Tim Buckley – Signed Lyric Manuscript For “I’ve Played That Game Before”

Tim Buckley’s handwritten and signed lead sheet (see below) for his song “I’ve Played That Game Before.”

Buckley recorded “I’ve Played That Game Before” with his group The Bohemians, as part of a 1965 demo tape. An acetate of that demo was given to Elektra Records president Jac Holzman, who recognized Buckley’s unique talent, and signed him to a solo contract in May 1966.  While The Bohemians broke up, two of the group’s members became longtime collaborators of Buckley’s: Jim Fielder, who played bass on a number of his albums, and Larry Beckett, Buckley’s longtime songwriting partner.  The Bohemians demo was finally released in 2011, as part of the deluxe reissue of Buckley’s 1966 self-titled debut album.

Larry Beckett confirmed for us that the title, lyrics and chords on this lead sheet were written by Buckley, who also wrote at the top “words & music by Tim Buckley III.”  Beckett theorized this and a number of other lead sheets were written for music publisher Third Story Music, noting that the musical notation was not written by Buckley but by someone Third Story hired to transcribe the demo tape. But all of the writing is by Tim Buckley.

This lead sheet was part of the estate of Buckley’s longtime manager, Herb Cohen. As far as we can determine, the lead sheets for The Bohemians demo (and a few unrecorded songs from the same time) are the only Tim Buckley handwritten lyrics ever to surface (even his autograph is rare.)

A museum quality Tim Buckley collectible, with Recordmecca’s lifetime guarantee of authenticity, and a copy of the two-cd reissue of Tim Buckley, with The Bohemians demo featuring “I’ve Played That Game Before.)

[A lead sheet is a form of musical notation that specifies the essential elements of a popular song: the melody, lyrics and harmony.]

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