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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    no not Walter Becker

    This can't be happening. Steely Dan is no more.

    Walter Becker, Steely Dan Co-Founder, Dead at 67 - Rolling Stone



    I'm in the middle of the unofficial biography. Becker had his problems but thought it was all behind him.

  2. #2
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    my uncle gave me Aja one birthday, and about a month later, i had bought all their albums in the box set. it was an imperative.

    there is no one else like steely dan.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  3. #3
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    I remember when Aja came out when I was in high school. I was already pretty heavily into jazz at the time, and Steely Dan brought me back to rock (and Lou Reed, Bowie, Fripp, etc.).

    A couple of years back, SD was playing at the local Indian casino, so I knew that things had changed (back then SD was loathe to tour...). I suppose impending mortality may've been one of the factors, kinda like Bowie, Iggy Pop, and others.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  4. #4
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    I lived in England back when I first heard them, I was also playing in rock n roll bands, so they were quite a revelation. Wish we'd had the Internet back then so I could have actually seen them play, and seen the way Becker approached his instrument.
    Hurts to lose another bit of that youth.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    my uncle gave me Aja one birthday, and about a month later, i had bought all their albums in the box set. it was an imperative.

    there is no one else like steely dan.
    Yep, no one else quite like them-- before or after.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    One of the greatest videos (now broken into parts) on YouTube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Mu..._E8MoCZbZfTPmv


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    One of the greatest videos (now broken into parts) on YouTube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Mu..._E8MoCZbZfTPmv

    thanks - that sheet music shown at the beginning?! ouch.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    One of the greatest videos (now broken into parts) on YouTube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Mu..._E8MoCZbZfTPmv

    I don't see part II - please post!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideorglide View Post
    ... Wish we'd had the Internet back then so I could have actually seen them play, and seen the way Becker approached his instrument.
    Hurts to lose another bit of that youth.
    Walter was famous for often playing while sitting on a stool, wearing earphones, kind of similar to Robert Fripp's style.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJay View Post
    I don't see part II - please post!
    It used to be posted in its entirety, now it's all chopped up for some reason....

    Screw YouTube: Watch Videos Online | Classic Albums - Steely Dan - Aja | Veoh.com

    What's wrong with the sheet music?

  11. #11
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    I have loved the Dan since the NY/NJ guys in my dorm started blasting them (round about '74).
    here's a nice selection from that Aja series showcasing Walter on guitar starting at 5:00.
    Both these guys were always cynical bohemian jazz heads - I relate to that.
    https://youtu.be/yCeKv23F14g

  12. #12
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    a Hoot - Becker and Fagan cruise Vegas in a cab with NYC cab driver and pick up different young women. Becker is hilarious.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dimyNC1BytY

  13. #13
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    the seventies

    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    This can't be happening. Steely Dan is no more.

    Walter Becker, Steely Dan Co-Founder, Dead at 67 - Rolling Stone



    I'm in the middle of the unofficial biography. Becker had his problems but thought it was all behind him.
    and early 80s have come to collect

    your usage may be behind you, the damage it did in't
    one nation, under surveillance with liberty and justice for few

    still not figgering on biggering

  14. #14
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    Sad news. I started listening to Steely Dan because a friend would drive us around town, playing their music. Aja is one of the best albums ever.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for so much, Walter

    And only 67. What a ripoff.

  16. #16
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    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  17. #17
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    Great write up.

    "It was the idea that intelligent music was cool."

    Yup. They were possibly the smartest musicians of the era.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    Great write up.

    "It was the idea that intelligent music was cool."

    Yup. They were possibly the smartest musicians of the era.
    Their music is poetry. And I love that they didn't make "love" the focus of all their songs- there's drug dealing, sleazy uncles, immigrants, cave paintings, contraception, divorce, affairs, hope...........and some romance, sure why not!

    They could take any off-the-wall topic and make it poetry.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    Great write up.

    "It was the idea that intelligent music was cool."

    Yup. They were possibly the smartest musicians of the era.
    And real innovators.

    They were experimenting with tape loops---literally physical loops running through the studio, and their engineer, Roger Nichols said--'hey, I can make you a machine to do that'--and did.

    They then paid for the development of one of the first drum machines while recording Gaucho--cost them $150,000 but gave them the precision they wanted. The named it 'Wendel', and 'he' won a Platinum record.

    Musician friends say that they never had it as good as Aja when the drummer was Steve Gadd--but they also got more perfectionist as time went on...
    "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
    John Rogers

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    They could take any off-the-wall topic and make it poetry.

    and they wandered in
    from the city of saint john
    without a dime
    wearing coats that shined
    both red and green
    colors from their sunny island
    from their boats of iron
    they looked upon the promised land
    where surely life was sweet
    on the rising tide
    to new york city
    did they ride into the street

    see the glory of ...
    the royal scam
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  21. #21
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    I recall asking the head audio guy at work (theater) why all the acts that bring in a system play SD. I was told it was due to the fact that Becker and Fagan payed very close attention to the recorded level of every instrument, to be in balance and near equal level. Thus when using a CD or now a different source, the audio folks new to a venue could readily set the system up. The use of a lot of different instruments by SD, including horns, gave the audio guys a good reference to go by.

    When I asked what Steely Dan's audio guys listen to, they said The Eagles, whose recordings were also excellent, but not as complex musically.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    and they wandered in
    from the city of saint john
    without a dime
    wearing coats that shined
    both red and green
    colors from their sunny island
    from their boats of iron
    they looked upon the promised land
    where surely life was sweet
    on the rising tide
    to new york city
    did they ride into the street

    see the glory of ...
    the royal scam
    One of my favorites. Truly evocative, and so well-matched with the cover art. The Royal Scam (entire album) doesn't get the attention it deserves

    I recall when I was small
    How I spent my days alone
    The busy world was not for me
    So I went and found my own
    I would climb the garden wall
    With a candle in my hand
    I'd hide inside a hall of rock and sand
    On the stone an ancient hand
    In a faded yellow-green
    Made alive a worldly wonder
    Often told but never seen
    Now and ever bound to labor
    On the sea and in the sky
    Every man and beast appeared
    A friend as real as I

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0A2iYzOizY

  23. #23
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    Musician friends say that they never had it as good as Aja when the drummer was Steve Gadd--but they also got more perfectionist as time went on...

    Why didn't they talk about Gadd in the Making of Aja video? Inquiring rabid fans want to know.......

  24. #24
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    I have a few Steely Dan memories- but I'll start with this one:

    My wife and I visited the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame [before the Dan's induction]. There was an exhibit called "In Their Own Write," which featured (what was presented as) manuscripts of artists' song compositions. They were almost exclusively lyric blocks seasoned with chord notations in various spots on the page(s). There was one- only one that I saw, that was on actual staff paper. Yup- Steely Dan.

  25. #25
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    The Droll Walter Becker- a sample

    One more before I step away for a while:

    Q: Do you have a formula for writing songs?
    W.B.: Yeah. Verse-Bridge-Chorus. Same one Gershwin used.

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