Walter Becker, co-founder of the legendary band Steely Dan, died Sunday September 3, 2017.
Anyone who has read this site for more than five minutes knows how respected the Dan is around here.
His bandmate and collaborator Donald Fagen wrote a tribute, posted on Rolling Stone’s website. Read it here, or listen with brief commentary.
One awaits the inevitable “Steely Dead” tour.
– Night Sky Radio, “Reaching The Music Singularity“
“Better keep it real –
– Steely Dan, “Pixeleen”
Steely Dan quit touring in 1974, saying they hated it. In 1993, they starting touring again, and now Donald Fagen is announcing a new tour at the age of 69. So, if they don’t like touring, why go back to Annandale, as it were? The Don tells the Wall Street Journal (behind a paywall, unfortunately) –
When the bottom fell out of the record business a bunch of years ago, it deprived me of the luxury of earning a living from records. I don’t sell enough albums to cover the cost of recording them the way I like to. For me, touring is the only way to make a living.
Turns out The Dan is not the only band touring to make some cash. Guns ‘n’ Roses is hitting the circuit to make some pay as well. The fact that the band hasn’t released a new album since 2008 is no obstacle. Proving that a band does not need to be creating new stuff to make money.
Or even alive. Ronnie James Dio is going on tour despite being currently dead. A hologram of Dio will perform with a live band.
No word on whether Jem will be the opening act.
One awaits the inevitable “Steely Dead” tour.
Have some music to rock out the old year and ring in the new!
See you in 2017!
It’s that time of year again…. load up your machine guns and storm the stores for those Black Friday sales!
Stores should be required to play nothing but Steely Dan songs today. Maybe it would chill some of the more… frenetic… shoppers out. Well, at least until they got to “Don’t Take Me Alive!
Some Steely Dan for your shopper-survivalist weekend –
This one’s heavy on video, yo. But it’s smooth.
In 1978, the Doobie Brothers released their album Minute By Minute, containing the song “What A Fool Believes”….
…and, of course, it became a hit. So smooth.
Comare and contrast with Robbie Dupree’s 1980 single titled “Steal Away”…
…which seems to be exactly what happened here. Very suspiciously similar.
According to this site, Dupree’s song also was, uh, inspired by Eddie Money’s 1977 song “Baby Hold On.” I can kind of hear it.
Doobie Bro Michael McDonald had this happen with another song, 1982’s “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)” –
The song was sampled in 1994 by Warren G and Nate Dogg in “Regulate” [mildly NSFW]-
A completely and totally 100% absolutely true and smooth account of how this came about was related on the internet series Yacht Rock [also a bit NSFW]. And “Hollywood Steve,” the host of the show, is a real life music critic.
However, “I Keep Forgettin'” itself is heavily inspired by Chuck Jackson’s 1963 song titled, amazingly, “I Keep Forgettin'” –
McDonald’s version is sometimes listed as a cover of Jackson’s song, but there are differences. Although sharing credit with the writers of Jackson’s song, McDonald does get a songwriting credit on his version.
Michael’s old friends in Steely Dan had their own run-in with this sort of thing. From 1977, their song “Black Cow” –
…which got sampled in 1997 by Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz for their single “Uptown Baby” [you know it’s NSFW]-
The opening of the song features another sample, Amores Como El Nuestro by Jerry Rivera.
Turns out The Dan weren’t happy with Tariq and Gunz sampling the song and causing Walter and Donald some difficulties. Peter Gunz discusses it here (a little NSFW language in there).
Not long after that, Tatyana Ali released her 1998 single “Daydreamin'” (lots of apostrophes in music, apparently), where Tariq and Gunz sampled themselves sampling “Black Cow” in some kind of recursive loop and rapped on it –
“I heard Steely Dan “Black Cow” and went wild!”
Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen completes and reverses the Mobius Circuit by sampling “Uptown Baby” over “Black Cow” –
An independent station,
With jazz and conversation…
– Donald Fagen, The Nightfly
Music for your late night from the radio booth.
“The Nightfly” by Donald Fagen was far from the first (or the last) song about radio and disc jockeys, but more than any other song it captured the feel of being a late night DJ spinning jazzy tunes while waiting for callers to ring in with political commentary and crackpot theories, right down to the coffee-and-cigarette fueled solitude and even the advertising jingles.
But as noted above, Fagen was far from the only one to reminisce nostalgic (or not to nostalgic) about such things….
What do you remember about radio when growing up? Discovering new bands and taping favorites with a cheap Maxell or TDK tape? Hearing talk radio and all the politics conspiracy theories? Just listening to a baseball game while grilling out? Leave a comment and tell your story.
“If you must write prose and poems, the words you use should be your own, don’t plagiarise or take on loan” – The Smiths, Cemetry (sic) Gates
Melania Trump came under fire for allegedly plagiarizing a speech given by Michelle Obama in 2008. Melania’s speech was also apparently hacked by someone on staff who snuck in a rickroll. However, journalists and music buffs are still discovering more stolen bits that were slipped into her speech.
From the Home Office in Cleveland, Ohio (Hello Cleveland!)…
The Top Ten Other Speeches and/Or Pop Songs “Borrowed” In Melania Trump’s Speech!
10 – You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, “There is a price we will not pay.”
9 – If the way that you need is too much like greed, decide if you are rich or you’re poor.
8 – Lift up your eyes upon The day breaking for you. Give birth again To the dream.
7 – If we lose the time before us, the future will ignore us, we should use it, we could use it, yeah.
6 – If spending money like water was the answer to our country’s problems, we would have no problems now.
5 – Standing tough under stars and stripes, we can tell, this dream’s in sight.
4 – As a young girl, I dreamed of being a baseball. But tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!
3 – Take my thong off and my ass go boom!
2 – Stand up, Chuck, let ’em see ya.
And the Number One speech and/or pop song discovered in Melania’s speech…
1 – What else could I say? Hillary Clinton is gay!
They say nothing changes on New Year’s Day. But this past year has me reeling. Remember when Bill Cosby was the family man and America’s Dad, and Steely Dan were the shady freaks singing about Bad Things instead of grocery store Muzak?
You’ve got to admit it
At this point in time that it’s clear
The future looks bright
On that train all graphite and glitter
Undersea by rail
Ninety minutes from New York to Paris
Well by seventy-six we’ll be A.O.K.
Donald Fagen, “I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World)”*
2015 has been a crazy year, in the most literal sense of the word. Grab your spandex jacket and go have a great night.
* International Geophysical Year, July 1 1957 – December 31 1958