The Public Records 6/14/19
Welcome back to the 2019 Summer Rock Block from The Public Records in An Sibin of Tellus360; Lancaster, PA 17602. We kicked it off with the man who kicked off Woodstock itself, Mr. Richie Havens, and now will continue the (rock n’) roll with the dark horse duo of the genre – Messrs. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker and their outfit Steely Dan.
Steely Dan, ‘the perfect musical antihereos for the seventies’ according to Rolling Stone magazine, was the brain child of both Fagan and Becker who met the late 1960s while they were both attending Bard college. They discovered each other and their same musical tastes and began crash writing and performing with local musicians – Chevy Chase, the comedian, drummed for them in the early days.
After school, they decided to try their luck in New York City and so moved to Brooklyn. Their music struck a chord with Kenny Vance of Jay and The Americans and got them the soundtrack for a low budget Richard Pryor film as well as hiring them for his touring band. After a year and a half of touring with Jay and The Americans and achieving the success they desired, the jumped on a chance to try it in California.
The move west worked. They were given the creative control they needed and soon flourished. Big fans of the beatniks, they chose their name from a character in William S. Burroughs The Naked Lunch (1959, Olympia Press). They formed their group with Fagan on keyboards and vocals, Becker on bass, guitars, and vocals, Denny Dias and Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter on guitar, Jim Hodder – drums, and David Palmer as vocalist.
They toured and developed a cult following following their decision to stop touring and become a studio only band which only focused on recording in 1974. Prior to this decision, Steely Dan released two albums and it is their first, Can’t Buy A Thrill (1972, ABC Records) that we are featuring this week.
An upbeat rock album that fuses various themes in Latin American music, it hit #17 on the Billboard Top Pop chart and was certified gold (500,000 copies sold) by 1973 – and platinum (1,000,000) in 1993. Can’t Buy A Thrill features Donald Fagan and David Palmer doing the singing.
Their smooth and sultry vocals are perfect for the low lit and cool ambiance of An Sibin on an overly humid or rainy evening when you want a little thrill. Joe P. reminds everyone to enjoy the ‘Dan responsibly; with 12 year old Glenlivet over a few rocks and of course a ‘pizza steak’ – just sauce and provolone.