Sold for £203,500 including buyer’s premium against an estimate of £30,000-40,000 was an A4 page of graph paper with handwritten lyrics by David Bowie for Starman, probably written c.January 1972, with amendments (spelling errors crossed out) and additions (Cho! Cho! to indicate choruses) also by Bowie. A second hand has written Bowie Lyrics to the right side of the page.
Starman would be the lead single from The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Bowie’s fifth album, released in June 1972, and the group’s appearance on Top Of The Pops for the song is widely recognised as being a pivotal moment in Bowie’s rise to global superstardom.
The lyric sheet dates to the final recording sessions for The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust… It was given personally by Bowie at Trident Studio to the original owner, with a few other pages of original lyrics, some of which didn’t survive. They were needed so that the music publisher and management could prepare the lyric sheet printed on the album’s inner record bag.
They were purchased by the present owner in the early 1980s and loaned to the V&A in 2013. It remained with the V&A’s Bowie exhibition for five years as it toured the world between 2013-18 when it was displayed in London (the only time Bowie saw the exhibition) and cities worldwide.
The buyer at the Merseyside saleroom’s David Bowie and Glam Rock auction was the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) in Tasmania, Australia.