All Times are Eastern (New York City) Time Zone.

September, October, November & December 2014 Posts

Click for most recent BlueBook entries.

Click for newer January, February & March 2015 Posts

Date: Thurs, January 01, 2015, 09:01:34 ET
Posted by: Flatbush Chuck, That NYC


Interesting, frustrating piece. The guy writes well, but throughout alternates sharp commentary with WTF observations. To choose a quick example at random, re Doctor Wu: "I don't find the melody as powerful as on the previous four songs [on Katy Lied]." The melody of Doctor Wu isn't as powerful as that of Black Friday or Daddy Don't Live? Is "melody" the factor he's looking to isolate here? Again and again he seems admirably absorbed with records that aren't quite the records I'm hearing.

But yes indeed, with music appreciation (as with politics) you grow by escaping the partisan echo chamber now and again to recognize and engage thoughtful "outsider" perspectives. A piece like this could easily inspire rebuttals (or reconsiderations, or concessions) that hone one's own takes.

Happy New year to one and all here.

Date: Wed, December 31, 2014, 21:47:11 ET
Posted by: TO Danfan, watching hockey

Would that be Peg, the Fez, with the candy being Pez?

Regarding Toto...seems all their "best" albums are someone elses!

Happy New Year Everyone!


Date: Wed, December 31, 2014, 21:22:14 ET
Posted by: SD, Puzzle

Two SD song titles could each borrow one letter from the other to refer to the same brand of candy. What are the two songs and the candy.

You can use this as a sobriety test before driving home tonight.

Date: Wed, December 31, 2014, 12:38:39 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

The Best Toto album is probably Boz Scaggs' Silk Degrees with Jeff, Paich, and Hungate.

Lowdown is arguably one of the best singles of the rock era. Ironically Jeff lays down a righteous funk groove, that ironically D&W farmed out to Purdie on Royal Scam. Purdie lays back in the groove a bit more which is a better fit for early 70s funk or the laid jazz-pop on RS, Aja, and Gaucho.

Jeff's groove and shuffle are more immediate as he lays back, but not too much on the beat. The altered Purdie shuffle on Lowdown is simply outrageous, and plays well off Hungate's bass.

Human Nature and Beat It are the 2 Thriller tracks with 4 Toto members.

The best Toto as Toto album wasn't that popular and featured a misunderstood single. Hydra is an R&B/jazz/rock fusion masquerading as Prog Rock. I think it actually has aged better than a lot of ELP or King Crimson, despite their brilliance. Hydra is far better than the first album, which can be irritating.

Mama is the track where Toto most emulates Steely Dan, and IMO it's a fine number. Their R&B sensibilities keep the title track and St. George and the Dragon from being too much over the top. 99 and Lorraine are catchy enough ballads.

I think the uncertainty related to Carlock related to the uncertainly re: Steely Dan. There has been no new SD album in over 11 years. The level of the tours are outstanding, but have grown pretty static, digging mostly into the 70s with no acknowledgement of Sunken Condos or Circus $, both with material unrivaled back to the Nightfly.

Indeed, some of the Toto hate comes from the '83 Grammys where TotoIV and momentum from the singles Rosanna and Africa bested the far more complete, consistent and brilliant Nightfly album. Jeff Porcaro was quite sheepish about it as a contributor to both albums. Their lyrics are on the light side, although not Macca banal.

Date: Wed, December 31, 2014, 09:20:32 ET
Posted by: Ran, C

"Walter Becker more or less the music guy and Donald Fagen more or less the lyrics guy."

The solo albums would suggest the opposite.

Date: Wed, December 31, 2014, 09:04:05 ET
Posted by: Pete Evans, manchester UK

Boz Scaggs is on the jools Holland show tonight on BBC TV in the UK. Happy New Year to all Dan fans and please come and see us in Europe next year boys !

Date: Wed, December 31, 2014, 06:22:39 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, pyromaniacal firefighter w/ crackers & rockets. Is there gas in the jerrycan? Yes, there's gas in the jerrycan.

I just stumbled upon this page:

Historic recap of SD and reviews of all their albums 1972-2003, starting with the following disclaimer:

"This page is not written by from the point of view of a Steely Dan fanatic and is not generally intended for narrow-perspective Steely Dan fanatics. If you are deeply offended by criticism, non-worshipping approach to your favourite artist, or opinions that do not match your own, do not read any further."

It made me curious, since I mostly discuss SD with other Danatics, like here on the blue, and this guy had actually taken the time to produce a long article from the viewpoint of a "normal" fan.
It contains errors and counterfactual information, most regulars here will undoubtly discover them consecutively, but if you can ignore this it's mostly a good read.


The rumors about the death of the "-ism"s are grossly exaggerated, at least when it comes to my Fagenistic buddy east of Norwaywood.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Date: Wed, December 31, 2014, 04:18:34 ET
Posted by: fagenism, She go (I cry)

Too lazy to try to find sources, but I definitely remember Fagen mentioning on numerous occasions he was never much into drugs or drinking.

Another happy new year wish to you and yours, with special shoutouts to the Assassin of Jazz and hoops for loyal service.

Date: Tues, December 30, 2014, 22:41:40 ET
Posted by: king of the world, whynnenland

Well, maybe the guy got them off drugs temporarily. It just didn't stick, but a strange incident interesting enough to write about. I remember in "Trainspotting" (?) Ewan MacGregor (?) had a regular routine for successfully, temporarily getting himself off heroin, when he had to be off it for awhile. He fully intended to go back on it later.

Date: Tues, December 30, 2014, 16:37:03 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

I did like the piece but the aside about there being a real Dr. Wu that helped wean Fagen and Becker off of drugs prior to the song's 1975 release is ridiculous. If Walter's next six years were any indication, this must have been the biggest quack in the industry.

Date: Tues, December 30, 2014, 11:29:37 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

Good article. Well written and funny at times. Interesting analysis...

Date: Tues, December 30, 2014, 09:09:41 ET
Posted by: Aja1, Newton

I think I'm like most of us on this board in that finding music that fulfills me in the same way, or even close to the way that SD or their related work does is rare. So in that spirit I'll share these two links, the first is a live performance, the second is the studio version of a song by Jose James. I haven't seen his name come up on the board, but this is good music with good musicians. If you choose to listen to the live link, I encourage you to stick with it through the opening minute or so as he demonstrates some vocal turntable scratching that may or may not be your thing, but once the song starts it is all good.



Date: Mon, December 29, 2014, 19:02:44 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, slingshooting

Well, not really. Most, if not all former and today's members of Toto has been playing on other artists records, they are professional musicians. Paich and Porcaro were never permanent members of Steely Dan, and their contributions was in a period when SD had started to use a lot of different studio musicians. Toto was, and more or less is, a band, period.

Their biggest commercial success - and probably their best album all in all - is "Thriller" by Rod Temperton, Quincy Jones & Michael Jackson.

Date: Mon, December 29, 2014, 18:25:28 ET
Posted by: well, actually

That's exactly what Porcaro and Paich did.

Date: Mon, December 29, 2014, 14:49:55 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Phil, good point - missed that.

My read on the whole Toto/Carlock thing is that while he very well may do shows with Toto, it won't spell the end of his involvement with Steely Dan. Without a doubt, Toto is a step down from Steely Dan musically, and looking at the venues they played last summer, probably monetarily.

I mean, career-wise, where do you go from Steely Dan? Wherever it is, it ain't Toto.

Date: Mon, December 29, 2014, 14:43:46 ET
Posted by: Phil, Tulsa OK

I'm guessing Toto will eventually bring the tour to the USA.

Date: Mon, December 29, 2014, 14:12:55 ET
Posted by: Phil, Tulsa OK

I don't know if Toto's tour dates end in mid-July because on their website it states "More shows will be announced in the new year along with details of the band's new album".

Date: Mon, December 29, 2014, 12:28:59 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, 0

David Paich also played keys on a song from Pretzel Logic, Night By Night I believe.

Date: Mon, December 29, 2014, 09:59:19 ET
Posted by: Chris, NH

Toto's tour dates end in mid-July, leaving plenty of time for a summer/fall tour.

Date: Mon, December 29, 2014, 00:53:53 ET
Posted by: kotw, twin peaks of kiliminjaro

I shall now damn Toto with faint praise, by pointing out that Afrioca was a nice little song. They should merge with Yoko to form Yoko Toto.

Date: Sun, December 28, 2014, 05:51:29 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, between pages

Wait ... guys, are you implying they ("Toto") exist in the real world? I always thought of them as cartoon characters, but that was probably Aerosmith? Or The Rolling Stones? I sometimes mix them all up.

Apart from this, I used to like Hold The Line, Roseanna and Africa, but unfortunately they're all killed by radio.

Date: Sat, December 27, 2014, 18:34:04 ET
Posted by: Steve Gennarelli, Tampa, FL

I've always thought of "Toto" as one of the most successful acts that had some of the flavor of "Steely Dan".
After all, Jeff Porcaro of "Toto" was a favorite of Mr. Fagen & Becker and played on a few great "SD" albums. I have the album "Tribute to Jeff" which I think Donald contributed to and Bernard Purdie also gives us a great cover of "Babylon Sisters".
"Toto" had some great tunes back in the day ..."Roseanna", "99" and "Pamela" were all faves of mine...If you don't like them, I guess my only complaint would be they didn't live up to their full potential. But like many groups they had moments of brilliance.

Date: Sat, December 27, 2014, 12:21:18 ET
Posted by: Denny, C

This probably explains a lot of the Toto hostility here.

Date: Sat, December 27, 2014, 12:20:32 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, me worry?

Relax Jazzassin, no one has officially quit anything yet. I'm sure Keith will be back in line whenever he gets a certain call.

Date: Sat, December 27, 2014, 12:10:40 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Too too

KD, it's ok to be disappointed.
I believe Walter was very serious all the times when he introduced Keith as "We've finally found a drummer that we really, really like a lot! Ladies & Gentlemen: Mr. Keith Carlock!" He really is an outstanding drummer. We can only hope Walter was not equally serious when he said "When he quits, I QUIT!" Damned, I think I just got a minor heart attack just by the mere thought.

Date: Sat, December 27, 2014, 09:27:29 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

toto sux

Date: Sat, December 27, 2014, 08:38:53 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, letting go the line

Lukather's home page lists Keith as the drummer for the Toto world tour in 2015.

Date: Sat, December 27, 2014, 08:07:46 ET
Posted by: Len, F

The home page of the official Toto site doesn't even list Carlock as a member or have his picture. Lukather, Paich, Porcaro, Williams.

Date: Sat, December 27, 2014, 04:57:21 ET
Posted by: Homer, San Francisco

But Toto is going on tour to support their new album which features Keith Carlock on drums. Carlock posted a May 27, 2014 message on his Facebook page stating that the new album will be released on March 2015. He just hasn't updated the gig listings on his website yet.

Date: Sat, December 27, 2014, 02:25:40 ET
Posted by: Len, F

Carlock hasn't committed to any 2015 dates on his website.

Date: Sat, December 27, 2014, 01:02:00 ET
Posted by: Homer, San Francisco

I was checking out the website for Toto and noticed they will be doing an extensive tour in Europe next Summer. So if Steely Dan decides to tour next year, they will have to find a replacement for Keith Carlock who is now a member of Toto. My first choice would be Steve Gadd. Wouldn't it be wonderful to watch him play "Aja" ? My second choice would be to bring back Peter Erskine.

Date: Fri, December 26, 2014, 21:45:03 ET
Posted by: Abu, Cary's Katy

Blues guitarist and vocalist Cary Morin does an interesting cover of the Dan's Black Friday. Each time I hear it, it is growing on me. It can be heard, among other covers, on the Facebook page "Steely Dan Covers". The link is below:

Other recent covers posted there are Al Di Meola's guitar cover of Aja, from the '06 Royal Dan guitar tribute. Vinnie Colaiuta is featured on drums. Also a nicely-done instrumental cover of Monkey in Your Soul, with Jerry Cortez (from Tower of Power) on guitar."Saxgirl" Shannon Kennedy performs My Old School and does a good job with it, IMHO. Another recent post is Luciana Souza's take on Walter Becker's (and co-writer Larry Klein) Love is for Strangers.

Click "Like" on the Facebook page to be notified of the latest posted covers of Becker/Fagen tunes.


Date: Fri, December 26, 2014, 20:12:04 ET
Posted by: kotw, limbo lite

Thanks for the good, detailed answer by the way, Jazzassin...

Date: Fri, December 26, 2014, 17:50:08 ET
Posted by: king of the world, interzone legoland

Jazzassin-- That's all reasonable. I know little of her post-John. Maybe she's found a fun way to live, where she gets little tastes of the spotlight and can drop nuggets of profundity-lite, and it's all bankrolled, so she just surfs on it. I just hope some charities benefit too.

John was able to be magnificently articulate because of the primal scream thing. (POB album) Yoko's version was a set of "songs" where the lyrics consisted of the title screamed over and over. That might have been more literally primal-scream, but I'll take articulate every time.

Date: Fri, December 26, 2014, 13:10:12 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, the Metro

@king of the world, I'll try to be serious for a second.

I basically agree to your view on Yoko and her art, and I like those conceptual gimmicks myself. And like you said; she's probably (most certainly) a mix of serious and BS.
I rarely put on the most infernal primal therapy things these days, but have actually had a lot of "fun" with that stuff as well. Also, she will probably always have to deal with a certain amount of laughter, and does so without worrying. I meant it when I said I found her amusing. I also think, even when she IS dead serious, we're still allowed to laugh ...

As for the Rembrandt $, I absolutely still think she knows her value in certain contexts, and that she's sometimes taking the opportunity to let it add a few inches to the thickness of her wallet.
E.g. some years ago she did a piece of public artwork, a kind of very simple video technology installation, in a subway entrance hall over here in Oslo, Norway. She just sent some drawings and instructions to some handy people here that mounted the equipment in the surface of the walls for her in two days, then arrived on a red carpet to open the installation (which was a meaningless joke and soon forgotten and spray-painted), got her $150.000 and left within an hour. It was the emperor's new clothes all the way, she knew, and I just think it's good fun.

Date: Fri, December 26, 2014, 11:15:19 ET
Posted by: fagenism, She go (I cry)

Here in Sweden we wish each other a "good continuation" this time of year - a wish I hereby extend to my scurvy brothers.

So little news. So little output. And yet this band continues to keep us together. There is something bittersweet about that.

Here is to a wholesome 2015 for all BlueBookers.


The busy world was not for me
So I went and found my own

Date: Fri, December 26, 2014, 10:57:04 ET
Posted by: Jim Taylor, Hello, Baton Rouge

@ Hoops: Great meeting you at the Danfest this year in Port Chester. It was the perfect ending to a perfect Summer of Dan. Happy New Year to you and yours.

I also got to hook up with a very old friend who works for the New York Times and her husband who works for 60 Minutes. They had never seen Steely Dan before. I took them to the Saturday Port Chester show. Right after Rikki, my friend turned to me and said, "these guys are really smart." I started to make a comment about their lyrics and she interrupted me and said, "No, that is not what I mean...They are giving this crowd exactly what they want!"

I agreed.

Happy Holidays and a great New Year to all my Steely Dan friends! Here's hoping for another tour real soon!

Date: Thurs, December 25, 2014, 21:23:35 ET
Posted by: Denise, Hinktown

Hoops, thanks and Merry Christmas.

Best wishes to all on the Blue for happy holidays.

And you as well, Walaka.

Date: Thurs, December 25, 2014, 20:20:15 ET
Posted by: king of the world, the dark side of the earth

Jazzassin-- I tend to look actively for ways to sidestep judgments... I won't ever know Yoko Ono even a few percentage points, that's a given, but that song I posted is nice. Often on a board someone will say something good about a Woody Allen movie, and then ba boom, everyone else starts laying into his love life, as if there's a connection.

You're probably just making conversation though. Anyway, I like some of her fragile little conceptual things, such as the card included in an album with a hole labelled "A hole to look at the sky through". They're nice little exercises with a good heart to them, but place any weight on them and they collapse. They should not be taken very seriously, but people think "art" is just SO serious, because to most people it represents money, the most dead serious thing ever, to most. They picture Rembrandts being sold for millions on auction blocks, and think Yoko's trying to horn in on that. These are NOT very profitable concepts, very laughed-at, so no, she's not BSing us into giving her Rembrandt bucks.

Art is stuff people make because it looks interesting or creates a feeling or different outlook. So it qualifies. I'm sure Yoko is partly BS and partly not, like most of us. That screeching sound is actually interesting to me. I have those albums. Don't play them, but I have 'em.

I figure we'll all get more on-topic after the holidays. Thanks for hanging out with me on Christmas...

Date: Thurs, December 25, 2014, 19:44:54 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, lead filled snowshoe

World, King thereof, the woman is brilliantly mad, and I still blame her. I never figured out if she's for real, or if she laughs hysterically all the way to the bank. I hope for the latter, but you never know; avant garde has this nasty habit of being a bit ... avant garde. Either way she's amusing, but as mentioned; I still blame her.
Her other snow song is called "Don't Worry, Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)", but this exclusive piece of fine art is NOT particulary Christmas friendly, I'm afraid. Like some witty tongue once said: Jeez John, I know love is blind, but does it have to be deaf too?

Date: Thurs, December 25, 2014, 18:28:08 ET
Posted by: king of the world, Both Christmas Islands at once

Oh, I remember this as being a good one. A nice quiet song by Yoko, remarkably. No inbetween for Yoko, apparently, sceechingly loud or else barely audible... no messing with Mr. Sonically Inbetween...

Date: Thurs, December 25, 2014, 18:13:23 ET
Posted by: kotw, trenzalore

You're right, a bit of ironic, tragic Christmasiness. (Charlie Freak) It's like, you want a Christmas song, here's your damn Christmas song... the flip side...

Date: Thurs, December 25, 2014, 17:58:01 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, & the Ghost of Christmas Present

Maybe it's just me, but I always thought Charlie Freak was a good runner-up for SD Xmas themed songs. Neo-Dickens-ish tragic morality tale, and with jingle bells and all.

Date: Thurs, December 25, 2014, 17:17:02 ET
Posted by: Steve M, Scotland

I know D & W wouldn't do anything as gauche as a Christmas song but...

Santa Claus came in last night
drunk on Christmas wine
Fell down hard in the driveway
hung his bag out on the laundry line
There's a Cobra Gunship for his golden boy
And there's a Hello Kitty for his pride and joy
And a silver star in the book of liars by your name

...... 'Book of Rears' is a damm fine substitute, thanks Jazzasin, I'm off to listen the unsung genius of Walter Becker (who, let's face it would easily make the best Santa Claus out of the pair of them) again now.

Date: Thurs, December 25, 2014, 15:35:44 ET
Posted by: Some Loser, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7


Date: Thurs, December 25, 2014, 15:03:02 ET
Posted by: Bing, Bowie

Date: Thurs, December 25, 2014, 14:49:20 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, ... and the thick plottens

Santa Claus came in last night
drunk on Christmas wine
Fell down hard in the driveway
hung his bag out on the laundry line
There's a Cobra Gunship for his golden boy
And there's a Hello Kitty for his pride and joy
And a silver star in the book of liars by your name

Date: Thurs, December 25, 2014, 13:18:49 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, 0

One of my favorites. Christmas With the Devil by Spinal Tap.

Del Davis Tree Farm by Primus.

Date: Thurs, December 25, 2014, 08:22:36 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

We, genuinely, listen to this weird LP every year while putting up the Christmas tree:

Not trying to be a hipster, it's just fantastic.

Merry Christmas, Blue. Thanks for keeping this going, Hoops.

Date: Wed, December 24, 2014, 22:34:38 ET
Posted by: kotw, zeta reticuli

Dear me, I've forgotten to mention "Holy Shit, It's Christmas!" by Red Peters.

Date: Wed, December 24, 2014, 22:23:28 ET
Posted by: Homer, San Francisco

My favorite is Santa Claus and His Old Lady by Cheech & Chong.

Date: Wed, December 24, 2014, 19:59:50 ET
Posted by: kotw, unhere

Oh yeah, I forgot about the Peanuts Christmas show.

Date: Wed, December 24, 2014, 19:36:20 ET
Posted by: Michael,

Andy Williams' A Christmas Album is classic, as is the Vince Guaraldi Trio's A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Date: Wed, December 24, 2014, 19:25:38 ET
Posted by: kotw, Laputa

There are almost no good Xmas songs. Stevie Wonder did a whole Xmas album, an insane move I'd usually say, but I'll have to hear that one someday. If anyone could do a good one, he could. The BB's "Little Saint Nick"... why is he little? Did Santa become a midget? That one irritates me. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"... similar irritation.

My kingdom for a few not-even-perfunctorily-Christian people not celebrating Xmas at all this year, to post back and forth with.

Date: Wed, December 24, 2014, 08:31:10 ET
Posted by: Michael, new song

Just in the nick of time.

A Christmas Tune

Date: Tues, December 23, 2014, 22:20:12 ET
Posted by: king of the world, ma, the rio grande

"Brain Strainer"--Yes, you're being a lot more sensible than this MS. We have to watch out for over-analysis, when artists are mainly trying to communicate, not make lyrics so obscure that you need a codebook to get them. Over-interpreters frequently miss what's right in front of them.

"King Of The World" has to be about a WW3 survivor, trying to reach even just one other survivor anywhere within reach of his ham radio set, hoping they have one too. He's the king of the world as far as he knows, since if he's the only guy left, he's "king" by default. This is my favorite science-fiction-based song, ever. He's probably dying from the radiation himself. Very Twilight Zone or Outer Limits.

The bleak irony in the narrator's reading last year's papers (before the apocalypse) is that to get through the hopeless present, he's forced to lose himself in a dream long gone, of a world in which "assassins, cons, and rapers" were the worst stuff we had to worry about. Before the bombs, he was free to be depressed about the news, to feel things were so bad you might as well die. Well, they's all dead now, and he will be soon. The surreal emphasis on the word "DIE" punches that irony home.

You're right about Hey 19 and Josie. Kid C: the people down the hall ruining it all, I always took that for the neighbors in the apartment block possibly tipping off police.

PO Logic-- Yeah, there's an epidemic of people backdating disco, but platforms came before disco and weren't just associated with them. Anyway, the writer's getting too literal I think. A tense ironic song like PL isn't going to pause for a bit of trivia about their shoes literally being big. Who cares about that? But I've never had any idea what that stanza means, or the minstrel show thing, or any of the song frankly.

Rikki: Rikki is a romantic song about a woman named Rikki. That's all. If it had been a male, we wouldn't have that unusual spelling. Songs and films and TV are filled with women leads with men's names spelled in a more feminine way.

It's actually been going through my head for a few days, and I'm getting a soft spot for it. It's just a sweet, sentimental song (I don't usually care for those), no need to look for a perverse cast of characters in this one, I think.

Date: Tues, December 23, 2014, 20:17:13 ET
Posted by: Mr. Brown, wah wah wah wah wah

Thanks Charles,

That link you posted leads to one of the greatest pieces of Dan related art I've ever seen!

Date: Tues, December 23, 2014, 19:12:36 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

While one can generally agree with this Marcus Singletary (MS) of here are some my observations of some areas that contravene some of the discussions over the years, as well as my own, as to the interpretations of these songs:


MS: "However, on Countdown to Ecstasy, it does eventually occur; the CD's final track, "King of the World," finds the speaker assailing "assassins, cons, and rapers," which shows that, while the world peace offered by the Buddha may not have been up his alley, at least he has learned to embrace some form of morality by the end."

I believe that there is another twist to this song, that being that it is set in a post nuclear holocaust, and the narrator having survived it is basically saying WTF? He survived, but nothing grows and there is nothing left. So he is sort of the "King of the World" by default. But the King of What?


MS: "While the pleasures he reflects upon are fleeting, the basis for his admiration is purely physical in that the two can share pleasures of an illicit (rather than intelligent) nature; she is so out of touch with pop culture reality that she has no idea who Aretha Franklin is. Her worldly vision is interesting in that..."

It is really the NARRATOR who is lamenting that the young chick does not know these things that an older, more interesting woman would. But the sex with the young chick and the drugs will work for now. But they are not as intellectually fulfilling as could be with a woman his contemporary.


MS: "Josie" follows a pattern similar to tunes such as "Rikki, Don't Lose That Number" and "Any Major Dude Will Tell You" by avoiding an explanation of what is truly happening in the lives of the characters. While, in lead singer Donald Fagen's eyes, it is "good" that she is returning to the neighborhood because she, for some reason, is its "pride," he contradicts this by stating that it is "bad" that she has returned in her current form because, before, she was, "the best friend we never had."

Josie was the neighborhood "ho", a party girl who left the hood for bigger and better things. Her return to the hood is highly anticipated. That is about it. It never goes into what Josie has become or what happened after she arrives.


MS: "....has no use for a person such as an LSD manufacturer whose time in the drug scene was obviously limited in the scene of alternative lifestyles by the sheer weight of his notoriety. "You are obsolete/look at all the white men on the street," he is warned, and he is later deem.....At the end, when the character loosely based on the enigmatic Owsley Stanley is arrested after his car runs out of gas, a police officer tells him that even he knows of his reputation amongst the prisoners in the jail ("The people down the hall know who you are") and you get the feeling that he should have taken the officer's advice to minimize the amount of illegal items that he carries on the city streets."

MS is on the right track, but in the song Kid C is not in jail, there are no prisoners down the hall,he is about to get busted. The reason he is "obsolete' is that by the time of this song COCAINE, or "white" is the popular drug. Thus the "white men" are the dealers, and Charlemagne's LSD and LSD itself, is less relevant.


MS: " Fagen sings as he laments stepping "up to the platform" and being scrutinized for his shoes. This may be a statement on the platform shoes that celebrities wore during the 1970s; their cartoonish implications lead an obviously popular performer to retort that he "seen them on the TV-the movie show."

Platforms became big with the rise of disco, about 5 years after Pretzel was written. The author's clain is dubious at best, and shows a lack of knowledge of the times of the 70's.


MS: "The distance is rare for Steely Dan; usually, Becker and Fagen's characters are engaged in more or less obvious lifestyles, but as for those less obvious, at least there usually is some sort of gathering that occurs even if that gathering is mental. Perhaps Fagen was lusting over someone whose heart was unavailable here, but you'd never know it with lyrics such as, "I have a friend in town, he's heard your name/We can go driving out on slow hand row."

Not a bad theory by MS. But put this song in the context of an older Homo, trying to coerce, "Rikki", possibly a teenager into a homo encounter and to go think about it. Read the lyrics with that assumption. This is not far fetched when you consider the themes of Everyon'e gon to the Movies and other SD tunes....

Date: Tues, December 23, 2014, 12:56:07 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, inside gingerbread house

Thanks, Hutch. Always interesting to read different interpretations. I wondered a bit what the heck the guy was raving about at times, but never mind. It's holiday season.

Last minute gift shopping tips:

Cheap Xmas: DF Complete. For friends and relatives who has managed to get their head above the surface of the pile of SD records & merch you already gave them through the years - if only for the album cover picture. Best Xmas album cover picture ever.

Circus Money. Walter's latest. Never gets old. Too good for it's own best. Need promotion.

Eminent Hipsters, paperback, 2-pack. For smacking flies between'em.

Have a Cool Yule, blue believers!

Date: Tues, December 23, 2014, 12:08:09 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

Some interesting interpretations of Dan songs from a Jazz critics viewpoint...

Date: Tues, December 23, 2014, 12:04:34 ET
Posted by: Charles, Woodstock

Date: Tues, December 23, 2014, 11:25:39 ET
Posted by: Michael,

That's fine, but then there was no need to insinuate that in presenting ideas about things D&W can do, I had an ulterior motive.

Date: Tues, December 23, 2014, 10:47:33 ET
Posted by: kotw, orion arm

Speculations and educated guesses don't require proof. We offer them because they make for good, friendly SD conversation.

Date: Tues, December 23, 2014, 10:07:04 ET
Posted by: Michael,

You're imagining things. Since you're the one implying that self-inflicted pressure is preventing them from producing new material, care to cite a source to validate this?

Date: Tues, December 23, 2014, 08:09:30 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

Also, Michael, kindly keep your false narratives to yourself the next time you try to drop in. All it does is provide the impetus for your false outrage as you tilt at rhetoric that wasn't actually spoken.

Date: Tues, December 23, 2014, 08:08:17 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

Michael, kindly quote the part of my post where I mentioned "fan pressure."

It's self-inflicted pressure. It's the pressure that led them to leave off killer tracks on 'Royal,' 'Aja,' and 'Gaucho.' Stop making it about you.

It's what they do and don't want to do.

Date: Tues, December 23, 2014, 07:43:02 ET
Posted by: Michael,

What pressure? Rather lame excuse to shun creativity, wouldn't you say? There's absolutely nothing preventing them from working under a different banner, as stated. Besides, where is this elusive fan pressure, as though their avid listeners don't want them releasing anything else? I've yet to encounter it.

"What? Donald and Walter are putting together a new single? WE MUST PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING! IT'S AN OUTRAGE!"
And then you see a pack of middle-aged groupies picketing outside the studio where they're recording.

Come on now.

Date: Tues, December 23, 2014, 04:46:27 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

That's the thing -- part of the reason they haven't released a proper Steely Dan album is because of the pressure of it being "a Steely Dan" album, to be judged against things they did nearly 40 years ago. On top of that, it would be presumed to be their last album, something that was in place in 2003 but something that wouldn't nearly be as strong a narrative in 2016 or so.

Putting that pressure down to a single song would seem to intensify things times ten.

Date: Mon, December 22, 2014, 21:02:20 ET
Posted by: Spud, Santa Monica CA

Yes, a lot of rock bands/artists are just releasing singles now. The Rolling Stones released "Doom and Gloom" & "One More Shot" a few years ago. Also, The Who released "Be Lucky" back in September of this year.

Date: Mon, December 22, 2014, 19:34:43 ET
Posted by: Michael,

Even if D&W have no further plans to release a new SD album, they could at least throw us a bone and record a new single. I mean why not?

Another idea is to start an entirely new project, one which doesn't revolve around Steely Dan. Maybe something like Burt Bacharach where they write a batch of tunes, maybe even allow others to have input, and then produce an album.

Date: Mon, December 22, 2014, 16:58:55 ET
Posted by: kotw, nowhere, man

*breathe, not "breather" or whatever my typo was. And is TAN stuff actually unpopular on the road, their award-winning comeback? "Why ask us, don't you go to shows?" No, I'm pretty stationary generally, for health reasons.

Date: Mon, December 22, 2014, 16:53:18 ET
Posted by: king of the world, barrytown

I'd gotten the impression that so much of the SD audience consisted of people such as you find here, people who eat, sleep, and breather their music, and so would not demand a parade of nostalgia, set lists full of all mainstream hits... that they wouldn't have to pander to mainstream nostalgia. Not for the whole show.

Date: Mon, December 22, 2014, 13:35:59 ET
Posted by: News, U

RIP Joe Cocker.

Date: Mon, December 22, 2014, 10:57:37 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

A 2015 tour? I'll be there; it's inevitable.

I'd love if they stopped giving a fuck and played what they want. But it's tough to ignore a tepid audience.


yes, D'Angelo's new record is phenomenal.

Many people know D'Angelo as the greased up naked guy in the music video for Untitled (How Does It Feel). Which, he was. But he is first and foremost a very talented singer, songwriter, and multi instrumentalist.

One thing of note: the album is all analog with no digital plugins. Musically, it's free of "trends" in R&B - it really sounds timeless to my ears. Recommended if you like Sly, Prince, Funkadelic, etc.

Date: Mon, December 22, 2014, 10:12:14 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

I'd doubt that there is going to be a Dukes tour less because of McD and Scaggs' reaction to the book, but because of the complaints Fagen registered in the book about the travel -- and mind you, this was travel from THREE YEARS before a potential 2015 tour. Those 36 months count for a whole hell of a lot more to someone Donald's age.

Boz and Mike are probably in the same boat, and while I'm not calling them money-grubbing, they are used to going out on bills (I saw McDonald once with Hall and Oates, and while I like Hall and Oates to a point, they were schlocky adult contemporary'ish on stage that night, and we left early because our tickets were only 10 bucks) they probably weren't as enthused at, singing the same old hits. They'll put up with it.

Fagen, the guy that sat out the bulk of the 70s and potential millions offstage? That's different. If he's going to go out, it's going to be with a plane taking him from gig to gig.

Date: Mon, December 22, 2014, 09:49:38 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago, seeing things more clearly

Denise in Hinktown: Thanks for the gift that keeps on giving, year after year.

Thanks for the wishes, Fezzie.

Ross, Geo, et al. I'm with Geo on this. One of the top implications that I took from Donald's book is that he is done touring with the Dukes and Steely Dan tours come off as so superior.

2014 would have been a Dukes year, if recent hop-skip patterns are any indication. Instead of a Dukes tour, we got a Steely Dan tour of less visited and B-market towns and venues. In 2015, I am laying most odds on a tour of the mainstream venues and A-markets: Manhattan, not Westchester, Chicago, not, Hammond, etc. A really long shot might be Europe. It's a lot of wear and tear on their bodies having to move between countries and have jet lag. I think they will tour every year as Steely Dan until they physically cannot. Make hay while the sun shines. Dukes, no.

Would be awesome to have an album of finally finished rarities, etc. I say it's a long, long shot. But then again, hearing Second Arrangement Live once also was a surprise.

So my final answer--for now (Ha!): I say Steely Dan will likely tour in 2015, bigger U.S. cities and popular venues.

I'm not sure how Clint Eastwood got brought up, but good directors are very diverse. For odd reasons, my screen activities are mostly restricted to the size of a smartphone and YouTube. So I've been bingeing on Mike Nichols interviews lately, including Nichols-May. Even if D + W have never mentioned them, somehow, those two should be included as honorary members of the "Tangentially Dan Club." I declare it to be so it is. :-) At any rate, Mike Nichols did everything from "Silkwood" to "spam a lot" to "Annie" and, of course, Nichols-May. It's all the same underneath and directors like Eastwood and Nichols want to try different contexts for what they do so they learn more. And I'm sure we at some point discussed that Clint Eastwood has some great Jazz piano chops, right?

Be well...


Date: Mon, December 22, 2014, 03:53:49 ET
Posted by: Shark DeVille, up on the hill

Runnin Child... cool tune.

what do we know about it...
written for another artist?
who all is playing on it?

Donald sings the only version I've heard.

and who here has heard Sacajawea? I'm dying to hear that one.

Date: Mon, December 22, 2014, 00:49:16 ET
Posted by: Fact , F

Seeing how little they draw from post 2000 material in concert, I don't see what their incentive would be to make a new album. Most people willing to pay their ticket prices will not have heard it and won't want to hear it live.

Date: Sun, December 21, 2014, 23:08:24 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, middle of the desert

A dukes or Dan tour would be great. However, I really hope to be surprised with a new album. That would be amazing.

Date: Sun, December 21, 2014, 20:24:03 ET
Posted by: Steve Gennarelli, Tampa, FL

I think Don loves to bring life to the old soulful tunes that he and his pals played on the tour.
I personally don't think we've seen the last of them together.

Date: Sun, December 21, 2014, 18:02:48 ET
Posted by: geo, SD

Ross- If you read DF book you can pretty much tell that the Dukes of September is finished.

Date: Sun, December 21, 2014, 03:33:36 ET
Posted by: Moonrunner, Atlanta

Clint Eastwood's best film will always be Play Misty for Me.

Date: Sun, December 21, 2014, 00:36:50 ET
Posted by: Moonrunner, Atlanta

Haven't seen The Jersey Boys film yet. Frankie Valli stated he didn't like the movie. I find it strange that Clint Eastwood directed it. Some of his films can be very good and some can be very bad.

Date: Sat, December 20, 2014, 21:31:33 ET
Posted by: Nik, C

Watching Jersey Boys on Blu Ray. There's a scene at the Brill Building where they go office to office trying to peddle their stuff.

Date: Sat, December 20, 2014, 17:22:05 ET
Posted by: Ben Jammin, Indy

Happy Holidays Dandom Amigos!

Harry mentioned this show:

Anyone been to the WaneeFest? This line-up includes a new group on my radar, Nth Power, and they're playing a SD set:

Here's to a safe, happy, and healthy conclusion to 2014, and a peaceful, positive, and united 2015! It was a blast to catch the best band in the land, among the coolest fans, in Cincy, Nashville, Springfield, Madison, Hammond, and the triple-header closer in Port Chester. Thanks to Sir Donald and Sir Walter.

Date: Sat, December 20, 2014, 16:52:46 ET
Posted by: Napoleon, UK

So D'Angelo has finally released a new record after 14 years (a good one at that)... there may be a few of us on this forum who know how it feels to wait so long for a release...

Date: Sat, December 20, 2014, 13:57:17 ET
Posted by: Ross, Dallas, TX

I still think that a Dukes of September Summer tour is going to be announced soon. This will create a higher demand for a Steely Dan tour in 2016.

Date: Sat, December 20, 2014, 12:33:48 ET
Posted by: Paul Mahoney....AKA FEZZIE, Boston,Ma.

Jim,I hope you are doing well.Look forward to seeing you at some point in the future. My question is,has anyone heard of a possible tour this year? I hope so!!! Fezzie.

Date: Sat, December 20, 2014, 08:32:50 ET
Posted by: Michael, don't ask

If you want I'll give you something that is minor fun
And though the season's half-begun, we keep them on the run
The more you play with things that seem to break inside yourself
Don White Bi-Centennial and put your Elvis on the shelf
See them cryin' out for help
I can see by what you carry that you come from Heartbreak Town

She is gold, I play it to the crowd in Venus Room
Well just a little Porter puts conviction in my gloom
We ride in on a pony and then slip in modern jive
All those blush-red faces cuz we doing it in stride
Guess some things should not revive
I can tell by what you're wearing that you come from Heartbreak Town

Date: Sat, December 20, 2014, 01:30:52 ET
Posted by: Security Joan, passing the wand

Should I be concerned that Instagram just informed me that TSA NYC is following me??? Or does someone there just have a good sense of humor? The latter is my guess/hope.

OK. Also. This may be a breach for some of you, but being that I'm into social media cross-pollination, anyone care to share their twitter handles? I'm @wassilyk

Date: Fri, December 19, 2014, 22:45:08 ET
Posted by: Monkfish, Resting in bed

I love Greg Phillinganes. Everything he does is good. Last time I saw him perform live was when he became a member of Toto for a short time.

Date: Fri, December 19, 2014, 21:42:43 ET
Posted by: Michael,

Er, never mind, I found it - Running Child

Date: Fri, December 19, 2014, 21:32:32 ET
Posted by: Michael,

Awhile ago, another member posted a clip on YouTube of a very rare song written by D&W for another group, but I don't recollect what the name of said tune is nor the group in question. It had a male vocalist, but it wasn't Greg Phillinganes w/ Lazy Nina. Besides, that's not exactly rare. I'm stumped.

Date: Fri, December 19, 2014, 18:01:55 ET
Posted by: alwyld,

5FmTLh <a href="">qqnsnscsaayv</a>, [url=]vhkdsuuspzoo[/url], [link=]ubuyhmigpzdc[/link],

Date: Fri, December 19, 2014, 11:57:29 ET
Posted by: hoops, on the quick


Of course, SD holds Zappa in high esteem and I'm sure they would have considered working with Zappa if that opportunity presented itself at the right point. At the same time, When SD started out, they were part of the ABC Records studio system as were Nichols and Katz. My opinion is that production choices, etc. were established by circumstances.



Date: Fri, December 19, 2014, 10:14:38 ET
Posted by: The Belz, -

also, MyFace was one of the fake social networks used in Law and Order: SVU.

Date: Fri, December 19, 2014, 00:58:41 ET
Posted by: Doug, Salt Lake City, UT

Somebody on the message forum stated that when Steely Dan first started, they wanted Frank Zappa to produce them. Does anybody know if this is true?

Date: Fri, December 19, 2014, 00:20:00 ET
Posted by: Trivia, Q

Strainer wins. Also, if you saw the movie The Social Network you know that Facebook has some prickly pears.

Date: Fri, December 19, 2014, 00:11:03 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

This Trivia question was raised:

Which Old Testament song's opening stanza would possibly be interpreted as describing competition between competing social network giants if it came along in the past 10 years?

Song is My Rival, from the Old Testament LP Gaucho.

Key phrases/words are "...wind was driving in my 'face'", alluding to Facebook. And "...the milk truck eased into 'my space'".

Facebook has all but replaced My Space as the predominant social media site.

Date: Thurs, December 18, 2014, 23:33:03 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

I don't think there's any shame in adoring an outlier from a group's catalogue. I'll spin 'American Beauty' 32 times a year, I still miss some of my late 80s Grateful Dead bootleg tapes lost to time, I'll crank up the 32-minute (or whatever it is) 'Terrapin Station' medley ... and yet 'Shakedown Street' is easily my favorite Grateful Dead song.

It's just fine for you to have 97,000 Zappa albums in your living room and rank 'Dancin' Fool' as your top song. It's probably a pretty good song.

Date: Thurs, December 18, 2014, 23:19:58 ET
Posted by: godwhacker, death valley

I missed out on the zappa due to hiking in death valley for the past two days. Roxy and elsewhere is great and is a personal favorite. Along with make a jazz noise here and absolutely free.

Date: Thurs, December 18, 2014, 23:15:34 ET
Posted by: Security Joan, Gate C13

I wasn't surprised at all that Donald picked a Zappa tune to play in that interview... and KD, thanks for that Onion link, had never seen it!! Spot-on.

As to the, er, interpretations by Sara Isaksson & Rebecka Tornqvist, I agree with Pete that they are hari kari inducing. Reminds me of why, when I had a cafe in late 90s, I banned Indigo Girls. Interestingly, the one employee who complained about my policy was a sweet Scandinavian lady - seriously.

Damn, I've not been visiting this board since late October, and there is so much great stuff here to engage with, I wish we had a respond-by-post format (Hoops, I know you are keeping it simple for a reason, no offense!!)

But one thing I'd love to place a backtrack comment on is the SD hatred/defensiveness issue. I think Jolly & Godwhacker stated the syndrome well. I was recently at a local club where the alt/rocker girl band leader declared proudly "If it has more than two chords, it's not rock, it's jazz." Every scene/style/generation requires an "other" to universally scorn, and Steely Dan has been shoehorned into that role for punk, metalheads, on and on... But here is what's funny: I know people, including a young friend in a heavy metal band, who would actively get into "Steely Dan sucks" arguments, suddenly get ever so slightly blown away and gaining newfound respect upon being exposed to more of SD's body of music. Like, actually *listening* to their music beyond the singles, instead of thinking of them as some kind of over-produced, soulless concept, is really an awakening for them. I do get a kick out of one friend, a guy I dated for a while, a hater who got converted into a Steely Dan quasi-fan after hearing Walter Becker's solo work, and then relistening to Steely Dan's less top-40 music. But he continued to stubbornly declare "OK, I really like Steely Dan except for Donald Fagen's particular contributions" (!!) (Note the "dated" is past tense.)

Date: Thurs, December 18, 2014, 19:55:37 ET
Posted by: Trivia Master, P

I don't know the answer. Guess I'm dumb.

Date: Thurs, December 18, 2014, 17:58:29 ET
Posted by: Trivia, Q

Which Old Testament song's opening stanza would possibly be interpreted as describing competition between competing social network giants if it came along in the past 10 years?

Date: Thurs, December 18, 2014, 14:13:26 ET
Posted by: Harry, Middletown CT

Kung Fu with Jon Herington & Bernard Purdie performing the entire Royal Scam album tomorrow night at Toad's Place in New Haven, CT.

Date: Thurs, December 18, 2014, 13:50:25 ET
Posted by: Spindrift, Drinking a latte at Peet's

My favorite Frank Zappa humor song is Dancin' Fool.

Date: Thurs, December 18, 2014, 11:58:25 ET
Posted by: FZ, Funny

Bobby Brown that is a good one....."watch me now I'm goin'down"

For fun I like Disco Boy...."run to the toilet and comb your hair!"

Date: Thurs, December 18, 2014, 08:54:29 ET

For humorous Zappa I will go with Bobby Brown. Anybody with me?
Didn't think so, but f*ck it, I still dig that tune. Now back to
our regularly scheduled program.

Date: Thurs, December 18, 2014, 01:37:08 ET
Posted by: Fez, San Francisco

Same here. I only collect Zappa's instrumental works. I think my favorite is Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar. When "Valley Girl" was released and became his only hit single, I thought it was really humorous. But now it sounds silly and dated.

Date: Thurs, December 18, 2014, 00:39:39 ET
Posted by: SS, HK

I've always preferred the FZ without words.

So, I like Hot Rats, the Grand Wazoo and Waka Jawaka. There must be other mostly instrumental stuff, but I only have those three albums and his Halloween DVD-A (live), which has Black Napkins, an extended guitar driven 'jam.'

Date: Wed, December 17, 2014, 21:20:22 ET
Posted by: Speed, New Mexico

Best Frank Zappa quote: "Jazz isn't dead. It just smells funny".

Date: Wed, December 17, 2014, 17:21:34 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

FZ? Ruth Underwood explains...

Date: Wed, December 17, 2014, 17:04:07 ET
Posted by: king of the world, the scablands

I need to go through a Zappa phase. There's so much out there that I haven't found my Rosetta Stone for, the right entry point that makes this or that genre or band open itself up to me. I hear Peaches In Regalia and I just don't know why these notes and chords are being played. I don't know what it's "for".

I have Freak Out, and like "Hungry Freaks Daddy". Good psychadelia with defiant counter-culture stance. I'm pretty sure he means it straightforwardly, but you know, there's always that smirk in whatever he does...

Date: Wed, December 17, 2014, 06:14:17 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, making a jazz noise here

No no, I won't recommend hundreds of Zappa albums - actually, I think I only have 75 of them ... ;-)

What I will recommend, is to listen to the famous "Roxy & Elsewhere" double live album (1974), recorded in Dec. 1973, then to "You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol.2 - The Helsinki Concert", recorded live in Finland a few months later, in 1974, (released in 1988), and notice how the songs that are included on both albums (quite a few) has been completely transformed and re-arranged during just a few months on the road.

As a sidenote, I usually start to scream from the first bar. And I don't stop until those albums are finished.

Date: Wed, December 17, 2014, 05:17:29 ET
Posted by: Jolly, Roger

@KD - I wouldn't want a musical culture that didn't have Frank's legacy woven into it, but my tolerance for anything other than 'Hot Rats' is about 8 bars then I start screaming.

Date: Wed, December 17, 2014, 00:21:19 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

Donald picking a track from the lone Zappa album I own/like is reassuring.

And before you offer me 972 suggestions for Frank's other 972 albums, please stop. I'm sure he's brilliant, but I just cannot:,4644/

Date: Tues, December 16, 2014, 18:35:01 ET
Posted by: Sigmund, F

First thing that came to my mind too!

Date: Tues, December 16, 2014, 11:59:56 ET
Posted by: king of the world, Brobdingnag

Mr. "Mister Steely Dan, whatever" I guess, Sigmund... Anything further?

Date: Tues, December 16, 2014, 10:11:35 ET
Posted by: Sigmund, F

What's the first thing that comes to mind?

Date: Tues, December 16, 2014, 06:50:58 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, with flesh ripped by weasels

Likewise Ray and everyone else here! Have a Happy Holiday Season!

Re: BBC Radio 2

Very satisfying to hear that Don chose a Zappa song (Oh No) as one out of two hand picked '70s favorites and spoke warmly about Zappa's original band, singer Ray Collins in particular. Never mentioned Flo & Eddie in this context, though.

Date: Mon, December 15, 2014, 16:36:08 ET
Posted by: Lurker Ray, SoBe


Always a pleasure to hear from you.

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Date: Mon, December 15, 2014, 15:23:41 ET
Posted by: Pete Evans, manchester UK

Ray Thanks. Anyway about time for a few UK dates boys !

Date: Mon, December 15, 2014, 15:09:42 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Typoland

Make that a double "s" in missing you, Ray.

Date: Mon, December 15, 2014, 15:07:45 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, FM

Been mising you here, Ray! :)

Thanks for clearing that up. I wondered quite a bit myself. The program is still up at:

Don appears at app. 1:27:40

The link for the KCRW interview didn't work for me, but I found it at:

Date: Mon, December 15, 2014, 14:53:56 ET
Posted by: Lurker Ray, Sunny SoBe


"Eminent Hipsters" recently was released in paperback.

Don is doing a bit of press.

Recent KCRW in LA interview was very nice: utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kcrw%2Ftt+%28The+Treatment%29

Sounds like a great day Denise! ;O)

Date: Mon, December 15, 2014, 12:13:34 ET
Posted by: UH?, v

Re David Palmer...Isn't it amazing how human beings age over 42 years?! What a revelation!

Date: Mon, December 15, 2014, 10:19:32 ET
Posted by: Bren, London

Agree guess it was recorded some while ago..August US tour probably means the one that's just been and gone...strange is indeed the word..

Date: Mon, December 15, 2014, 09:43:35 ET
Posted by: Denise, Hinktown

Directing a photoshoot today and the photographer just put on SD. The day is off to a good start.

Date: Mon, December 15, 2014, 06:37:01 ET

Listened to Sounds Of The Seventies on BBC R2 in the UK with Don yesterday.Strange ! If you blinked you missed it, less than 5 minutes of Don actually talking and he chose two records by Zappa and the Doobies.Did not really reveal anything at all.

What I found strange was that Walker said Don came into the BBC studios recently for this slot. Surely he would not fly over from New York for a very brief slot on an obscure programme, though he was definitely in the BBC studios, but could have been recorded in New York ! I hope he has done some other things for the BBC or whatever, but Walker never said anything. And then at the beginning Walker said there were no plans for any UK dates but that the Dan would tour the US in August next year ?! Not sure how he knows, but I wonder if this slot was done over a year ago and he was referring to August just gone ? Walker then went on to mention Don's 'new' book Eminent Hipsters, which was released more than 12 months ago so not sure what on earth he was on about ?! Very strange. He played bloody Do It Again, the BBC only ever play one of half a dozen SD songs on their station, the usual hits, and completely ignore the other near 100 magnificent songs they have recorded.

Date: Sun, December 14, 2014, 20:07:07 ET
Posted by: king of the world, the gravity well

Amen, KD. Only overgrown teenagers snipe like that. It's the same group that thinks simply lobbing the word "stupid" at a fellow poster proves something. I'm too old for that crap. I want a safe house, away from that.

Date: Sun, December 14, 2014, 19:48:03 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

It's the silly, sports team mentality. Don and Walt didn't like David Palmer after a while so therefore he must be awful and we should mock him.

Date: Sun, December 14, 2014, 19:09:14 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, 0

Agreed, KD. Don't you just love how the anonymity of the internet allows grown adults to behave as though they were children in a petulant frenzy?

A petulant frenzy. They're petulant and they're having a frenzy.

Date: Sun, December 14, 2014, 17:08:50 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

This place has taken a turn. "Bitches?" "Gay?" We're now making fun of people's looks? David Palmer still has a full head of hair and looks absolutely reasonable if not better looking than most men his age. I'd wonder if "Jeanine from Skokie" would submit to posting her own photo online so as to compare and contrast.

Palmer was suing for performing and publishing rights derived from Spotify and all those other terrible-sounded streaming sites, which is an absolutely reasonable and fair thing to do.

Just because his singing isn't your cup of tea, it doesn't mean you have to be a homophobic, anonymous, cowardly dick about it.

Date: Sun, December 14, 2014, 14:32:03 ET
Posted by: franklin,

The bio of palmer at also mentions he sang lead on all live songs done at the time 1972 early 73. THAT HAD TO BE FRIGGEN AWFUL!!!

as a side note I don't mind ian Matthews cover vocal of dirty work.

Date: Sun, December 14, 2014, 09:23:50 ET
Posted by: Jennine, Skokie

Palmer can't help getting old and bald, and does look bad. But he is also poor as well. About a year ago he was suing for the crumbs of royalties from Can't Buy a Thrill that he said were too low.

Date: Sun, December 14, 2014, 07:55:36 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, West of Swedewood

@the poster with the highly imaginative nick name "These Swedish SD Covers":
I just checked out your two recommended Swedish artists; Tove Lo and Kim Cesarion. WTF? You got to be kidding me. But then again, I happen to appreciate Sara & Rebecka's take on the Steely songs very much, and think they have done some of the most respectable and personal versions ever. I've been promoting their album here at every appropriate opportunity, and will probably continue to do so in the future.
However, I do respect that because of my twisted, downright perverted taste, I am no longer allowed to call myself a Steely Dan fan. From this moment on, Jazzassin is a Steely Dan devotee.

Date: Sun, December 14, 2014, 02:04:13 ET
Posted by: Matt Damon Fan, Los Angeles

It's shocking to see how much David Palmer has aged. You can see a recent photo of him at: I'll always remember him with that huge head of hair.

Date: Sun, December 14, 2014, 01:13:28 ET
Posted by: Pete, n

These Swedish SD covers - lol agreed!

Date: Sun, December 14, 2014, 00:15:35 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, 0

You're right. Palmer sounds really fucking happy singing that song!

Date: Sat, December 13, 2014, 23:15:05 ET
Posted by: These Swedish SD covers,

Ironically some good stuff has been coming out of Sweden lately. Tove Lo and Kim Cesarion are excellent.

These two Swedish bitches have desecrated the SD covers they attempted. SD's Brooklyn was bad from the get go with Palmer's gay vocals. But these two have lowered the bar from bad to horrible.

Whoever thinks they are good should no longer be allowed to be an SD fan.

Date: Sat, December 13, 2014, 21:28:24 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, 0


I think you hit the nail on the head. Agreed.

Date: Sat, December 13, 2014, 17:45:15 ET
Posted by: Hobbs, Ohio

I don't understand the hostilty towards Sara Isaksson & Rebecka Tornqvist's treatment of Steely Dan songs. It's a very low-key uncommercial effort. Perfect for listening late at night. Another favorite of mine is the Justin Morrell Quintet plays the music of Steely Dan.

Date: Sat, December 13, 2014, 15:36:13 ET
Posted by: Lutz, SF

it was hard on me as well.
While I don't like to knock them for the effort that was put in,
these songs just don't lend themselves to be performed in that format.

Date: Sat, December 13, 2014, 10:36:45 ET
Posted by: Pete, n

Is it just me or do others here feel like killing themselves after listening to Sara Isaksson & Rebecka T�rnqvist performing Steely Dan songs? How f*cking depressing!

Date: Sat, December 13, 2014, 08:19:17 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, sandboxland

@Jolly Roger: I believe you're onto something of essence. May I add that keeping in touch with the inner child is important, too, also for those who are not afraid of the committment and hard work involved. I imagine it's sometimes lost in the process.

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." -C.S. Lewis

Date: Sat, December 13, 2014, 05:26:35 ET
Posted by: Jolly, Roger

@kingoftheworld - "it sounds as if the SD backlash is defensiveness". Now that connects to my experience, not just with SD haters but in the whole realm of popular music. People often despised the old 'prog rock'and still do despise 'jazz' with the same fervour - so what's the common factor here? At a fundamental level it is musical 'density' or complexity, individual and ensemble virtuosity, and sophisticated creativity. It could be that the young, or the immature generally, see those qualities as belonging to the world of adults, whose entire worldview they are biologically and unthinkingly programmed to oppose - while secretly harbouring an envy of the status of adulthood and the depth perception it brings. Defensiveness occurs in all areas of human interaction when people feel threatened or in a weak position. I can actually remember as a young rock musician sneering at everything to do with jazz and jazz musicians as irrelevant. And even while I was doing it I knew it was fear of the emotional and physical levels of committment, the intellectual application, discipline and humility that would be required to achieve that kind of 'shamanic' mastery of the art. I knew I couldn't be the kind of musician I wanted to be without confronting all these challenges and I was afraid I couldn't hack it. Fear led to defensiveness. I think that something very similar is at work in the world of SD haters, although I can't quite define it !

Date: Sat, December 13, 2014, 01:28:06 ET
Posted by: king of the world, planet of the zed men

Thanks, Godwhacker.

It's actually becoming more and more astounding to me how some people just don't "hear" certain music, and it's not just disliking this or that genre. Some people hear a profoundly sad song, and think it's happy. I guess we all have some kind of music we can't connect with, but there must be people for whom all the musicianship in a SD track just doesn't connect with any emotion they're capable of.

I'm not trying to sound all superior, here. I have musical blind spots. It's just more prevalent a phenomenon than I ever realized, before. I can see though, that if all the chords (mu and otherwise...), the intepretation, the things that make the song not just a tune but a complex experience, all that must sound like a lot of wasted energy and effort to someone who can't "hear" it. Showing off. And you can't tell them they can't "hear" what's there. People generally are insulted by that. If they don't perceive it, it doesn't exist.

This sounds like I'm stating the obvious as if it's new. Maybe I am. A sleeping pill is starting to kick in. Anyway, when I don't get a genre of music, I don't just assume it's of no value. It sounds as if the SD backlash is defensiveness.

Those who think a sad song is happy... I keep wondering, are minor chords just noise to them? Do they sound the same to them as major or seventh chords? They can usually tell if it's that obvious, but unusual chords are like a foreign language.

I do sound elitist or something. My brain's fried and I need rest immediately.

Date: Fri, December 12, 2014, 21:56:00 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

Hutch: Very nice. I dig what they did with Gaucho. A beautiful song laid bare.

Date: Fri, December 12, 2014, 21:12:11 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, 0

Well, something I left out of my original post was this.

I'm a drummer, I play with one guitarist who is really good. I have "jammed" with other people my age before and they think they are amazing because they can play some Nirvana song. However, when it comes to having the chops, dedication and putting in the work to craft anything approaching a SD song, it is considered "too much" and "overkill." I then get labelled as some sort of virtuoso (which I am not) simply because my technique isn't abysmal.

In other words, it is lame to be good and at the top of the mountain. I don't know if it is jealousy or laziness but, that is a big part of it.Why work hard on your abilities if you can clean it up with Logic or ProTools and fool the world?

Not only are they "dinosaurs," they are "dinosaurs" who can outplay, out-write and out-perform their detractors.

Date: Fri, December 12, 2014, 18:56:56 ET
Posted by: kotw, placetown

"... not just dislike but ridicule." Hate not being able to edit after posting.

Date: Fri, December 12, 2014, 18:54:22 ET
Posted by: king of the world, a toxic troposphere

Thanks very much, Chris and Godwhacker. I do know that an awful lot of people dislike SD, and did even in the 70s. The punk sensibility certainly had no room for them. My confusion, though, is over the fact that, apparently, for a lot of people, it's not just dislike has but ridicule. We all have different tastes, but zeroing in on a particular band and mocking it specifically is something else. (And having it happen *to* SD just makes me feel I'm in some mirror-universe...) Maybe a wrong impression on my part.

Date: Fri, December 12, 2014, 16:12:13 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

Beautifully done.

Date: Fri, December 12, 2014, 14:18:49 ET
Posted by: Hobbs, Ohio

Like KOTW mentioned earlier, I've also been humming Brooklyn ever since it was discussed here several days ago. It has such a strong melodic catchy hook. They should have released it has a single. It's always been referred to as Steely Dan's country tune because of the heavy use of Jeff Skunk Baxter's pedal steel guitar. I would like to see them resurrect that song on a future tour with the horn section replacing the pedal steel guitar parts.

Date: Fri, December 12, 2014, 13:39:26 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, 0

I echo what Chris said, I am 32 and I fall into the same boat. I've loved SD since around 10th grade or so (around the same time I got heavily into Zappa). Most "new" music didn't speak to me outside of a few favorites such as Tool, Primus and Soundgarden (basically stuff that is complicated and weird enough to entertain me). I have always been big into things like Miles Davis and Brubeck too along with my prog favorites Rush and Genesis.

I am going to sound like an old grumpy man but this is what I have noticed about most of the people around my age and younger, they lack attention spans to listen to something repeatedly in order to dig in and get to the core of the song.

Funnily enough, I had two co-workers tell me that even if a song if over three minutes, they can't last through the whole thing (it may also be the horrible music they listen to). Their faces express extreme distaste when they hear me play The Royal Scam because "there is too much going on."

Date: Fri, December 12, 2014, 12:59:26 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

KOTW, I'm 27. Most of my musician friends love Steely Dan, a few actively dislike them. Among non musos, it's split maybe 50/50. They're definitely divisive. And among everyone who digs them, most aren't fans of their post-70s work.

I think a lot of Gen-Xers wrote them off; they were growing up with punk rock and grunge and DIY stuff and to them Steely Dan wasn't as authentic as that stuff. These days I don't think younger cats think about things in those terms as much; there's very little popular music I would classify as "authentic," and although Steely Dan's 70s records spent a lot of time in post production editing drum tracks and whatnot, it still came from real human beings recording their real instruments to real analog tape, and it took a hell of a lot of work to make stuff sound perfect.

I was a weirdo who loved Steely Dan in high school and most of my friends did not. It was something I would be teased about a lot in my close friend group. In recent years, as my graduating class enters their late 20s, an increasing number of my old friends will tell me they finally "get it" now. It's become a running joke with these guys that every young man will eventually go through a Steely Dan phase. I think there's something to that.

Of course, I didn't fully "get it" until I had some actual life experience. I always loved the music but the lyrics went over my head. i think that's what a lot of people miss, even though it's written about ad-nauseum -- the fact that they have these very preciously arranged songs with sneering dark lyrics. I mean, I've heard Everyone's Gone to the Movies, a song about a pedophile grooming targets by showing them 8mm porn in his basement, at a fucking supermarket. Talk about subversive!

But the fact is that to a lot of people who can't stand the band, they're the opposite of subversive, because everything is so clean and precise. For whatever reason, I always appreciated how clean and precise everything is, and more than ever I appreciate the incredible amount of work blood, sweat and tears that went into making it all sound so effortless.

Date: Fri, December 12, 2014, 09:38:14 ET
Posted by: king of the world, meat city

As a sales pitch for kidney beans, all that spam lacked a certain something. Any work that was required to clean it up is appreciated...

My relentless head song for the last several days has been "Brooklyn". I seem to have constant music going in my head, on a sort of semi-conscious level that recedes into the background for a while, to my conscious mind, then suddenly I realize I've had such and such a song on a tape-loop in my head for hours.

Is everyone aware that SD has acquired a sort of lame image amongst later generations....? And I'm not sure quite what that images IS, but I'm going to guess that anything with a tinge of jazz in it gets lumped in with the most obnoxious of light breezy late 70s pop. Guilt by association. Apparently there is not an infinite number of degrees of separation between SD and Air Supply.

Or I got it all wrong, but I can't imagine what else would be making SD almost laughable to any group of people. On Facebook, there was a Group called something like "People Who Listen to Steely Dan Unironically". They weren't talking about any irony on the part of SD; it was an "ironic" used in a critical sense.

Date: Thurs, December 11, 2014, 03:46:11 ET
Posted by: hoops,

Thanks JZ

Date: Tues, December 09, 2014, 07:06:42 ET
Posted by: Michael,

Here's my rendition of Josie. Hope you like it.

Date: Mon, December 08, 2014, 06:59:46 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, still Radioville

A few weeks ago I happened to listen to a program on Norwegian National Broadcasting (NRK) radio, that gave a crash course on the term "Black Friday". Typical Norwegian semi-intellectual talk show. The subject was recapped for about 20 minutes, while occationally being seasoned with an audio sample loop of the Rhodes intro from the SD song by the same name.

Date: Mon, December 08, 2014, 03:42:01 ET
Posted by: Lutz, SF

This was likely posted before, it's still a good read.

Date: Mon, December 08, 2014, 02:02:13 ET
Posted by: fagenism, She go (I cry)

Nice moment in recent CICGC episode:

Fred Armisen: What kind of music do you like?

Jerry Seinfeld: Steely Dan was the music that I heard that just froze me solid. It's the only music... Whenever those guys are playing, I go to their show, by myself.

Date: Sun, December 07, 2014, 20:13:30 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, 0

They played it for the first few shows, dropped it for a month or so and then brought it back in the northeast (around the same time they played Third World Man and Janie Runaway).

They played it in 1996 as well

There is a video (proshot) boot of one of the 96 shows where they perform it.

Date: Sun, December 07, 2014, 19:44:15 ET
Posted by: Jim Taylor, Hello Baton Rouge

@ Jazzassin, Sir, you are correct.

Date: Sun, December 07, 2014, 19:39:39 ET

Watching some you You Tube from the 2014 tour and came across
Everyone's Gone To The Movies from Pittsburgh 8-11-14. It was
killer, anyone know how often this got played on this tour? And
how often has the band ever played this gem live? Thx

Date: Sun, December 07, 2014, 17:16:41 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Radioville

Thanks for the heads-up, Pete! :)

The program should appear on this page on the actual Sunday (12.14.14):

Date: Sun, December 07, 2014, 16:37:19 ET
Posted by: peteevans, manchester UK

Don is a guest on BBC radio 2s sounds of the seventies programme next Sunday 14th in the UK. probably pre recorded via phone but anything with one of the two main men should be worth a listen.

Date: Sun, December 07, 2014, 15:10:36 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, blushing

Oooops, I just realized I must have been significantly above medium absentminded, even for me, when I told that anecdote about the artist I wrongly referred to as "Benedicte Adrian". This is wrong. She is Ingrid Bj�rnov. Benedicte is her long-time duo partner from years back in a project called Dollie Deluxe. I usually mix up their names, for some reason. This is a bit embarrassing. Sorry about that, Ingrid. May you never read this. :(

Date: Sun, December 07, 2014, 12:24:42 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Nor Wayleans

Jim, that would be the title track from the brilliant Walter Becker 2008 album Circus Money. Also, there's a few marching band style intro rolls on other songs on this album, on which dub/ reggae elements is the more dominating style.

Date: Sun, December 07, 2014, 11:46:29 ET
Posted by: Jim Taylor, Hello Baton Rouge

A week or so ago, I was talking about going to New Orleans as a kid to listen to jazz with my dad. But I had forgotten that there is a very prominent song that features a KC Second Line beat. Can you name it? (hint: it is in the solo material.) This should be easy.

Date: Sun, December 07, 2014, 10:07:07 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, booth camp

Denny, THAT makes perfect sense. I apologize for not fine-reading you well enough. This was a good example of how two artists who come from totally opposite corners of the music universe still can have elements in their work that's almost perfectly similar for quite a lot of bars.

Here in Norway we have a quite popular artist called Benedicte Adrian, who in recent years has made a good living from her live shows, where the topic is these funny similarities between musical highlights through the ages. She sings, talks and plays piano (classically trained) and has a little band with her, and what she does is she gives numberless examples of how popular artists/ bands like e.g. The Beatles, Elton John, Abba, Supertramp and many more has seemingly "stolen" many ideas from the old masters like J.S.Bach, Beethoven, Mozart. She makes medleys of their respective music that seamlessly joins the old and the modern, and it really makes you think that all possible combinations of notes and rhythmic figures is already taken by someone.

Yours truly had the honor of once lighting a show for her, and despite her status as one of our best and most popular musical comedy acts for almost four decades, she was still a very modest and humble person. Her only preference and wish regarding the show's lighting was that we didn't make too much fancy schmancy. Like she said; "Remember, I'm just a little girl with a piano, not a big rock band, ok?".

Date: Sun, December 07, 2014, 09:18:29 ET
Posted by: Denny, R

The Brian Eno song is reminiscent of Still the Same by Bob Seger.

Date: Sun, December 07, 2014, 08:59:02 ET
Posted by: king of the world, a simian placemat without portfolio

' "extended now" always two feet ahead of itself.' I like this phrase.

Date: Sun, December 07, 2014, 06:42:48 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, in the park

Weather In My Head (D. Fagen) vs Fire Down Below (B. Seger): Both basic minor blues vamp, fairly similar tempo, instrumentation and sound. Guitar fills organically alternating with the vocals. That said, so many other songs fits this scheme, and Donald is always sounding closest to other acts when he's at his bluesiest.

Jack Of Speed (SD) vs Hold On (S. Winwood): The tempo, basic type of groove, sound and instrumentation has much similarity. However, the melody and chord progression soon starts to differ. And to me there's one important thing about JoS that gives Don & Walt away as the artistic smartasses they are; Michael White's drumming, Walter's basslines (my f*****g god, they're tight) and Donald's vocal delivery together gives an illution of ever increasing tempo and an "extended now" always two feet ahead of itself. I would guess it's done on purpose, as it's in fact very fitting for the song's lyrical topic.
Winwood's song has a more laidback feeling, but is also a very fine one.

On Some Faraway Beach (B. Eno) didn't click with anything Dangential for me. Requesting clue.

Count me in on the park(er's) band bandwagon! If I had been around, I would undoubtly have pinched my arm to check if I was awake, and then started to look around for the hot pretzels handcart.

Date: Sat, December 06, 2014, 16:55:17 ET
Posted by: Steve M, Scotlandw

also H, If I was in the park and heard 'buskers' doing that tune I would have been on camera walking into a!

Date: Sat, December 06, 2014, 16:49:24 ET
Posted by: Steve M, Scotland

Don't get the similarities with JoS but thanks for sharing that great Stevie Winwood track, damm fine tune.

Date: Sat, December 06, 2014, 08:30:02 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

The similarities are striking, even if there is no true link there.

Another one I dug that cracked me up when the two toured together, the opening vamps of "Jack of Speed" ...

and Stevie Winwood's "Hold On" ...

... sound completely familiar.

Again, there are no rip-offs here. Just interesting when complex music sometimes sounds alike.

Date: Fri, December 05, 2014, 16:26:23 ET
Posted by: fagenism, She go (I cry)


That was absolutely terrific. Goosebumps. It is rare for someone to nail the vocal delivery of a Steely Dan song.

Highly recommended.

Date: Fri, December 05, 2014, 09:35:03 ET
Posted by: H,

Whoops! Wrong video. While you wouldn't expect to see a rocket launch in the park either, well....

Date: Fri, December 05, 2014, 09:31:47 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

A commendable effort on a challenging tune. Not what you'd typically hear during a walk through the park.
Is that Mr. Steely Dan himself on the far right. A quick glimpse.

Date: Fri, December 05, 2014, 07:23:11 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, zap, zap ... damned ... ZAP!!

@Hobbs: I'm sorry to tell you, but it's a fact that the remote control for The Bluebook TV doesn't work properly every time. Sometimes it's so bad you'll actually have to manually change channel, or "launch new topic", as we often call it here. The good thing is, we're all ready as can be to participate in future discussions about almost everything Dangential as soon as you enter an appropriate topic. I feel sure you're not just sitting there waiting for someone else to entertain you.

Interesting as the subject may be, I'll have to remind you all about the fact that comparing SD tunes with other '60s and '70s songs by other artists, is regarded a high-risk activity. I clearly remember the last time some careless dope pointed out some striking similarities. I even think a couple of the recent examples were used back then as well. If technology had allowed physical interactions between online users, the poor bastard would undoubtly have been dragged out by his feet and euthanized in a modest and tasteful courtyard ritual by full moon.
The use of the inflamed term "ripped off" may have been crucial to the jury, though. A somewhat more diplomatic language is strongly recommended in these cases if anyone still wants to demonstrate that they have ears.
Emphasizing that SD always tranformed the loot from stone to gold like a medieval alchemist will likely be regarded as extenuating circumstances. Quoting Becker & Fagen on their claim to be the Robber Barons of Rock'n'Roll could, on a sunny day, even lead to full acquittal. But don't take my word for it.

Anyone familiar with Android OS (smartphones, tablets), knows that Google's official store and portal for Android apps, games and other content (similar to Apple's "App Store") is called "Google Play Store". However, it was formerly known as "Android Market". Why the new name isn't "Android Warehouse" is beyond my imagination.

Date: Fri, December 05, 2014, 02:22:09 ET
Posted by: Hobbs, Ohio

Sorry, but this discussion of "songs sounding like other songs" is getting a bit tedious. I hope we can move on to other topics.

Date: Fri, December 05, 2014, 01:40:28 ET
Posted by: Denny, R

This early 70s Brian Eno song sounds like a song which became a well known radio hit a few years later. See if it sounds familiar without reading the comments.

And to make this Dangential, the first time I heard Weather in My Head all i could think of was another song by that artist. And after two years of listening nothing has changed.

Date: Thurs, December 04, 2014, 20:51:13 ET
Posted by: Flatbush Chuck, That NYC

I'm thinking the real revelation here is the utter parallel between the choruses of "Eloise"-- which I'd never heard before-- and Paul Revere and the Raiders' "Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon". If that's not too off-topic.

I hear the rhythmic/melodic kinship of these choruses with Midnight Cruiser's, of course, but MC's is after all a I V bVII IV progression and these are I V IV I.

Date: Thurs, December 04, 2014, 18:31:47 ET
Posted by: Herman, Los Angeles

Interesting. Maybe Donald & Walt were fans of Graham Nash. "Dear Eliose" was written by Graham Nash, Allan Clarke & Tony Hicks and "Pre-Down Roads" was written solely by Graham Nash.

Date: Thurs, December 04, 2014, 18:12:35 ET
Posted by: Herman, Los Angeles

Reviewers have claimed that "Change of The Guard" from CBAT is a rip-off of "Pre-Down Roads" by Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Date: Thurs, December 04, 2014, 17:31:35 ET
Posted by: H,

Midnight Cruiser.

Date: Thurs, December 04, 2014, 17:20:40 ET
Posted by: Melvin, Tampa, FL

Huh? I'm stumped. I don't hear any songs from CBAT that sound like "Dear Eliose" by The Hollies.

Date: Thurs, December 04, 2014, 16:59:05 ET
Posted by: CJ, R

Check out The Hollies 'Dear Eloise'. You should be able to identify its similarity to another CBAT track.

Date: Thurs, December 04, 2014, 16:37:34 ET
Posted by: SDV, up on the hill

here's a comparison of the two songs. I never realized how similar they really are, same key even... and the verses are basically identical. but QJA is 6 chords total, while Brooklyn comes in at 12.

Queen Jane
| Fmaj7 | Em7 � Dm7 | C | |
| Fmaj7 | Em7 � Dm7 | G | |
| Fmaj7 | Em7 � Dm7 | C | Am |
| C | F | C | F |
| C | F | C | C |

| Fmaj7 | Em7 � Dm7 | C | |
| Fmaj7 | Em7 � Dm7 | G | |
| Em7 | Gm7 | C � Bb | A7 |
| Bb/C | F/C | Am7 | D |
| Bb/C | F/C | C | |

Date: Thurs, December 04, 2014, 10:52:39 ET
Posted by: king of the world, Empire of Blefuscu

"Queen Jane Approximately", yes, just the same feel and mood as Brooklyn. That was apparent the instant you said it, Hutch. Dylan goes against the sentiment a bit more, performing it, as he always does with an affecting tune.

I can't come at anything from a technical musician's point of view, just as an "experiencer"... though I've occasionally strummed Queen Jane primitively on an acoustic guitar.

Date: Thurs, December 04, 2014, 05:22:04 ET
Posted by: Hector, Venice Beach, CA

I like Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons version of Dylan's Queen Jane. Frankie Valli's vocal on that song really stands out.

Date: Thurs, December 04, 2014, 02:42:07 ET
Posted by: SDV, up on the hill

while Brooklyn does have a lot in common with Queen Jane, to say they are pretty much the same chord progression is incorrect. Brooklyn takes some interesting turns that Queen Jane does not... no surprise there.

Date: Thurs, December 04, 2014, 02:27:54 ET
Posted by: Sugar Daddy, Boston

R.I.P., Ian McLagan

Date: Wed, December 03, 2014, 13:16:50 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

I ran across an article about the Dylan tune "Queen Jane Approximately", and it was mentioned that the song Brooklyn was musically derived from the Dylan song. It's pretty much the same chord progression really. But I'm also hearing a distinct melody line that may have influenced Upside Looking Down by WB.

(Boy, that is one out of tune guitar)

Date: Wed, December 03, 2014, 13:12:20 ET
Posted by: Cam, NY

Luckless, or lucky to be alive? Thank god for the agent of the law.

Date: Wed, December 03, 2014, 08:59:06 ET
Posted by: fagenism, She go (I cry)

CBAT is underrated. A fun masterpiece. I listen to it all the time.

Regarding the Gaucho discussion. As a person who tends to focus on negatives, I can not help but obsess over the lack of The Second Arrangement when thinking about this album. The fact that Don and Walt could not (would not?) re-record it at the time proves to me beyond the shadow of a doubt that their artistic perfectionism was reaching a neurotic level.

A mind-numbingly promising song missing from a majestic album.

Makes one wonder what else is hidden in that Steely vault...

Date: Wed, December 03, 2014, 08:20:08 ET
Posted by: king of the world, the far-flung isles of langerhans

Do It Again just overwhelmed me, as a teenager. Still holds a special place for me. It seems almost defiant to put this out as your second single, this strange sounding thing.

Do It Again
Midnight Cruiser (#2 and #3 are sort of interchangeable for me)
Dirty Work
Only A Fool Would Say That
Fire In The Hole
Turn That Heartbeat Over Again
Reelin' In The Years
Change Of The Guard

RitY gets good for me on the 90s live album. Turn That Heartbeat Over Again apparently has got interesting stuff going on for musicians to appreciate, but it's got no particular musical mood or attitude that I can pick up from it, on top of my not knowing what the lyrics are about. It doesn't really sound like an album finale, either... it ends CBaT with a sort of question mark, an up-in-the-air sort of feeling...

Date: Wed, December 03, 2014, 06:44:09 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, this fool

@Mud: Don't take this very seriously. There's a difference between "proves" and "may suggest". Of course we don't know this, it was just a hypothesis made mostly for the purpose of a trivia question, if I'm not wrong. At least my answers were based on the assumption that it was, and my "plan B" was never to be taken as anything but a joke, a desperate, silly attempt to stretch things even further.

Myself, I like Brooklyn a lot more than Change Of The Guard. CBAT is my least favorite SD album for a lot of reasons, and the whole SD concept went through a lot of changes in the following years. You all know the story, and the best CBAT songs are still pure genious. My list organized by favorite factor probably looks like this (topmost = best):

Turn That Heartbeat Over Again
Fire In The Hole
Only A Fool Would Say That
Dirty Work
Do It Again
Reelin' In The Years
Midnight Cruiser
Change Of The Guard

Date: Tues, December 02, 2014, 20:57:42 ET
Posted by: Sugar Daddy, Boston

RIP. Saxman Bobby Keys

Date: Tues, December 02, 2014, 14:06:31 ET
Posted by: Mud, New York

Why would Donald feel Brooklyn is not one of the better songs? They performed it live on the 1974 tour. I think it's a great song. I don't think Change of The Guard was ever performed live and I'm glad.

Date: Tues, December 02, 2014, 11:51:10 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, ringin' in the ears

Damned, you're right. Funny coincidence we both overlooked that.

Time for plan B.

Trivia A:

The "new" (1998) liner notes was titled "A farewell to Flatbush".

Date: Tues, December 02, 2014, 11:38:48 ET
Posted by: Trivia, Q

Correct, Jazz. But after posting I went back to read them and realized that RITY is also excluded.

Date: Tues, December 02, 2014, 11:11:49 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Trivia A

In the original liner notes, Brooklyn is the only song not mentioned.

Date: Tues, December 02, 2014, 10:39:23 ET
Posted by: Trivia, Q

There is certain evidence within the album itself that may suggest Fagen doesn't feel Brooklyn is one of the better songs. What evidence is there? And no, it's not that they let Palmer sing it.

Date: Tues, December 02, 2014, 05:20:25 ET
Posted by: king of the world, bhsumvr

I was in a bar once with a DJ, and asked him to play anything by Steely Dan. How was I know a DJ would have "Changing Of The Guard" available?

Date: Mon, December 01, 2014, 21:10:08 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, 0

That horrid "interview" that Rolling stone did with Donald included this line re: CBAT and the possibility of performing the entire album live.

But Can't Buy A Thrill won't ever happen?
That has some songs on it that we really feel probably shouldn't have made the album. It was before our style gelled for a little while.

It would be interesting to see if change of the Guard is one of those.

Date: Mon, December 01, 2014, 20:28:04 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

I can't say I'm at the point where I "dislike" 'Change of the Guard.' I love, not like, so much disposable pop from the 1960s and 1970s that I can't possibly turn up my nose at that song, even if didn't have the great guitar solo.

The fact that the song is relatively poor compared with the typical Steely Dan output, luckily for me, doesn't play into it.

I mean, "Why Don't We Do It In the Road" is absolute shyte compared with any other Beatles songs and most other songs, but it's still a tidy little jam that I can't say I actually "dislike."

Date: Mon, December 01, 2014, 18:16:55 ET
Posted by: Wasabi, Eating at Burger King

Change of The Guard doesn't even sound like a Steely Dan song. It's the only song from them that I don't go back and re-listen to. Only good thing is the guitar solo by Jeff Skunk Baxter.

Date: Mon, December 01, 2014, 17:03:24 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .

I find the debut SD album in-line with the debut Zappa album (Freak Out!). You can see which direction they're headed but the execution doesn't always live up to what we're used to from the later output. Also, both albums do sound dated, not musically, but due to the technological limits present at the time (both still blow other albums of their time out of their water when it comes to fidelity).

That being said, the jump from CBAT to Countdown is massive in terms of material and production.

The live versions of the CBAT thrill material are always impressive to hear, I'm especially thinking of the 1996 Midnight Cruiser and the 93/94 Reeling in the Years.

Date: Mon, December 01, 2014, 15:16:15 ET
Posted by: Mud, New York

I agree. Change of The Guard is the only song from Can't Buy a Thrill that I don' t like. It might be the worst Steely Dan song ever recorded.

Date: Mon, December 01, 2014, 14:56:11 ET
Posted by: SDV, up on the hill

Change of the Guard strikes me as filler and the most un-Steely Dan tune in the entire catalog. And perhaps the song least likely to ever be revisited by Don & Walt.

Date: Mon, December 01, 2014, 13:14:21 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .

I mangled my original comment. It should have have included the fact that the band had toured in 13/14 back-to-back.

Date: Mon, December 01, 2014, 10:42:56 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

They did every summer from 06-09. Then 11, 13, 14.

Date: Mon, December 01, 2014, 06:34:01 ET
Posted by: MM, C

"SD hasn't gone out two summers in a row since 08/09"

What about 13/14?

Date: Mon, December 01, 2014, 02:40:23 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

Indeed - Shapes of things to come. The instrumental break on TTHOA is my favorite part of the album. Hard bop themes weave and meander in and out.

A big fan of Fire in the Hole as well - another jazzy number with a few Monk-like stabs between the notes.

Date: Sun, November 30, 2014, 09:48:07 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, with stocking face

Funny thing is, they put "Turn That Heartbeat Over Again" last on CBAT, like a foretaste of things to come. This brilliant song contains enough good ideas for at least three different songs, but they rather mashed them all together into the album's best track, imo. Spending ideas this way (like a drunken sailor), clearly indicates at least none of them was particulary worried about writer's block back then. Needless to say, the album has a certain immaturity to it. But no fillers, I think.

Date: Sun, November 30, 2014, 22:27:56 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .

I guess we should be finding out here in about 4 months. I'm guessing the same as well, SD hasn't gone out two summers in a row since 08/09.

I wonder what prompted them to go out this last summer? Was McDonald already unavailable due to the Toto tour?

Date: Sun, November 30, 2014, 22:10:22 ET
Posted by: Wasabi, Relaxing at home

Not gonna happen. I foresee a Dukes of September tour for next Summer.

Date: Sun, November 30, 2014, 13:38:02 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .

You're welcome, guys. I second the thought of a "We don't care any more" tour.

Here goes:

Everyone's Gone to the Movies/The Fez (2008 style)
The Royal Scam
My Rival
Night By Night
Weather in My Head
Kulee Baba
Haitian Divorce (Walter)
Three Sisters Shakin'
Downtown Cannon
Third World Man
The Nightfly
Tomorrow's Girls
Brite Nightgown
Parker's Band
Almost Gothic
Midnight Cruiser
Pretzel Logic
My Old School

Date: Sun, November 30, 2014, 12:46:56 ET
Posted by: Lutz, SF

Thanks a lot!
Surprised that tune didn't make Whack or Circus, makes one hope Walter has something else up his sleeve.
Imagine that live with the SD brass section, maybe they'll have one more tour, call it
'We don't care any more"
play all the songs they really want to play.

Date: Sun, November 30, 2014, 10:56:42 ET
Posted by: Michael, update

Turns out the guy who gave it one-star said he received a defective disc.

Date: Sun, November 30, 2014, 10:54:38 ET
Posted by: Michael,

I think Kings and Only A Fool Would Say That are probably the stand-out tracks from CBAT. It scored exceptionally high on Amazon, with 128 five-star reviews to date to contrast a sole one-star review which I'm actually curious to read. I mean, what is this world coming to?

Date: Sun, November 30, 2014, 09:48:07 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, with stocking face

Funny thing is, they put "Turn That Heartbeat Over Again" last on CBAT, like a foretaste of things to come. This brilliant song contains enough good ideas for at least three different songs, but they rather mashed them all together into the album's best track, imo. Spending ideas this way (like a drunken sailor), clearly indicates at least none of them was particulary worried about writer's block back then. Needless to say, the album has a certain immaturity to it. But no fillers, I think.

Date: Sun, November 30, 2014, 08:56:23 ET
Posted by: king of the world, Be There Now

Can't Buy a Thrill is great melodically, in a way they didn't really come back to until Katy Lied. Some tunes can be heartbreaking, even when the lyrics are impenetrable, and perhaps go against the emotion in the tune. I doubt they thought any of it was "filler" back then, but they may have. There's some awkwardness, definitely. The album has a special place in the affections of "They were great before they went jazz and got pretentious" rock fans.

Date: Sun, November 30, 2014, 08:16:35 ET
Posted by: Kenny, u

I disagree that Can't Buy a Thrill has "filler." I still give it a listen periodically, and Reeling and Dirty Work are the two songs I never play. While most of the songs certainly are not in the upper echelon of their discography, I never got the impression that they only focused on a few tracks and considered the rest throwaway.

Date: Sun, November 30, 2014, 08:10:44 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Lord have mercy, halfway to Jersey

Speaking of unreleased/ demo Beckers ... "Lies I Can Believe" gets honorable mention, if not even a neat little prize, in my book for best Becker-that-I'd-love-to-hear-in-a-fully-developed-version. Oh, and please stick with the sound used for the synth riff on the demo.
Also, the official version of "Medical Science" released on the Japanese version of 11ToW is a gem.

Date: Sun, November 30, 2014, 01:47:09 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .

I'm getting close to tracking that one down.

Date: Sun, November 30, 2014, 00:14:19 ET
Posted by: Thank you!!!,

Thank you Godwhacker! Very much appreciated.

Apparently there is a boot from a live Becker solo show in 1995. Is this hard to find? A quick Google search did not yield much.

Date: Sat, November 29, 2014, 22:04:07 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .

Here is a dropbox link.

Date: Sat, November 29, 2014, 19:16:28 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .

I have it in FLAC format. If anyone wants it I've included my email in my handle this time. I'll try and youtube it.

Date: Sat, November 29, 2014, 16:02:46 ET
Posted by: Lutz, SF

Thanks, KD.
The one I was looking at was called
1o Trax o� Wax Demos.

Date: Sat, November 29, 2014, 15:29:56 ET
Posted by: Michael,

Hoops, why not put some sort of authentication, such as asking a randomly selected (but relatively easy) SD-related Q or one of those things were you have to type in the words/numbers shown before being allowed to post? Would save you a lot of headaches in the future.

Date: Sat, November 29, 2014, 14:39:38 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

I have the, um, *unofficial* Walter outttakes and 'Three Sisters Shakin'' isn't on it. On my version, at least.

Date: Sat, November 29, 2014, 14:33:47 ET
Posted by: Lutz, SF

Has anyone ever been able to listen to 'Three Sisters' online?
I found a 10 song demo of Walter's whack cd somewhere with it on, but it was some rar. file that could only be opened with programs that required additional downloads. Anti virus program didn't approve, so I shied away.
It's such a killer song, truly Walter style.

Date: Sat, November 29, 2014, 11:56:39 ET
Posted by: king of the world, my unfun isolation tank

"Three Sisters Shakin' is a Becker composition - no Fagen.
Same for Girl Next Door�etc."

Does the fact that a song was written by just one of the two mean automatically that it was never intended to be a Steely Dan song? Was every single SD song written by both Becker and Fagen? (I know they're credited to both, but it could be a Lennon-NcCartney type thing.)

Date: Sat, November 29, 2014, 11:12:18 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

Thanks for your patience until I was able to fix the auto-spam problem. Should be solved for a while at least. Thanks to Jazzassassin and others.



Date: Sat, November 29, 2014, 09:36:37 ET
Posted by: Michael,

I'm up on Soundcloud. Some of my SD-influenced tunes are up, as well as a host of others. Jim

Date: Fri, November 28, 2014,  09:24:50 ET
Posted by: Steve Gennarelli,

All of the fun discussion we had here on the site about "Gaucho" got me thinking ... so what really is my favorite SD album ?
So I went to each album and rated the songs on a simple
basis. 3 = Pure Awesomeness 2 = Good 3 = Not up to snuff.
I was expecting one of the earlier albums to win this and I
was only a little surprised by the outcome.
OK...Here it comes, IMO, the best "Steely Dan" album is....

1) Countdown to Ecstasy (2.625) !!!! - I think seeing the boys play these tunes live in recent years like "The Boston Rag" which kicked off all of the 2000 shows, "Your Gold Teeth" which was the highlight of the most recent tours and classics like "My Old School" and "Pearl of the Quarter" make this album my highest rated.

2) Aja (2.57) - barely finishes in 2nd based on some of the
greatest SD songs of All Time including "Deacon Blues", "Josie"
and "Peg". "Black Cow" of my favorite live songs that
they do. ps..looking back on "Alive in America"..I think that rendition of "Josie" is the best version and it blows everything else on that live album away.

3) The Royal Scam (2.55) - Just finished .02 steps behind
"Aja". Has some of the best songs ever including "Kid Charlemagne",
"The Caves of Altamira", "Don't Take Me Alive" and the title track itself. I always thought "Haitian Divorce" would be a great song to introduce someone to "Steely Dan" with. If they liked it, they'd probably like the whole catalog.

4) Gaucho (2.428) - "Time Out of Mind" is one of those songs that when you're watching them live, you can really see their enjoyment playing it I love the title track. The album would have scored even higher with me had "The Second Arrangement" been in let's blame it on Scotty, the Chief Engineer.

5) Pretzel Logic (2.36) - The album begins with 3 of my All Time Favorites "Rikki..", "Night by Night" and "Any Major Dude..." A lot of the rest of it is a mixed bag for me, but I'm not sure why they've never played "Through with Buzz" on any tour...To me its a great tune.

6) Katy Lied (2.30) - "Doctor Wu" has got to be my favorite tune on this album. I'll never forget getting to a Tampa Rays game against the Yankees and we got their really early and the Yankees we're taking batting practice to "..Daddy Don't live in that NY City no more.." I enjoyed hearing it...LOL

7) Two Against Nature (2.125) - Yes, a modern age SD album breaks in above a classic era album !!! My favorite tunes are "Almost Gothic" and "What a Shame About Me". My least favorite is the actual title track which never did anything for me.

8) Everything Must Go (2.111) - To me, "Things I Miss the Most" could be a companion piece to "What a Shame About Me" and Donald's subsequent tunes "H Gang" and "I'm Not the Same Without You" also all seem so least to me. I'm in the minority but I love "Blues Beach"..just a fun pop tune.

9) Can't Buy a Thrill (2.10) - Has some of those legendary tunes like "Dirty Work", "Do it Again" and "Reelin..." but has a bit too much filler.

So I did this just for I would no which album resonated the best with me...Please share your lists or any other SD related ideas. Best, Steve

Date: Fri, November 28, 2014, 01:42:40 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .

I pulled the credits info from here- along with an individual who tipped me off. It all could be wrong though.

The other 80s stuff was referenced not too long ago by Donald in an interview, I'll try to track it down.

Date: Fri, November 28, 2014, 01:26:09 ET
Posted by: Slim, SF

Several unreleased songs from the Whack era are being misattributed

Three Sisters Shakin' is a Becker composition - no Fagen.
Same for Girl Next Door�etc.

Date: Fri, November 28, 2014, 00:38:12 ET
Posted by: king of the world, bonerland

How many songs are there said to be, GW? I figured The Last Mall was '80s, since it's Cold War. It would have been painful watching it, if they felt they had to try to adapt to 80s musical styles. It seemed that Royal Scam/Aja (and Gaucho) was where they were headed, what they were working to become, then the bottom dropped out, for anything remotely resembling jazz. It's definitely a huge bridge to cross.

Concerning tomorrow, it's a yearly source of frustration for me, when everyone talks about "Black Friday", and nobody but me connects it to Steely Dan...

Date: Thurs, November 27, 2014, 22:35:25 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .

It would have been interesting to see where they would have gone if they had continued post-Gaucho.

They seem to talk quite a bit about the songs they worked on in the mid-80s, I have started to wonder if the reason we haven't seen more movement with them is because they are in the vein of the Gaucho material and are not something they want to tackle with 30 years hindsight.

Of course, I could be completely wrong about that guess and the songs could all be reminiscent of Three Sisters Shakin'.

Date: Thurs, November 27, 2014, 15:31:00 ET
Posted by: king of the world, blunderland

Sorry, I meant to direct that last post at Jolly, not Flatbush Chuck.

Date: Thurs, November 27, 2014, 15:27:07 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

The drum track for Gaucho was recorded by Porcaro, live with the band in an (in)famous all-nite session. Donald and Walter threw everything else out but the drum track, and filled in keyboards bass, guitar.

Songs on Gaucho are remarkable. WENDEL makes some of the tracks a little stiff, but a fabulous album, nonetheless.
Actually rolling Stone gave Gaucho 4 1/2 stars when released and Stereo Review rated Gaucho as Album of the Month under the title:

"Too good for Common People?"

Date: Thurs, November 27, 2014, 15:23:56 ET
Posted by: king of the world, my shrinking cranium

Flatbush Chuck-- I was just thinking that Gaucho could easily have been seen as a return to the darker, cynical (in a very good sense) attitude of SD that they'd had from the start, up through and climaxing with Royal Scam. It's as if they took what they learned jazzwise from Aja, and fed that back into an even more jaundiced version of pre-Aja Dan.

The Aja liner notes talk about SD as letting go of the cynicism and embracing something more relaxed and joyful. I forget the actual words used. Before Gaucho, that concerned me. I didn't want SD all softened up...

Babylon Sisters may sound like something off Aja in a way, but it has "malevolence", too. Nothing on Aja sounded this sinister; it was really more like Royal Scam. The whole twisted losers theme is much more Royal Scam than Aja. So I understand disappointment with Aja though I don't share it. You could say Aja was a bit un-Dan.

Whacks God-- Thanks for the link. I Googled "ghost notes" on my own, too. I'm always surprised when I'm reminded that most drumbeats have pitch and are musical. I expect them all to be "ghost notes".

Date: Thurs, November 27, 2014, 15:20:58 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

NOT term Babylon Sisters derivative...

Date: Thurs, November 27, 2014, 15:18:49 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu ,

Home at Last and Babylon Sisters both feature the Purdie shuffle. Melodically and harmonically they are nothing alike. Home at Last is 12 bar altered blues. Babylon Sisters is a jazzy show tune.

There are some elements of structure reminiscent of Black Cow - thus they are distinct tunes. The closest melodic pattern is probably Kid Charlemagne...but I would term BS derivative.

Date: Thurs, November 27, 2014, 10:21:52 ET
Posted by: Flatbush Chuck, That NYC


My recollection (I was 19 when Aja was released, 22 for Gaucho):

Every track on Aja except Home At Last and I Got the News received extensive FM airplay in 1977-78, which was pretty remarkable. On Gaucho, only Hey 19 and Time Out of Mind made more than token FM appearances in 1980-81. (There was no mainstream AM pop or rock radio to speak of by the late '70s).

Aja received generally high critical marks-- but somewhat disappointed what many of us then regarded as the "core" of big-name rock critics (Christgau and Griel Marcus) who had touted earlier SD albums but heard Aja as a retreat too far into the realm of the emotionally-distanced aesthete.

On the other hand, as indicated by the sales figures, the public took Aja to heart as no previous Dan album. At a moment when "mainstream rock" was being challenged simultaneous by punk/new wave (self-perceived as anti-slick) and disco (the glorification of slick), maybe there was sufficient receptiveness out there to something that sounded more intellectual and imaginatively sophisticated, and just plain more beautiful, than either of the other departure alternatives-- a third vision in which some heard bite and polish reconciled.

Gaucho arrived a very long three years later. It duly got its Grammy Best Album nomination (as did Aja and would Nightfly) and I seem to recall the FM djs praising it to the skies in NY. But the print critical marks were almost uniformly lower than Aja's, and terms like sterile, overcooked, etc., were thrown around from the git-go. And there was no big public response as far as I noticed.

Date: Thurs, November 27, 2014, 06:08:56 ET
Posted by: Jolly, Roger

I know this is heresy, but it is all true and it may resonate with someone - so here goes. I got into SD just before Aja was released, working through their back catalog like a kid in a sweetshop � I couldn�t believe how wonderful they were. I waited for Aja with bated breath � and was bitterly disappointed. My musical taste didn�t run to any form of jazz in those days and I felt they had just jumped horses in midstream leaving me bewildered. I knew that their previous work appealed to me because it had a more complex and sophisticated musical palette � but Aja was just a step too far. I wasn�t dumb � I could tell it was stunning and unique music, but it just seemed to have lost many of the qualities that attracted me to the band in the first place. I spent hours playing it, trying to wring out of it the same sort of experience the earlier albums had given me, but I couldn�t. I even perceived it as having a sort of clinical sterility.

But I didn�t give up on them � I waited excitedly for Gaucho. When I heard it I got very emotional about it, I thought it was an incredible return to the SD qualities and style that I loved. I then started to see Aja as an aberration, and although I think the tracks are remarkable (especially Aja itself) it was never the album I chose to put on when I craved a �Steely Dan� moment.

There is an interesting footnote to this. I have always been a semi-pro musician, and in the mid eighties I discovered jazz and have been exploring and playing it in many forms to this day. It is now my whole musical world � but I still prefer Gaucho to Aja ! Contrary to all common sense and most fan opinion I �feel� Aja as something cold and �feel� Gaucho as something warm. I am ready to accept that these connections may reflect what was going on in my life at the time of each albums release -
my first wife left me just after Aja, I had a hot new replacement by Gaucho! LOL, as the kids say.

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 23:42:28 ET
Posted by: king of the world, sol 3

The reaction was anti-climactic. Hey 19 was a hit, but the late 70s jazz-pop context was fading fast, and 60s/70s bands were being labelled dinosaurs and irrelevant.

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 22:53:02 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, ..

For those of you who were alive when Gaucho was released (I wasn't born until two years later so I have no memories obviously), how was the reaction by the public as compared to Aja?

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 21:18:11 ET
Posted by: drewslo, San Luis Obispo

Home At Last is reminiscent of Sign In Stranger

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 20:31:28 ET
Posted by: My Guess, ;;;

A review of Gaucho stated that Babylon Sisters recalled Haitian Divorce. I'll go with that.

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 19:01:18 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer, edit

Last paragraph should read "between Gaucho and TAN". EMG was released in a relatively fast fashion in 2003, three years after TAN.

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 18:46:07 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

The most recent Strainer was:

"Tonite's Strainer delves into two tunes from Old Testament Dan.

Owing to the recent discussions about the Gaucho LP and the tune "Babylon Sisters" appealing to a number of posters as ground-breaking (not necessarily)or otherwise stellar, there just might be a subliminal reason unbeknownst to the devotees of that tune. There are two prior Old Testament songs which have very similar sonic elements in common with Babylon Sisters.

Name the most recent tune prior to Babylon Sisters having this sonic resemblance.

Difficulty Level is about 5.5 out of 10."


The Gaucho LP contains a majority of "original" tunes, meaning that they are non-derivative, or sonically similar to prior works. One notable exception, allegedly is,(ahem), the title track. But we won't go there.

Another exception is the jazzy Babylon Sisters which does indeed bear a strong sonic resemblance to Home At Last from the Aja LP, the Dan's most recent release prior to Gaucho. The sonic similarity is such that an expression developed from it as "The Babylon Sisters are Home At Last". A poster who signed in as "strainer answer" was first with the correct response.

The Babylon Sisters derivation "chain" of songs actually stretches back a bit further, as key sonic elements of Home At Last were first heard on a tune further back in the Old Testament. If anyone wants to take a guess at which tune, they are urged do so. Otherwise it probably will arise as a future Strainer or Hemorrhager......

There has been much ado about how difficult it was to get Gaucho
released. Of the seven tracks, just five were true "originals", albeit these were fairly sophisticated, lengthy tunes. Even had DF's prior issues with "writers block" resurfaced, he certainly could have cranked out five releasable tunes over a period less than the nearly 4 year time frame between Aja and Gaucho. To be fair, there was some excellent material omitted from Gaucho, notably The Second Arrangement, which was accidentally erased. But it wasn't wasted. DF used it within a year or so and most likely reworked it into the Nightfly title track.

DF' Nightfly was released very quickly after Gaucho. This is going by Dan standards, taking into account the nearly 20 years elapsing between Gaucho and EMG. This might lead one to speculate that quite possibly DF was doing his own thing much of the time when he was supposed to be working on Gaucho. WB was having difficulties, and possibly DF thoughts were turning to the breakup of the Dan and his own solo future. And keeping his then future Nightfly compositions in a secret desk drawer?

This question is not a Strainer or Hemorrhager. Rather, while on the subject of Gaucho, it is left to the reader to fire up a blunt and ponder.....

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 18:19:43 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .


You're right! It is the Oakland show I have as a soundboard. I was mistaken.

I have included my email address in my link on this post, if you still want to get a copy of it send me a message.

That 2008 setlist was a great one.

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 17:57:22 ET
Posted by: Michael,

Hey, throw me on the bandwagon. Gaucho is a superb gem. I think that because they had just come off Aja, people were more or less expecting the spiritual successor to it. Seems to me that listeners have a tendency to want to pigeon-hole an artist once they establish a certain precedent so that successive albums must try to recapture or evolve from the framework. The problem here is that once an album has been done, it's been done and any attempt to recreate it feels deliberate and devoid.

Listening to the Gaucho outtakes, the direction appears to have been something with a much more aggressive, razor-edge to it, set apart from the quintessential jazz-blues-rock hybrid that was Aja.

As for Larry Carlton, his lush, melodic flourishes were/are integral to the overall effectiveness of the tracks. One of my favorite things about The Making of Aja is when Don & Walt isolate Larry's guitar in Deacon Blues, to better listen to his impeccable melodic phrasing. But then he was one of the most in-demand session players around, so par for the course.

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 17:27:40 ET
Posted by: TO Danfan,

@ Godwhacker

I was at the 2006 Fagen show at Massey Hall. They did not perform Third World Man. There is a wonderful recording of the whole concert out there somewhere!? Have you heard the version you speak of? I didn't hear the sound check....maybe it was recorded there. Would love to hear it. Saw SD do it live at Casino Rama in of 4 tunes they did from Gaucho that wonderful night.


Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 16:43:51 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .

There is a great version of Third World Man that Fagen performed at Massey Hall in 2006.

I forgot to mention earlier that maybe ten years ago I got a chance to talk to the guitarist Daryl Stuermer (of Jean Luc and Genesis fame) about favorite albums. He picked Gaucho from the SD catalog, his reasoning was mainly Third World Man.

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 16:29:17 ET
Posted by: Pablo, Boulder, CO

It was Larry Carlton's killer guitar solo in the middle of Third World Man that made me fully appreciate that song. Hands down, Larry Carlton is the best guitarist Steely Dan ever had.

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 13:28:52 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, ..

A human being could do it, it is just a lot to process. Carlock plays it in a different manner.

King of the World, here is a good explanation of ghost notes from Purdie

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 11:48:58 ET
Posted by: king of the world, the troposphere

I'm tempted to say that all that effort was wasted... it seems more like expensive fidgeting than perfectionism... but for all the people who love every moment of Gaucho, song and album, the effort clearly wasn't wasted at all. Maybe they were making up for the steady simple beat on the other songs...

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 07:42:10 ET
Posted by: Dan Belcher, Louisville, KY

The drum track for the title track to Gaucho is incredible -- and incredibly difficult to play like it is on the record. Yes, there are tons of subtle snare fills, rolls, and ghost notes where Jeff Porcaro very lightly plays accents and patterns on the snare drum to help add energy and dynamics. But even beyond that, the rest of the drum part for that song is just not easy to play cleanly and sharply with precise timing.

And yes, to get it as perfect as D&W were looking for, Jeff Porcaro's drums were pieced together a bar or two at a time from a ridiculous number of takes. (And they actually had the full rhythm section playing through the song even though they only were recording Porcaro's drums just to make sure they got the feel right. Crazy.)

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 07:05:55 ET
Posted by: king of the world, westeros

An actual human being would find it very difficult to drum on the song Gaucho start to finish, is that what's being said?

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 06:17:21 ET
Posted by: SS, HK

Gaucho drum track was recorded in chunks. Like four bars at a time, or something like that.

Date: Wed, November 26, 2014, 04:03:35 ET
Posted by: king of the world, anti-matter Narnia

Thanks for the backup, Michael. Godwhacker, I enjoyed this cool sentence, even having no clue what it means: "Gaucho-If you're trying to replicate the Porcaro Frankenstein performance, expect to spend a few hours learning by ear/charting out every tiny grace note, buzz roll and ghost."

Date: Tues, November 25, 2014, 23:56:07 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .

Being off for the upcoming holiday gave me the chance to sit behind my kit for longer than the usual hour I do a day and have a nice play-through of the Gaucho tracks.I even did the Second Arrangement and Kulee Baba.

Babylon Sisters-Challenging

Hey 19-Easy

Glamour Profession-Easy, although with tracks like this and Hey 19, many drummers would probably overplay and ruin it.Carlock improved this greatly.

Time Out of Mind-Easy

Gaucho-If you're trying to replicate the Porcaro Frankenstein performance, expect to spend a few hours learning by ear/charting out every tiny grace note, buzz roll and ghost.

My Rival-See Glamour Profession

Third World Man- This is actually challenging to play and to get the feeling right with. Medium difficulty.

Second Arrangement-See Glamour/Hey 19

Kulee Baba-This one is a monster. The interplay between snare and hi-hat and controlling the dynamics is a large task.

Basically, the Wendel material is easy if you have good time. Everything else is variable.

Date: Tues, November 25, 2014, 20:53:57 ET
Posted by: Michael, @king of the world

"I am NOT a well-informed musician. I do, however, try to come up with words for what I do or don't hear/appreciate in music. I don't need to know the technicalities involved in writing, playing, or performing music to experience or relate to an album. All of that would add an interesting, extra dimension to the experience. I envy that. The idea that musicians know whether music is good, better than "laymen", though, is ridiculous. It's not a technical matter, for "experts" only. It's about the thoughts and feelings evoked in an individual."

You don't need to know the technical details at work within a composition in order to enjoy it, just as you don't need to know the fine points of acting, cinematography or directing in order to enjoy a motion picture.

Date: Tues, November 25, 2014, 17:04:00 ET
Posted by: strainer answer,

Home at Last is similar to Babylon in terms of the groove and use of a lush horn arrangement.

Date: Tues, November 25, 2014, 15:38:12 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

king of the world,

my original tape of Jeff Buckley's "Grace" started the same way. Prefer those hisses and cracks and chaos.

Taken off of 97.7 WOXY the day it came out, RIP to both the station and artist.

Date: Tues, November 25, 2014, 14:30:13 ET
Posted by: king of the world, puntland

Oh yeah, I forgot, Whacker Of God, it was the version of Third World Man on the 90s live album that turned me around on it! The original is sleepwalkish.

For a couple years, the version of Gaucho I heard was on a cassette I taped off air circa 1981. I knew they were about to play it, and I was scrambling around at the last minute, desperately trying to get the radio on the right station. I succeeded at the very last fraction of a second, missing nothing. So what my version of Gaucho started with was several seconds of intense, screaming, chaotic, wildly abrasive, loud static, which in a mere nanosecond, stops completely, with the first note of Babylon Sisters starting RIGHT then.

It was amazing. I loved my Gaucho that started that way. I should have kept the tape.

Date: Tues, November 25, 2014, 11:22:50 ET
Posted by: A prickly pear, milk truck

When I first got into SD in the mid 80s, I consulted the New Rolling Stone record guide (Dave Marsh). It rated all the SD albums favorably except for Gaucho. It suggested The Nightfly as a much better alternative. I heeded the advice. But then I read Robert Palmer's review from the time of its release which called it the best album of the year. Marsh dismissed it as "the kind of music that passes for jazz in Holiday Inn lounges, with the kind of lyrics that pass for poetry in freshman English classes." I still agree with that assesment for Babylon Sisters which I never thought was one of their better songs, and my least favorite on the album. But overall I really came around to the album. If pressed for an answer, I'd say My Rival is the best song they've ever released. In the 27 years since I've acquired the entire SD discography, I've listened to Gaucho way more than Aja. It has more of the qualities that makes me appreciate their music.

Date: Tues, November 25, 2014, 09:07:54 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

The first time I heard 'Gaucho' was on a discount tape that I bought in my college bookstore in late 1998. I was 18 and two years removed from playing Minutemen covers in bands.

I grew up with my parents playing 'Pretzel Logic' over and over again, but had only recently became obsessed with Steely Dan after taping my dad's Aja LP onto cassette the day before I'd left for college (a Hot Tuna album actually got the preferential treatment -- it was on the A side) and listening to it endlessly.

Thanks to I knew the 'Gaucho' back story, but I hadn't heard any songs save for "Hey 19;" which felt like a years-old remnant of classic rock radio's past. 'Gaucho' was my actual real first Steely Dan purchase, as everything else was cribbed from my parents LPs/CDs.

It was cold and off-putting. Worse, to this former punk, it reeked of smooth jazz. As a guy with a billion hard bop tapes and CDs to his name, this was not cool.

I made a point to dig in, though. I'd heard all the songs on 'Aja' in some format or another years before the album clicked with me, so this new and smoother one had to have something initially undetectable that I would eventually find. The same went for 'Nightfly' when I bought it with grocery clerk money a month later. The opening strains to "IGY," which I hadn't heard before, felt like straight up soft rock.

Powered through, though. Glad I did. Kept at it until the album opened up to me. It's a ridiculously fucked-up piece of work, but boy howdy do I love it.

(Incidentally, my much younger brother is more or less unaware of most Steely Dan stuff, and he's as bro-ish as bros get. Of all the shows to go to, I took him to one of the 'Gaucho' nights, and he was absolutely speechless during and after in response to how great the songs and band were, and how much he dug it. Five years and a million shows later, he still calls it the best concert he's ever seen.)

Date: Tues, November 25, 2014, 02:36:11 ET
Posted by: Jay, In Bed

Oh God, It's Brain Strainer with another superfluous question.

Date: Tues, November 25, 2014, 00:57:52 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

Tonite's Strainer delves into two tunes from Old Testament Dan.

Owing to the recent discussions about the Gaucho LP and the tune "Babylon Sisters" appealing to a number of posters as ground-breaking (not necessarily)or otherwise stellar, there just might be a subliminal reason unbeknownst to the devotees of that tune. There are two prior Old Testament songs which have very similar sonic elements in common with Babylon Sisters.

Name the most recent tune prior to Babylon Sisters having this sonic resemblance.

Difficulty Level is about 5.5 out of 10.

Date: Mon, November 24, 2014, 21:17:55 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, 0

You make a good point about the compression, especially with the jump from Babylon sisters (which has some pretty good dynamics intact) to Hey 19. It as if the sound goes from looking like the Sierra Nevada to a grass plain in the Midwest. The dynamics, the peaks and valleys just go and never return until Third World Man.

Date: Mon, November 24, 2014, 19:54:33 ET
Posted by: Jim Taylor, Hello, Baton Rouge

Oh, Gaucho... I remember the first time I listened to it, I immediately fell in love with Babylon Sisters, only to be totally jarred by the squashed, compressed feel of Hey 19, and just about everything after that.

It is ironic that they moved back to New York to record, because the overall sound of the album is, in my opinion, the excess of west coast studio compression. What I didn't realize at the time was that "turn that jungle music down," was not only a veiled racial slur by a west coast hipster, but also a west coast rejection of what Walter once referred to as the "risks" that East coast players took, as opposed to the precision of the west coast players.

The flat is actually compression. These days, compression is used to create volume in a mix without clipping. Then, I think that compression was used to squish out a mix and make it smooth for FM radio. My personal theory is that Donald and Walter went back to NYC and intentionally made fun of the compressed sound of the west coast. I would be interested in hearing from the engineers on the board, to hear what they think, or if I am out of my mind.

Date: Mon, November 24, 2014, 18:16:29 ET
Posted by: Unkle Fahkwad, MD

On Gaucho,
Yes, gaucho is 'problematic'. (By the way, thanks for linking to that 'stylus' article. I remember reading
it a while ago. It's probably one of the best, most thoughtful and appreciative things written on Steely Dan's
music in print anywhere.)

I agree that Babylon Sisters is the only true classic. I could never get into the Title track musically.
(I wonder why they went through the hassle of 'plaigirizing' Keith Jarrett's tune: it seems like a dull
uinispired generic blues vamp.. and the 'smooth jazz' tone of the sax still makes me snooze..)

I could never get into Third World Man, until I head 'Were you blind that day?" .. which I think hits
so much harder, that it seems like a different tune entirely (even though it isn't). The lyrics do it
there: there's an unusual moralizing tone , unusual for Steely Dan, and it works.

Sometimes I think that Stylus article sheds some light on why they picked the tracks they did for Gaucho,
when many of the cutting room floor tracks ('The Bear' "Kulee Baba') seemed so much better. They wanted
all of the tracks to have a lyrical unity, and so the ones that focused on creepy unappealing "loser' characters
stayed and the rest went . (The 2nd arrangement was supposed to be in there, I think, but got erased.)
The other theory was that they were saving their better tracks for Warner Brothers..

Date: Mon, November 24, 2014, 16:29:52 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .

I forgot to add that I think the Gaucho songs gain much when they are played live. They have aged very well. When Keith hit the fill that leads into Babylon Sisters at the OKC show this Summer the audience went crazy. The same thing for the Melodica/Guitar solos at the end of Time Out of Mind. Unfortunately, I've never seen a Gaucho night, only the Royal Scam.

Date: Mon, November 24, 2014, 16:23:55 ET
Posted by: Godwhacker, .

The outtakes from the Gaucho sessions seem to have much more "life to them." Kind Spirit and Talking About My Home would have really lifted the album up (along with The Second Arrangement). It IS too perfect but that is part of the charm. However, it loses some of the impact the previous records had due to the clinical nature. The demo of Babylon Sisters on the outtakes is amazing, Just Donald and I assume Walter on bass playing a stripped down skeletal version of the song. But it also lacks Purdie.

The Royal Scam is probably my favorite and I couldn't imagine a WENDEL'd Green Earrings or Haitian Divorce.

As a drummer, Gaucho does have some really good moments, the great title track, Babylon Sisters and Marotta's rock-solid take on Time out of Mind are highlights. It is just personal preference that I find Don't Take Me Alive more exciting than Glamour Profession.

Date: Mon, November 24, 2014, 15:22:28 ET
Posted by: Dave (from acquisitions), Philadelphia, PA

For me, Gaucho as much as I love it, is the weakest of the bunch for me, including their solo work, save perhaps 11 tracks of whack. A lot has been made of their overall disapointment in it, the 3 year break between albums, the price increase on the sale of the record, the erasing of 2nd arrangement which would have probably been the best tune. Also there was Becker's car accident injuries. I remember reading that Fagen and Katz would play him things over the phone while he was in the hospital. I think this album is a good example of Fagen going completely nuts with perfectionism without Becker there to reel him in and of course the added pressure of trying to follow Aja. Aja with its moments of genius has such a better overall flow and confidence about it which gaucho lacks and something else of note is that by Fagen's own admission they thought this one got away from them and he quickly decided to make things a little more concise on nightfly. My favorite of the bunch is Royal Scam, i chose to see the royal scam shows at the Tower theater when they rolled through Philly, it was a unanimous vote amongst the crew i went with. Most dan fans I talk to point to scam or pretzel as their favorite from the era. Aja, Scam, and Nightfly are obviously incredibly complex and nuanced but they still somehow feel natural and jamming, Gaucho feels more robotic and cold to me but still a great album of course, their worst stuff is still miles ahead of most bands best.

Date: Mon, November 24, 2014, 13:21:01 ET
Posted by: king of the world, pangea

Third World Man took years to grow on me, but it did, very much so. It's just SO slow... I wish there had been more songs. Glamour Profession is great, unique, but still so steady, repetitive, hypnotic, and long that I don't always stay with it. Songs may have been lengthened to fill space.

Babylon Sisters, obviously one of the greats. I was defintely thinking about what it would have been like, hearing this before there was an Aja... it would have stunned. Time Out Of Mind I love. The beat will spontaneously start in my head, even when I haven't had Gaucho out recently. The other songs strike me as masterfully played and recorded but just... catchy. My Rival is cool, as a twisted jealousy song, a sort of subgenre I enjoy lately.

I have a Gaucho promo poster up on my kitchen wall. I demand credit for that...

Date: Mon, November 24, 2014, 12:30:04 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago, on the quick

A few things to throw out there to chew on about Gaucho. (Choose a favorite SD recording is like choosing the favorite of your children!)

One thing is that Joni Mitchell, in picking her favorite records by any artist for a Starbucks compilation, picked "Third World Man" as one of the dozen or so. In comments she said, if "Gaucho" had come before "Aja," then everyone would have said "Gaucho" was SD's pinnacle. Interesting to contemplate.

Another is that, was it just my screwy memory or did "The Royal Scam" have more sold out nights than "Gaucho" when they did the album nights a few tours ago? Maybe day of the week (weeknight versus weekend) had something to do with that...I dunno.



Date: Mon, November 24, 2014, 10:04:01 ET
Posted by: king of the world, the plane of pain

PS-- We were spoiled with Aja. Anything after that can too easily be seen as a letdown. If Gaucho were the only SD album I'd ever heard, I'd be fascinated by the whole thing.

Date: Mon, November 24, 2014, 07:38:35 ET
Posted by: king of the world, down in the bottom

Maybe another word for "careful" would be "controlled". Thanks Mel and Michael. What the article says seems to imply that the mood/feel of Gaucho was deliberate, the grim flatness, but Donald says otherwise here. I'd guess it was always a matter of control grappling with freshness/spontaneity for SD. The increasing perfectionism, yet the need not to control all the life out of the performances...

I am NOT a well-informed musician. I do, however, try to come up with words for what I do or don't hear/appreciate in music. I don't need to know the technicalities involved in writing, playing, or performing music to experience or relate to an album. All of that would add an interesting, extra dimension to the experience. I envy that. The idea that musicians know whether music is good, better than "laymen", though, is ridiculous. It's not a technical matter, for "experts" only. It's about the thoughts and feelings evoked in an individual.

Jolly-- Abbey Road is my favorite album. I do figure that if someone gets some great, huge experience out of a bit of music, and I don't, then that person is connecting with something I'm failing to connect with (so far). I hope I get out of Gaucho what you do someday.

There was a much steadier, more predictable beat on Gaucho, very fashionable in 1980, than on Aja, where the rhythms were fresh and varied and alive.

Date: Sun, November 23, 2014, 18:18:30 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Wayne Krantz has a new record out. 4 covers, 2 versions of each, Krantz/Nate Wood(Bass)/Keith Carlock on four and Krantz/Lefebevre (bass)/Nate Wood (drums) on the other half. Plus a few vocal interjections from Gabriela Anders sprinkled throughout.

Krantz's trio stuff can be a bit of an acquired taste for some, but I absolutely love it. Check it out here:

Date: Sun, November 23, 2014, 13:14:26 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, the trick is to know when the painting is finished

Re: Careful
I'll offer one theory: It could be that the term "careful" applied entirely to the kind of compulsive perfectionism that lead them to trashing a lot of otherwise presumably fantastic takes by various musicians for what became the actual track list for Gaucho + the lost tracks, not the song selection as such.
And maybe the painful process that ended in Wendell, is something that, even if being a milestone for music technology, seems particulary unneccessary in retrospect? I'd love to hear a properly produced version of the Gaucho album with only (though always slightly edited, I know ...) live drumming by Porcaro and the other legendary drummers from those sessions, and no Wendell. Wonder how the content of that trash can sounded? Anyway, from Donald's words in context, it seems pretty obvious that he felt that they to some degree killed the songs on Gaucho a bit under the heavy pressure they put on themselves to make it even more "perfect" than Aja.

That said, I agree to a lot of how the Stylus article writer feel about Gaucho, but again; albums of this caliber can be heard and interpreted in as many ways as there are days in the lives of the listeners alltogether.

Another question is where does composition end and arranging begin, in the world of Steely Dan?

Yet another thing that I wonder quite a lot about, is whether Walter Becker has kept one of Skunks old steels (those massive steel bars with one rounded end that lap- and pedal steel players use to slide on the strings), as a memorabilia from the old days in his shelf somewhere, or eventually has one of his own, and maybe even picks a little on a steel guitar once in a while, and if the answer is "yes, he has at least one such steel bar in his possession", does he sometimes think of it as, or even call it with audible voice, "My Little Steely Dan"?

Date: Sun, November 23, 2014, 13:04:14 ET
Posted by: Jolly, Roger

Yeah - I have never quite 'got' the Gaucho criticisms either. All very subjective, this music thing. It is probably still my favourite SD album, played more times than any other. It seemed like a perfect golden, transcendental thing to me like the Beatles Abbey Road - and the title track gave me goosebumps. I loved the glorious compositions and arrangements, the savage take on LA, the colour palette and the whole mood of it - but as I have since been told that mood was generated by D and W struggling during some kind of all-time low, what does that say about me ?!!

Date: Sun, November 23, 2014, 11:39:47 ET
Posted by: nahhh,

I don't really get the Gaucho criticism. Perhaps it feels too sterile from a purely visceral standpoint, but from a holistic standpoint (musical, compositional, lyrical, etc.) it's magnificent. I guess you can't argue with the Donald, but any time I see a criticism of the album, it's usually from someone who doesn't seem to be a well-informed musician themselves.

Date: Sun, November 23, 2014, 11:35:24 ET
Posted by: Mel, A

Here's the quote

'Gaucho' (1980)

Fagen: "We were trying to do something that sounded as fresh as 'Aja' and of equal quality, and it didn't feel as good, because we were working under that pressure. Some of the tracks sound a little too careful.

Date: Sun, November 23, 2014, 07:55:39 ET
Posted by: Michael, Re: "Too careful"

Donald's speaking from a first-person view, being the principle composer. My guess is that he felt that he was too rigid in his songwriting approach.

What happens is that as you compose, over time you tend to develop little idiosyncrasies and, if you're not careful, these can even impose upon your creativity, even subconsciously. There is a lot more to composing than arranging dots on a stave, believe me.

Date: Sat, November 22, 2014, 13:47:19 ET
Posted by: king of the world, somewhere on my old ham radio

What did he mean by "careful", do you know? I remember one of them saying at the time of 2AN that they might have gotten a wee bit carried away with the perfectionism on Aja, after hearing again the takes they'd rejected back then, which were great, apparently.

Date: Sat, November 22, 2014, 11:02:26 ET
Posted by: Mel, A

Fagen has said that in retrospect, some of the tracks on Gaucho seem too careful.

Date: Sat, November 22, 2014, 04:13:06 ET
Posted by: king of the world, twilight zone of the nervous system

That article was useful. It would seem to explain both why Gaucho is good, and why I don't like it as much as the other albums. That flat, empty, anti-climactic feel seems to have been intentional. It's as if enjoyment of music is beside the point. It's coming from a soul-deadening place.

Date: Fri, November 21, 2014, 18:55:12 ET
Posted by: Steve Gennarelli, Tampa, FL

Thanks Chris for sharing the article about "Gaucho".

Definitely one of my favorite albums of All Time. Too bad we didn't get the writers impression of "The Second Arrangement".

Wonder what he would have thought of that...

Over time it's getting to be one of my favorite tunes..lost or not.

Date: Fri, November 21, 2014, 10:53:29 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Gaucho was released today in 1980. Here's an article I really like from a few years back. It's a little overwrought but it really hits on what it is about Gaucho that makes it my favorite record of all time.

Date: Fri, November 21, 2014, 08:04:31 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, "everone's out of step except me"

Doc �, the first time I heard and saw that Snarky Puppy/ Lalah Hathaway clip, I literally had to pick my jaw up from the floor. Seems like the boys in the band had a similar problem!

Jim T., your buddy sounds like a guy from whom one could learn quite a lot and pick up a few anecdotes. :-) Will get back to this!
You mention he has a regular seat in the Baton Rouge Symphony. Here's a funny story about one of the violinists in The Oslo Philharmonic who is infamous for his absentmindedness. One day some years ago, he arrives for rehearsals - 20 minutes late, as usual. The Concert House has several rehearsal rooms, and our man actually manages to enter the wrong one, where a different orchestra is in the middle of a new piece. He is used to feeling a bit disoriented, and "his" seat in the string section is actually available, so he sneaks in between the others and sit down and look at his sheets, which are not at all what they are playing. But he isn't all lost; he just peeks at the neighbor's sheets and tries to play along as best he can. Then, in the first break, he looks at the conductor and the rest of the orchestra again, shakes his head and concludes: "Damned, so many substitutes here today!"

Date: Fri, November 21, 2014, 07:53:04 ET
Posted by: Michael,

@Jazzassin, cool beans. I've known about him for about a year or so, but didn't know he covered SD tunes.

Hutch, those intros are similar. Funny thing about EGTTM and other SD tunes with subversive, dark themes: some people believe they're endorsing the lifestyles of the characters presented.

Date: Fri, November 21, 2014, 04:31:43 ET
Posted by: Still Sparkin', Hong Kong

I was just reading the Wiki entry on Burt Bacharach.

This particular part struck me:

'Bacharach showed a keen interest in jazz as a teenager, disliking his classical piano lessons, and often using fraudulent identification to gain admission into 52nd Street nightclubs such as Spotlite to see bebop musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, who were a major influence on him.[7]'

Like DF.

So that's the path to greatness. Sneak into NYC jazz clubs.

Date: Fri, November 21, 2014, 03:44:29 ET
Posted by: Peabody, North Carolina

Jim, Do you know if Woody Allen is a friend of this man? Just curious, Thanks.

Date: Fri, November 21, 2014, 01:56:21 ET
Posted by: Jim Taylor, Hello, Baton Rouge

Hey,@ Jazzassin, there is a dude here in Baton Rouge who has 3 radio shows: The first features Dixieland, the second features big band and the third features baroque. He is said to have the largest collection of Dixieland Jazz in the world. I sit right behind him sometimes at the Baton Rouge Symphony. He is older than dirt and is digitalizing his collection. E-mail me and I will get y'all in touch. Sounds like you and he could make beautiful music together.

Date: Thurs, November 20, 2014, 22:03:05 ET
Posted by: Flatbush Chuck, That NYC

First record by a "black artist" purchased? Wait-- are we going by the rules from my "70s high school days, whereunder Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix didn't count?

Date: Thurs, November 20, 2014, 21:59:44 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

SP Grammy winning performance with Lalah Hathaway

This is the track where she sings freaking CHORDS during her scat (6:12 -

Date: Thurs, November 20, 2014, 18:58:50 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, that moanin' Minnie

It just occured to me that I might, I repeat MIGHT, have been the unsuspecting victim of a cynical marketing trick designed by the music industry to capture up (and coming) young boys' hearts and then some. Subliminal information and all that stuff, you know. Better open a can of coke and think it over and try to take a lesson from it, so it won't happen again.

Date: Thurs, November 20, 2014, 17:41:54 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, NEVER, I say!

Forgive the clumsy syntax of the header below. I plead out-of-state, not native english speaker, etc. etc., and besides, I was only 12 at the time.

Date: Thurs, November 20, 2014, 17:16:49 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, I don't have heard about that single, and I never take a peek at the cover

Bert, like yourself, I found out about the Rotary Connection much later, and it sure is something different. Actually, I don't think I've heard about many other bands that fit into the description "psychedelic chamber soul" ... Well worth a check if one is in the right mode, so to speak. ;-)

As for Minnie ... well ... what can I say ... My much older brother came home with that damned Lovin' You single that you didn't like. Youthful bravado? Hubris? Testosteron levels rising like sap in the birches at springtime? Likely. Did I promptly fall in love with this girl? Check.

From a pure musical point of view, it turned out much of the rest of the album is not fillers, but rather more interesting and experimental things than said single, and has many good songs.

Date: Thurs, November 20, 2014, 16:07:16 ET
Posted by: Bert, Albany, NY

Hey Jazzassin...Can you tell me what motivated you to buy that Minnie Riperton album? I admit I didn't like her hit single "Lovin' You" at the time, but years later I discovered she was in a soul/jazz/rock fusion band called The Rotary Connection in the late '60's. Phil Upchurch was one of the members. That band was way ahead of its time and never achieved the recognition it deserved. Every recording they made still sounds phenomenal.

Date: Thurs, November 20, 2014, 14:21:29 ET
Posted by: king of the world, strip mall hell

First album by anyone black: Innervisions, Stevie Wonder. Great from start to finish, and that's a rare thing.

Date: Thurs, November 20, 2014, 13:40:51 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

Jazzassin & Michael - I thought they were starting off Everyone's Gone to the Movies. Similar chords and groove at the intro. Good song.

Date: Thurs, November 20, 2014, 13:07:43 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Ol�!

Michael, Ole B. is one of Norway's most active performer of SD covers. Funny you stumbled upon him.

Date: Thurs, November 20, 2014, 11:59:23 ET
Posted by: Michael, Infectious

Ole B�rud - Stepping Up - Live 2014

I LIKE it.

Date: Thurs, November 20, 2014, 11:16:00 ET
Posted by: Bill Cosby, Home

All my records are black, but I'm still looking to acquire that red vinyl Aja release.

Date: Thurs, November 20, 2014, 07:52:45 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, a whiter shade of a very light nuance of pale

A week and a half a go a thread was started asking what was our first "black" record, that we bought and owned ourselves?

I was lucky to grow up in a home where there was always music, and my dad used to have a home office with thousands of records, mostly giants of american jazz music, and mostly black. He worked partly as a music journalist and national jazz radio dj, and reviewed music for several papers back then, so they literally threw vinyl at him. I was brain-washed by genious black music already from birth, right in the middle of the whitest of white western middle-class. But I think the first black record that I bought myself was actually Minnie Riperton's 1974 album "Perfect Angel", though I think it was in '75 that I bought it. I was 12 that fall. The next was probably Earth, Wind & Fire's "Spirit" in '76.

Date: Wed, November 19, 2014, 19:48:01 ET
Posted by: Michael,

Ed Motta has a huge collection of albums, thousands of 'em.

Date: Wed, November 19, 2014, 12:54:59 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Victoria

Norwegian online drummer magazine did an interview with Larnell Lewis from Snarky Puppy. I expect it to be on in a few days.

In the meantime, here's same drummer magazine interviewing Keith Carlock when he visited the same club with Mike Stern just a few weeks ago. I was unfortunately not able to go and see them:

Date: Wed, November 19, 2014, 09:55:10 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, more

Saint Nick Urfe, I'm grateful for your concern. Everything is very expencive over here. The re-design of the currency is mostly make-up on an old whore. But we will probably get along for another few years before there's lights out in wonderland. At least we have a good soundtrack for the end scenes. Keep dancing.

fagenism, really looking forward to the Metropole album. Brand new compositions for Snarky Puppy + a 60-something piece orchestra regarded as one of Europe's best all-round entertainment orchestras. Jim Beard and Pat Metheny have both recorded with them, as well.

Also, the puppies will record another "before a live audience" - album in a few months called "Family Dinner Volume II". Volume I had various vocalists, mostly female, guest appearing. Or often doing their own thing while being backed by SP, to be more precise.
Volume II will use the same basic concept (guests), but different ones. Maybe some singers, maybe some instrumentalsts. Expect some interesting partners. The names will be revealed on their social networking things (Twitter, FB) within a week or so, according to M. League.

Date: Wed, November 19, 2014, 09:26:03 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

Jazzassin, now I find out that Norway has the coolest new passport design in the world, your currency is being reworked into the coolest in the world, and, as already mentioned, you're at the top of the economic heap. To top it off, the working title of Steely Dan's new album is "Norway," (or at least it would be if there was a new Steely Dan album and it had a working title). You're on a roll!

Date: Wed, November 19, 2014, 09:20:24 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, sorry, Larnell. Typo trolls, you know

That's LARNELL Lewis on drums & perc, not Narnell, of course. Apologize for the misspelling.

Date: Wed, November 19, 2014, 08:47:56 ET
Posted by: fagenism, She go (I cry)

Lovely report on the Snarky Puppy concert, Jazzassin. This is an otherworldly band led by a genius composer in Michael League. Let me add that they recorded a new album with the Metropole Orchestra earlier this year, to be released in 2015.

To those not yet initiated I would suggest checking out Thing Of Gold on YouTube. I vividly recall hearing this song for the very first time. The experience was not unlike being introduced to The Dan's Almost Gothic, Pat Metheny's First Circle or Duke Ellington's Mount Harissa. Your brain is not quite processing what is going on under the hood of the composition, but you know it has forever changed you.

The song is graced by a solo by the aforementioned Shaun Martin which speaks for itself:

Date: Wed, November 19, 2014, 07:01:37 ET
Posted by: sp,

nice catch on the FM-Skate U link! Super cool to hear they dig SD.

Date: Wed, November 19, 2014, 06:53:05 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Gas Only Island

Hey Philippe, thanks again for putting us/me on the Snarky track a few years ago! I've been listening and listening again to their CDs and DVDs, discussed with fellow fans and generally made them my new musical favorite puppy!

Will check out Geyster a little later! :)

Date: Wed, November 19, 2014, 06:41:59 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, still in shock

Chris, that's correct. The two keyboard players who was in the band on saturday was Bill Laurance (mostly Fender Rhodes and acoustic piano [Nord Stage] - just out with a new solo album, had a 15 min acoustic piano solo) and Justin Stanton (mostly Rhodes and assorted synths + trumpet). The others were Michael League - bass guitar, bass synth; Narnell Lewis & Nate Werth - drums, percussion; Chris McQueen - el.guitar; Chris Bullock - tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute; Jay Jennings - trumpet, fl�gelhorn and Mike "Maz" Maher - trumpet, fl�gelhorn.
I promise, the lack of maestros Cory Henry and Shaun Martin on keys, and Sput Searight on drums, didn't bother anyone for a second. When Snarky Puppy plays, they effectively occupy your mind and every sense to a degree where it's completely impossible to think about anything else than here & now, bless them. And even without the three afforementioned popular rotating members, they deliver a set so virtuous and immersive, right there and then you just think "if anyone ever topped this, I wouldn't survive it".

Date: Wed, November 19, 2014, 06:27:29 ET
Posted by: Philippe, Pau France

Hi Jazzassin,
I knew Snarky Puppy would be a hit on the Blue. In France their biggest fan is Fr�d�ric Goaty, the chief editor, also a hudge Dan fan, he interviewed both Donald and Walter. I know him a bit, in the old, before mp3's, days, I gave him a k7 with Kulee Baba and the other unreleased songs.
Now for another listening suggestion, please try Geyster, a one man project, Gael Benyamin, a French guy,I won't use the word smooth as it's often reminiscent of boring Kenny G sort of easy jazz but give it a try, some of you may find some pleasure listening to him.
He will soon release a triple album, with some songs co-written and co-sung with Ed Motta, such as this one:
The lyrics wil probably sound lame to you, the guy is french, but the sound has a late 70's, Steely Danish feeling that I love.
He has released 6 or 7 albums already, they all have a few gems on them, I let you explore his music through Spotify or whatever .
A suivre

Date: Tues, November 18, 2014, 23:13:53 ET
Posted by: Jerome Aniton, Santa Monica

Mr. Stanley Dan... whatever...

Date: Tues, November 18, 2014, 19:15:04 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Jazassasin - You might have seen them with their actual full-time keyboard player. His names escapes me but I believe he's based out of the UK and is on their records. I think he's a pretty serious R&B cat. Cory Henry is a touring member I believe. One of the remarkable things about Snarky Puppy is the fact that they have a lot of talent rotating in and out of the touring ensemble and still manage to slay audiences every night.

I mentioned Cory Henry because the last I had heard of him was maybe 5 or so years ago when someone sent me a video of a young kid playing incredible organ in church. Fast forward to September and I'm asking my little cousin if he knows who that dude is - I had no idea - and I find out it's the same kid. I looked him up later and found out he's played with basically everyone since then. Gotta say, I'm 27 and the cultural zeitgeist has passed me by, but there is some absolutely nasty music out there being made by folks my age. It's easy to write off new music in 2014 if all you're hearing is top 40 radio, but if you peel that back you'll find a band like Snarky Puppy once in a great while. Just because Fagen only buys old records doesn't mean you have to. :)


On another note - got a call from some timeshare company today informing me I won free airfare to Hawaii thanks to a contest I entered at "the Stanley Dan concert." Hmm ...

Date: Tues, November 18, 2014, 18:06:03 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Here, there and every now and then

@Jordan: The future of jazz? Lets hope so! They have a tremendous artistic momentum these days, so without predicting the future, I think we can safely say that at least they are the "now" of jazz, actually.

Date: Tues, November 18, 2014, 14:34:23 ET
Posted by: Jordan, Santa Ana CA

I love bands/artists like Snarky Puppy, Trombone Shorty and Robert Glasper. I think they are the future of jazz.

Date: Tues, November 18, 2014, 11:52:54 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Oops ...

... Chris, I didn't see your comment until I'd posted mine. See below for Cory Henry info.

Date: Tues, November 18, 2014, 11:50:52 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, and they call it puppy love

Thanks, Hutch! I had a blast! Full musical massage for the body, heart and mind!

One out of many particulary memorable moments was when they played Lingus, a tune normally serving as a vehicle for keyboard player Cory Henry's unhuman skills on the synth. It's (one of) his big solo number(s), really. But Cory was not present at this gig, and instead of letting one of the other brilliant keyboardists take it away, it was Jay Jennings who blew for his bare life for ten minutes on the fl�gelhorn with some gnarly effect until he went indigo. Insane performance and a surprising twist.

I'm pretty sure he had a decompression tank behind a curtain somewhere up there that he used for recovery while taking a short break a few seconds later, in a passage that didn't require his active contribution, but I did not actually see it. However, my glasses were off most of the evening as a precaution; pit-dancing, clumsy men over 50 should never wear glasses, so I'll have to attribute the lack of direct visual observation to this fact. I already hear critical voices of reason argue that pit-dancing, clumsy men over 50 may absolutely wear glasses, but should rather stay away from pit-dancing. We will of course think it over, and then fine-think it over again, process it as the heartfelt advice that it obviously is, before we reject it. In the mean time we suggest critics take off their own glasses to not be bothered by the view. Eventually, a compression tank could be an alternative.

Date: Tues, November 18, 2014, 11:30:51 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Hutch, I agree. For anyone who is interested, check out their records - most recent one and Ground Up are most representative of what they're doing these days. They're all live in the studio.

Jazassasin, very cool show report. I saw them in Sept at the Berklee Performance Center. Very different vibe - 1000+ capacity theater and we were literally in the last row of the balcony, so not a whole lot of Q&A - but still an incredible experience. There are only a few shows I've been to where I've really, truly lost myself in the music from start to finish. Was Cory Henry playing with them when you saw them?

Date: Tues, November 18, 2014, 10:04:13 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

Jazzassin - I'm glad you finally got to see Snarky Puppy live. I saw them a year ago at a small college theater and I was completely blown away. The bassist and leader, Michael League, sets up in the center of the group and directs things, but in a subtle way. Their extended jams build and build until you virtually burst with joy. It's a memorable musical experience like no other. Exquisite musicianship.
I would say to anyone on this board... if you would travel 100 miles or more to see Steely Dan then you you should do the same for Snarky Puppy.

Date: Tues, November 18, 2014, 06:49:18 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Skate me

Forgot the Skate U link:

Date: Tues, November 18, 2014, 06:45:50 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Copa Cabana with Nineteen

@Jim: The Fagen interview may be a rehash, but nevertheless worth a listen. Always a pleasure to hear Donalds voice when he is relaxed and enjoys himself. Also, KD posted this on November 10.

Abu: thanks for the Astrometric Star heads-up.

And Wasabi: the Barely Manenough idea was too absurd not to be a good one. I'd love to see that happenning! :D

On saturday yours truly saw Snarky Puppy twice in Oslo, Norway. Two club gigs for 300 people, 3h20m total playing time. I'd never thought I'd have one of the greatest live experiences of my life in my fifty-second year, but that's what it was. I've seen SD, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, Pat Metheny, Weather Report, Frank Zappa and a gazillion other great acts, but I swear Snarky Puppy wipes the barroom floor with anyone on a night like last saturday.

Also, they were great, cool, casual guys who made themselves available to the audience after and inbetween concerts. I got the opportunity to ask whether the intro for their tune "Skate U" was actually meant as a nod to Steely Dan's "FM" , and the answer was yes. Both Michael League, their bassist and band leader, and Mike "Maz" Maher, trumpet & fl�gelhorn, are huge fans, and Maz had indeed FM in mind when he made the intro to Skate U. Their increasing popularity IS very much based on word-of-mouth, but Michael League was actually both surprised and happy to hear that I had first heard about them on a SD message board. Thanks to Philippe & fagenism for this great tip!

As for setlist policies, I really admire their boldness. No setlist at all, just a bunch of songs that will or not be played at any given time, and the two gigs (7 PM & 10 PM) were not the same at all. Only two overlapping songs, apart from that it all felt like one long session with a dinner break. And the two songs that was played twice didn't sound the same at all, either. A night of pure magic, and I strongly recommend you go to a show when they come to a venue near you.

Date: Tues, November 18, 2014, 03:52:34 ET
Posted by: Wasabi, Salem, MA

What I really want to hear is for Steely Dan songs to get the "Barry Manilow treatment". Manilow is always doing tribute albums these days, so what I would like to see is a "Barry Manilow sings Steely Dan" album. I'm not kidding around. Donny Osmond did a good cover of Peg. Now it's Manilow's turn.

Date: Tues, November 18, 2014, 02:27:37 ET
Posted by: Abu, On The Road Home

Not sure if this has been mentioned or discussed here, but I just found an album that was released this past summer, featuring some fantastic instrumental arrangements of five Dan tunes. They are an 18-piece group that sounds like a "big band" of sorts, with plenty of horns. They are called "Astrometric Star", made up of some top-notch musicians in L.A. They cover "Green Earrings", "Kid Charlemagne", and perform a nicely-arranged medley of "Aja / Hey Nineteen / Do It Again". One of them has been posted on Youtube:

IMHO, great-sounding stuff from this new group. Check out their website,, for the players and info about the release.


Date: Mon, November 17, 2014, 19:35:22 ET
Posted by: h, with thanks to h, chicago

Can't listen right now, but here's a link to an interview with Donald. Is this new or a rehash of something from last year?



Date: Sat, November 15, 2014, 12:37:22 ET
Posted by: CJB, YVR

We just got Spotify in Canada, and one of my staff loaded it onto our shop-floor computer.

Futzing around with its playlists, I find something called "Donald Fagen's Favorite Soul Tracks." About an hour long, some standards, some new-to-me songs, one great Joe Tex song & one mis-coded version of the Chi-Lites that inexplicably jumps to a 90s? rap act that samples from the original song, probably not what DF intended.

Sorry if this is old news, if not, enjoy!

Date: Fri, November 14, 2014, 08:09:50 ET
Posted by: Michael, oops

Actual link

Sorry 'bout that.

Date: Fri, November 14, 2014, 08:08:30 ET
Posted by: Michael, new song

Man In The Phone

[url=]Man In The Phone[/url]

Date: Fri, November 14, 2014, 06:08:37 ET
Posted by: king of world, erewhon

I tried to make a joke on a deeply unfunny night... oops.

Date: Fri, November 14, 2014, 02:45:48 ET
Posted by: Lefty, Berekely CA

Everytime Irvine Azoff is in the news it's always bad for the music fans. He thought concert tickets were underpriced so he merged Live Nation and Ticketmaster together so he could jack up the prices on concert tickets and VIP packages. Please tell this man to retire.

Date: Fri, November 14, 2014, 02:40:33 ET
Posted by: king of the world, Dollar Land

Dear potential royal scamee Vlad: The time-honored foolproof method of participating in the American Dream is to emigrate here, and work in squalor with the vague promise that your descendants will do better.

Date: Fri, November 14, 2014, 00:18:14 ET
Posted by: Stinkbutt, Georgetown

Heinous corporate mogul Irving Azoff can kiss my ass.

Date: Thurs, November 13, 2014, 23:13:45 ET
Posted by: Homeboy, Newark

Greedy Irving Azoff stinks. I can't stand him. YouTube will prevail.

Date: Thurs, November 13, 2014, 18:22:25 ET
Posted by: Vladimir, Minsk

Mother Russia flys bomber aeroplanes at U.S. always poking, sticking, poking. These brings us closer to the worlds of smoking cobalt cigarettes, necking in that bombing shelter, and going for this sweetheart sunset special and the kissing the checkout girls.

Vlad outs!!!!!!

Date: Thurs, November 13, 2014, 12:36:41 ET
Posted by: froom,

Shame SD hasn't played "Florida Room" live. Amazing tune. Really cool Fagen chose to play that. Does suggest the set list choice for SD choices very much does pander to the masses.

Date: Thurs, November 13, 2014, 11:15:36 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

Also, YouTube clips stink sound-wise, but in a pinch they're a wonderful resource to have. Irving Azoff is currently threatening to take his clients' music off of YouTube, which would affect Steely/Fagen clips.

Date: Thurs, November 13, 2014, 10:55:48 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

I'm lucky to be Twitter buddies with Kiefo Nilsson, a fantastic musician and funny dude is who is also Harry's son.

He told me he was in NYC this week accepting an ASCAP award on behalf of his family, and that Donald was also at the event taking in yet another ASCAP award. Relayed that Don played Duke Ellington's 'Come Sunday' on an acoustic piano and that it was typically great -- though Fagen was his usual self; a little embarrassed, hurried, probably not all that happy to make the appointment.

Hopefully, like his fabulous 'Florida Room' arrangement from a few years back, this makes the YouTube rounds:

Date: Thurs, November 13, 2014, 09:45:52 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

KD, thanks for posting that podcast. A really great listen - the interviewer really knows his shit, offers some great insights and gets Fagen to really open up.

Date: Wed, November 12, 2014, 13:50:04 ET
Posted by: James, San Francisco

Last time I saw Joni Mitchell perform live was back in 1998 with Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. It was a triple headliner tour. Sure would like to see that happen again.

Date: Wed, November 12, 2014, 10:29:48 ET

Good Stuff KD, but I think it was Harry Caray that Joni had an encounter with?

Date: Wed, November 12, 2014, 09:18:11 ET
Posted by: Dan Belcher, Louisville, KY

@Jim Taylor, bummed I didn't get to make it to Nashville and hang out with you too. Melissa and I just bought a house a few months ago, and so I was on the fence about going anyway. When I finally decided to look for tickets, they were already sold out except for a couple single seats way in the back. Luckily I at least got to see Boz Scaggs at the Lexington Opera House a couple weeks ago (and then just days later took Melissa to see Garth Brooks for her birthday -- not gonna lie, I had a blast. He's a great entertainer!)

Date: Tues, November 11, 2014, 19:26:53 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, nowadays

Jim T, that makes perfect sense.

�In the beginner�s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert�s there are few.� � Zen Master Shunryo Suzuki

Age, generations and eras of memory cells not in record mode: Are you implying the 70's are over? Or are you just travelling in time?
Myself, I'm the kid brother brat that was always let in at the wrong places too early, and even if a little younger than you, I therefore share your references as to which decades will and must be remembered with careful selectivity. But where was I ... Ah! Sweet music, Punch Miller!

And KD, thanks for the Fagen podcast & Carey article! Good stuff!

Date: Tues, November 11, 2014, 18:20:52 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

Joni Mitchell on meeting/recording Cary/"Carey" --

That song really has become Steely Dan fans' great white whale. I'm dying to hear what Don and Walt did to that very un-Dan like arrangement.

Date: Tues, November 11, 2014, 14:11:07 ET
Posted by: Jim Taylor, Hello, Baton Rouge

@Jazzassin: I am 60, so I remember the 60's quite well. It's my behavior during the 70's and 80's (and particular parts of the 90's and 2000's that I prefer not to discuss)that I can't remember. At the age of 9-14, I was not in the setlistpsersonnel mode of listening to music that I am in today. It was an innocent age where I just sat there and listened without discernment or judgment. I should do some research as to who was playing at various New Orleans clubs and dives during that period. But I will never, ever be able to state that on any given night, I heard Punch Miller, George Lewis or Sweet Emma Barrett. But I am sure that I did.


I hope you can listen to this raucous performance.

Date: Tues, November 11, 2014, 13:28:30 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, the windmills of your mind

Jim Taylor, this is business as usual. It's like they say; those who remember the '60s wasn't there.

Date: Tues, November 11, 2014, 13:22:58 ET
Posted by: king of the world, grand fenwick

Thanks, NU. That post got me searching for the book SD referenced in Two Against Nature, and now I have to request that, after The Magus ('Against Nature' by J.K. Huysmans). The title page says "A novel without a plot". That sold me on it, strangely.

Anyone who wants to go off on SD lit references, okay by me certainly...

Date: Tues, November 11, 2014, 12:10:06 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

KOTW - I recommend the original release.

To try to squeeze something Dangential into all of this, The Magus would be a fine literary reference for an SD song.

Date: Tues, November 11, 2014, 11:36:10 ET
Posted by: Jim Taylor, Hello, Baton Rouge

I do have to say, that in the middle 60's we would go into Preservation Hall, because there was no alcohol and there were no strippers, so kids were allowed in. I wish I could tell you who I heard play there during that period: 1963-1968, but I have no idea.

Date: Tues, November 11, 2014, 10:59:33 ET
Posted by: king of the world, the embryo room

PS-- Good story of Les Doobs in flux, Jim Taylor. Oh, the story about your father taking the family to listen to New Orleans jazz without actually going in was great too...

Thanks for the concern about my wasting $, Drew, Jim Johnson. Telling me how bad a movie can just spur me on though...

Date: Tues, November 11, 2014, 10:45:43 ET
Posted by: king of the world, the infinity room

Hey, I'm fairly sure now that I did rent The Magus a few years ago. Worst-Caine-movie-ever rang a bell and then further Googling ... No spoilage of the book possible for me... don't remember a damn thing. I'm going to ask Talking Books for the audio cartridge of it... NU and anyone knowledgeable, should I get the original 1965 version, or the apparently revised (by Fowles) 1977 version?

Learned a term this afternoon: "metafiction".

Date: Tues, November 11, 2014, 00:24:05 ET
Posted by: Jim Taylor, Hello, Baton Rouge

I went back through this thread. The first "black" album I bought was a Louis Armstrong album that I (my mom) bought my dad for Christmas (or his birthday... whatever). My dad had a strange habit of putting the fam in the car and driving from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, where we would wander around the French Quarter standing outside of questionable establishments listening to Dixieland bands. Apart from church, it was the first live music I had ever heard. We never went in, obviously, because we (the kids) were like, 10, 8 and 6. But we would be there until mom insisted that we leave. ( I have no idea to this day what she thought was going on.) I remember being in a JC Penny's one day and picked out a Louis Armstrong album for dad. I also used to buy him Duck Decoys as well...

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 23:58:44 ET
Posted by: Jim Taylor, Hello, Baton Rouge

Pardon me if I have told y'all this story before...I saw the first performance of Michael McDonald with the Doobies in Baton Rouge. It's a long story. The short version, I got thrown out by the police. I went back to the Box Office and bought another ticket and snuck back in hiding in a row next to my sister and brother. The show was postponed due to Tom Johnston's illness. They flew in Mike McDonald and they rehearsed all weekend at the old Independence Hall down by the River. 2 or three days later we went back and saw a new lineup. Tom Johnston gone... Mike McDonald in. I was thrilled, because the only reason I went to the show in the first place was to see Skunk Baxter. I liked the Doobies ok, but got tired of hearing them at the American boarding school I attended in England in 1973. At this point I was all about SD, and the fact that I had 2 Ex SD guys on stage thrilled me to no end. Great show... All the DB hits with Mike McDonald singing. Great memory...

By the way, great to see Dan Belcher posting. I missed the Louisville contingent in Nashville. I was hoping to meet up with Dan and El Supremo...

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 23:36:10 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Nicholas, it might be awhile before I get to it (and give it's length, get through it). But I will let you know..

Very hard for me to pinpoint my firs "black music" album. I listed to a lot of soul music growing up, but typically bought singles when I was very young. Also my older brother and sister owned a lot of diverse music, so it is all kind of mixed up in my mind. Then there is the question of what really constitutes "black music".

I know the first jazz album that was mine, was Cannonball Adderley's Country Preacher. I got that at the end of 1969 I think. I was almost 13! But I'm pretty sure I had Temptations, 5th Dimension and Sly and the Family Stone albums about the same time---probably even before. I'm guessing the James Brown, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Aretha albums belonged to my brother and sister---but I listened to them all the time. I certainly owned Dionne Warwick albums well before that, but is that really Black music?

Now I know I had plenty of Marvin Gaye, The Dells, Archie Bell, Stylistics, Harold Melvin---need I go on? But I'm pretty sure they were mostly singles. A lot of the Motown and Sound of Philadelphia stuff.

Mix in Chamber Brothers, Hendrix, Buddy Miles and such too--but again, black music or not?

Whatever it was, it was and is, pretty damn good!

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 22:46:28 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

The Stoned Soul Picnic album by The 5th Dimension. I still like it.

The Dean, it will be interesting to get your take on The Magus. I first read it for a college class at age 19 and was entranced. I re-read it every few years and always find that it gives me something different each time. It has influenced my worldview.

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 22:30:13 ET
Posted by: Pablo, Boulder, CO

First record by a black group or solo act that I bought was Up, Up and Away by The 5th Dimension.

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 22:02:54 ET
Posted by: Mongoose, at home

Mine was The Time Has Come Today by The Chambers Brothers

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 22:00:41 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach


"He became more selective"

There may be others.

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 21:59:25 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

That's one great Woody Allen quote, re: The Magus. I have yet to read the book (or see the movie) but I just ordered from Amazon (the book). And, while Michael Caine is a great actor, he's been in a few real stinkers. So for that to be his worst is really saying something. Caine has always been honest about his career, I think. Early in his career he said he took any, and every, role that came his way. But as he became more successful he can more selective. (Quite the opposite of some actors, it seems. I'm looking at you, Pacino.)

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 21:47:44 ET
Posted by: trivia question,

What was the first record by a Black group or solo act that you bought?

Mine was The Cisco Kid by War.

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 18:49:27 ET
Posted by: Jim Johnson, Los Angeles

Michael Caine has always said that The Magus is the worst movie he's ever been in. I agree. If you must see it than I suggest you rent/stream it out from Amazon Instant Video for $2.99.

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 17:54:12 ET
Posted by: Drew, Branson, MO

Hey, king of the world: Please don't waste your money on buying The Magus DVD. It's one of the worst films I've ever seen. Truly awful. Maybe you could rent it out from Netflix or see if it pops up on cable, but please don't buy it.

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 14:56:17 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

I haven't listened to it yet, but this counts as news: Donald Fagen appearing on Elvis Mitchell's podcast:

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 14:17:16 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, cue 23

Nicholas, I actually read it again just a couple of years ago, as a consequence of you reminding me about how much I liked it when i was a young man. It was still great I think. I feared I would be disappointed to re-read it now, but the only thing that felt outdated was the time-specific backdrop. Society has changed for better and worse in so many ways since back in the days. And this is hardly a relevant objection, since good books always have certain timeless qualities.

Regarding my country's good fortune, things work like this: Offshore oil & gas drilling engineers, the military industry and fish exporters are filling up the government's money vault until it ruptures, then me and my colleagues in the arts & culture sector (to a large degree a government-sponsored sector) spend it. Repeat. Piece of cake. My part, at least. A brilliant arrangement, if I may say so. :D

'nuff said. We need to get some Steely news in pretty soon before this whole place turns into a sewing circle.

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 12:12:05 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

Jazzassin, Norway was recently proclaimed the most affluent country on earth. Congratulations, and please send money.

I don't know if The Magus would be as captivating if first read when one is age 50 rather than age 18, but it captured my imagination at a young age and has not let go.

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 12:06:07 ET
Posted by: king of the world, novaya zemyla

Apparently Woody Allen was once asked how he would relive his life, had he the chance to do it all over again, and he said everything would be the same, except that he wouldn't see that movie of "The Magus". Of course, now I have to see it.

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 11:42:22 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, rainbound

Too long or not too long, that is the question. ;)

Knowledgable people have contributed to the Doobie thread, and I thank you all for doing so. I for one, have learned a lot. It has also been a good opportunity to listen to a bunch of mostly very fine albums again with new ears.

As for the origin of our fellow Dandom citizen Nicholas Urfe's handle, I strongly recommend the novel "The Magus" by J. Fowles, but please, please do not get anywhere close to the movie based upon said book. At least if you haven't already read it. It could've become a great movie; the plot really asks for a life on the big screen. But the truth is it's just bad, bad, bad, and it drags a literary masterpiece through the mud. Better left unseen.

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 10:33:28 ET
Posted by: king of the world, sealand

Since you posted that, NU, I've found out by Googling that, yes, FSP was written about Johnston, and once I read the lyrics, I didn't need the confirmation. It all made sense. It always seemed heavy with some sort of meaning, but I was frustrated by having no idea what it was, like I was only hearing half the song.

I also Googled Nicolas Urfe and the book/film The Magus. Anyway, the Doobies are so connected to Steely Dan they can't be all that much off-topic.

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 10:17:10 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

Apologies for contributing to the Doobies talk, it's getting pretty long. I'll drop it after this.

I always thought that Tiran Porter wrote For Someone Special specifically about Tom Johnston. And just look at Johnston's picture on that album - he might have contributed to a song, but he was largely absent or out of the band.

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 08:02:20 ET
Posted by: Michael, @KD

In all my years, I've never come across someone who didn't like music on account of it sounding too "black," aside from rap/hip-hop, but then that's a genre. Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, EW&F, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and far too many others to list.

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 04:05:31 ET
Posted by: king of the world, place where monkey woman twiddles thumbs

Add in Tiran Porter to that. For Someone Special might be the best thing on that album. There, that's all the writers, I think...

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 03:57:42 ET
Posted by: world king, earth's surface

I'd have loved to have had Johnston, Simmons, and McDonald all together and fusing styles on a series of albums. Taking It To the Streets sounds very unlike what came after as well as what came before. What a missed opportunitry. I'll listen again to For SWomeone Special for the story on Johnston's exit, though he was still around at that point...

I don't waste energy on racism-denying. So much of the instinctive reactions people have in life baffle me, and if racism can explain some of that, great. I'd have had no clue about that woman's backlash to the influences on "Josie".

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014, 00:51:04 ET
Posted by: Doobie Dan, SF

Rick Moranis of SCTV must of had some kind of fascination with the Michael McDonald period of The Doobie Brothers. Just type in "Happy Birthday, Gary Taubes" on YouTube and watch the full 10 minute video. My favorite part is in the middle with The Doobie Brothers for Carpets Galore commercial. It's hilarious.

Date: Sun, November 09, 2014, 22:00:39 ET
Posted by: NU, P

Oops - Johnston.

Date: Sun, November 09, 2014, 21:58:55 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

For a glimpse at Johnstone leaving the Doobies, just listen to "For Someone Special." It tells the whole story.

Date: Sun, November 09, 2014, 12:54:10 ET
Posted by: useless, info

You can learn a lot reading the Dummies series books. Did you know that global steel production has increased 250 percent since the release of Can't Buy a Thrill?

Date: Sun, November 09, 2014, 12:02:22 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

Guys ... white men on a Steely Dan message board ...

I'm saying some stupid guys, some 35 years ago, said and did some stupid things. Not you.

Date: Sun, November 09, 2014, 08:26:16 ET
Posted by: Michael,

I don't like every "racial" style of music. For instance, I'm not big on the Gamelan or Hindustani.


Seriously though, I doubt that objections to McDonald+Doobies consisted of people who despise "black" R&B influence. More likely, they grew accustomed to the Doobies' original sound and didn't want anyone messin' with it, not unlike what would happen if Donald Fagen's role in SD were taken over by David Byrne or something - the sound would change drastically. No offense intended to David Byrne.

While we're at it, shouldn't we categorize so-called black music as "white" influenced? After all, Europeans were the first to come upon the tonal systems, styles and most of the instruments most commonly employed in the music we listen to. Before that, traditional African music consisted primarily of tribal percussion and dance with prominent Arabian influence.

Actually, what we're hearing today is a hodge-podge of various styles and traditions across a broad spectrum. One influence begets another over the span of centuries.

Date: Sun, November 09, 2014, 06:24:46 ET
Posted by: king of the world, lungbarrow

KD-- Thanks... I think you're saying McDonald and later Doobies sound more "black" (and/or were more R&B-based) than Johnston and earlier Doobies, at least to people who'd be PO'd by that... TJ always sounds to me like someone who would at least love to sound black, even if he doesn't totally manage it. There was R&B in those albums, somewhere in the mix... Take Me In Your Arms, of course, Eyes Of Silver-- pretty solidly R&B I think, and one of my favorites though a flop as a single... Dark Eyed Cajun Woman is almost [i]too[/i] close to BB King's "The Thrill Is Gone".

Maybe racists need to be hit over the head by something, with subtle influences being lost on them. Come to think of it, they just plain need to be hit over the head.

Date: Sun, November 09, 2014, 05:29:18 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

Good stuff, king of the world.

And, again, I'm not saying that anyone here thinks along those sorts of racist lines, or that anyone who prefers a certain type of Doobie song over another has any bias outside of their own tastes, nothing like that -- it's just how these things go sometimes with people that thankfully don't frequent this great message board.

A Steely Dan message board and community that has gotten a lot better, I must say. I remember a very prominent member of the alt dot whatever Steely Dan listserve back in the late 1990s absolutely going off on me because I compared the verse rhythm from 'Josie' to an R&B track, mentioning Junior Walker. She tore me apart, because how dare I say something that, repeatedly.

Easy to see where she was coming from. Then, a year later, the 'Aja' making-of hit the shelves, and she thankfully disappeared from that group, the Yellow, and eventually the Blue.

Date: Sun, November 09, 2014, 02:10:44 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

1971....210....none....The Doobie Brothers...........................................................350,000.....
1972....021....1986....Toulouse Street.........................................Platinum.........1,600,000.....
1973....007....1986....The Captain & Me.....................................PLAT x 2........2,300,000.....
1974....004....2001....What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits...PLAT x 2........2,100,000.....
1976....008....1978....Takin' It To The Streets.............................Platinum.........1,700,000.....
1977....010....1977....Livin' On The Fault Line.............................Gold..................775,000
1978....001....1984....Minute By Minute.......................................PLAT x 3........3,300,000.....
1980....003....1980....One Step Closer........................................Platinum.........1,400,000.....

6.85 M albums sold (not counting Greatest Hits) Pre MM


with MM

KD may be onto the soulful sound v. biker too high in melanin content.

Sometimes lost is how adaptable the Doobie Bros were - comfortable with a number of genres and mixing them. Bass and drums fit in the pocket, and that's no small feat Michael McDonald had a successful career, but really he sounded best on TITTS, LOTFL, and MbM.

I think MM should have taken Skunk's tack and stayed more eclectic.

The last song Skunk played on with the Doobies is a testament to that.

One thin those in this circle should remember. Outside our sphere, regular folk barely know who Steely Dan and Donald Fagen are. They know Michael McDonald and recognize his voice immediately.

Date: Sat, November 08, 2014, 21:19:20 ET
Posted by: king of the world, the rio grande

It may or may not be worth mentioning that while MM dominated on the singles, it was Pat Simmons who became leader of the band replacing Johnston, and still is now, I think. I think there might be an image of MM's having "muscled his way in" or something... MM wasn't even going to mention that he wrote songs at first, after being hired away from SD. The Doobies had to encourage him. Listen to the radio though, and you might get a subconscious, irrational impression that MM must have staged a coup, and dumped Johnston's body in an alley, so to speak.

Come to think of it, has any other band ever suddenly replaced its lead guy with someone totally unknown to the general public, during its height of popularity? No wonder there was a backlash. MM was the usurper... only not, really.

Date: Sat, November 08, 2014, 19:47:38 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

Good stuff, KD and Jazzassin. Can't say I agree with all of it, but there is some good food for thought there.

In some respects, I think the move to more highly formatted radio stations hurt the image of the Doobies in the minds of some who loved them in their earlier incarnation. No longer were many stations playing whole albums, or deep cuts. So the variety that may have been there got lost, as you were likely to only hear the "hits" on the stations that played Doobie music. Just a thought.

Remember the immortal words of Sylvester Stone: "Dyin' young is hard to take. Sellin' out is harder." And he backed that sentiment up by releasing There's a Riot Going On, which was unlike any of the popular music he had created earlier. Damn I love that album.

Date: Sat, November 08, 2014, 13:19:37 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

I'm certainly not saying this is the case on this board, don't take things that way, but a lot of the Doobie backlash from the late 1970s had less to do with the biker band "selling out" and more to do with out and out racism.

Obviously Mike's white face was on the LP covers (or, at least, the back of a few of them), but the idea that these a-holes' heroes were getting into R&B stylings had a lot more to do with the anger than any objection to the music.

Because, gun to their head, they'd probably admit to digging the songs. Who couldn't?

Date: Sat, November 08, 2014, 13:03:51 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, number crushing

I admit I was never very into keeping myself updated on hit list numbers, but after all this talk about how much more commercially oriented The Doobies became with McDonald aboard, I was a bit surprised to read that they had more top 15 hits before Mike than they had after he entered the group. Thanks for this info, Doc �. So, if some still think the McMike version was more commercial, it would have to be a failed attempt at it, relatively speaking. But by all means, we're allowed to speculate. But that's what it is; speculations.

However, my curiosity made me go through the three afformentioned first (and good) McDoobieMikeDonald albums to check how many songs on which he actually did lead vocals/ wrote/ co-wrote, to get an impression of how dominating he was or wasn't in this period. This is the numbers:

Takin' It To The Streets:

Mike sang lead on 4/9 tracks. He wrote 3 of them, and co-wrote the last one with Pat and Skunk. (Carry Me Away)

Livin' On The fault Line:

Mike sang lead on 5/10 tracks, however "only" 4 of the remaining 5 tracks has vocals at all, because 1 track is an instrumental, a lovely little acoustic finger-style guitar diddy by Pat (Larry the Logger Two-Step). Mike wrote 2 of "his" songs, co-wrote 1 with Carly Simon, 1 with Skunk and Keith Knudsen, and 1 is a Holland - Dozier - Holland song.

Minute By Minute:

Same basic numbers as the previous one; Mike sang lead on 5/10 tracks, and 1 track is a chicken picking style instrumental by Pat. Mike wrote 1 of "his" songs alone, 1 with Kenny Loggins, 1 with Lester Abrams, 1 with Patrick Henderson, and finally 1 with Carole Bayer Sager. He also co-wrote 1 of Pat's songs.

Of course Tom Johnston's departure after TITTS made a difference that can not be ignored, but all in all, after looking at the numbers for both credits, lead vocals and hit list results, I start to think that the claim that McMike took over the band and led them in a more (successful) commercial direction is mostly a fantasy. Maybe people just don't like the guy, or despise his musical style so much that they feel he ruined the group anyway? The numbers don't confirm this at all.

Maybe the average male fan could identify with Tom & Pat, while Mike just made them jealous because he had a looks and appearance that felt like a threat? A ladies man, you know? ;) Ok, that was mostly a joke, but you never know ...

I can fully understand why people liked the eclecticism of the old Doobies, as do I, but if you look at the numbers and listen to the three good McDoobieMikeDonald albums again today, I think most will agree they are actually quite eclectic, too. Lots of varied styles, country guitar instrumentals, cover songs, pure Pat creations and obvious McMike things side by side.

The numbers I didn't check are those that says how many copies was actually sold of the respective albums, but I'll leave that to someone else. If those numbers tell a totally different story of commercial success than the numbers I've presented here, so be it. Would be interesting to see them. Anyway, if so, the economic upside would undoubtly have been for the benefit of the whole group.

Finally, I agree with Doc � that after these three albums everything went musically downhills. Sad, but true.

Date: Sat, November 08, 2014, 09:53:33 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Jazzassin, too funny. I completely forgot about the multi-racial peeps that watch over The Blue.

And I may have been a bit harsh on McMike,. I agree with those who note that Mike is probably just being Mike. He's not really a sell-out, he's a guy who just seems happy to make that blue-eyed soul/light jazzy music. And for those who were not fans of the Doobies before he joined, I can certainly see why you found the music enjoyable.

The big (and I believe negative) difference between the Johnston-Simmons led Doobies and the version that was led by McDonald is this: The early Doobies were extremely eclectic. One song was country, one folky, there were rockin tunes, sometimes jazzy, etc. Multiple vocalists that didn't sound the same, song after song. Basically, they weren't defined by one style. After Mike they relied heavily on more or less, a single style and relied more and more on Mike's vocals--which for better or worse, as so distinctive as to have a very identifiable sound.

My friend and bartender, Lou, is 66 or so. When Doobie songs play on Sirius or the jukebox he always can tell it's the Doobies when it is a McMike song. But he is constantly asking "who is this" when it is the Johnston led version. He can't believe they are so different song-after-song.

As I've said before, I liked a few of the McMike Doobie songs. But album after album, I just found them uninteresting. I can still listen to the older Doobie albums as I find the style variety (done extremely well) interesting.

Date: Sat, November 08, 2014, 09:45:25 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, the piano lounge

Funny McDonald impersonation by Tony DeSare here:

My advice is to watch the whole video, as this guy is very good at what he does. A lot of familiar names and styles get his treatment in this clip. FYI, this amusing nonsense is not what Tony does for a living. He is an old fashioned crooner with his own style and voice, who does mostly standards. A huge vocal range and a fantastic pianist. Kind of an overly competent lounge entertainer type.

If this sounds like something of no interest, the McDonald part starts at 01:59

Date: Sat, November 08, 2014, 07:50:51 ET
Posted by: Michael,

@M/O/D/P, thanks. I should have something new up pretty soon.

@The Dean, well done on the blue dinosaur analogy. The Dixie Dregs, ah, now there's some fine music.

Date: Sat, November 08, 2014, 01:41:41 ET
Posted by: king of the world, Sedna

Thanks, The Dean...

Doobies Mark One were worn out by Stampede I think. There wouldn't have ever been more Tom Johnston like albums, because TJ had ulcers and had to recover.

Date: Sat, November 08, 2014, 00:11:07 ET
Posted by: Bad Sneakers, SSNY

I guess I should have just wrote "what were once vices are now habits"

-Steely Dan fan, and talent will always matter!

Date: Sat, November 08, 2014, 00:04:49 ET
Posted by: Bad Sneakers, SSNY

It's funny I read about MM as if he wasn't relevant. Im a 70's guy, IMO he progressed the Doobies to where they were headed. I saw them numerous times with and w/o MM back then, I think they were better with him, but Tom Johnston was them early on. MM reminds me of Phil Collins in that there was a time when people (fans) couldn't get enough and then....

And when the 80's and MTV came around it doomed who we listened to!

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 22:37:36 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

The Doobies had 5 top 15 singles before MM, including a #1 hit. Make no mistake - they were a commerical band as well as an AOR band.

The McDoobies had 4 top 15 singles, including a #1 and #5 hit.

The backlash may have more to do with MM saturation as a backup singer on a number of projects, including Steely Dan and a co-composer on a number of other hits with Kenny Loggins...the Robbie Dupree ripoff may have been the proverbial straw....and this style became Yacht Rock.

Some Danfans tend to look down their nose at McDonald's compositions, and partly because of his mild mannered personality he doesn't see his just props. He tends to be quite melancholy scattered with Losers and Deluded as characters, all disguised in ear candy. Takin' in to the Streets, Losin End, It Keeps You Runnin' are fantastic song.

My favorite Doobie Bros album is also Livin' on the Faults Line. The band stretches out on the title track - Chinatown is also fantastic (they sound like a band!). You're made that Way is a gem. MM and the Doobies version of You Belong to Me is far more sinister than Carly Simon's more pop version. Nothin but a Heartache digs heavy into Motown R&B. There's a Light has a gospel tinge.

Here to Love You starts with a bang. there are the big hits, but I dig the blue eyed soul of Open Your Eyes and How Do Those Fools Survive (which features a remarkable outtro solo by Skunk.

The other issue, is that lineup made one too many albums - After Real Love, One Step Closer is so wretched. A real stinker. Even Bumpus couldn't save it!

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 19:29:06 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, the inkwell

Please forgive a few typos in that post. It's late here.

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 19:22:20 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Blue-be Brother

I first became aware of The Doobies as a young boy in the late 70's (63-model), and Mike McDonald was already in the band at that time. I liked it a lot, I knew about the connections with Steely Dan, and I soon started to dig into the Doobie history. They were not a household name over here, to say the least.
Anyway, with this starting point (I believe Minute By Minute was the first DB album I heard), Mike's voice and signature keyboard style partly defined The Doobie Brothers for me. Then I learned that the band had a five album history from the years before McDonald, but the damage was already done, I guess. I really liked the more pop-ish version with Mike. That's not to say I didn't like the older stuff, because much of it was and is great, and I can see why many long time fans didn't quite like the way things turned. But when you don't have that Doobhistoric ballast, it's easy to see that both versions of the band was good. Different indeed, but both good. And I still think the best McDonald-era albums are milestones in the history of smooth jazzy pop. That's "Takin' It To The Streets" ('76), "Livin' On The Fault Line" ('77) and "Minute By Minute" ('78).
That said, I don't listen to them very often these days, but that goes for the older Doobie albums as well. I don't want to speculate over how much real commercialism (as eloquently defined by The Dean) was going on when they, with McDonald, became a bit more available to the crowd, but to define commercial success with a handful of songs as having gone completely commercial just don't make sense, and is actually a bit unfair.
Also, I think this has just as much to do with personality, as I believe McDonald's style is a fairly honest expression of who he is.

Jazzassin's Art Analysis Dept. says:

The blue, animal shaped art is always easier to sell, and you can see evil, commercialism and greed glowing in it's eyes. A perfect example would be the artistic image at the top of this page. While only the genuinly high brow personalities among us will recognize the greatness of the yellow and pink mashmallow animals, every jerk ever born will buy the blue ones. But as always with great art, commercial or not, there's more than meets the eye; the image has a half-heartedly hidden message: The blue ones are strictly commercial, and the yellow and the pink ones are true art (no one wants them), BUT: In the end they will all burn. The blue ones for being blue and commercial, which of course is a cardinal sin, and the yellow and pink ones for NOT being commercial (not taking care of business, with the increased probablity of becoming welfare checkers that this failure gives. And yellow and, needless to say, yellow and pink mashmallow animals on welfare checks isn't a very charming sight, after all. Parasites, I say!).

The new Dobbies album is a blue, blue animal project even if the songs originally wasn't.

The new Pink Floyd album is so blue it hurts.

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 18:40:24 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

King of the World, agreed on all points.


Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 16:47:08 ET
Posted by: king of the world, wolf 359

Dean-- Well said, and I like that about the blue figurines. It's all about intent, and how trendy and insubstantial the result is. I think an uncommercial song can sell if it's so good on a human level that it reaches a place in millions of us, and listeners might say "I never expected to like anything like that, but damn it that's good!"

As for late (MM) Doobies and commercialism, the late 70s were a time when things were generally going in a sort of "lighter" (but NOT necessarily lightweight at all) jazz-pop (as opposed to noisy BST jazz-rock) direction, whether commercialism was the goal or not. Steely Dan with Aja, Joni Mitchell with Hissing of Summer Lawns, they seemed to be doing just what they wanted. Joni M sold less when she went that way, and continued on. The all jazz-pop Michael McDonald version of the Doobies didn't sell as well at first either. Living On the Fault Line the album might have been very pop, but in a low key way, and it had no big hits. (That title song was great, and I think, very uncommercial.)

I should remind people that back then, late 70s, when people were complaining about the Doobies going pop/jazz and commercial, they were sometimes pointing to the Steely Dan influence as having done it, because of McDonald and Skunk Baxter. I still remember walking by a couple of guys in college, and overhearing one saying they should decide whether or not they want to be Steely Dan, and you did hear "Doobie Dan" occasionally.

I'm not complaining about Steely Dan, of course. I'm saying that jazz-pop thing was in the air creatively, much as psychadelia was in the late 60s, say. Some leapt on the bandwagon to have easy hits, in both eras, and some really wanted to do something great with it, maybe even very uncommercial.

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 14:13:08 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Soundscan, your confusion is understandable, but I have to believe even Mr Marsh knows the difference between art that is designed to be commercial (easily digestible and marketable, made explicitly for the purpose of mass consumption, created with a focus on what the consumer is likely to buy--I could go on) and that which was created with more regard for the art itself (created to align with the artists sensibilities, not purposefully derivative of something previously commercially successful) that became commercial.

Still confused?

Of course the boundaries between what is created from a commercial sensibility and what is created out of artistic integrity aren't necessarily aren't clear, bold, black lines. Sometimes it's hard to tell with a particular piece. However, over time, examining a body of work, it's usually pretty clear if an artist prime directive is to make something based on what he/she thinks the consumer is likely to buy, or if that artist created something based on what she/he believes is good, and hopes people will buy.

A "sell-out" is someone who at one time made all kinds of interesting art. But on finding the animal-shaped figures sold the best, and if they were in blue they sold great, this artists starts churning out blue animal-shaped art. It's easy to tell this artist has become completely commercial, but the first blue animal piece, that sold well, didn't necessarily come from a commercial intent.

See? Clear as mud.

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 11:36:07 ET
Posted by: TO Danfan, more doobage

All this Doobie talk....makes me want to fire one up!

Many people I know refer to McMike as the man who ruined the Doobie Brothers. Took them from rock to pop/schlock they say. Depends on individual taste I guess. I preferred the pre-Mike version myself.

I have been to hundreds of concerts. The loudest one ever was the Doobies at Massey Hall when the Captain & Me came out in 1973. They had 2 drummers then. I never felt the old hall shake so was a great show. Definitely contributed to the tinnitus.

Last week in the Florida Keys at Sparky's Landing (great bar in Key Colony Beach) there was some live radio broadcast going on and they were asking music trivia questions. I am now the proud owner of a Sparky's beer coolie for correctly answering the question..." the Doobie Brothers had a hit song about water. What colour was it?" There was silence until I came forward from the back to claim my prize!


Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 11:02:32 ET
Posted by: Soundscan, US

"Black Water", one of Les Doobs' biggest hits, yet not commercial at all.

Reminds me of the time Dave Marsh came to speak at my college. Someone asked him if he thought the last two Springsteen albums were commercial. He cited the number of millions of copies they sold and said "if that's not commercial, I don't know what is." I know what you're getting at, but to say that a #1 pop hit like Black Water wasn't commercial is an oxymoron.

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 09:37:36 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Seal Level and The Dreggs were two of my favorite bands back then. They still get plenty of play on The Dean's stereo (particularly in the car) today. Both were great in concert, too and I'd hate to be the band that had to follow them. Too bad Leavell turned to the dark side and basically joined the Stones.

Sea Level and Renaissance sounds like an odd pairing. But we know odd pairings weren't all that unusual back then. Didn't Steely Dan open for Slade at some point.

And I know I said I'd leave the Doobie stuff aside, but apparently I lied. I don't think the Doobies were turning more commercial in the time before McDonald joined the band. They made the same kind of music they had always been making. Strong eclectic albums that happened to contain a commercial hit or two. I never thought of them as a band that concentrated more on making that hit to sell the album. To me they seemed like a band that turned out an album of their music and hoped one popped as a commercial hit. Maybe I was mistaken.

I believe the Doobies brought in Skunk around the time Tom Johnston was going through some health issues. Then Mike came in a bit later and with him they had some real commercial success. THEN they decided to simply repeat that sound to "make commercial viability their top priority". I see his involvement as when the real change in attitude occurred. I give them credit for not turning sooner but they stopped getting my money (and my ears) when it was clear they made this decision. Same goes for any number of bands that made a similar move to commercialism.

I suppose Don and Walt could have let Mike start contributing as a writer and morphed into a McMike driven band. But fortunately they had too much integrity for that.

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 09:32:02 ET
Posted by: M/O/D/P, Comedy Historian

Thanks for the SCTV reference, Michael! Here's the short bit, for McMike fans and non-fans alike:

Thanks also for the recent new song (BMG For A Rainy Day). Keep 'em coming...

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 09:16:08 ET
Posted by: The Hangman, cheated

Only silent windows stare
At the lonely stranger there
Returning home

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 08:01:08 ET
Posted by: Michael, The Dean

I should expound for clarification.

Back in the day, most artists relied upon the strength of one (or two, maybe three) songs to help sell their albums, which was done mostly via radio play and maybe a few TV performances.

Clearly The Doobie Brothers saw something in Michael McDonald which they felt was worthy of incorporation. His voice was all over a wide assortment of LPs, so much so that SCTV ran a skit parodying this. "OK, see you guys later," as McDonald, played by Rick Moranis, dashes out the studio to his next session. But I digress. The Doobie Brothers' Minute By Minute LP took home the Grammy for best album of the year. If that doesn't translate to mainstream success then I don't know what does.

As for the other point about radio-friendly hits, I agree, but then I never said that radio play = bad music. When artists go mainstream, when they make commercial viability their top priority, that usually spells disaster.

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 06:10:07 ET
Posted by: Bad Sneakers, SSNY


I saw the Dixie Dregs, warmed up The Outlaws very early 80's. The Dregs had crazy talent, bested The Outlaws that night, and still one of the best surprises out of warm-ups I've ever seen!

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 03:57:18 ET
Posted by: king of the world, yatakang

There's a difference between "commercial" (in other words, written to cater to current, shallow, mainstream top 40 tastes just to have a hit and make a lot of money), and songs that just happen to sound great on the radio and sell a lot of singles. The latter can be recorded and released without the slightest bit of selling out. They are justifiably popular.

"Black Water", one of Les Doobs' biggest hits, yet not commercial at all.

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014, 03:44:53 ET
Posted by: Elmer, Houston

Sea Level brings back fond memories when I was in High School. I loved their Southern mixture of jazz, blues and rock. Another band I liked even more was The Dixie Dregs. They were on the same label (Capricorn Records) as Sea Level, but were more jazzier. I wonder why Renaissance chose Sea Level as their opening act? It's an awkward pairing. Maybe it was the promoter's decision.

Date: Thurs, November 06, 2014, 23:18:30 ET
Posted by: Jim Taylor, Hello, Baton Rouge

Ah, Renaissance...I saw them once in the mid-late seventies in Nashville. They were quite nice, but they made the fatal mistake of choosing Sea Level as their opening act. As I remember it, Renaissance was pretty much blown out of the water. Nice band, but no Sea Level...Dangential because I first saw Chuck Leavell with the Allman Brothers Band who, as have our heroes, been known to hold down The Beacon for extended periods. Chuck also played with John Mayer, as did Keith Carlock, although, not at the same time. I know, it's lame, but it's also late.

Date: Thurs, November 06, 2014, 22:02:56 ET
Posted by: Buttsteak, Downtown

I think The Doobie Brothers should have recorded a bluegrass album with artists like Bela Fleck and Alison Krauss. Actually, I wouldn't mind hearing a Steely Dan tribute album with bluegrass artists. I went to a Don Henley solo concert a few years ago and he told the audience that the current state of country music makes him want to puke. I have to agree.

Date: Thurs, November 06, 2014, 21:29:35 ET
Posted by: Doobie Dan, SF

I wish The Doobie Brothers would add "Savannah Nights" to their setlist. Remember that song? It's the solo single from Tom Johnston after he left The Doobie Brothers. Really strong melodic hook and great horn chart. Makes me want to get up and dance every time I hear it.

Date: Thurs, November 06, 2014, 20:05:39 ET
Posted by: Pablo, Boulder, CO

Livin' on The Fault Line is still my favorite Doobie Brothers album. I love the title track. It's the jazziest song the Doobies ever recorded.

Date: Thurs, November 06, 2014, 19:30:03 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

I don't want this to become a long drawn out discussion about the Doobie Brothers, so I'll try to make this my last on the subject.

I can't say I agree with you Michael when you suggest the Doobies were "going commercial" before the arrival of McMike. The Doobies, after the first album, had a commercial tune or two on every album. The pre-McDonald albums also had a pretty eclectic mix. Stampede, the last album before McDonald joined the band, had a very commercial song in Take me in Your Arms, but it also had a 6-minute plus, decidedly noncommercial I Cheat the Hangman.

Like Steely Dan, the Doobies commercial tunes were pretty solid songs. (And no, I'm not equating the two bands.)

Date: Thurs, November 06, 2014, 18:24:49 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

Jimmy Vivino on Maron's podcast is as great as you'd think, with plenty of Don + Walt talk toward the end:

Date: Thurs, November 06, 2014, 14:13:51 ET
Posted by: Pablo, Boulder, CO

Any thoughts on the Doobie Brothers with Michael McDonald performing Listen to The Music & Takin' it to The Streets on the Country Music Awards show last night? You can watch it on YouTube. Still sounds like rock 'n roll to me. I agree with The Dean that the Southbound album is a lame commercial attempt to bring in the country music audience as their rock fanbase diminishes.

Date: Thurs, November 06, 2014, 12:41:54 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

KOTW, in my mind, I've always attributed any straight-ahead early songs to Tom Johnston and anything that was more interesting to Patrick Simmons.

The last paragraph of Steely Howl is one of its best:
"who saw themselves and former band-mates
each go on to something bigger and better
the doobie brothers, boz scaggs, a season in hell,
the computer business, yuppie manhattan,
hawaii, the big roundup, whatever- "

Date: Thurs, November 06, 2014, 07:10:01 ET
Posted by: Michael,

I don't get all the jabs at Michael McDonald. The Doobie Brothers were going commercial since before he even arrived on the scene, because they were banking on mainstream success, i.e. radio hits. Even had Mike not joined up, their music would've gone sour just the same. Truth be told, I don't know a single artist from the 70's who kept their momentum going strong beyond.

The one thing that I don't like is when artists have those rip-off meet-and-greet pay scams. It's like what are you, extraordinary or something just because you work in the music industry? Unless people are lining your already bloated pockets, you cannot be bothered?

Date: Thurs, November 06, 2014, 00:32:23 ET
Posted by: king of the world, old urth

The darker, more mysterious, semi-folkish Tom Johnston-era early Doobie Brothers I like an awful lot. The stuff from albums rather than hits. These ghostly background vocals are great.

Date: Thurs, November 06, 2014, 00:11:14 ET
Posted by: M/O/D/P, off on a tangerine

Back in the formative years of home video - sometime in the early 80s - a guy I knew managed to smuggle a VHS deck and huge tube camera into a Toronto Renaissance concert. Not that the idea of fans video-recording rock bands surreptitiously was particularly new by then (it wasn't, and a few of us had done it with varying degrees of success as early as 1979), but his approach was different. It was his first attempt at this "video taping" thing, and he didn't bring a tripod along, defaulting to the old shoulder-mount-with-camera-hidden-by-a-dark-jacket trick. He didn't get caught by security, and he proudly invited a bunch of us back to his place for a screening after the show was over. The video clarity was quite good, but because he had inverted the camera on his shoulder - he didn't realize there was an "up" side to the device - the entire show was captured upside down. Upside down.

He hadn't partied too much. He was just an idiot.

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014, 20:02:26 ET
Posted by: Clifford, PA

"I last saw Renaissance on campus in either 1997 or 1978"

I think you partied too much.

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014, 16:51:50 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

Happy Birthday, Big Fan!

I have to admit, it's been a looong time since I thought about Renaissance. The memory of them had nearly vanished from my memory. When I read your post, I thought, "I remember them...I think." Had to Google them to make sure I was thinking of the right band. Yes, I recall them, now. I see from reading their Wikipedia page, they have gone quite a few transformations over the years. But Annie Haslam has remained more or less a constant in the lineup.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the show. Give us a mini-review, if you will. I'm curious to hear how they sound now.

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014, 14:33:25 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, The Little Electrician

Happy Birthday, Big Fan! I wish you a splendid evening with Renaissance's classic prog rock. Oh, and always remember to ground the amp, kids.

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014, 14:16:25 ET
Posted by: Big Fan, Home at Last

Today is my birthday. My wife and I are going to see Renaissance tonight at the new Infinity hall in Hartford. I last saw Renaissance on campus in either 1997 or 1978. We got VIP tickets so we can go to soundcheck and then backstage. How is this Steely Dan related � well their drummer Frank Pagano is also the drummer for Jon Herington when he tours with his three man band. We talked to him about playing with Renaissance the last time they played at Infinity Hall in Norfolk. The music of John�s band and Renaissance are vastly different. I�m still trying to convince my wife to go see Jon and Kung Fu at Toads in December. I may go anyway.

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014, 13:38:01 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

Baby boomers (or, if we're honest, a generation younger than that) still buy music, though. And if you stick that CD in a rack next trashy magazines and empty calories at Wal-Mart, it's going to sell. They'll go on Fallon, they'll get some press, and the album will move units. It's cynically, expertly-designed to do as much.

I can handle early Doobies as a lark, like I'm listening to Foghat (who I understand are nothing like the Doobies) or something. My wife and I still listening regularly to McDonald-era Doobies LPs and his first solo album, and we were born after they came out.

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014, 10:18:05 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

I know it isn't a particularly popular opinion in these parts, but IMO early Doobie Brothers were pretty spectacular, at least in the studio. From the first album through Stampede they successfully turned out an impressive array of genre-crossing high quality work.

Things started going sideways when McMike entered the group. Sure they turned out a few decent songs during his tenure, but for the most part the group got stuck into poppy blue-eyed-soul thing. Plus the vocals were dominated by Mike who, IMO, had a terrific and recognizable voice for background work, but it grated when featured on song-after-song. After a while, the stuff sounded the same--and not in a good way.

This Southbound sounds like an affront to good taste. It's a shame a band that was, at one time so good, is now at this level.

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014, 09:26:06 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

"I probably would have written [What A Fool Believes] differently today. [Laughs] I'm always toying with the idea of lowering keys a half step and if I ever lower one, that's going to be the first one that comes down."

Every time I happen to catch see What A Fool Believes in a live setting, most recently on the Dukes DVD, I am amazed that McMike doesn't take it down AT LEAST a half step. He can't sing that melody anymore and he compensates by backing way off the mic (very distracting on the Dukes DVD; he does it all night), changing some of the melodies, and often changing the phrasing into something incomprehensible.

Sorry for the non-SD rant. This is something that drives me nuts about McMike, and, along with the heavy handed tuning, ruined much of the otherwise very enjoyable Dukes DVD.

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014, 07:48:59 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, the morgue, the caves of auntie Mira

Now, as if "normal" tribute bands weren't bad enough; The Doobies has apparently decided to become their own tribute band, and just released an album called "Southbound", filled with re-recordings of their own golden oldies, this time with a bunch of guest vocalists and some guest guitar heroes. An album that should be ignored and avoided at any cost, unfortunately. One spin was more than enough for me, at least. The sound & arrangements are mostly very, very similar to the originals, except for the presence of said voices. I'll take the opportunity to paraphrase an old Chet Atkins anecdote: "You're pretty good, but you're no Doobie Brothers".

Here's McMike talking about the crime in Rolling Stone:

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014, 04:25:52 ET
Posted by: Pun, Da Mental

SD tunes to listen to while preparing body parts in a morgue? More suitable than 'Hey 19' would be a playlist like :
Don't take me alive
Dirty work
Android warehouse
Throw back the little ones
etc etc ...

Date: Tues, November 04, 2014, 14:08:50 ET
Posted by: king, world, same arrangement, musewellbrook

Damn it, I knew it was "Bullgoose" and forgot to correct. People hate it when you get their joke names wrong.

Date: Tues, November 04, 2014, 14:03:57 ET
Posted by: king of the world, tralfamadore

Good post, Monsieur Bullmoose. It's probably helpful in a morgue to come at one's duties from an oblique angle. A SD soundtrack for one's daily labors at manipulating various dead bits here and there might be helpful with this.

SD is not unBeatles. Tribute bands are.

Date: Mon, November 03, 2014, 22:47:04 ET
Posted by: the bullgoose, sweet home bonalbo

Bullgoose here.
Hey Greg of Seattle,
Like Donald, Jack Bruce had an uncopyable voice, and like Fagen/Becker, Bruce/Brown created unique, sophisticated and subversive music.
Songs For a Tailor and Harmony Row glow like sunshine on pineapple tin, rock like a bedstead in a cathouse, lilt like a scottish lullaby and throb like an exposed nuclear core.

Son #2 of Bullgoose does anatomy at university, The other day he recognised the sound of SD in the vague distance. As a pigeon on a breadcrumb trail, he followed the sound down into the bowels of the building, where he spotted an operative preparing corpses and body parts and bopping all the while to Hey Nineteen. Well hey, it's a sad day if you can't chill out in a morgue.

Date: Mon, November 03, 2014, 08:00:00 ET
Posted by: un beatles??,

"playing the most mainstream, accessible crowd-pleasers night after night".

I'd reckon that this probably makes Steely Dan the poster child for being un-beatles.

Date: Sun, November 02, 2014, 23:42:41 ET
Posted by: king of the world, interzone

Jazzassin---- Well said. Two words in response to a couple good, long posts seems a little feeble, but I'm just briefly up, then back to bed. The main strange thing about slavishly imitative tribute bands like, say, Beatles bands, is how happy they seem to be, to be playing the most mainstream, accessible crowd-pleasers night after night. That would drive the Beatles crazy, and in fact, did. It makes them very un-Beatles.

The idea of an offspring of a major musician stepping into his father's shoes seems creepy, to me. If it works though, it works.

Date: Sun, November 02, 2014, 20:23:42 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, mental toss flycoon

Ha ha, that's terrible. Thanks guys. Is there any way I can delete these pictures? :D

Btw, I just realized there's one exception, a curiosity if you will, for me in this department: Zappa Plays Zappa. As many here will know, this is Dweezil Zappa touring with a monster band, performing his father's music, mostly note-by-note. In their first years from 2006-2008(9?) they had Napoleon Murphy-Brock from The Mothers in the band, and several other Zappa affiliates like Ray White, Stevie Vai and Terry Bozzio has been guest performing at different occations. A fantastic act that keeps the mastro's work alive for old and new fans, who unfortunately no longer can have the real thing because he died all too early. Beside its many other wonderful attributes, this is some of the most difficult music to play well ever written, and I'm very happy that they do this. It's about the only chance we have to hear this music performed live in it's original arrangements, and it's such a unique experience even without Frank, it's worth any genuine music nerd's time at least once. And I have seen Frank & Co three times in Norway over the years, but still digging Dweezil's continuation of the music's life on stage to death.

Date: Sun, November 02, 2014, 19:17:51 ET
Posted by: Mint Julep, Kentucky

Crowded Spouse would have been a better name.

Date: Sun, November 02, 2014, 16:00:04 ET
Posted by: Steve M, Scotland

The winner in terms of tribute band puns as far as I'm concerned was a Liverpudlian Crowded House tribute act called, wait for it.........

'Crowded Scouse'

.....back of the net!

Date: Sun, November 02, 2014, 11:00:05 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Tom Waits For No One

So true. :D Let's see ... ABBA tribute act "Bj�rn Again" is pretty nice. "Sgt. Pepper's Only Dart Board Band", too.

We also had a little blues cover band over here some years ago, who's frontman was a bit of a Bruce Willis lookalike, and he knew it. They were "The Blues Willies", of course.

Date: Sun, November 02, 2014, 09:53:51 ET
Posted by: Pun, da Mental

@jazzassin - agree with all of that. But without tribute bands we wouldn't have all the delightful, cringemaking, smartass PUNS that they use to name themselves !!! Not The Hoople, Stereophonies - the list is endless . . . got a favourite ?

Date: Sun, November 02, 2014, 07:11:09 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Tributeland

@king of the world

Perfect copies would of course not be very interesting. And frankly, even if the band is highly competent and fully capable of reproducing the exact arrangements of the originals, I still don't think they should. I'd go as far as to say I'd prefer they try to avoid stylistic similarity, too.

E.g. the band called "Kung Fu" that was linked to a few posts back (and who will have Jon H & Bernard P on stage for their Christmas charity concert), did actually put in some twists of their own in their rendition of Green Earrings, and was obviously not even trying to sound exactly like SD. BUT: They clearly stayed within the same stylistic world, and direct comparision is therefore inevitable.

A good example of a different approach would be Rickie Lee Jones' version of Show Biz Kids. She made it a RLJ song, and her version is very personal and a million miles from the original.
Same goes for the whole tribute album called "Fire In The Hole" by Swedish artists Sara Isaksson & Rebecka T�rnqvist. Nothing like SD at all, but very fine versions of their songs in a totally different style.
One last example would be the 8-bit/ gaming music versions by Hugh "MrHopeTelevision" on Youtube.

To me, all of the afforementioned tributes are much stronger testimonies than any perfect copy will ever be. These versions all shout: "Hey, listen! Steely Dan's songs inspired ME to be genuinly creative! This is what they'd sound like if I wrote them! I whish I did!"

This is similar to the way things work with the so-called jazz standards. When artists make their own versions of any of those, it's always a point to put some of their own thing into them, and the tribute factor is often more directed towards the songs themselves than their originators and their particular sound or style. In the cases where the actual song was written by people like Rodgers & Hart or the Gershwin Bros, the originators is often not known for any particular sound at all, but rather just for their songwriting skills as such. And as with most great art, it's bigger than (and outlives) the artist.
It's perfectly ok if people make (even inferior) replicas of great art for one-time purposes, and charity is of course free from accusation. Also, many local club bands/ house bands have a repertoire consisting mainly of covers, and if they have a SD song or two on that list and try to play them as close to the originals as possible; fine. Been there. But to me, this is craft, not art.

I guess the thing I just can't understand, is the concept of a pure tribute band as such, who's only purpose is to play the music of one chosen artist or band, more or less in the style of the original, year after year. It's actually a little creepy, in particular when the original band is still alive and kicking. How good they are is irrelevant.

Date: Sun, November 02, 2014, 00:25:48 ET
Posted by: king of the world, ignoreland

Jazzassin-- i liked "... Steely Dan isn't quite finished being Steely Dan themselves yet".

I don't think any tribute band that has ever existed, no matter how good, has ever claimed to be as good as the original band. Do they need to be? Are perfect copies even interesting?

Date: Sat, November 01, 2014, 17:16:24 ET
Posted by: Purple Pig, New York

Hey, Steely Dan fans! Don't forget to watch Saturday Night Live tonight. Prince will be performing an 8 minute long jam session with no commercial breaks! Chris Rock will be the guest host. Don't you dare miss it!

Date: Fri, October 31, 2014, 18:21:39 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up

Re: They Done It!

Jon must be THE biggest fan ever to sign up for a Royal Scam night with a different band just a month and a half after playing Steely Dan music more or less constantly for 14 years with the real thing. Go Jon! :D

Bernard is a legend as great as they come, and for very good reasons, of course. He is arguably also his own biggest fan, and will hopefully love to enter the ring to do this at age 75. Go Bernard! :D
And don't forget those cardboard signs!

Apart from this, I have to say the world has gone completely bonkers. I too wanted to be Steely Dan when I was a kid, but have later got the definite impression Steely Dan isn't quite finished being Steely Dan themselves yet. But what do I know.
All these dedicated tribute bands that does more or less clever "impersonations" of established artists' music more often than twice every leap year, is actually a bit annoying. I recognize their genuine love for the music of course, but still there's a certain difference between Michelangelo and a xerox machine, even if it's the top model.

Date: Fri, October 31, 2014, 09:50:50 ET
Posted by: They Done It! , -

They Done Hired Bernard Purdie, The Hitmaker! And Jon Herrington! And they're playing all of Royal Scam.

Anyone ever hear of these guys?

Date: Fri, October 31, 2014, 06:26:13 ET
Posted by: vznieowerw, USA

psetqeboepn, <a href="">znnzbllyzf</a> , [url=]sypmipezxg[/url], znnzbllyzf

Date: Thurs, October 30, 2014, 22:09:08 ET
Posted by: Flatbush Chuck, That NYC

Get well, Jim.

In the last few years I've heard that Donald Fagen attends Allman Bros. concerts at the Beacon; I've seen him playing "Shakedown Street" on YouTube, and of course jamming with the late great Mr. Helm. There's some autumnal reconciliation for me in all of this: When Steely Dan became my branded Personal Band at age 16 (1974-75), the hand-off was from the Allmans, and the Band and Dead were right up there. But embracing the Dan felt at the time like stepping into a very different sort of music-- toward a polished jazz-fledged cerebral urban thing and away from the Southern-boogie/heartland/roots-music thing. (Anyway, such was the level of categorization and analysis I was capable of back then.) To an adolescent it had aspects of a renunciation, however clearly a non sequitur in retrospect. All these decades later, it's nice to have this little confirmation and reminder that practitioners of good music tend to recognize their peers from across the different milieus and genres.

Date: Thurs, October 30, 2014, 21:48:26 ET
Posted by: kzkzkz, nnnnnnyyyyycccccccccccccccccc

Why Marcia Strassman's death notice deserved to be posted here:

Marcia Strassman played Julie Kotter on "Welcome Back, Kotter".
John Sebastian had a hit single with the theme song and his "Welcome Back" album featured Jeff Porcaro & Jeff "Skunk" Baxter.
Drummer Jeff Porcaro played on the "Pretzel Logic", "Katy Lied" and "Gaucho" albums as well as the "FM (No Static at All)" tune.
"Skunk" Baxter appeared with Steely Dan on their first three albums, "Can't Buy a Thrill", "Countdown to Ecstasy" and "Pretzel Logic".

I believe the defense rests.

Date: Thurs, October 30, 2014, 17:16:49 ET
Posted by: Jimmie, US

A movie about jazz pianist Joe Albany is getting mixed reviews.

Here's a favorable one

Date: Thurs, October 30, 2014, 14:03:28 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St Augustine Beach

Lutz, thanks for that Dennis Chambers video. Good to hear he's not as bad as some had feared.

Michael, I have been remiss in not checking out the past few songs. I will try to get to them this weekend.

And "My Take" or whoever you are, perhaps your opinion would hold a bit more weight if you posted with a consistent username. Then your posts would come with some context. We'd know if you were a real contributor to The Blue, or simply some sniping troll. It seems to me nearly all of the intelligent worthwhile posts on this forum come from those who use an identifiable username. I suppose the other 1% could come from you, but how would we know?

Date: Thurs, October 30, 2014, 12:59:30 ET
Posted by: Sweathog, at Starbucks

Maybe it's because a lot of us grew up watching Welcome Back, Kotter.

Date: Thurs, October 30, 2014, 08:32:51 ET
Posted by: My take, n/a

It wouldn't be Dangential to bring up that Marcia Strassman, say, signed on to do a new TV show. So why does her death get brought up?

Date: Thurs, October 30, 2014, 07:53:57 ET
Posted by: Michael, new song

Hope you like.

BGM For A Rainy Day

All is quiet on the SD front.

Get well Hoops.

Date: Thurs, October 30, 2014, 05:16:54 ET
Posted by: Lutz, SF

some real good health news here and get well whoever might be struggling out there!

Date: Thurs, October 30, 2014, 03:14:43 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

The Blue/Yellow thing grew out of the frequent vitriolic barbs from anonymous posters on Y, with often multiple bogus personnas from approx. 2-3 posters. Blue also provided a more focused home for concert goers and Danfesters.

The yellow later adapted and used ID and PW, and had a separate politics/free for all thread from Dan-centric chatter

It's all good: Yellow + Blue = Greenbook

Date: Wed, October 29, 2014, 17:06:59 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

Forgot to say, get well, Jim. I had some pretty bad nastiness myself earlier this month.

Date: Wed, October 29, 2014, 17:04:55 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

Just to be clear, I didn't post the RIP. I use my same username for every post. I know some others like to play that fast and loose, but not me.

'nuff said

Date: Wed, October 29, 2014, 14:48:37 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

Howdy Folks!

Been under the weather a bit and looking forward to recovery soon.

Be judicious about the RIPs. Sometimes it's not obvious about the connection and other times it is, while still other times it's way out there and irrelevant. I'm not sure "Mrs. Kotter" deserves extensive discussion in this context--still waiting to see that demonstrated. At the same time consider if the particular poster generally offers a lot of Steely-based discussion, then there's some leeway given. Such should be the case with Dean who generally offers a lot in the SD-department. That said, one set circumstances that precipitated the Blue was not simply a question of too much political and non-Dangential discussion--I mean, there was that--BUT at the same time, those same people mocked others for talking about Steely Dan-related discussion! So in part, this place was to give fans a refuge.

There's other factors as well.

So I've been laid up and YouTube has been set into random mode of Steely Dan stuff and music not-so-SD related. I'll save that for another time when I can type...I'm dictating this and hope it's readable and makes sense.

Be well and be kind.



Date: Wed, October 29, 2014, 13:51:40 ET
Posted by: casual fan, orlando

I join in the chorus of those defending Dean on his RIP post. Like all big musical acts, Steely Dan is intertwined with popular culture of the time.

With a nod to TvN and EMG, fact is the Dan are forever linked in so many ways to the 70s, and so when an artist from that period passes, or on the flip side resurfaces and does something new, seems to me its all just part of the bigger picture and worth a comment.

Its no different than discussing the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, or Toto, at least two of which are semi-regular topics 'round these parts.

Date: Wed, October 29, 2014, 12:46:34 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

Donald was seen at several of those Allman Brothers shows at the Beacon over the last few years, I wonder if Irving Azoff scored him any tickets to the group's farewell(ish) show last night.

Date: Wed, October 29, 2014, 10:28:36 ET
Posted by: Michael, @Chris

Naturally any artist would want to make at least enough to make ends meet, but an artist's work should always take top priority.

It's rather easy to distinguish the drop-off point when an artist becomes solely profit-motivated. Either their work suffers an appreciable decrease in quality or they discontinue music-creation altogether and hit the road 24/7.

Date: Tues, October 28, 2014, 20:03:31 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

Steely Dan Police,

Some of us have ALSO been on the blue since the day of its inception. The Yellow hadn't quite devolved into a political forum by then, the reason most of us made the jump is because the Yellow had turned into a sounding board for assholes.

Like, the kind of asshole that would seem to be bothered by someone posting a tweet-length RIP about some random actress. People like that.

Date: Tues, October 28, 2014, 17:16:40 ET
Posted by: The Dean, Manatee Bar. It's Happy Hour!

How is posting an RIP in any way "political"? Sorry I just don't get why it's a big deal.

Responding to an simple RIP makes it a bigger deal. Me responding to you, and now my response, make it an even bigger deal (so this will be my last post on the matter.) Perhaps you should keep your policing to actual political, and or offensive. posts and stop bothering people for jay walking.

The yellow may have been corrupted by politics. Don't let the Blue be corrupted by petty bullshit.

Date: Tues, October 28, 2014, 17:07:08 ET
Posted by: Steely Dan Police,

Dean- Because some people have been on the Bluebook since the day of it's inception. The reason why this forum was started was because the Yellow Book became a political forum. So, go posts you RIP's somewhere else.

Date: Tues, October 28, 2014, 14:31:49 ET
Posted by: king of the world, Trantor

Marcia Strassman was very ill for a long time. I always had the sense she must be a very cool person. She was an irregular regular in early MASH episodes, too. RIP.

Date: Tues, October 28, 2014, 13:34:36 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Gotta love The Onion, Chris.

Date: Tues, October 28, 2014, 13:33:53 ET
Posted by: Lutz, SF

Drew Zingg is special guest tonight with Tommy Igoe Big Band at Yoshis / SF.
Should be tasty.

Date: Tues, October 28, 2014, 12:33:33 ET
Posted by: Chris, nh

Not really Dangential, but it did make me think of them. We have plenty of musicians here and I'm pretty sure if any of us could make a million + every summer by performing our own music, we would ...,37299/

Date: Tues, October 28, 2014, 00:59:17 ET
Posted by: Gilbert, Arizona

I know I had a big crush on Marcia Strassman when I was young. She was really hot and it's the only reason I watched Welcome Back, Kotter. She was also a hippie folk singer in the late '60s with songs like The Flower Children. Really sorry to hear about her passing.

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014, 23:19:45 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Uh, perhaps Donald had a crush on Ms. Strassman when he was younger. I know I did.

While it is sometimes odd when a seemingly off-topic RIP gets posted on The Blue, it is even stranger to me when someone posts an objection to it. Why would anyone object to it strongly enough to post?

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014, 23:07:07 ET
Posted by: UH?,

RIP Mrs Kotter?? Is this a SD forum or a bulletin board for Entertainment Tonight?

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014, 22:50:13 ET
Posted by: Horschack, Class

Ooh, ooh, Mrs. Kott-eer, Mrs. Kott-eer.....

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014, 18:36:40 ET
Posted by: Waldo, Chicago

I hate to admit it, but Donny Osmond's version of Peg is really starting to grow on me. It's got a really good danceable groove and it doesn't even sound like Donny Osmond. I think it would be a real thrill for Donny if Donald & Walter invited him onstage to sing it on an upcoming tour.

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014, 14:17:44 ET
Posted by: Kurt, B

Need to be a registered classmates user to view in full.

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014, 14:16:52 ET
Posted by: Kurt, B

Fagen's High School year book picture. Supposed to also be a picture of him in there playing ping ping but I didn't find it.

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014, 12:06:17 ET
Posted by: harmolodic, izabal guatemala

Shark, thanks.

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014, 10:54:41 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

I know this comes off as hipstery snobbishness, but I still prefer vinyl to absolutely everything else. I don't own an iPod/iPhone/mp3 player, and can't stand the way they sound even when played on good headphones. I still listen to CDs in the car and prefer those for albums that were *made* to be on CD, but we play albums every day in this house and unless I don't have it on vinyl, I'm listening to my turntable. I have a good, somewhat expensive, but hardly top of the line audiophile setup.

Walter Becker's defense of CDs and digital recordings around the time that 2vN came out was well-taken, but for albums that were mixed on tape and on analogue boards, vinyl is just the proper setting to me. And I don't think it's a case of confirmation bias, because I'm 34 (sort of in between generations), and was raised in a house with equal amounts of vinyl, cassette tape, and CDs playing in the living room.

I do prefer, say, "Nightfly" or "Kamakiriad" (not that I have a vinyl version of that, I'm assuming they didn't make any) on compact disc (the 2008 releases), but just out of convenience's sake I'll usually play 'Nightfly' on LP when ambling around the house. 'Morph' is absolutely stunning and funky on LP, and obviously 'Aja' is at the toppermost of the poppermost on vinyl.

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014, 09:46:20 ET
Posted by: Michael, @Dan

Thanks for your reply.

Even when someone records a vinyl recording to digital format, such as when people upload vinyl collection to YouTube, I can hear the difference.

If I had a vinyl collection, one of the first things I'd do is make high-fidelity digital recordings of them. For pops, hiss and other unwanted noise, Adobe Audition 3 is perfect for the job.

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014, 07:08:12 ET
Posted by: Dan Belcher, Louisville, KY

Michael, I feel like part of it is just the nature of analog vinyl setups, but also a significant part of it is just the person mastering it. I feel like the Elliot Scheiner remastering of Deacon Blues on the "Definitive Collection" CD sounds nearly identical to the vinyl, with perhaps a little more clarity on the treble and more compression overall (though it's not heavily compressed, it's still not as dynamic as vinyl, but I'm okay with that). However, the Roger Nichols remaster back in 2000 sounds thin and a little too bright, just like his other 1999-2000 remasters, plus the original CD release of The Nightfly and Kamakiriad versus the DVD-Audio remixing and remastering of those two. (I copied down the 5 channel audio from those albums to 2 channel stereo and listen to those instead of the original CDs!)

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014, 06:21:24 ET
Posted by: king of the world, trantor

It was sinking in just recently that it's past halfway toward being as long a stretch without new SD as it was the first time, 11 years. They work together anyway, so it seems very strange to avoid making new SD. Then I thought, they have such high standards that they must have wanted to prove they could pull it off again (in 2000 and 2003), at the same level as before, after which they may not want to risk not reaching those heights under the name Steely Dan again. Leave the legend alone, go out on a high note.

I'm not totally up to date on the solo albums, for medical/$ reasons. Morph the Cat approached SD level though, I thought. Maybe they're just winging it, looking at what they come up with, deciding "What we have is great, but not quite Steely Dan".

Please pardon my rambling.

Date: Sun, October 26, 2014, 22:22:40 ET
Posted by: Albert, New Jersey

Sounds yummy. I think I'll go in the kitchen and make myself a Black Cow before I go to bed.

Date: Sun, October 26, 2014, 22:18:05 ET
Posted by: Michael ,

I've always been curious as to the method(s) for optimal mastering of recordings for vinyl. They tend to have more of a distinct, warmer sound than digital, but is it really just because of the medium itself?

Digital recordings can surpass vinyls in terms of clarity, frequency range and such, but you'd have to be an audiophile to notice in most instances.

Date: Sun, October 26, 2014, 20:44:42 ET
Posted by: Vernon, C

And diners today don't know how to do a black cow like they did in the 70s. The root beer and chocolate syrup is now all corn starch, the vanilla ice cream uses artificial flavorings. Bring back vinyl and real sugar.

Date: Sun, October 26, 2014, 20:04:32 ET
Posted by: Dan Belcher, Louisville, KY

Since I'm 30 years old, I missed out on the vinyl era for the most part. I played my dad's scratched up, beer stained classic rock records on his turntable when I was a kid and a teenager, but that's about it. I always loved the look and feel of vinyl though, so I finally bought a turntable (Audio Technica LP120) this week and I picked up a handful of used albums at the local Half Priced Books.

The copy of Aja that I found is one of the original pressings that has superior sound quality to later pressings, and it's not in mint condition but it's definitely in great shape.

AMAZING sound. The CD reissues have never quite gotten this album right. The treble seems a little harsh on the cymbals, and the bass lacks warmth and punch. This vinyl copy, however, has the balance just right. Black Cow is just audio heaven.

Date: Sun, October 26, 2014, 04:40:06 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, trapped inside Pretty's snare

Very cool, Shark. I'll definately try'em on one of these days.

And now, for the sake of a better sunday morning, please play this loud, and pretend that you are Bernard Purdie or Chuck Rainey (or both). What a groovy team. What a groovy sound. 1974; what a groovy year for music.

Date: Sat, October 25, 2014, 23:13:45 ET
Posted by: Shark DeVille, down in Tampa

Janie Runaway
|C7�Bb7�C7 |C7 | | | |
|C7 | | | |
|C7 | | | |
| | |G7 | |
|C7 | | |C#6/9 b5 |
|Eb9 | | |F#m/E |
|A#m/G# |C#m/B |A∆ |G6b5 |
verse 2
|C7 | | | |
| | |G7 |Eb9�Dm11 |
|C7 | | |C#6/9 b5 |chorus

|F#9 | | | |
| | | | |
|F9 | | | |
|F9 | |C#7�A�D9 | | / / |
|C7 | / / |F |C7 | verse/chorus x3
|C7 | | | |

Date: Sat, October 25, 2014, 13:11:27 ET
Posted by: Greg, Seattle

Legendary bassist Jack Bruce has died, R.I.P.

Date: Sat, October 25, 2014, 11:42:28 ET
Posted by: fagenism, She go (I cry)

MrHopeTelevision - the undisputed Maestro of 8 bit renditions - tackles the sublime Trans-Island Skyway:

Date: Sat, October 25, 2014, 01:58:42 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

Redeye - yup - a touch of Prince It think it allows Donny to play a character, and he's far better at that.. When he tries to be earnest, the results can be excruciating.

Date: Fri, October 24, 2014, 20:45:46 ET
Posted by: Satch, Ohio

A British reviewer named Will Hodgkinson has called Donny Osmond's new "The Soundtrack of My Life" the wettest album known to humanity. He gave the album one star. I think you have to pay to read the full article though. It's at Just type in Donny Osmond at the search tab on the right corner.

Date: Fri, October 24, 2014, 13:52:57 ET
Posted by: harmolodic, santiago sacatepequez

Chris: thanks...I think... :)

It's kind of the rest where it gets tricky...chorus starts with an Eb-7 or F#sus4 or something. It's the voicings that make it hard (and make Steely Dan harmonies so great)...

Date: Fri, October 24, 2014, 13:48:12 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

KD posted "Decades-long enmity toward Donny Osmond on a Steely Dan message board, are we really out of fish in barrels to shoot?"

I get your point, I think. But to be fair, the song was mentioned by a poster. The reaction was to that song. It isn't as if we just brought up Donny to bash him for no reason whatsoever. Now THAT would have been pathetic.

Date: Fri, October 24, 2014, 13:30:19 ET
Posted by: chris, nh

harmelodic - c7 on the verse. not sure about the rest :)

Date: Fri, October 24, 2014, 13:26:08 ET
Posted by: kip,

been listening to the early demos lately, I keep coming back to stone piano as the favorite.

great vocals by Donny on stone piano, the way I and maybe some or most of you like to hear him belt.

Date: Fri, October 24, 2014, 10:48:15 ET
Posted by: harmolodic, guatemala city

Has anyone here ever transcribed Janie Runaway? What a bear....

Date: Fri, October 24, 2014, 03:12:54 ET
Posted by: Redeye, New York

Yes, I agree with Doc Mu. I heard a small bit of it on YouTube. It has a slightly funky feel to it. I'd be very interested to hear Donald & Walter's reaction to it.

Date: Fri, October 24, 2014, 01:24:23 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

Osmond's take on Peg actually isn't horrible. He clearly enjoyed making it - broke out a bit. Professional sounding.

Your Song is a different story...very karaoke.

Date: Thurs, October 23, 2014, 15:12:20 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

Decades-long enmity toward Donny Osmond on a Steely Dan message board, are we really out of fish in barrels to shoot?

Date: Thurs, October 23, 2014, 13:06:11 ET
Posted by: Charles, Philly

I don't care what songs Donny Osmond chooses to cover. There's no way I'm going to buy it. Just listen to his 1989 comeback single "Soldier of Love" when he tried to reinvent himself. It's truly awful.

Date: Thurs, October 23, 2014, 08:28:02 ET
Posted by: Sammy, CT

To his credit, Donny despised his own career and had pretty good taste in the day's current music. Blue Oyster Cult, Steely Dan. It's been reported that The Nightfly is his all time favorite album.

He actually tried hard for most of the 80s to reinvent himself.

Date: Thurs, October 23, 2014, 07:19:36 ET
Posted by: Michael, @Jazzassin

Thanks for the compliment, though I rushed that particular tune. Got some stuff on the back burner.

On the subject of a new SD album, you just never know. However, I'm inclined to think there won't be. If Don & Walt only work on their solo careers from here on out, I'm cool with that.

Just for fun time, here's a small sampling of non-SD songs which I enjoy, to various degrees.

Todd Rundgren - Hello It's Me
Bread - Make It With You
Jim Croce - Time In A Bottle
Classics IV - Stormy
Classics IV - Traces
Eric Tagg - Marzipan
The Motels - Only The Lonely
Marvin Gaye - Come Live With Me Angel
The Jacksons - Walk Right Now
Michael Jackson - Rock With You*
Michael Jackson - Off The Wall*
Anita Baker - Rapture*
Anita Baker - Sweet Love*
Seals & Crofts - Summer Breeze
Dave Mason - We Just Disagree

* All 4 songs were composed by Rod Temperton.

Words of wisdom
"We don't make movies for critics, since they don't pay to see them anyhow." - Charles Bronson

Date: Wed, October 22, 2014, 20:44:28 ET
Posted by: M/O/D/P, shamelessly clueless

Thanks for the update, Steve. I guess I must have somehow missed out on that, er, particularly illustrious period in Mr. Osmond's lengthy stint in showbiz. Guilty as charged, sir.

Not that I'm particularly embarrassed at my lack of scholarly knowledge when it comes to Donny O's awful, awful career.

Date: Wed, October 22, 2014, 19:43:58 ET
Posted by: Steve Gennarelli, Tampa, FL

MOPD, sorry to burst your bubble, but Donny Osmond did reinvent himself in '89-'90 where he briefly became a staple on MTV. "Sacred Emotion" was a "edgy" "hip" Donny Osmond video and it actually sounded good. So for a brief time he went to the dark side and became cool.

Date: Wed, October 22, 2014, 10:02:36 ET
Posted by: M/O/D/P, admiring the consistency

Donny Osmond is still one musically wretched act, and he always has been. He went from targeting little teen girls who had questionable musical taste to addressing the entertainment needs of today's aging casual Air Supply fans, and he did it seamlessly. He hasn't ever tried to "reinvent" himself anywhere along the line as an edgy, hip performer, nor has he ever pretended to be a "serious artist".

He was awful way back then, and he's still awful. And, here in 2014, I take some comfort in that.

Date: Wed, October 22, 2014, 09:05:29 ET
Posted by: The Dean, St. Augustine Beach

Once again, Donny tortures a Steely Dan song. That was pretty hard to listen to.

And, while I try not to nitpick forum or Facebook posts, this just slapped me across the face:

"This next song, �Peg� by Steely Dan, which you�ll be able to here on the app, was the last song I sang before I became a dad."

Here? Pretty sure he means "hear". Again, not to be overly picky, but that post has been there since Sept 1st and nobody has noticed it, or bothered to correct it? I'm guessing Donnie has people for that.

Date: Wed, October 22, 2014, 00:39:50 ET
Posted by: Gopher, Sacramento, CA

Sorry, but I'm not gonna buy any Donny Osmond solo albums. If Marie was on it, then I'd buy it. I really love Marie Osmond. Had a huge crush on her when I was growing up. I saw her perform solo a few years ago in Reno, Nevada. She was really friendly with her fans after the show (signing autographs & posing for pictures).

Date: Tues, October 21, 2014, 21:18:13 ET
Posted by: Niles, C

Donny Osmond covers Peg on his new album. He explains why the song has a special significance to him on his fb page.

Date: Tues, October 21, 2014, 20:00:29 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

Thanks to all, especially Jazzassassin, who helped with the spam issue. Things should be back to normal...for a while.

Thank you for your support and sharing.

Be kind.


Date: Sun, October 19, 2014, 11:32:30 ET
Posted by: Jivesterino, Glesca

Brain Strainer,

Interesting yon deliberations on stand-alone non-derived from da ouevre..

Speed up Black Cow and you may find a skeletal 'juxtaposed obligatto' push 'n' pull not that dissimiliar to Glamour Profession.


Date: Sun, October 19, 2014, 10:31:20 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

And, again, I just as much miss Walter Becker's online presence.

I get that everything in 2014 would be ultra-scrutinized as The Voice Of Steely Dan Online, but if he's willing to play "Peg" for 1200 Aunt Nancys at a state fair, there's no shame in signing off on a few web missives on his or the SD site.

Date: Sun, October 19, 2014, 10:28:18 ET
Posted by: KD, asdf

I don't think we're getting a tenth Steely Dan album. I listened to 'Everything Must Go' quite a bit last week, and while the hindsight (aided by 11 years and three solo albums tossed in during that same time span) might be adding to this line of thinking, you get the idea that they finished that one thinking that it'll be The Last One.

What a way to go out, I concede. Still a big ole bummer, though.

Date: Sun, October 19, 2014, 10:24:27 ET
Posted by: Wesley, US

New book about Dylan is called Time Out of Mind: The Lives of Bob Dylan.

Date: Sun, October 19, 2014, 08:10:46 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, boy's voice

Abu, No no no, it's BOYS! :D Ok, then ... "voice" obviously makes sense, so this will have to go into the drawer for misheard lyrics. Jeez. "Boys." What was I thinking. Still, I think the song balances on the fine edge between brilliant craftsmanship and tripping over it's own feet. Musically, it has lots of undisputable qualities, but the plenty ideas and well fulfilled ambitions to make something Steely-ish is sometimes just a little too much, actually. They're very good at it, though, and I totally agree to your positive words about the horns and guitar in particular. Also, like you say, the string thing was odd and misplaced.
And there's something about the lyrics and vocal delivery that sounds very light hearted, direct and child-like enthusiastic in a way I can't easily associate with Steely Dan in any way. Or, this could be related to the fact that these guys are actually light hearted, direct and child-like enthusiastic, while I'm a grumpy old fart who thinks good spirits is a sign of general confusion and bad taste. You never know.

fagenism, yes please, I'll have both. Three. Please call me when the revolution starts!

Michael, thanks for the teddy bear repairman song. Good stuff. :)

Date: Sun, October 19, 2014, 07:21:57 ET
Posted by: fagenism, She go (I cry)

The things I miss the most on an autumn Sunday morning such as this one:

- fan interaction from Don or Walt. Essays, a blog, a Twitter - hell, anything but silence;

- news on a fifth solo album and a second book from Don, alluded to in Mojo a while back;

- a tenth fucking Steely Dan album.

Now that summer is over, we need some strange, new music in the street.

Date: Sun, October 19, 2014, 04:01:20 ET
Posted by: Abu, Odd Ode?

Jazzassin, thanks for your take on "Jazz Chops.." by Nigel Waddington. I believe the lyric you quoted is "...Donald Fagen, the voice of Steely Dan", not 'boys'. I would really like to get hold of the lyrics in order to see just how good or bad they are. The idea of a sort-of-tribute to Donald and Walter is nice. Overall, musically Mr. Waddington incorporates some decent Dan-soundingness. A review from says "Of the original Waddington tunes, perhaps the most interesting is 'Jazz Chops, No Hang Ups'. This one is an unashamed tribute to Steely Dan and features Jacqui Hicks on lead vocal handling a lyric about a session singer who dreams of working with the legendary band. Melody, arrangement and changes are very, very Fagen/Becker- esque... even John Blackwell gets the tone of his guitar just right." I like the music better than the vocal, although there are some nice elements of harmony incorporated in the backup vocals. The strings, however, somehow just don't sound quite right in a song that is in any way connected to DF and WB, as I believe only in "Through with Buzz" were there ever any strings in a Dan tune (unless you also throw in "FM", but I think the movie people had something to do with that). But as stated before, John Blackwell's guitar work is in itself a tribute to the Dan, and I also like the horn charts.

Date: Sat, October 18, 2014, 18:03:55 ET
Posted by: Hackensack, 65026

I just discovered a really good band on Spotify. Very steely like. Also you can hear other influences like Chicago. They ate called STATE COW. They've been around since 2008. Well worth checking them out.

Date: Sat, October 18, 2014, 14:05:08 ET
Posted by: Sec, C

Anybody need help paying their bills because of the money they spent on this tour? Let me know. It's the most noble and worthy cause I can think of.

Date: Fri, October 17, 2014, 18:05:04 ET
Posted by: Mason, NY

It's a tragic loss. Tim Hauser sang the lead vocal of The Manhattan Transfer's version of Donald Fagen's bluesy "Confide in Me".

Date: Fri, October 17, 2014, 17:20:55 ET
Posted by: Jake, Houston

Tim Hauser of The Manhattan Transfer has died, R.I.P.

Date: Fri, October 17, 2014, 10:25:18 ET
Posted by: Lutz, SF

Gorgeous version of "Speak Low" was done by Cal Tjader.
His "Cubano Chant" was also stellar as well as Coltrane's "Naima" done by him.

Date: Fri, October 17, 2014, 09:10:43 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, minor jazz chops, lots o' hangups

Abu, I checked Waddington's ode to Steely Dan. What can I say? Terms like "surrealistic, bizarre, absurd and hilarious" comes to mind, but also "clever and undoubtly done with a true love for the subject." I kinda like the idea that it exists, but at the same time I crumble a little every time I hear some of the lines; I kinda hope they're to be taken at least half-a-tongue-in-cheek, because with lines like:

"I can't tell what it would be like for me
when Walter Becker takes a hold of my hand
to introduce a legend'ry maaan - Donald Fagen!
The boys of Steely Daaan!",

I can't help thinking this song should immediately replace "The Steely Dan Show" . :D

Date: Fri, October 17, 2014, 08:40:29 ET
Posted by: Dave (from acquisitions), Philadelphia

@nicholas, Yellow Peril does make the list, i've always loved that one, list so far-

Sail the Waterway
The Bear
Mr. Sam
Here at the western world
Kulee Baba
Talkin bout my home
Can't write home about you
Second Arrangement
Runnin Child
old regime
soul ram
don't let me in
yellow peril
Ida lee
come back baby
wet side story

maybe FM? century's end? true companion? they don't really seem to fit into this list

Date: Thurs, October 16, 2014, 22:32:03 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

Lionel - It's the last line in Pixeleen. "Screened at a festival in Utah".
Yeah, that threw me off as well. It wasn't an official release. But it's cool. I enjoyed the trivia challenge.

Date: Thurs, October 16, 2014, 22:07:41 ET
Posted by: Lionel, Kansas City

Salt Lake City was mentioned in "All To Mobile Home" (Which shouldn't count because it never was an "official" release) Which SD song is "Utah" mentioned?

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 20:41:47 ET
Posted by: RR, C

SLC, Utah.

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 20:33:57 ET
Posted by: Steinmetz,

So what were the 2 states and capitals?

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 20:06:41 ET
Posted by: I cracked, The Code

New Jersey (beaches). Trenton? No
Pennsylvania, no Harrisburg.
Florida, no Tallahassee.
Oregon, no Salem
Alabama, but no Montgomery.
California, but not Sacramento

Going the other way

Baton Rouge, but no Louisiana
Santa Fe, Mexico is close. But not quite.

A hint was that these songs have been played live since 2000.

Phoenix, but no Arizona.
Salt Lake City, Utah (YES!!!)

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 16:02:41 ET
Posted by: SD Trivia, III

Nice job Hutch, but I can't allow the Bogota/Colombia one because they are referring to the University and it's spelled Columbia in the printed lyrics. But I will say that you're sniffing in the right area to get the city/state one.

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 13:42:09 ET
Posted by: Hutch,

Countries and capitals:

Netherlands, Amsterdam. Both mentioned in Slang of Ages.

Bogota in Glamour Profession.
Columbia in Pixeleen.

Peking in Your Gold Teeth.
China in Junkie Girl

Japan in Bodhisattva.
Tokyo in Snowbound.

You got me on the U.S. states and capitals.

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 13:10:29 ET
Posted by: Arnold Horshack, OH OH Oh OhOh

Mexico City, Mexico

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 12:56:48 ET
Posted by: SD Trivia, ooo

There's a second trivia question with country/capitals.

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 12:07:38 ET
Posted by: Stan got none, Olympia is the capital of Washington State

And USA is not a State.

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 11:42:47 ET
Posted by: SD, Trivia III

Stan got one. The other opens the pool to solo material.

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 11:17:47 ET
Posted by: raul, the valley

what do you consider as SD songs? solo albums are not SD songs

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 11:14:06 ET
Posted by: Stan, PA

trivia answer: Washington, USA (show biz kids, Haitian divorce)

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 10:18:10 ET
Posted by: SD Trivia, III

I suppose that last one was a little too hard. (hint: both songs have been played live since 2000)

Name two countries mentioned in SD songs that also have their captial city mentioned in a song. Have to draw from solo material for one of them.

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 09:58:48 ET
Posted by: Abu, Southeast of Hollywood (literally)

I was recently informed of an interesting tune by Nigel Waddington, a composer and arranger. Back in 2010, he released an album which includes a tune he wrote called "Jazz Chops, No Hang-Ups [an Ode to Steely Dan]". Did not Denny Dias' "famous" ad that was answered by Donald and Walter have this line, or something similar? The vocalist is one Jacqui Hicks, and lead guitar by John Blackwell (nice job). Perhaps this has been talked about previously here on the Bluebook, but I'm not sure. The lyrics seem to be about a session player who desires to play with the lengendary duo. I have not been able to find the lyrics online, as it does not appear to be a well-known song. Does anyone here happen to have the CD, with the lyrics? It is available on Spotify for a listen. What do you think? Here'e the link:

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 00:50:40 ET
Posted by: Brain Strainer,

If you stay within the SD/DF/WB discography, Glamour Profession is classified as "non-derivative", meaning that there are no apparent tunes with a discernible sonic resemblance to any prior songs in the catalogue or overall body of works. Other notable examples are "Pixeleen" and "Morph The Cat" title track, both of which sound nothing like any prior, or since, for that matter, to any tunes in SD/DF/WB Canon. I would agree that Greenflower St. is probably the best possible "force fit" of a sonic resemblance to GP that exists within that Canon.

Due to the non-derivative aspect of GP (within SD/DF/WB) AND because Shark DeVille did not specify that the tune he had in mind as bearing a sonic resemblance to GP was OUTSIDE of the SD/DF/WB bodies of work, many, myself included were thrown for a loop. I believe awhile back in some interview, DF off-handedly mentioned Dr. Buzzard's tune as having liked it, or something to that effect. Whether or not GP was derived from Cher Chez La Femme is an open question.

As an aside, I will say that the repeating accordion effect on GP is reminiscent of a German Polka tune that I have heard a few times but cannot identify. Considering that DF's mom sang in the Catskills of NY (the "Jewish Alps", as it were) during his youth, where much German/Yiddish music was performed, this also might have contributed a sonic influence to GP. And, if so, it would not have been the last time that a Yiddish musical influence was employed by DF. It would resurface over 30 years later on one of his solo tunes-- "Out of the Ghetto"......

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 00:31:56 ET
Posted by: kuleebaba,

Ah, here's the full interview:

"Speak Low" was the song.

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014, 00:26:16 ET
Posted by: kuleebaba,

Thanks Shark, I never noticed that!

Looks like the duo did know about it:

BTW, this is the same interview that got them in hot water with Keith Jarrett.

I guess in the interview Donald also said that the bridge is a take on the bridge of Kurt Weill's "Swing Low" (that's mentioned in Sweet's book). Now I've got to look that song up!

Date: Tues, October 14, 2014, 23:45:27 ET
Posted by: SDV,

that's the one thanks.

similar but different.

Date: Tues, October 14, 2014, 19:53:12 ET
Posted by: Finch, San Diego, CA

How discouraging. I completely forgot about that long forgotten tune from 1976. Cherchez La Femme sounds dangerously close to Glamour Profession. I wonder if Donald & Walt knew of it.

Date: Tues, October 14, 2014, 19:19:05 ET
Posted by: Finch , San Diego, CA

Could it be Cherchez La Femme by Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band?

Date: Tues, October 14, 2014, 18:58:29 ET
Posted by: Finch, San Diego, CA

I can't think of any songs that sound like Glamour Profession. It's a true original and my favorite track from the Gaucho album. I really love Anthony Jackson's bass line on that song.

Date: Tues, October 14, 2014, 18:57:20 ET
Posted by: Shark,

no it's a disco tune from the same era by some other group

Date: Tues, October 14, 2014, 18:42:49 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

Sharkey - Greenflower Street?

Date: Tues, October 14, 2014, 15:15:25 ET
Posted by: Shark DeVille, up on the hill

Can someone tell me the name of the song that "Glamour Profession" bears a strong resemblance to?


Date: Tues, October 14, 2014, 14:54:49 ET
Posted by: SD Trivia, II

There is only one state/capital city pairing to be mentioned in SD lyrics. Not in the same song. Name the state and its capital, and the songs in which they appear.

Date: Sat, October 11, 2014, 13:47:48 ET
Posted by: Stu, C

Review of Walt Weiskopf's latest. Not sure what he's talking about in the last sentence.

Date: Sat, October 11, 2014, 13:27:14 ET
Posted by: RIP, ?

Jan Hooks was great and I'm really sorry she died. But what does she have to do with Steely Dan?

Date: Fri, October 10, 2014, 07:34:05 ET
Posted by: viper, NC

Check out #6. Have a good weekend, sports fans!

Date: Thurs, October 09, 2014, 21:46:08 ET
Posted by: Finch, San Diego, CA

Oh God, not Jan Hooks. I loved her when she was on Saturday Night Live. Terrible tragedy. RIP

Date: Thurs, October 09, 2014, 19:16:59 ET
Posted by: BenJammin, Indy

R.I.P. Jan Hooks

Date: Tues, October 07, 2014, 08:16:30 ET
Posted by: Michael, new song

The Daily Life Of A Teddy Bear Repair Technician

FM7 GM7 DM7 Bm7
E7add9 Aadd6
FM7 GM7 DM7 Bm7
E7sus4 Gm6/A

DM7 B/F# Abm/F#
GM7(add13) Em7
A/B Bm7 DM7
F#+ F#7 Gdim/B Em9
Em7 D7 D/C B7
Em9 Bm/A EmM9

Bm7 A/B
DM7 Bm Cdim11 B7/D#
GM7(add11) G F#dim7
CM7b5 F#m/E
A/F# C#dim7 Em9 Gm6/A
Bm7 A/B
DM7 Bm Cdim11 B7/D#
GM7(add11) G F#dim7
CM7b5 F#m/E
A/F# GM13 G/A (second chorus ends with D)

Repeat interlude, but change last chord to F#7

Bm7 GM7 A#dim7 Em9 *repeat*

Repeat verse & chorus

DM7 A/D D/C A#dim7 Em7 *repeat*

Date: Tues, October 07, 2014, 03:21:03 ET
Posted by: fagenism, She go (I cry)

Huge Howard Stern fan here.

Steely Dan do come up every now and then, as already pointed out. I remember an interview with Chevy Chase where he discussed his past as a drummer for the fine Leather Canary. If memory serves, Howard did express admiration for Fagen during this exchange.

Baba Booey allegedly claimed he booked the show's biggest guest ever recently. Word on the street is this mystery guest is Bill Clinton, but with Flaffa Flunkhi being a massive Dan head he could be referring to the dynamic duo. A dream interview, for sure.

Date: Mon, October 06, 2014, 13:24:18 ET
Posted by: Flatbush Chuck, That NYC

I was in second-thru-fifth grade when Paul Revere and the Raiders forged their golden age of garage pop (1966-68); and while sad to say I never bought their 45s, I relished every infrequent playing of those little classics on WMCA and WABC. Today they're proud guilty-pleasures, if you will: "Hungry", "Kicks", "Good Thing" and (my favorite) "Him Or Me What"s it Gonna Be?" RIP

Date: Mon, October 06, 2014, 12:49:27 ET
Posted by: Greg M, ny

Howard Stern said sometime in 2012 or 2013 when talking to his producer BaBabooey, who, as someone noted is a huge Dan fan:

quote is almost exact as I remember it:

"Steely Dan? I'd interview those 2 guys in a second..."
"However I happen to know for a fact that those two are very dry..."

Thus insinuating that the interview with D+W wouldn't go that well so he doesn't bother to ask them to come in. And he is correct. Of course, we know that D+W wouldn't accept an invite as they are quasi-hermits and don't do much interviewing together anymore. (sadly)

Notwithstanding, Howard does do the best interviews in the business. Joe Perry was on this morning. Who knew THAT guy could be interesting...

Date: Mon, October 06, 2014, 12:26:50 ET
Posted by: ken, get a

Steve Gennarelli - Donald and/or Walter won't even go on Letterman or Fallon. Do you really think they'll go on Sten? A guy that can't stand them? What does being a multi-millionaire, with a super model wife and fostering numerous cats in need of a home have to do with his musical taste? Howard's musically taste is completely hideous. He likes garbage hard rock/hair bands Yes, Gary and Robin are big fans. Howard thinks they suck. Which makes sense for a guy that feel in love with band Enuff Z'Nuff.

Date: Mon, October 06, 2014, 11:03:32 ET
Posted by: Michael, an interesting story

Several years ago, I was lying down in bed on my side, trying to get to sleep, when suddenly I began hearing what can only be described as ethereal music, heard from the ear against the pillow, oddly enough. It was clearly audible, beautiful and extremely complex 'phantom music,' with multiple voices like a ethereal choir. It lasted for, I don't know, maybe 10-15 seconds, but then there was a sudden loud buzz (in the same ear) which startled me and that was it.

Found an interesting article with various comments from people who claim to have had similar experiences.

Date: Mon, October 06, 2014, 06:37:01 ET
Posted by: Zoot, Los Angeles

Paul Revere (of the Raiders), RIP

Date: Sun, October 05, 2014, 18:17:50 ET
Posted by: Howard/SD, p

I remember in 1986 when the Rosie Vela sessions sparked rumors of an SD reunion, Robin Quivers brought it up on the show. He was on in the afternoon back then.

In 1990, he had a low budget weekly TV show on a location NY station, and the band once played Bodhisattva during the outro to a commercial break.

Date: Sun, October 05, 2014, 17:46:05 ET
Posted by: Nicholas Urfe, Phraxos

Dave - how about Yellow Peril.

Date: Sun, October 05, 2014, 13:18:16 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu ,

Jazz: Precisely. The oft forgotten Journey in the Secret Life of Plants is the best example of Wonder's ability to explore. After the lack of commercial success, he became more restrained and pop oriented until the expansive A Time 2 Love

I felt Fagen was moving in this direction on Gaucho, outtakes, Nightfly and beyond (ex. Diana Ross Love Will Make it Right) until writer's block hit in the 80s. Post writer's block Fagen's stuff is more dry and R&B oriented, although he recaptures some of that mojo in the last 1/2 of EMG, part of Morph, and the post-everything Sunken Condos

Date: Sun, October 05, 2014, 13:11:37 ET
Posted by: Steve Gennarelli, Tampa, FL

Howard Stern is a multi-millionaire with a super model wife and together they are foster parents of numerous cats in need of a home.
To say that, Howard Stern has mellowed would be the understatement of the year. Howard doesn't hate "Steely Dan". He respects them.
I think Robin may have said it best. When they were teasing Gary "Baba Booey" for his naming "Aja" as one of his "Desert Island" must haves, Robin said she would have picked "Royal Scam" or another album.
I think there is a large, large group of "casual" Steely Dan fans who own "Aja" and think that "Aja" is the be all and end all of "SD". There are others like me that prefer "Pretzel Logic" and "Katy Lied".
Whether Donald and Walt ever appear on Howard's show, really depends on Don and Walt. They would be on Gary's short list of must have guests..but it appears they have no interest in the kind of biographical interview that only Howard can do.

Date: Sun, October 05, 2014, 11:49:29 ET
Posted by: ken, SD

Steve Gennarelli - I would say it's fair to say that Howard hates SD. A few yew years ago he went crazy on them only to have "Baba Booey" (who's a HUGE fan) trying to calm him down. Like you or somebody said, Howard prefers head banging bands.

Date: Sun, October 05, 2014, 10:13:15 ET
Posted by: Michael, @Jazzassin

Thanks again for the compliment. It's good that you can make out a signature style beneath the rather obvious SD influence, among others. No man is an island, after all.

Every artistic renaissance has a few giants whose works define the era to which they belong. We're fortunate to have the opportunity to hear many from across different eras.

As for Donald's box of demos, even if there were a handful of stuff which wouldn't pass the muster for an album recording, it would be madness to pass up an opportunity to "glance inside the head of a genius," so to speak. I would jump at the opportunity. However, it's not likely that we ever will, so let's just forget it.

Just think, shortly before he passed away, Michelangelo instructed that a pile of his sketches be burned. Priceless art, gone forever.

Date: Sun, October 05, 2014, 09:24:01 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Sunday, Sunday

Michael, I think you're familiar with my opinion; good songwriting is the finest art and most noble and notable contribution to the world of music, great songs are passed on through generations and evokes inspiration and inherent creativity in countless successive composers and musicians - and ... The Two are Miraculous and totally Against Nature.

But I swear, if I heard a couple of your latest songs for the first time anywhere around outside of a Steely Dan fan forum, the first thing that would strike me, after looking over my shoulder for Super Mario, would still be "this actually has some very Fagen-esque twists." See paragraph above for possible explanation.
After hearing quite a few, I also think I start to be able to detect some Michael-esque elements, which I hope and assume is some of the point after all.

As for what may exist in terms of unreleased recorded material, sketches etc. by Don and/or Walt ... I guess that drawer contains everything from downright masterpieces as percieved by everybody but the originators, to things you'd rather not hear to not get disappointed. Just my two cents.

And Mu, I really liked a couple of the more up-tempo songs by El DB, while the ballads wasn't my cup of tea so much. But anyway he operates on a melodic and harmonic quite sophisticated level, that's for sure.

Stevie Wonder was mentioned by Michael as a possible reference, and this song in particular comes to mind:

Date: Sun, October 05, 2014, 08:07:17 ET
Posted by: Michael,

@Jazzassin, heh, thanks. Now that you mention it, Donald once told an interviewer that he has a box full of demo tapes he's recorded. For music lovers like us, listening to this stuff would be equivalent to discovering the lost city of Atlantis.

Doc Mu, just listened to El Debarge. He has a nice soulful, laid-back R&B sound. His melodic inflections are like a cross between Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Thanks for sharing.

On the subject of putting together harmony, it's all a question of an artist's willingness to learn, experiment and refine. There's a tremendous amount of trial & error involved, so those who lack patience and the ability to be self-critical cannot excel.

kuleebaba, thanks, glad you enjoyed it. I aim to please.

Date: Sun, October 05, 2014, 07:20:58 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, appreciating the bass-ics of life

Most underrated, invisible and self-effacing SD musician 2006-2014: "Ready Freddie" Washington.

Not one solo. Not one excessive note. Always in the pocket. I humbly bow to this man.

Date: Sun, October 05, 2014, 06:54:06 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, in the dead of night

Michael, you have obviously burglarized Fagen's basement and are now letting out his secret midi sketches for the next solo album one by one. Shame. And thumbs up, of course. ;)

Date: Sun, October 05, 2014, 02:01:59 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

here's a song El Debarge wrote for Marvin Gaye.

On the surface it seems like typical 80s light pop, but El understanding something about harmonies few do.

Date: Sun, October 05, 2014, 01:45:16 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu ,

El DeBarge and his family band deBarge are often dismissed as lightweights, but El deBarge is capable of writing sly sophisticated and jazzy tunes with an apparent Bacharach influence... and has a talent for producing a good pop song. He's deft at some minor key slight of hand. Afflicted by drug addition for well over 15 years, album release has been sparse. He could have developed into a jazzier version of Marvin Gaye. No really - I think he had the inherent talent.

Date: Sat, October 04, 2014, 22:42:24 ET
Posted by: kuleebaba, Somewhere in Cali


Very nice. I agree, hints of Second Arrangement (and something else that's very familiar which I can't place).

Although I'm certain I wasn't thinking of El DeBarge :-)

Date: Sat, October 04, 2014, 21:45:51 ET
Posted by: Merlin, Ohio

One thing I like about Howard Stern is that he stands up against crazed lunatics like Ted Nugent.

Date: Sat, October 04, 2014, 21:42:41 ET
Posted by: Merlin, Ohio

One thing I like about Howard Stern is that he stands up against crazed lunatics like Ted Nugent.

Date: Sat, October 04, 2014, 19:31:46 ET
Posted by: Michael, @Doc Mu

The Second Arrangement trumps my meager effort, but I really appreciate the compliment. Don't know who that last artist you name-dropped is, so I'll put that on my to-do list for things to check 'em out early tomorrow.


Date: Sat, October 04, 2014, 18:56:10 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

Michael: I hear some 2nd Arrangement, Stevie Wonder, and even El DeBarge (that's not a bad thing)in that one.

Kewl as usual.

Date: Sat, October 04, 2014, 18:30:31 ET
Posted by: Steve Gennarelli, Tampa, FL

About Howard Stern, I don't think its fair to say he hates Steely Dan.
I recall years and years ago..over a dozen years ago, he said something to the effect that "Bodhitsva" was the only song they did that he liked.
..and to be fair to Howard, he has always admitted to liking Heavy Metal more than any other genre of music.
But in recent years with staffers like Gary "Baba Booey" Dellabotte and Jon Hein going to all of the shows at the Beacon, Howard has said he would like to go to a show and even had "Caves of Altamira" play in from a break.
Plus Howard has had some great interviews with legendary musicians like Graham Nash, Smokey Robinson (this past week) and Neil Young sometime in the near future. I'm sure he'd love to interview Don and or Walt sometime if they ever agreed to it.

Date: Sat, October 04, 2014, 17:19:45 ET
Posted by: Jim Taylor, Hello, Baton Rouge

@Dave: The Steely Dan Show!

Date: Sat, October 04, 2014, 17:13:04 ET
Posted by: drewslo, San Luis Obispo

F.M. doesn't really have an album home either

Date: Sat, October 04, 2014, 14:16:21 ET
Posted by: Dave (from acquisitions), Philadelphia

Dog eat dog is a great one. I was debating true companion and century's end and big noise New York.

Date: Sat, October 04, 2014, 12:25:29 ET
Posted by: ken, SD

Steve Gennarelli - It's well known amongst Stern fans that Howard despises Steely Dan! I mean....really hates them!

Date: Sat, October 04, 2014, 11:59:24 ET
Posted by: drewslo, san luis obispo

Don't forget

Dog Eat Dog
True Companion (if you are including solo material)

Date: Sat, October 04, 2014, 10:46:56 ET
Posted by: dave (from acquisitions), Philadelphia

danfans, i need some help. I'm compiling the "lost dan album". I'm taking the best of a bunch of demos and unreleased tracks, remastering them myself for optimum sound quality and creating a playlist, so far i have-

Kulee Baba
Runnin Child
Here at the Western World
Sail the Waterway
Can't Write Home About You
Don't Let me In
Come Back Baby
Second Arrangement
Mr. Sam
Talkin bout my Home
Old Regime
The Bear

i'm thinking i'll probably add-
big noise new york
wet side story
soul ram
ida lee
maybe a few more from the pre-72 demos

am i missing any essentials?

Date: Sat, October 04, 2014, 07:08:01 ET
Posted by: Michael, New song

In The Shadow Of Love

When I look in your eyes, I know
There's something bad
But nobody else seems to matter, yeah
'Cause I live in the shadow of love

Date: Fri, October 03, 2014, 23:00:28 ET
Posted by: Vinnie, Detroit

Whenever someone mentions Jeff Skunk Baxter, they always associate him with The Doobie Brothers. That's probably what Howie Stern thought.

Date: Fri, October 03, 2014, 22:25:21 ET
Posted by: Steve Gennarelli, Tampa, FL

I neglected to mention that a week ago when Slash of "Guns N' Roses" fame was on Howard's (Stern) show, he mentioned that he learned to play the guitar from Jeff Baxter and Steve Lukatter (of Toto fame). I think Howard didn't know that Baxter was from "Steely Dan" otherwise there may have been a follow up question.
On an unrelated note, Jim Parsons of TV's "The Big Bang Theory" to me, has an uncanny resemblance, in some ways, to a young 20 something Donald Fagen. If there's ever a "SD" making of TV movie or film, I'd say he'd be a top candidate to be the star.

Date: Fri, October 03, 2014, 22:12:00 ET
Posted by: Flatbush Chuck, That NYC

TTHBOA and Fire in the Hole are the CBAT tracks that for me best carry over the compressed harmonic/melodic eccentricity of many of the 1969-71 demos (maybe I should add Kings here). The rest of the album's numbers veer closer to early '70s AM/FM structural conventions.

What gets me about CBAT is its studied eclecticism of pop/rock styles. The three tracks that made it onto the radio (I'm including Dirty Work, which I heard on a NY FM station when I was 13) sounded to me at first as if they'd come from three completely different bands. The album smacked faintly of some aced capstone project for a ca-1972 pop/rock songwriting workshop. Which probably made some critics suspect that they were dealing here not with a rock band but a "rock band", in the Fugs/Mothers sense of natives of some allegedly higher arts & letters realm exploiting a mass form. (The arch liner notes probably didn't help allay those suspicions, either.)

On a musical plane the songwriting strikes me as pretty damned snazzy, especially for a debut-- maybe something like what would have resulted if Burt Bacharach had tried to ghost-write the next Band album, or something. Maybe several of the arrangements and tempos are a shade too, well, deliberate. (On Countdown, for often-discussed reasons, SD sounds a quantum jump more like a *band*, rather than a coterie of game session men.)

For me it's on the lyric plane that the album actually coheres: the songs introduce the perennial SD theme of compulsion, people caught in habits they know are delusional/self-destructive. Do It Again is the overture on this theme, cataloging violence, gambling and the knack for finding the woman who will do you dirt. Dirty Work reverses the usual gender roles in the will-you-ever-leave-your-spouse-for-me? morass. The ne'er-do-wells in Midnight Cruiser sense why the familiar faces ain't smiling like before, but it's beyond their scope to retool. In Kings it's a whole populace that's stuck in a rut, given their suspiciously sudden epiphany that their whole problem was their last leader-- and their whole solution is the next one. And so on, til the narrator in TTHBOA "will keep my promise when..."

Date: Fri, October 03, 2014, 20:25:01 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu, errata

Just one phrase per sentence re: underrated normally would do...but Heartbeat is just that overlooked.

Date: Fri, October 03, 2014, 20:22:39 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

Jazz: TTHBOA is the most underrated song/recording may be one of the most underrated in the catalog. At this point I'll listen to mainly Fire in the Hole and Heartbeat from CBAT and eschew the remainder.

There's a whole lotta hard bop snuck in there. Indeed, the intro serves as a warning that there's more ear candy outside the lines to come. The instrumental break starts with Dias innocently enough with almost a Western cowboy them, then veers off the road hard left at 2:47 in a jazzy, sad whimsical direction, doubled by Fagen on the plastic organ thingy. Portends of things to come. This is not your father's rock n' roll band.

Date: Fri, October 03, 2014, 10:24:57 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, Please make mine a double, Sam.

The quirky intro part to "Turn That Heartbeat Over Again" that soon dissolves in DbMaj7, and then everything else about this song, is not really possible. If Don & Walt had only written this one song, they would still have had their status as one of the greatest songwritng duos ever.

Date: Thurs, October 02, 2014, 22:23:55 ET
Posted by: Moonpie, Vegas

Calm down, Chuck.

Date: Thurs, October 02, 2014, 20:12:04 ET
Posted by: Flatbush Chuck, That NYC


Date: Thurs, October 02, 2014, 19:28:23 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, no cons or rapers

Lucky Henry (Hollywood, Bakersfield)

Helmet, Chuck! Helmet!

Date: Thurs, October 02, 2014, 17:16:18 ET
Posted by: Flatbush Chuck, That NYC

Babylon Sisters (San Francisco, Santa Ana)

Kid Charlemagne (San Francisco, LA)

West of Hollywood (+ Culver City)

Glamour Profession (LA + Hollywood)

I'm gonna slap my head hard when someone gets the bonus one, I know.

Date: Thurs, October 02, 2014, 14:40:05 ET
Posted by: SD, Quiz Bonus

A song from the solo albums.

Date: Thurs, October 02, 2014, 14:34:52 ET
Posted by: SD, Quiz

4 SD songs that name multiple cities in California.

Date: Wed, October 01, 2014, 12:27:50 ET
Posted by: hoops, chicago

Thanks for the heads up, Jazzassin. Noted and removed.



Date: Wed, October 01, 2014, 09:48:32 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, on duty


Hi all!

Do not open "john"'s links. They point to malicious scripts that could infect your computers. Just saying.

Hoops is now informed by email, and will undoubtly remove them as soon as he reads it, along with this post.


Date: Wed, October 01, 2014, 03:04:26 ET
Posted by: Doc Mu,

Moon - surprisingly good. Roger's in fine form. Most energy since part of Who are You.

Who knew?

Date: Tues, September 30, 2014, 09:18:56 ET
Posted by: Jazzassin, west of Sweden

Thanks to all who made it possible to once again live vicariously through another summer of SD shows I did not attend. All reviews were very much appreciated!

This has been posted before I think, but you can't get too much of a good thing. Not Don's worst solo, I'd say:

View Older Posts from September back thru July 2014 | June back thru April 2014 | March back thru January 2014 | December back thru September 2013 | August 2013 | June & July 2013 | May & Late April 2013 | Early April 2013 | February 2013 back to October 2012 | September 2012 | August 2012 | May-July 2012 | January-April 2012 | Nov & Dec 2011 | October 2011 | September 2011 | August 2011 | July 2011 | June 2011 | May 2011 | April 2011 & Before

Steely Dan Web Ring
<< Prev 5 | < Prev | List | Random | Next > | Next 5 >>

©2001-2015 Posts: by author and James J. McKay; Page Design by jim mckay - flat hat design
All posts should be properly cited if referenced elsewhere. Used by kind permission only.