When & Where did you get your first Real Book?

Posted on 07 March 2013

Back in the late 1970s, median house prices were around $32k, you could buy a pint for not alot, a Commodore cost around $7k and those enterprising students at Berklee recently created the Real Book to "first and foremost an attempt to reinvent the concept of what a fake book was, to raise the bar for all such books to come." When it made it's way to Australia you could buy it under the counter. When and where did you get your first real book and what changed when you did?

In his really interesting book, "The story of fake books: bootlegging songs to musicians" Barry Kernfeld documents the development of the Real Book that we've all come to know and love; as well as how we got to that point from Tune-Dex cards, as well as documenting probably the longest FBI copyright case in history.

You can read a chapter here: http://chapters.scarecrowpress.com/08/108/0810857278ch1.pdf

You can get the book http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Story-Fake-Books-Barry-Kernfeld/9780810857278

Also, a very interesting response from "B" and "C" is contained here: http://www.personal.psu.edu/bdk4/

According to "B", "The first edition had a white binding, as opposed to black for editions two and three. If you can find a book with the white, then you've a Real collector's item." Has anyone got one of these in Australia?

I'm interested in your experiences with the original real book. What was the secret handshake you used? Was there a special password phrase that alerted the certain bookseller to reach under the desk? What changed at gigs when you started using it? Leave your comments below.