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David Bowie’s handwritten ‘Starman’ lyrics sell for over £200,000

Tasmania museum Mona purchased the unique piece of rock history at auction yesterday (September 27)

By Tom Skinner

David Bowie is seen up close in a black and white photo
David Bowie photographed in 1971. (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Djmehow)

The handwritten lyrics David Bowie penned for his classic single ‘Starman’ have sold for over £200,000 at auction.

As the Guardian reports, the scrawled words to the 1972 song – which appears on Bowie‘s fifth studio album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust – were snapped up for A$340,819 (£203,500) yesterday (September 27).

That’s over five times the estimated sale price of £40,000.

The winning bidder was Olivier Varenne, who’s the director of acquisitions and alliances and collections at the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) in Tasmania, Australia.

David Walsh, owner and founder of Mona, said: “We got carried away and paid too much.

“It’ll make an appearance in the expanded library we are currently constructing, along with many other items we got carried away with and paid too much for.”

Bowie’s handwritten ‘Starman’ lyrics went under the hammer as part of Omega Auctions‘David Bowie and Glam Rock’ sale. The unique piece of rock history previously formed part of the ‘David Bowie Is’ collection at the V&A museum, and had been owned by the same person since the ’80s.

The words to the song appear on an A4 piece of paper, which includes numerous edits and corrections. Check out the image in the tweet above.

Omega Auctions’ Paul Fairweather commented: “We had almost unprecedented interest from around the world for this historic piece of memorabilia. We had five telephone lines in operation for the sale as well as bidders online and in the room.

“We’re very pleased with the incredible price achieved and are sure the lyrics will be rightly prized and treasured by the winning bidder.”

Meanwhile, David Bowie has been honoured with a stone on London’s Music Walk of Fame in Camden Town.

Last month, the late icon was named Britain’s most influential artist of the last 50 years, with a new poll hailing his major influence across music, film and fashion.