UPDATED: 5 Ultra-Rare Demo Tapes for Super-Collectors
Ever been hanging around a venue just after your favorite band has played only to have some scuzzy-looking guy walk up to you and say, "Here, take this, it's my band's demo" and hand you an unsolicited CD-R or a cassette tape? What did you do with it? If you're anything like me, you probably threw it in the trash or took it home, listened to it once, and then promptly lost it.
The problem is that that scuzzy-looking guy could be a superstar in ten years, and you'd feel pretty dumb to have thrown away that early demo tape they handed you. Some people have held onto those things, though.
Take these tapes, by a little band called "On a Friday," which surfaced on eBay earlier this month. Inspired by a Talking Heads song, On a Friday later changed their name to "Radiohead." Those On a Friday demos
just sold had been listed for $29,999.99, and some early Beatles demos are about to be sold as well.
R.E.M.'s 1981 Demo
This showed up on the Internet late last year. The proud owner isn't letting go of it, but he ripped the audio for all to hear. Apparently only 400 tapes were made, purely to hand out at R.E.M.'s first show in New York City.
Amazingly, it contains an early version of "Radio Free Europe." That of course eventually became one of the band's most beloved tracks, proving just how good R.E.M. was even at the very beginning.
The Offspring's 1986 Demo Tape
This demo is an especially early example, as the Offspring wouldn't even get a break to record an album until 1989. They didn't quite manage to break out with that first album, but a few songs from this tape did end up on there. Unfortunately, this one also wasn't put up for sale, but you can download and listen to it here.