurst Gardens studios, which had famously turned down The Beatles two years earlier.

The Kon-rads also failed to impress the studio with their song, I Never Dreamed, and were further rejected by the Rolling Stones’ manager, Eric Easton, and by the bookers of TV talent show, Ready Steady Win.

The Decca Studios in West Hampstead, where David Bowie made early recordingsThe Decca Studios in West Hampstead, where David Bowie made early recordings

Decca’s recording of I Never Dreamed has apparently vanished, although the Bowie website carries the lyrics.

But ten months later, Bowie - still known as Jones - was back at the West Hampstead studio to record his first single, Liza Jane, with his band, The King Bees - which also bombed.

The star’s local links continued, with the video from his 1967 record, When I Live My Dream, above, being filmed partly on Hampstead Heath.

Bowie’s unexpected death has rocked the music world, coming just three days after the release of his new albumn, Blackstar.

His death was announced on social media and confirmed by his son, director Duncan Jones.

A statement on the star’s official Facebook account said: “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer.”

See Thursday’s Ham&High for more of Bowie’s Camden connections and local reaction to his death.

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