The music of the group Steely Dan has always intrigued me. Some of their songs are so overwhelmingly enticing that I get mesmerized: “Do It Again,” “Reelin' In the Years,” “Rikki Don't Lose That Number,” “FM (No Static at All),” “Hey Nineteen.” Those are probably their most played songs on the radio, and I bet most have heard of them. I’ll embed my two favorites below that are not as well known.
But first I want to make this an “In Memoriam” post as well. A few days ago, founding member and guitarist for the band, Walter Becker, passed away. Though I have enjoyed their music over the years, I have to admit I know very little about the band themselves. I’ve heard of the longtime duo of Don Fagan and Becker, but that is it. I never even had a clue as to what their band name referred to. I just Googled it and unfortunately it’s not for polite company; you can if you want to but I’d advise against it, and the band never seemed to publicize it. Perhaps they regretted, I don’t know. However, it doesn’t surprise me since they always had a Beat Generation association. They were hippies in the core sense of it, and anyone that knows me knows that’s not my affinity. But I do appreciate good music, and Steely Dan’s jazzy/bluesy rock was something I really enjoyed.
Since I’m not qualified to give a eulogizing appreciation of Becker’s life, I’ll let this Rock History do it for me.
Now the two songs which I absolutely adore. First, “Here at the Western World.”
And for their greatest in my opinion, “Deacon Blues.”
So many songs are about winning and triumph, but this has to be the ultimate loser’s song. Many a depressing moment I’ve put up this song and had my own pity party. That saxophone solo is perfection. The chorus is worth quoting.
Learn to work the saxophone
I, I'll 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 wanna name when I lose
They call Alabama, The Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues