Gaucho

The Gaucho Album

Format Label Number
LP MCA 6102
LP MCA MCA-1693
CS MCA MCAC-1693
CD MCA MCAD-37220
CD MCA MCA-16009
CD Mobile Fidelity UDCD-545
CD Image Entertainment 1014DTSCD
CD* MCA 088 112 055-2

 

* THE CLASSIC ORIGINAL ALBUM
NEW DIGITAL REMASTERING
Supervised by The Artists
With All Original Graphics & Lyrics,
PLUS NEW LINER NOTES BY
WALTER BECKER & DONALD FAGEN

STDSTEELYD


GAUCHO

MCA 1980

Babylon Sisters
Hey Nineteen
Glamour Profession

Gaucho
Time out of Mind
My Rival
Third World Man



MUSIC AND LYRICS BY WALTER BECKER
gap.gif (816 bytes)AND DONALD FAGEN

Lead Voclas by Donald Fagen
Rythm Arrangements by Steely Dan
gap.gif (816 bytes)with Rob Mounsey, Don Grolnick and
gap.gif (816 bytes)Paul Griffin

Recorded at: Soundworks N.Y.C./A & R
gap.gif (816 bytes)Studios, N.Y.C./Sigma Sound Studios,
gap.gif (816 bytes)N.Y.C./Automated Sound Studios N.Y.C./
gap.gif (816 bytes)Village Recorder, West L.A./
gap.gif (816 bytes)Producers Workshop, Hollywood
Mixdown at: A & R Studios and Village
gap.gif (816 bytes)Recorder

Executive Engineer: Roger Nichols
Tracking: Elliot Scheiner, Bill Schnee
Overdub: Roger Nichols, Jerry Garszza
Mixdown: Elliot Scheiner
Sequencing and Special Effects: Roger
gap.gif (816 bytes)Nichols and WENDAL
Assistant Engineers: Barbara Issak,
gap.gif (816 bytes)Tom Greto, Georgie Offrell, John (Doc)
gap.gif (816 bytes)Doughterty, Carla Bandini, Craig
gap.gif (816 bytes)Goetsch, Gerry Gabinelli, Rosa
gap.gif (816 bytes)Howell, John Potoker, Marti Robertson,
gap.gif (816 bytes)Linda Randazzo

Special Thanks to: Scott Luther and Fred
gap.gif (816 bytes)Hull c/o Compal Computers
Fabulous vintage electric guitars
gap.gif (816 bytes)courtesy of  Richard, Steven and
gap.gif (816 bytes)Lawrence Friedman.
Piano Technician: Don Farrar
Italian Translation: Victor di Suvero
Cash: Leonard Freedman
Clout: Front Line Management

Album Design & Art Direction:
gap.gif (816 bytes)Susanne Walsh
Design Assistant: John Tom Cohoe
Photography: René Burri/Magnum

Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Masterdisk,
N.Y.C.

PRODUCED BY GARY KATZ

*Reissue Produced by Andy McKaie
Digitally remastered by Roger Nichols,
gap.gif (816 bytes)Digital Atomics, Miami, Florida
Reissue Production Coordination: Beth Stempel
Reissue Art Direction: Vartan
Reissue Design: Mike Diehl


There is an infinite amount of hope in the
universe... but not for us.
gap.gif (816 bytes)Frank Kafka, in conversation

Astute Danfans may have noticed the
atypically long interval between the reissue of the
Aja album, with its sleek new annotation by the
"artists", and the final reissue album in the MCA
series. Gaucho. It is our pleasure to report to you
that, in the interval, certain intractable legal and
artistic dilemmas have been favorably resolved,
and that we are now free to resume and
conclude this brief and pungent retelling of the
Steely Dan saga, such as it was.
gap.gif (816 bytes)The first thing we notice as we put pen to paper
is that we may have given the actual Aja album
proper somewhat short shrift in the aforementioned
new annotation, inasmuch as the album itself is
not mentioned at all until the penultimate para-
graph, and then only en passant, as it were, to
remark that too much had already been written in
this regard. Whereas this is every bit as true now as
it was then, nevertheless we retrospectively suspect
that we may have done something of a disservice
to those devoted fans who are particularly fond of
the Aja album above all others. We also acknow-
ledge that it would be somewhat impertinent, if not
downright disrespectful or even contemptuous, to
suggest or imply that being especially partial to the
most successful of our old albums, at the expense
of the other, less successful but also very charming
ones, would constitute a failure of imagination on
the part of said fans and perhaps even a betrayal
of the essence of the Steely worldview, if such a
thing could be said to exist. But the fact is that,
having made that dire pronouncement, we both
feel that an enormous burden has been lifted from
our shoulders and that we are now free to walk tall
for the first time since the big legal hassle began 
back in nineteen seventy... whoops, there we go
again - anyway., feeling as we do now, we judge
that it may be well worth the risk of offending the
odd culture vulture here and there in order to clear
the air and move on to the task at hand. Bring on
the Gaucho!!!
gap.gif (816 bytes)A note to the reader: it so happens that these
pages are being written as we are cruising in our
nifty SD tour jet at 30,000 feet and due to land in
Las Vegas, Nevada within the half-hour - and with
us in the plane is our travelling tour psychologist,
Dr. Clayton Dietz, Jr., who is suggesting that our
reluctance to return to the discussion of the Aja
album may in fact represent an unwillingness on
our part to confront the painful issues surrounding
the making of the Gaucho album, the (somewhat
problematic) album itself, and its turbulent
aftermath, which arguably persists to the present
moment. In fact, we stand accused (by our own
hireling "mental health professional", no less) of
"blowing sunshine up the reader's asshole" for the
purposes of postponing the inevitable moment of
dread. In our own defense, we can only suggest
to the distinguished Doc Dietz, Jr. that a) a PhD
LSU is not worth the paper it's printed on
(unless you're a basketball coach), and b) a man
with a haircut like Clay's will never ever have
sexual relations with a beautiful talented
background singer with cobalt blue Galaxy Quest
eyes and a captivatingly dimpled ensellure - this is
a fact, not a theory. So, medical objections duly
noted, we stand ready to make the plunge.
gap.gif (816 bytes)Speaking of the Gaucho album proper, it can
truly be said that never before or since in the sorry
annals of pop music has so much been expend-
ed by so few for so long in the service of so little - 
or something like that. We come to the table
ready and willing to concede to our harshest crit-
ics that it is undoubtedly true that at some point in

this doleful enterprise we did indeed go well past
it - the only remaining questions being exactly
what "it" is and how blindly fast/excruciatingly slow
we were moving at the precise moment when we
crossed the line. For instance, let's talk about bass
clarinets - you know the thing we mean, looks like
a croos between a clarinet with glandular prob-
lems and Palladin's spittoon. Or - never mind the
bass clarinets, they're not important - let's consid-
er for a moment the musical and neurological
ramifications of a middle-of-the-project com-
pound segmental fracture of the tibia suffered by
one or more of the principals. Ouchie! Or - let's
not quibble - let's talk about the approximately
320 reels of 2-inch master tape left over from the
album and representing only the outtakes from
the failed tracking sessions - a hundred clams a
roll, babies - and you begin (but only just) to get
the notion that there may indeed have been a 
few snags along the way from conception to
completion of the album. Ask yourself this: can all
be well with the project when it is belatedly discov-
ered that the chief horn arranger has a company
called "Flying Monkey Productions"? Can it be right
that said arranger and the chief tracking engineer
have both been married to the same cantaker-
ous woman? Lived and loved in the same Ver-
mont country house? Driven, fer crissakes, the
same late-model Benz? Had her fly them both
down, each in his day, to La f**king Samanna on
St. Maarten/St. Martin (the French side) just for
f**king LUNCH??? All of this in the midst of the
Coke Plague Years that ravaged the Manhattan
sessions community all the way from Mikell's on
upper Broadway to Seventh Avenue South in the
West Village and all or most points in between. You
book a session but you never know wheter the
player you hired will be the same guy he was last
time you saw him or much bigger or smaller or
barefoot or two days late or a week early or what.
O the Humanaties! Such a desolation!
gap.gif (816 bytes)That's when the business with the computer
started. Roger Nichols had this toy - we thought of
it as a toy - but one day he came to work and
told us that the toy had become a man - one
helluva man, in fact. A very talented man. A
steady man. A man for all seasons - call him
Wendel. A man who, in the absence of a usable
track after a zillion tries with "real bands", could
nicely simulate the most elusive elements of the
basic track that we would need to bring our little
song into the world, i.e., drums and maybe a
simple keyboard part of some sort, and that's all.
Because, once we had that - the toy, the man,
the track - we could do all the rest with little or no
problemo, thank you very much. Unfortunately, at
this primitive stage of the evolution of the
computer and its requisite software, even the most
minute event had to be programmed in the
gnarly and unforgiving 8085 Assembly Language,
in which all relevant parameters needed to be
described in its baffling hexagesimal-base
numerical system, which ultimately became the
only language Roger Nichols spoke or understood,
at least for a time. As it turned out, the simplest
imaginable manipulations - we are, after all,
simple guys - ended up adding perhaps 7 or 14
months, all told, to our already Augean labors,
and hundreds of thousands of dollars to our
monstrously swollen budget. And so was born the
era of sampled drums and sequenced music - 
"The Birth of the Cruel", as we now think of it.
History - read it and weep.
At the time, it all seemed worth it, especially
because with the eventual completion of the
recording, mixing and mastering of the album
would come the long-promised and much-
anticipated Weekend at the aforementioned La

Samanna resort with two of the loveliest
waitresses in all of midtown. Giselle (5'6",
voluptuous, blonde, illiterate, loves Ahmad Jamal,
etc.) was bright and brassy, while hannon (also 
5'6", willowy and wanton, a perfect seventies
'luded-out f**kdoll, a walking DSM III, the
reference standard of the day) was dark and
sultry. Both liked the tropics and had had their
bags packed since February (never mind of
which year). Sitting in the bar by Gate 72, we
could scarcely contain our enthusiasm for the
Lost Weekend to come, and, as it turns out, we
may have overdone the alcoholic stimulation
thing while waiting for the ladies to turn up.
Because, while the girls flew on, alone together,
to St. Maarten/St. Martin (where they drank,
smoked, snorted and humped each other into
oblivion for three delirious days and nights), the
boys, in their inebriated state, having argued
briefly about the relative merits of Chico Hamilton
(?) versus Charlie Persip (!) and then lost track of
one another somewhere in the terminal, boarded
 the wrong plane (in the case of Becker) or bus (in
the case of Fagen) and turned up two to three
days later in Kahului, Hawaii, or the Stanhope
Hotel, respectively, each heartbroken, alone,
penniless, with heads like watermelons and hearts
like lead sinkers and, oddly enough, a hit single
blooming on the charts. Go figure.
·  ·  ·
So it's goodbye to Freddie Fender, to bell bot-
tom trousers, disco collars, Dr. Buzzard's Savannah
Band, trendy Malibu (Don Henley still lives there),
Tex-Mex decor and food, Donald Segretti, Nancy
Spungen, the Golden Age of Porn, Schedule I
narcotics, tall ships and the Wankel rotary engine,
Jimmy Carter, and our Draconian, near-feudal
contractual relations with various record compa-
nies, publishers, managers, hustling little business
persons of uncertain stripe (not including the
magnificent Irving Azoff), and all the rest. And not
a moment too soon, inasmuch as we have
decided to make a forced landing here in West
Bumf**k, Nevada, so that we can rid ourselves of
the appallingly cheerful and endlessly tiresome
Clayton Dietz, who is even more irritating now that
he applauds our heroic confrontation with our
"shadow selves." Clay will be setting off on foot
across the Nevada badlands, hoping to catch
up with the Don Henley tour (eight horns!!! a
potential psychotherapeutic bonanza) when they
play the American Legion hall in Nogales, New
Mexico, next week. Sadly for him, we have
already jettisoned the orgone boxes (actually,
form-fitting all-weather Gortex orgone suits) and
the scented candles and the e-meters and surgi-
cal clamps somewhere back near Barstow, Cali-
fornia, and so he will have to get by on his wits
and what native charm he can muster, if any.
And, like him, our little tale wanders off into the
desert to die a lonely death, a mere footnote in
the already epic history of 20th century medioc-
rity and/or underachievement.*
gap.gif (816 bytes)- Donald Fagen & Walter Becker, 2000

*For those voracious fans who may be
interested, an alternative (but equally valid and
just as realistic and somewhat more upbeta)
version of the events described in these reissue
notes is available privately - just send $35 plus
postage to Craig Fruin, P.O. Box 1838, San
Francisco, CA 94159-1838, and you will receive a
deluxe mimeographed copy of "Steely Dan - the
Watergate Years", signed by Craig Fruin himself.
Act fast - supplies are limited.


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Babylon Sisters

Drive west on Sunset
To the sea
Turn that jungle music down
Just until we're out of town
This is no one-night stand
It's a real occassion
Close your eyes and you'll be there
It's everything they say
The end of a perfect day
Distant lights from across the bay

[Chorus:]
Babylon sisters shake it
Babylon sisters shake it
So fine so young
Tell me I'm the only one

Here come those Santa Anna winds again

We'll jog with show folk
On the sand
Drink kirschwasser from a shell
San Francisco Show and Tell
Well I should know by now
That it's just a spasm
Like a Sunday in T.J.
That it's cheap but it's not free
That I'm not what I used to be
And that love's not a game for three

[Chorus]

[solo]

My friends say no don't go
For that cotton candy
Son you're playing with fire
The kid will live and learn
As he watches his bridges burn
From the point of no return

[Chorus]

Drums: Bernard Purdie
Bass: Chuck Rainey
Electric Piano/Clavinet: Don Grolnick
Guitar: Steve Kahn
Percussion: Crusher Bennett
Trumpet/Flugelhorn: Randy Brecker
Tenor/Alto/Clarinet: Tom Scott
Bass Clarinets: George Marge, Walter Kane
Backup Vocals: Leslie Miller, Patti Austin
Toni Wine, Lani Groves, Diva Gray
Gordon Grody


Horns arranged by Rob Mounsey


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Hey Nineteen

Way back when
In sixty-seven
I was the dandy
Of Gamma Chi
Sweet things from Boston
So young and willing
Moved down to Scarsdale
Where the hell am I

Hey Nineteen
No we can't dance together
No we can't talk at all
Please take me along
When you slide on down

Hey Nineteen
That's Otis Redding
She don't remember
The King of Soul
It's hard times befallen
The sole survivors
She thinks I'm crazy
But I'm just growing old

Hey Nineteen
No we got nothin' in common
No we can't talk at all
Please take me along
When you slide on down

[solo]

[ad libbed lines:]
Nice, sure looks good,
Hm hm hmm, skate a little lower now

The Cuervo Gold
The fine Colombian
Make tonight a wonderful thing
(say it again)

The Cuervo Gold
The fine Colombian
Make tonight a wonderful thing

The Cuervo Gold
The fine Colombian
Make tonight a wonderful thing

No we can't dance together
No we can't talk at all

Drums: Rick Marotta
Bass: Walter Becker
Electric Piano/Syntesizer: Donald Fagen
Guitars: Hugh McCracken, Walter Becker
Percussion: Victor Feldman, Steve Gadd
Backup Vocals: Frank Floyd, Zack Sanders


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Glamour Profession

6:05 outside the stadium
Special delivery
For Hoops McCann
Brut and Charisma
Poured from the shadow where he stood
Looking good
He's a crowd pleasing man
One on one
He's schoolyard superman
Crashing the backboard
He's Jungle Jim again
When it's all over
We'll make some calls from my car
We're a star

It's a glamour profession
The L.A. concession
Local boys will spend a quarter
Just to shine the silver bowl
Living hard will take its toll

Illegal fun
Under the sun

All aboard
The Carib Cannibal
Off to Barbados
Just for the ride
Jack with his radar
Stalking the dread moray eel
At the wheel
With his Eurasian bride
On the town
We dress for action
Celluloid bikers
Is Friday's theme
I drove the Chrysler
Watched from the darkness while they danced
I'm the one

[Chorus]

Hollywood
I know your middle name
Who inspires your fabled fools
That's my claim to fame

[solo]

Jive Miguel
He's in from Bogota
Meet me at midnight
At Mr. Chow
Szechuan dumplings
After the deal has been done
I'm the one

[Chorus]

Drums: Steve Gadd
Bass: Anthony Jackson
Electric Piano/Synthesizer: Donald Fagen

Piano: Rob Mounsey
Guitar: Steve Kahn
Percussion: Ralph McDonald
Tenor: Michel Brecker
Tenor/Lyricon: Tom Scott
Backup Vocals: Leslie Miller, Valerie Simpson


Horns arranged by Tom Scott


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Gaucho
Written by Donald Fagen, Walter Becker and Keith Jarrett

Just when I say
"Boy we can't miss
You are golden"
Then you do this
You say this guy is so cool
Snapping his fingers like a fool
One more expensive kiss-off
Who do you think I am

Lord I know you're a special friend
But you don't seem to understand
We got heavy rollers
I think you should know
Try again tomorrow

Can't you see they're laughing at me
Get rid off him
I don't care what you do at home
Would you care to explain

Who is the gaucho amigo
Why is he standing
In your spangled leather poncho
And your elevator shoes
Bodacious cowboys
Such as your friend
Will never be welcome here
High in the Custerdome

What I tell you
Back down the line
I'll scratch your back
You can scratch mine
No he can't sleep on the floor
What do you think I'm yelling for
I'll drop him near the freeway
Doesn't he have a home

Lord I know you're a special friend
But you refuse to understand
You're a nasty schoolboy
With no place to go
Try again tomorrow

Don't tell me he'll wait in the car
Look at you
Holding hands with the man from Rio
Would you care to explain

Who is the gaucho amigo
Why is he standing
In your spangled leather poncho
With the studs that match your eyes
Bodacious cowboys
Such as your friend
Will never be welcome here
High in the Custerdome

Drums: Jeff Porcaro
Bass: Walter Becker
Piano: Rob Mounsey

Electric Piano/Synthesizer: Donald Fagen
Guitar: Steve Kahn

Solo Guitar: Walter Becker
Percussion: Crusher Bennett

Tenor: Tom Scott
Trumpet: Randy Brecker
Backup Vocals: Leslie Miller, Valerie Simpson,

Patti Austin

Horns arranged by Tom Scott


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Time Out of Mind

Son you better be ready for love
On this glory day
This is your chance to believe
What I've got to say

Keep your eyes on the sky
Put a dollar in the kitty
Don't the moon look pretty

Tonight when I chase the dragon
The water may change to cherry wine
And the silver will turn to gold
Time out of mind

I am holding the mystical stone
It's direct from Lasa
Where people are rolling in the snow
Far from the world we know

Children we have it right here
It's the light in my eyes
It's perfection and grace
It's the smile on my face

Tonight when I chase the dragon
The water may change to cherry wine
And the silver will turn to gold
Time out of mind

[solo]

Children we have it right here
It's the light in my eyes
It's perfection and grace
It's the smile on my face

Tonight when I chase the dragon
The water may change to cherry wine
And the silver will turn to gold
Time out of mind

Drums: Rick Marotta
Bass: Walter Becker
Piano: Rob Mounsey

Electric Piano/Synthesizer: Donald Fagen
Guitars: Hugh McCracken, Walter Becker
Solo Guitar: Mark Knopfler
Trumpet: Randy Brecker
Tenors: Michael Brecker, Dave Tofani
Altos: David Sanborn

Baritone: Ronny Cuber
Backup Vocals: Michael McDonald,

Leslie Miller, Patti Austin, Valerie Simpson

Horns arranged by Rob Mounsey


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My Rival

The wind was driving in my face
The smell of prickly pear
(My rival-show me my rival)
The milk truck eased into my space
Somebody screamed somewhere

I struck a match against the door
Of Anthony's Bar and Grill
I was the whining stranger
A fool in love
With time to kill

I've got detectives on his case
They filmed the whole charade
(My rival-show me my rival)
He's got a scar across his face
He wears a hearing aid

Sure he's a jolly roger
Until he answers for his crime
Yes, I'll match him whim for whim now

[solo]

I still recall when I first held
Your tiny hand in mine
(My rival-show me my rival)
I loved you more than I can tell
But now it's stomping time

Sure he's a jolly roger
Until he answers for his crime
Yes, I'll match him whim for whim now

Drums: Steve Gadd
Bass: Anthony Jackson
Electric Piano: Patrick Rebillot

Organ/Synthesizer: Donald Fagen
Guitars: Hiram Bullock, Rick Derringer

Solo Guitar: Steve Kahn
Percussion: Ralph McDonald

Timbales: Nicholas Marrero
Flugelhorn: Randy Brecker
Tenor: Michael Brecker
Trombone: Wayne Andre
Backup Vocals: Valerie Simpson,

Frank Floyd, Zack Sanders

Horns arranged by Tom Scott


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Third World Man

Johnny's playroom
Is a bunker filled with sand
He's become a third world man

Smoky Sunday
He's been mobilized since dawn
Now he's crouching on the lawn
He's a third world man

Soon you'll throw down your disguise
We'll see behind those bright eyes
By and by
When the sidewalks are safe
For the little guy

I saw the fireworks
I believed that I was dreaming
Till the neighbours came out screaming
He's a third world man

[solo]

Soon you'll throw down your disguise
We'll see behind those bright eyes
By and by
When the sidewalks are safe
For the little guy

When he's crying out
I just sing that Ghana Rondo
E l'era del terzo mondo
He's a third world man

He's a third world man

He's a third world man

Drums: Steve Gadd
Bass: Chuck Rainey
Electric Piano: Joe Sample
Electric, Acoustic Guitars: Steve Kahn

Solo Guitar: Larry Carlton
Synthesizer: Rob Mounsey


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The Midi-sequense  on this page is "Sitting In The Dock Of The Bay" originally by Otis Redding


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