David Bowie’s handwritten lyric sheet expected to fetch £100k at auction

Entertainment

A handwritten lyric sheet penned by David Bowie for two of his “cult favourite” songs could fetch up to £100,000 when it goes under the hammer next week.

The double-sided lyric sheet includes the late music icon’s drafts, notes and corrections from when he created Rock N Roll Suicide and Suffragette City – which both featured on his 1972 classic, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

The page dates to the final recording sessions of the album and was given to the original owner by the Life On Mars hitmaker at Trident Studio in Soho, central London, along with pages which have not survived.

It will be accompanied by a letter of provenance from the seller, stating that the page was created during the album’s final recording sessions.

The side of the sheet showing the Suffragette City lyrics includes a note at the bottom left to inform the publisher of two more songs Bowie was considering for the album – It Ain’t Easy and Round And Round.

It Ain’t Easy made it on to the 1972 album, while Round And Round, a cover of Chuck Berry’s Around And Around, was selected as a B-side for the UK issue of Drive In-Saturday, released a year later in 1973.

The double-sided lined paper features the lyrics to Rock N Roll Suicide and Suffragette City
Image:
The double-sided lined paper features the lyrics to Rock N Roll Suicide and Suffragette City

The lyric sheet is expected to fetch up to £100,000 at auction
Image:
The lyric sheet is expected to fetch up to £100,000 at auction

The lyric sheet was purchased by the current owner in the early 1980s and went on loan in 2013 to the V&A Museum for its highly-anticipated David Bowie exhibition – which became its fastest-ever selling event.

More on David Bowie

It travelled across the globe when the exhibition departed London and journeyed to Toronto, Sao Paolo, Chicago, Paris, Melbourne, Bologna, Tokyo, Barcelona and New York during a five-year international tour.

Stellar showcase of music memorabilia on sale

Bowie, who died from liver cancer on 10 January 2016 aged 69, was crowned Britain’s most influential artist of the past 50 years for his ability to transcend music, film and fashion.

His lyric sheet will be among a stellar showcase of musical memorabilia on sale on Tuesday via Omega Auctions – which previously sold a handwritten lyric sheet for Starman, one of his most famous songs, for more than £200,000.

David Bowie performing on stage at Wembley Stadium during Live Aid in 1985 Pic: AP
Image:
David Bowie performing on stage at Wembley Stadium during Live Aid in 1985. Pic: AP

Other lots include a book previously owned by Oasis guitarist, Noel Gallagher, featuring lyrics for fan favourites including Champagne Supernova, She’s Electric, Rockin’ Chair, Step Out Tonight and Going Nowhere, which is expected to fetch between £30,000 and £50,000.

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Gallagher hailed Bowie as “one of the all-time greats”, telling Sky News how the visionary singer inspired him to step out of his comfort zone and “put himself out there”.

A sheet containing The Doors frontman Jim Morrison’s handwritten lyrical musings is also up for auction with an estimated price of £10,000 to £50,000.

Handwritten and signed lyrics by Queen drummer Roger Taylor for the band’s song, Breakthru, are expected to fetch up to £10,000, while a pair of trousers owned and worn by late frontman Freddie Mercury could net £6,000.

The auction also includes signed photographs, posters, albums and setlists by a variety of well-known artists.

Bowie accepted the lifetime achievement award at the 11th Annual Webby Awards in New York in 2007 Pic: AP
Image:
Bowie in 2007. Pic: AP

Bowie’s lyric sheet has been described as “an incredible artefact” by auction manager, Dan Muscatelli-Hampson.

“There are two real cult favourites in the wonderful David Bowie oeuvre and Suffragette City has been described as one of his very best,” he said.

“It is an incredible artefact to have and to hold and it is sure to excite the many millions of Bowie fans around the world, just as the Starman lyrics did.

“We are excited to see what it might achieve on the day.”

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