Apr 7

A Double Take, Backwards: Cinder Annie (Live)

13 comments

Edited: Apr 10

Yes yes we know and you know; nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

Still, something must be in the wind tonight, blowing our way, as it did, two mighty jolts of historical Hz, crackling.

 

I. A Gig Anniversary

 

Hard Core Beckerphiles know the date:

April 7, 1995.

 

That makes it 24 years today since 

 

Adam Rogers (Guitar)

Fima Ephron (Bass)

Ben Perowsky (Drums)

John Beasley (Keyboards) and


Bob Sheppard (Sax)

 

joined Walter for the first and last live gig of his "new music" from

the 11 Tracks of Whack era at Slim's, in San Francisco.

 

For roughly 23 of those years, it was presumed that no record

of the evening existed. But Lo, in amongst the stacks of DATs

and cassettes we  found a great-sounding recording by Dave Russell,

engineer extraordinaire -- still in good condition and sounding pretty great.

 

So to mark the date, we've dropped a cut from that rainy San Francisco evening:

Cinder Annie, which was the last song of the evening before his encore.

 

So to our resident show-goers, count off please;

What’s the delta between what you hear on this tape and how you remember it in vivo?

 

 

II. A Classic Web Thread

 

By coinkidink or by quantum entanglement, one of us (D-Mod) also found

herself running smack up against the classic Hall Of Fame thread --

Countdown to Infamy -- on the steelydan.com archive site.

 

 I must have read or sampled this thread dozens of times since its publication and

knew well why it was a classic.

 

Or so I thought.

 

People I swear that reading through the whole thing -front to back --
 opening every entry, following every link -- produced more chuckles,
 spit-takes, and belly laughs than I remember having in years, taken together.

 

You think you remember why it was so funny, and so great --- but you don't.


 

If you give yourself 30 minutes with this thing, you'll see all you've forgotten.
 Many of us bemoan that Becker didn't write, He was so talented. 
Well, he did write, and this short story is among his finest work. 

 

Today I really needed lifting up, I really needed something to lighten

something that was pinning me down...and I found it. That's why I'm

pestering you all with this personal review; maybe I'm not the only

one who needed this kind of lift tonight.

 

Did anyone revisit the archive site ? Did anyone find

something they had forgotten there?

 

 

Oh man! What a joy to hear this again. The sound quality is absolutely phenomenal on this recording!! It brought me back to that unforgettable night, dancing by myself, standing right in front of Walter as he was singing and feeling like I was just floating. The whole night was like a dream. The unfortunate part is that I really thought this gig would be the start of a whole new thing for him, touring and what-not by himself. But, 'twas not to be. The incredible quality of this recording makes me long for having the full show in all its glory, to hear from beginning to end, as it was that night. That will be the real souvenir for me, hopefully someday. And by the way I would pay for that! I would buy a CD of it and put it right into my physical collection where it belongs. Thank you so much D-Mod for this memory!

Thanks! This song really translates well live. Great energy. And how about that whistle break??? I really like what John Beasley did on the Rhodes during that part to differentiate it from the more percussive groove he played in the majority of the song.

Thank you!

 

During these intervening decades, I only dreamed that such a recording existed. I enjoyed hearing Walter showcase 11TOW tunes at Steely Dan shows -- "My Waterloo" at Century Hall, Nagoya, on Oct. 12, 1996, stands out -- but, frankly, I never thought those performances captured the album's vibe and they didn't enchant me as I thought they might. (Also, I was nonplussed/angry when people got up to take piss breaks or make beer runs when Walter sang a solo tune at amphitheater gigs. Yet another reason for my dislike of outdoor shows.)

 

Anyway, thank you! More, please, more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 8Edited: Apr 8

hey GS have you seen the thread on the Becker Bathroom Break?

Good descussion, and clips of songs we think kept people in their seats

 

Apr 8

Funny you should mention the Countdown to Infamy set of posts, as I was just reading through them (again) the other day. The one that really gets me every time? The "Sadder But Wiser" letter to Kawai. It's such a gem - every little thing about it.

That one is pretty great. I liked the multiple times Chuck Rainey is listed on the "Cast Your Vote" Ballot. Walter's needling of Steve Hochman for his 11 Tracks of Whack review. How the love child, Monique, called them Donn and Glenn at the end of her letter. The webdrone's response to the letter to Kawaii. The auctioning off of the trophy. I just loved the whole sordid affair.

Apr 8

@Matthew Kerns So true. Honestly such an embarrassment of riches. I remember being such a cockeyed optimist about that site back then; that it would just go on like that forever. I mean, why wouldn't it, right?

@aacers And on that note, I always assumed that Walter’s own web site would carry on in the same tradition. I still remember his original greeting to

us all when it launched, something like “hey now! Looks like we found each other here on the interwebs.“ How sad that it didn’t work out that way.

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Apr 9

That makes it 24 years today since

Adam Rogers (Guitar)

Fima Ephron (Bass)

Ben Perowsky (Drums)

John Beasley (Keyboards)

and Bob Sheppard (Sax)

 

And was it Frank Perlank (sp)?

 

Frank Poulenc, I assume, referencing French composer Francis Poulenc.

New Posts
  • (Surprise Piano Version) This extremely early rundown of Book of Liars by The 11TOW band [Adam Rogers (Guitar): Fima Ephron (Bass): Ben Perowsky (Drums): John Beasley (Keyboards): Dean Parks (Guitar)] is interesting on several counts, not the least of which is the peek it affords into the studio process . Walter enjoyed almost everything the band played as it emerged from their interaction, rather then from any strong a priori “instruction” he offered. The rule seemed to be: Let’s just play it. See what we see. It’s interesting, for example, to hear one of the first rundowns of this tune took on a sort of calypso vibe. Yet all the tracks invariably developed, changed —through a combination of the creativity and explorations of the musicians playing together, and the small, subtle shaping that Walter would occasionally offer. It’s probably too obvious to observe that the feel of the final versions as we all know them from Whack and Alive in America traveled quite a distance from this earliest rundown. The 11TOW recorded version of this song has also long inspired speculation a’plenty about that rather unique keyboard solo. Here, on one of the earliest rundowns — and with only the above musicians in the room — we hear what might be its etiology. The quasi-comic conducting Walter would often exercise is in evidence here — “big piano passage”….then “Piano solo. Surprise piano solo!” (sandwiching an expression of juvenile gun-lust). A playful response follows, and that we hear a “yeah” during the staccato playing leads one to suspect the die on this one was cast early on; there was just something about that general vibe of this early keyboard part that he wanted preserved in the recorded version. We'll leave it to the listener to hypothesize who did or did not play the recorded solo or, at the very least, from whence its inspiration sprang. We see it springing right here. Then there’s “Fima’s got it” as a few players seem to momentarily lose their bearings in the unfamiliar chart….and of course the wonderful end-talk about different ideas for “the bridgy kinda thing”….and, well, from 5:14 out…that’s our Walter all over, isn’t it? Hope you enjoy. D-Mod P.S. Speaking of Book of Liars: Don Breithaupt's band Monkey House released a new album TODAY with their own cover of Becker's Book of Liars! You may know Don from previous Monkey House albums or from his insightful look at Steely Dan's Aja album for the 33-1/3 series. "As a lifelong Steely Dan fan, Walter's death hit me hard," said Don. "I thought it'd be a nice gesture to do one of his." The new album, " Friday ," also features the talents of Steely Dan musicians Michael Leonhart and Drew Zingg. It's a damn fine album, and it looks like listeners agree—" Friday " is currently sitting at the #1 spot on iTunes' Jazz charts. Congrats to Don and Monkey House! - Matt
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