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A rare copy of Ed Sheeran’s first-ever demo, which “sounds like Eric Clapton at moments”, is headed for auction

(Image credit: Omega Auctions / Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Ed Sheeran’s first-ever demo, recorded when he was just 13 and purported to be a set of “love songs,” is scheduled to go up for sale by Omega Auctions.

Sheeran made roughly 20 copies of the collection, which is titled Spinning Man and features songs with titles like Moody Ballad of Ed and No More War.

The demo was supposedly unearthed from a drawer after being forgotten for years.

According to reports, at the time, the acoustic guitar phenom was staying with relatives and sleeping on their sofa and had handed a copy of the demo to a friend of the relatives. 

The friend’s brother, Kevin, who decline to give his surname, is selling the CD.

(Image credit: Omega Auctions)

“My brother put it in a drawer and forgot about it,” he told the PA news agency (via Evening Express (opens in new tab)).

“At the time Ed Sheeran was this just this wee, ginger-haired busker and he thought nothing of it. He didn’t realize he would go on to be one of the world’s biggest pop stars.”

He continued, “The quality of the songs are really good and I was shocked by how good he was on the electric guitar. It does sound like Eric Clapton at moments.

“I play guitar. The fact that he was playing like that when he was 13, he must have been talented from the start.”

The CD, which features a photo of Ed – playing a Dean acoustic, no less – shot by his father, is expected to fetch as much as £10,000 (approx. $13,000) at auction.

Kevin added that “most of the other CDs – or all the other CDs, as far as I know – have a sticker on the disc, saying ‘Ed Sheeran Spinning Man.’ But for this one he’d run out of stickers so he wrote his name on the disc and handed it to my brother. So it might be the only signed copy.”

A representative for Sheeran, however, has disputed the CD’s authenticity, telling the Standard Online (opens in new tab), "All of Ed’s early demos for Spinning Man featured a sticker. Any supposed copies without one are officially counterfeit."

For more information or to bid, head to Omega Auctions (opens in new tab).

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Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.