Hi everyone. Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing. But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?
(Image found online. Original source unknown.)
I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.
If I had to pick a secondary soundtrack to my teenage years, Steely Dan would be at the top of that list. I enjoyed their music a lot, but they always seemed to be in my peripheral view rather than my focus. I am not sure why, perhaps because I was in sensory overload with my primary focus on Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Elton & Bernie, Motown/soul music and The Beatles. But there was no mistaking Steely Dan’s musical talent and knack for songwriting.
The band was founded in 1972 by Walter Becker (backing vocals & guitars) and Donald Fagen (lead vocals & keyboards). Their 1972 debut album, “Can’t Buy A Thrill”, produced three of their most well known songs, “Do It Again”, “Reelin’ In The Years” and today’s song, which unlike most of the band’s tunes, did not feature Fagen on lead vocal but rather David Palmer who was in the group from 1972-1973. Other hits from the group include “My Old School”, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” (their highest charting song which hit #4 in 1974), “Aja”, “Peg”, “Deacon Blues”, “Josie” and “Hey Nineteen”. By 1974 after the release of their third album, “Pretzel Logic” Fagen & Becker decided to stop touring and continue exclusively as a studio band until 1981 when they took a 20 year hiatus from recording.
Over the years a few well known musicians were in the band including two future Doobie Brothers, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter & Michael McDonald. Guest musicians included Marc Knopfler of Dire Straits, Steve Porcaro of Toto, Larry Carlton & Rick Derringer on guitar, David Sanborn on saxophone and Jim Gordon on drums. Becker passed away in 2017, leaving Fagen as the sole surviving core member. But what a legacy of music both men gave us.
Steely Dan’s 1972 debut album and core members Walter Becker (L) and Donald Fagen (R). (Images found online. Original sources unknown.)
Steely Dan: “Dirty Work” (1972, written by Donald Fagan and Walter Becker).
I do not own the rights to anything. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.