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Steely Dan — Deacon Blues
Album: Aja
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1628









Released: 1977
Length: 7:20
Plays (last 30 days): 1
This is the day of the expanding man
That shape is my shade, there where I used to stand
It seems like only yesterday I gazed through the glass
At ramblers, wild gamblers
That's all in the past

You call me a fool, you say it's a crazy scheme
This one's for real, I already bought the dream
So useless to ask me why, throw a kiss and say goodbye
I'll make it this time
I'm ready to cross that fine line

Learn to work the saxophone
(I) I play just what I feel
Drink Scotch whisky all night long
And die behind the wheel
They got a name for the winners in the world
(I) I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues
(Deacon Blues)

My back to the wall, a victim of laughing chance
This is, for me, the essence of true romance
Sharing the things we know and love with those of my kind
Libations, sensations
That stagger the mind

I crawl like a viper through these suburban streets
Make love to these women, languid and bittersweet
I'll rise when the sun goes down, cover every game in town
A world of my own
I'll make it my home sweet home

Learn to work the saxophone
(I) I play just what I feel
Drink Scotch whisky all night long
And die behind the wheel
They got a name for the winners in the world
(I) I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues
(Deacon Blues)

This is the night of the expanding man
I take one last drag as I approach the stand
I cried when I wrote this song, sue me if I play too long
This brother is free
I'll be what I want to be

I'll learn to work the saxophone
(I) I play just what I feel
Drink Scotch whisky all night long
And die behind the wheel
They got a name for the winners in the world
(I) I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues
(Deacon Blues)
Comments (212)add comment
 Sawyer wrote:


ScottishWillie wrote:

I regularly read Americans complaining that Radio Paradise is playing songs that were on FM radio. Not sure why exposure on FM radio makes a song invalid for Radio Paradise? Also this is a truly international station and I think we foreigners usually outnumber Americans on the “Who is listening where chart”. I for one am therefore delighted that featuring on FM, back in the day, doesn’t amount to an automatic veto for a song!


Sawyer wrote:



I have to think that it was ironic comment. I can't imagine 90% of this content being played on the AM band.....

 
Talk about ironic, I can't imagine 90% of this being played on any broadcast over the air radio station. But to your point, your lack of ability to imagine such a scenario may be age related. First concert I saw was Queen at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in 1975 while promoting the Sheer Heart Attack album. I won the tickets from a local AM radio rock station. Times and technology change. 



Recently watched the documentary on the making of AJA it was really interesting- worth checking out (can't recall if on Netflix or Amazon Prime)
 Sawyer wrote:
 

FM was the BEST back in the day, when they were inventive with their formats. I remember when "Born to Run" came out, WNEW in NY played it 10 TIMES in a ROW. You will never see that now on FM radio, it's all robots.
FYI - Chevy Chase played with these guys at one time...but went elsewhere....
 ScottishWillie wrote:

I regularly read Americans complaining that Radio Paradise is playing songs that were on FM radio. Not sure why exposure on FM radio makes a song invalid for Radio Paradise? Also this is a truly international station and I think we foreigners usually outnumber Americans on the “Who is listening where chart”. I for one am therefore delighted that featuring on FM, back in the day, doesn’t amount to an automatic veto for a song!



 

I have to think that it was ironic comment.  I can't imagine 90% of this content being played on the AM band..... 
 pixel-pusher wrote:
I love this portrait of a self-important loser with grandiose plans to go down in a blaze of obscurity. And those horns!
 

You said it better than I was about to. "Learn to work" the sax indeed!

And yet, he's also very sad, very Death-of-a-Salesman-y. He knows he'll never be anything, and he dreams of going down the biggest nobody ever, in a grand F-U to life. As soon as he learns an instrument.

It is tragicomic, yet sublimely bitter, like a fine cigar.

And those horns!
 ScottishWillie wrote:

I regularly read Americans complaining that Radio Paradise is playing songs that were on FM radio. Not sure why exposure on FM radio makes a song invalid for Radio Paradise? Also this is a truly international station and I think we foreigners usually outnumber Americans on the “Who is listening where chart”. I for one am therefore delighted that featuring on FM, back in the day, doesn’t amount to an automatic veto for a song!

 

 shockwavewriter wrote:
I saw Steely Dan open for the Kinks in Arlington, Texas, way back in nineteen dickety-do.  A friend had bought us tickets to see the Kinks, and SD was a surprise, as I had never heard of them.  Both concerts were awesome, particularly as hardly anyone came - maybe a tenth of the expected audience.  SD was flawless, which is a criticism, I know, as their perfection is somewhat contrary to the idea of rock, but it was fine contrast to the Kinks, who are completely on the other end of that spectrum.
 
wow, that's an interesting pairing.
 kcar wrote:

Actually..."I crawl like a viper through these suburban streets"

Hated SD for a long time, largely because they were so laid back and jazzy. It sounded cheesy—not sophisticated—and contrived to my younger ears.  

Not my fave Steely song. But it's still pretty great.  
 
That's the first time I've seen SD labelled as "not sophisticated".  I think they are quite the opposite. It may even require a higher degree in music to truly appreciate how sophisticated SD really are.
I think your younger self was wrong, but you seem to agree with that now.
There are acts I like more than Steely Dan but the entire Aja album is one of may favorites of all time.  This and the title track should always be rated 11 on a scale of 10.
Lyrics: 10, hard to beat Donald Fagen on turning a phrase. The only reason I don’t rate it a 10 is that I reserve that for the title song- Steve Gadd’s insane drumming on Aja is iconic. Gotta love some SD - introspective, self deprecating, erudite. And musically, way, way way above par.
I saw Steely Dan open for the Kinks in Arlington, Texas, way back in nineteen dickety-do.  A friend had bought us tickets to see the Kinks, and SD was a surprise, as I had never heard of them.  Both concerts were awesome, particularly as hardly anyone came - maybe a tenth of the expected audience.  SD was flawless, which is a criticism, I know, as their perfection is somewhat contrary to the idea of rock, but it was fine contrast to the Kinks, who are completely on the other end of that spectrum.
An almost flawless piece of music. Sublime.
 Proclivities wrote:
 ScottishWillie wrote:
I rejected this as crap in 1977 because it wasn’t Punk. The folly of youth! 

I liked both.  If I remember correctly, I bought this album, The Sex Pistols first album, and Ian Dury's first album on the same trip to the record store.  It was a while ago though.

 

Respect!
 ScottishWillie wrote:

I rejected this as crap in 1977 because it wasn’t Punk. The folly of youth! 

I liked both.  If I remember correctly, I bought this album, The Sex Pistols first album, and Ian Dury's first album on the same trip to the record store.  It was a while ago though.

Sad to read this - legal battle following Walter Becker's untimely demise

https://www.vulture.com/2017/11/a-war-is-brewing-in-the-steely-dan-universe.html?utm_campaign=vulture&utm_source=tw&utm_medium=s1


 old_spice wrote:
A measly 6.8...shameful Paradisers...

 
you are right Old spice, shame on you Paradisers
I was saddened to tears on hearing the news of the passing of Walter Becker. Steely Dan is one of my absolute personal favorite rock acts, ever. Their music has meant a lot to me over many years, both at great parties and during moments alone. His surviving partner, Donald Fagen, issued a memorial letter praising Becker's talent and remarking that he was "smart as a whip, an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter... He was cynical about human nature, including his own, and hysterically funny."
In commemoration of his passing, I've submitted eight images for "Deacon Blues," including this one:

Boy Praise in Church
This is a cross-post with the RPHD Slideshow Forum and The Obituary Page.

A measly 6.8...shameful Paradisers...
PSD Salvation (Play Somethingnot Dylan)
 treatment_bound wrote:
 
What about

1)   The Cuervo Gold? 

2)  The fine Columbian?

Do they help you enjoy SD as well? 

 
Yes. But how about an update.

1) The Don Julio Reposado

2) The fine Banana Kush

Sometimes progress is good.
One of my all time fave records. Here's a video that attempts to explain why it's darn cool...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSDD8rgUiNc 
 coloradojohn wrote:
When I was in high school and this was on the radio, I thought it was pretty cool. Sure, Rock ruled, but this was hip and smooth as silk; slick production, bad-assed lyrics. Later, I realized it was even cooler. I think it's a masterpiece of poetic and musical brilliance!

 
I had a roommate in college (circa 1986-7) that loved this album and would put it on when he had girlfriends over to set the mood.  If this was playing, I knew not to go downstairs to his bedroom!
You get Steely Dan or you don't ..  all lyrics aside they were brilliant jazz fusion musicians.
The album Aja was released in 1977, not 1974.
While not my favorite Steely Dan album, it is good and it is their best selling.
Very interesting ratings on this song.  61% are a 7 or above, but 11% gave it a 1.  At least there are not a bunch of "I hate this" and "PSD" posts, which I've never understood.
When I was in high school and this was on the radio, I thought it was pretty cool. Sure, Rock ruled, but this was hip and smooth as silk; slick production, bad-assed lyrics. Later, I realized it was even cooler. I think it's a masterpiece of poetic and musical brilliance!
 Bert7 wrote:
I was listening to this in 1977...
 

I rejected this as crap in 1977 because it wasn’t Punk. The folly of youth!


I was listening to this in 1977...
 joempie wrote:
According to allmusic.com, this album is from 1977, not 1994. What's the truth?

 
1977 - not 1974 or 1994.
Seriously? This only rates a 6.8? One of the BEST tunes ever deserves a hard 10.
Turing it up now to ELEVEN as Mr. Milo and I twirl in the kitchen.
"I want a name when I lose"....
{#Dancingbanana}
 joempie wrote:
According to allmusic.com, this album is from 1977, not 1994. What's the truth?

 
In 1977 it was released (and not 1994 or 1974...).
According to allmusic.com, this album is from 1977, not 1994. What's the truth?
Dat sax:)
 Dinges,_the_Dude wrote:

He, I repeat myself...{#Cheesygrin}

 
He, I repeat myself-self-self-self {#Smile}
Super super duper

Webfoot wrote:
I don't know, I like scotch (single malt whisky) a lot!
 

 Redpoint wrote:
This just the type of MOR soft rock nonsense that gets written after "drinking scotch all night". 
Awful.  
  I don't know, I like scotch (single malt whisky) a lot!


 Caro3474 wrote:
play list idéale pour cette matinée de cuisine {#Smile}en France où je prépare mes confitures....

 
mais pas plus
This just the type of MOR soft rock nonsense that gets written after "drinking scotch all night". 
Awful.  
RP play lots of different Steely Dan tracks, so I concur with the previous commenter - so what if the track was played on FM stations way back when? It was good music then, and it remains good music. The attention to detail these guys always exhibited remains fascinating to me - never a note out of place, somehow. pxd
play list idéale pour cette matinée de cuisine {#Smile}en France où je prépare mes confitures....
 ScottishWillie wrote:

I regularly read Americans complaining that Radio Paradise is playing songs that were on FM radio. Not sure why exposure on FM radio makes a song invalid for Radio Paradise? Also this is a truly international station and I think we foreigners usually outnumber Americans on the “Who is listening where chart”. I for one am therefore delighted that featuring on FM back in the day doesn’t amount to an automatic veto for a song!



 
Absolutely concur. Great song and great to hear it played.
I know squat about the "technical" construct but it's got a way cool sound man, can ya diggit, I knew ya could    ; )
 Foot wrote:

Overrated FM radio (and now RP radio) pabulum.

 
I regularly read Americans complaining that Radio Paradise is playing songs that were on FM radio. Not sure why exposure on FM radio makes a song invalid for Radio Paradise? Also this is a truly international station and I think we foreigners usually outnumber Americans on the “Who is listening where chart”. I for one am therefore delighted that featuring on FM, back in the day, doesn’t amount to an automatic veto for a song!

Brings back a lot of good memories.
Zzzzzzzzzz
 ericdaryl wrote:
I should not like this song. Not one bit. But it got me. 

"Crawl like a serpent through suburban streets"  
 
Actually..."I crawl like a viper through these suburban streets"

Hated SD for a long time, largely because they were so laid back and jazzy. It sounded cheesy—not sophisticated—and contrived to my younger ears.  

Not my fave Steely song. But it's still pretty great.  
this whole set Bill's playing makes me feel like it's Saturday night{#Cool}
I enjoy hearing Steely Dan once in a while, and admire their chops. But they've never grabbed my heart or belly - they're a head center pleasure. And sometimes sound dated... hate to say it but the bg vox remind me of the Partridge Family in this song. They still bring back a feeling for me, a whole gestalt of the times. 
Just checking to make sure I'd given this song the 10 it richly deserves. I'm sure the score is lower than expected because this was an FM radio hit back in the day, but being a hit shouldn't take away from this song's status as a masterpiece.
they call me Deacon Blues
 masteroflife wrote:
You either get Steely Dan's genius or not. Personally, I think there is no one out there that can top them in originality, pure musical and lyrical excellence and the total avoidance of cliche'. Thank you RP.

 
I agree. They have a unique sound and beat that never gets old in my opinion.
so cool
 djblitz wrote:
I'm not a big fan of how Steely Dan dates themselves.  You can hear some songs and have no idea what decade it's from but for tracks like this, they just haven't aged well and feel like they should be in some sort of cheesy cop movie from 1975.  

 
I always thought SD has a genre that's all their own — nobody really sounds like them. Okay, you're right that I could hear some of that instrumentation on that 1975 cop show. But who else writes chord progressions like these guys? :-)

Check out these chord tabs:  https://www.hakwright.co.uk/music/tab/deacon_blues.shtml

Holy buckets. Not your average G, C, D song. I still find this tune an interesting listen for me. :-)

Mmmm, scotch whisky.
You either get Steely Dan's genius or not. Personally, I think there is no one out there that can top them in originality, pure musical and lyrical excellence and the total avoidance of cliche'. Thank you RP.
Oh the memories. Camping along Skyline Drive and dancing the night away under a sky filled with stars. 
 Dinges,_the_Dude wrote:
Nice sequence after Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage!

 
He, I repeat myself...{#Cheesygrin}
Walter White likes Steely Dan.
I love this portrait of a self-important loser with grandiose plans to go down in a blaze of obscurity. And those horns!
 Peter_Bradshaw wrote:
.... average rating 6.7!!!!   10 as a minimum 

 
I am floored {#Stupid} SD is the best!!!
.... average rating 6.7!!!!   10 as a minimum 
From age 17 to 53 this has always been a fave song of mine...baffled by the indifferent rating.
 ScottishWillie wrote:
I dismissed this song and indeed the band first time round as I was a punk and liking this would have been social suicide with my little clique. Thank God for the wisdom that comes with age.
 
In 1977 I bought this album and records by several punk or "new-wave" artists.  It all worked.
I'm not a big fan of how Steely Dan dates themselves.  You can hear some songs and have no idea what decade it's from but for tracks like this, they just haven't aged well and feel like they should be in some sort of cheesy cop movie from 1975.  
6.7 is just unreal. This is a timeless masterpiece.
 sirdroseph wrote:
I cried when I wrote this song

sue me if I play too long


this brother is free


I'll be what I want to be.....


Pretty good, no?

 

very good
I cried when I wrote this song

sue me if I play too long


this brother is free


I'll be what I want to be.....


Pretty good, no?
Nice sequence after Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage!
I should not like this song. Not one bit. But it got me. 

"Crawl like a serpent through suburban streets"  
 steeler wrote:

Don;t beat around the bush.  Tell us what you really think about Steely Dan.  {#Flamed} 

 
Agreed, well said...
 ScottishWillie wrote:
I dismissed this song and indeed the band first time round as I was a punk and liking this would have been social suicide with my little clique. Thank God for the wisdom that comes with age.
 
As Steely Dan hasn't obviously gotten better w/ age (in my opinion, and I was there in the 70's too), I would have stayed punk.  Overrated FM radio (and now RP radio) pabulum.
That song makes you feel like studying all the instruments at once.
I dismissed this song and indeed the band first time round as I was a punk and liking this would have been social suicide with my little clique. Thank God for the wisdom that comes with age.
My favorite band in high school back in the 70's. Great transition from Herbie Hancock as he was another favorite of mine and a small group of friends who liked jazz. It wasn't until I heard Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck though that I really fell in love with the genre. Judging by other listener's posts, it sounds like a common experience.   
 treatment_bound wrote:
 
What about

1)   The Cuervo Gold? 

2)  The fine Columbian?

Do they help you enjoy SD as well? 

 
Only when not on the job. Which unfortunately is NOT the case at the moment.

But yes, they do make tonight a wonderful thing. Wish I'd known this when I was 19. {#Lol} 
 NeilBlanchard wrote:
Steely Dan almost always sounds vapid and shallow and egotistical.

I cannot stand most of their songs, and this one is terrible.

 
Don;t beat around the bush.  Tell us what you really think about Steely Dan.  {#Flamed} 
Steely Dan almost always sounds vapid and shallow and egotistical.

I cannot stand most of their songs, and this one is terrible.
 EdEastridge wrote:
 The dense harmonies, the horns, the snark of Fagen's lyrics and deliveries.. it just doesn't get much better.
  
What about

1)   The Cuervo Gold? 

2)  The fine Columbian?

Do they help you enjoy SD as well? 


Absolute 10… if only because there's nothing higher. Love this song. The dense harmonies, the horns, the snark of Fagen's lyrics and deliveries.. it just doesn't get much better. Makes me catch my breath on a Sunday night.
{#Sunny}


Not so much. A 6 for its sophistication. Reeling in the Years was imho as good as SD got. Give me musical energy. Save the lyrical avant garde crooning introspection. 
Great song.
Always loved SD.  And, yes, this is from Aja.
big stud Romeo Tuma wrote:
The music is fantastic smooth jazz, and the lyrics are pure poetry...  this really is a great song...
 

I be the holy ghost of big stud Romeo Tuma...  this song is marvelous...
 
Wow, not so much love for Steely Dan!

I am generally ambivalent on the topic.

Aja is a classic album with great sound though.  Gaucho is in the same vein.
 dvwtwo wrote:

 vesta0424 wrote:
Every time I hear a Steely Dan song, I get depressed.
 
+1

 
You guys are like Steve Martin's character in The Jerk: "There's something about those songs... they depress me." {#Lol}
A generous 2.
Reminds me of the waiting room at my dentist's office.
They will always get a10 from me.  an 11 or 12 if it were possible.  Hell, I'll give 'em an 11 anyway.  Thanks for the memories, Dan, and I have nearly all their songs on my MP3.  {#Clap}   {#Music}
Steely Dan makes me think think that i'm listening to a lounge act in a hotel bar by an airport somewhere. where's my scotch and soda?
 vesta0424 wrote:
Every time I hear a Steely Dan song, I get depressed.
 
+1


"This is the night of the expanding".... pants

 vesta0424 wrote:
Every time I hear a Steely Dan song, I  reach sublime happinessget depressed.
 

Fixed it fer ya.{#Meditate}
If I never heard this, or any other, steely dan song again it would be too soon, far too soon.  Absolute bloody torture! The emporer's new band, imho.
It's only yesterday I drove my car for a long trip and I played the entire AJA album as well as the GAUCHO album and it was a very relaxed en joyfull ride!!!
Every time I hear a Steely Dan song, I get depressed.
 Akaiila wrote:
Oh wow - that's like someone pouring icewater down the back of your neck after a beautiful massage. All that beautiful Zero 7 calm and groove just drowned in a schlocky, kitsch 70s bad taste-erama. No amount of irony could salvage this train-wreck.
 
{#Eh} But this song also has a calm groove. It's not like your suddenly jarred out of your reverie by a heavy metal song. Bill programs songs that fit together well and I'd say with Zero 7 and Steely Dan he succeeded yet again. The 70's produced some bad music but Steely Dan does not fit in that category, imo.

 rdo wrote:



 
If the door opens and the car is not there... please take a step in.

 greyfin10 wrote:

You know, there are many criticisms of Steely Dan that I will argue with.  The creepy bit I can't argue with though.  There's always been something a bit seedy about them... The good news is that it's never negatively impacted their genius :)

Two Against Nature had at least three dirty old man songs on it.  Great music all in all though.
 
Well, I reckon that a group that takes their name from a dildo just might be thought of as "seedy".  To me, the '70s era was all a bit seedy...

Oh wow - that's like someone pouring icewater down the back of your neck after a beautiful massage. All that beautiful Zero 7 calm and groove just drowned in a schlocky, kitschy 70's-like bad taste-erama. No amount of irony could salvage this train-wreck. 

Puke. 

 reindeer wrote:
Great song from great artists, but...
It's been played to death already, sadly. 
 

This song is so sublime it holds absolute immunity to overplay, absolute!!!!!{#Meditate}
Love the whole album.
 amb599 wrote:
This was long before my time.  I find it creepy and repetitive...
 
You know, there are many criticisms of Steely Dan that I will argue with.  The creepy bit I can't argue with though.  There's always been something a bit seedy about them... The good news is that it's never negatively impacted their genius :)

Two Against Nature had at least three dirty old man songs on it.  Great music all in all though.


 Ndugu wrote:
Colleges alluded to in this song:
Alabama
Wake Forest

Alabama was (and still is) a football powerhouse, with the pretentious nickname "The Crimson Tide". I'm guessing that Becker and Fagan relate more to Wake Forest, which lost a lot of football games at that time. Perhaps they were like the marching band ("learn to play the saxophone..."), working behind the scenes, cleverly amused by bizarre rituals of American football.

We talked to a guy named Kenny Vance, who worked with what would become Steely Dan when he was with Jay & The Americans. He confirmed what we suspected: they are weird.

  You haven't been to the beach when there's a red tide, have you? Nasty stuff: I'm not sure I'd like to be called that.

Disclaimer: I grew up in Montgomery, but cared little about Alabama or Auburn.


 amb599 wrote:
This was long before my time.  I find it creepy and repetitive.

Nevertheless, I'm shaking my booty a little in my chair and am embarrassed about it.  Also I'd like some scotch whiskey. 
 
same sentiment, except with ice cream.  THEN whiskey.

This was long before my time.  I find it creepy and repetitive.

Nevertheless, I'm shaking my booty a little in my chair and am embarrassed about it.  Also I'd like some scotch whiskey. 
If I take the Beatles out of the mix, Aja is quite possibly my favorite album.

We saw these guys recently. Keith Carlock on drums. In-friggin-credible.
love this band
Under the definition of "Cool Music For My Chic San Francisco Apartment" is a picture of Steely Dan.
Great song from great artists, but...
It's been played to death already, sadly. 



 kcar wrote:
 Wizzuvv_oz wrote:
what's a brush pass?
(song's an 8 from me)

Did this person have enough time to enjoy the SD concert between spying? 
 


Brush pass: 

https://www.spytrainer.com/Articles/Tradecraft_exchanges.htm

- Brush Pass:  This technique requires practice and coordination, but is the easiest method of transfer.  Simply stated, the two agents literally "brush" past one another, passing the item from hand to hand as they go by.  This may be done any number of places; however, it is most securely done in very busy areas, with a thick crowd of people.  The busier it is, the more difficult it would be for any surveillance teams to see the item being passed.  Variations include standing together on a busy train or passing documents between bathroom stalls in a busy public washroom.  The options are unlimited."

MfS:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi

The Ministry for State Security, (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, commonly known as the Stasi <ˈʃtazi> (abbreviation GermanStaatssicherheit, literally State Security), was the official secret police of East Germany. The MfS was headquartered in East Berlin, with an extensive complex in Berlin-Lichtenberg and several smaller facilities throughout the city. It was widely regarded as one of the most effective and repressive intelligence and secret police agencies in the world. The MfS motto was "Schild und Schwert der Partei"(Shield and Sword of the Party), showing its connections to the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), the equivalent to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.


 
Thank you for your posting.

Read a book by my old boss Stuart Herrington: "Traitors Among Us".   Clever those Commies .. but just not clever enough.  Finis.

 TravelRat wrote:
Wow, a blast from the past..."Drink scotch whiskey, all night long..."{#Devil_pimp}
 
. . . and die behind the wheel!

A plethora of progressions........
Saw these guys in L.A. in August.  Fantastic show.  They did Gaucho in its entirety and then played a great selection of other songs.  As smooth and subdued as their music can be the show was very energizing.


The music is fantastic smooth jazz, and the lyrics are pure poetry...  this really is a great song...


Colleges alluded to in this song:
Alabama
Wake Forest

Alabama was (and still is) a football powerhouse, with the pretentious nickname "The Crimson Tide". I'm guessing that Becker and Fagan relate more to Wake Forest, which lost a lot of football games at that time. Perhaps they were like the marching band ("learn to play the saxophone..."), working behind the scenes, cleverly amused by bizarre rituals of American football.

We talked to a guy named Kenny Vance, who worked with what would become Steely Dan when he was with Jay & The Americans. He confirmed what we suspected: they are weird.

Well said, Lisa. Well said.  LisaF wrote:
I think the music-listening world can be neatly divided into two camps, those who listen to lyrics and those who don't. This is not my favorite song by the Dan, but I'm an aficionado (got everything they've ever done). However, if you belong to the camp that DOES listen to lyrics, you have to doff your cap to this one. I mean, come on "I crawl like a viper through these suburban streets, make love to these women, languid and bittersweet" and " I take one last drag, as I approach the stand". Lyrics just don't come a lot better than that (unless it's another Steely Dan song song, such as "Throw Back the Little Ones". You can say what you want about the music, the style might be your cup of tea, might not, but the musicianship is, like all Dan songs, impeccable. Humbly submitted...