Monday, December 7, 2009

Steely Dan: Gaucho





When I was little, I thought that Steely Dan was a man, not a band. It wasn't until years later that I realized that it wasn't a guys name. I was able to track back and figure out why I thought this, though.


My exposure to Steely Dan was again compliments of my Father, who had "Gaucho" on one side of an old Maxell Cassette (hence the old school photo). On the other side of the tape......Christopher Cross' self-titled album. Ugh. But I'll save that for another time.


So I think it makes sense that a 5-year old would think that if it's a guy's name on one side of the tape, then it would be another guy on the other side, right? Gaucho came out in 1980, so I figure that's around the age we're talking, maybe a little bit older. And in case you were wondering, Christopher Cross came out with his first album in 1979. Ahh, sailing.....


It's funny now that I look at the Track list that I only remember the first five tunes with any sort of clarity. Perhaps that old cassette cut off the last couple tracks because it wasn't long enough? (btw, when was it that you could release an album that was only seven tracks?! And it still couldn't fit on a cassette!

But what I do remember is good times. I remember my sister and I waiting in the back seat until the "shake it!" line of the chorus after the ladies voices sang the first part of the line. And I remember wondering what the hell the Santa Ana winds were.

For "Hey Nineteen" I totally have one of those " 'scuse me while I kiss this guy" moments where I totally got the words wrong. In the chorus, I had thought they were singing "The Fine Coat Run Me In". Not that I really knew what that meant. The actual line is "The Fine Colombian", which is kind of funny because there's really no way in hell I would have know what THAT meant either! Though I do credit that song with giving me the name of Aretha Franklin to look up and see who was the actual Queen of Soul. Hard to argue with that. It wasn't long after that I first saw Aretha play the angry wife/waitress in the Blues Brothers movie, which showcased her abilities with an awesome version of the tune "Think".

And I realize now while reading the lyrics of "Glamour Profession" that I had no idea what the song was about. But hey, that's what happens when you're a kid under the age of 10 listening to Steely Dan, the man or the band. Either way, they're still great tunes.

A few years ago I had the chance to go see Steely Day play at the E Center in Camden, NJ (now the Sovereign Bank Center). It was one of the most enjoyable shows I can remember. Just sitting on blanket on the lawn, listening to some musical genius played live in front of us. I was dying to try and get tickets to see the special shows they played this past year (they did a few shows where they played complete albums and then a few other all-request shows).

In later years, I became a HUGE Steely Dan fan. I still remember the day I found the ultimate bargain when I pulled a used copy of their boxed set Citizen Steely Dan. It was selling for $60 new and the used copy, with collector's booklet was only 20 bucks! I LOVE POSITIVELY RECORDS! It was one of my first real finds there. You will certainly hear that store's name again and again on this blog. If you're in the Fairless Hills, PA area, definitely check them out. Still one of the best sources for used music in the Philly area, IMO.

During the years since I purchased that set, I've worn it into almost flimsy shape from so many playings, bringing on road trips, to and from college, etc. But the music still sounds just as good as it did when we used to listen to that old Maxell Cassette. Good stuff! Go Listen!

2 comments:

  1. Speaking of playing out cassettes... I "burned" a copy of Bob Dylan's greatest hits RECORD to a cassette tape so that I could play it in my room uninterrupted. I was surprised to find out the little warp on the record also copied to the tape (it's right before the first chorus in Like a rolling stone):

    "About having to be scrounging for your next meeeee-uh-aaaallll... how does it feel?"

    To this day, I can't sing this line without dipping my voice to catch the warp. The digital copy just doesn't do it justice.

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  2. Lol I know exactly what you mean, Monica! I still have a few songs like that where my original vinyl used to skip and get stuck so every time I hear it now I hear the same word over and over but the song on the radio/cd/mp3 just keeps on going...

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