Jul 26

Book Of Liars Early Rundown


Edited: Jul 28

(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.




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

Even after reading it about it first, Walter's talking in the bridge cracked me up. Great stuff. I actually really like the vibe of this take. It's pretty different than the final product, as my buddy Chris told me it feels kinda like an improv fusion thing in a way. Very fun.


Also I've listened to the new Monkey House album a couple times already today. HIGHLY recommend it.

Well! Now that was quite enjoyable on first listen! I've always wished to hear all the full-band Lost Tribe versions of the 11ToW tunes, and this one doesn't disappoint at all. Love the feel of it, love the weird keyboard solo (even weirder than the one on the album). Assume it is Beasley but who knows. Love the guitar parts throughout and wondering how many of those if any were Walter's. Also, I guess I'm assuming that Donald was in the control room for these sessions, and if so I assume that is who Walter was speaking to after the playing ended. Wonderful to hear all of it, as always thank you D-Mod and keep 'em coming please!

Jul 26Edited: Jul 26

DF was not present for some amount of the rehearsals; these were early, early run-throughs. I have travel itineraries which I can cross-reference with the recording dates...(yeah like I need make-work like that right now. Still, it might be worthwhile at some point since people tend to hallucinate DF at pretty much all the stages 11TOW :-) )


It was Nichols and/or Russell recording the rehearsals. Walter wasn't playing; it was Rogers and Parks (acoustic) on guitars. I can probably find the demo for this someday to compare guitar parts to what W laid down on his Midi. At the end WB is talking to Dean about the part(s) and arrangement. Glad you enjoy :-)

Jul 27

It really is a wonderful treat to be able to hear this beautiful song in development.


Jul 27

This is a gem, great to hear in it's early stages. Judging by that keyboard solo I'm fairly certain that John Beasley is playing the solo on the final cut on the album.

Yes DF is credited with keyboards as well on the album, but it's JB in my opinion

Really enjoyed listening to this. I echo the above, keep 'em coming!

Like the new Walter pic on the opening page as well :-)

What a beautiful version of this perennial favorite, & such crystalline sound! Thank you very much.

Jul 29

Enjoyed this immensely, thanks.

New Posts
  • 1997 He Wants You (Out) words & music Walter Becker (1997) © Zeon Music LLC 2018 Well we all ride together in this world Fall together where we stand And we all got one slim chance to be heard It's all written in the plan This is all I ask of you Tell me sweetness tell me true From that very first soul kiss You knew it would be like this We all ride together in this world Well didn't we just girl He reads you — he reads you loud and clear He wants you — he wants you out of here He needs you — you and what army dear He wants you — he wants you out of here Well we all need protection from the pain For protection we will pay And we all seek the shelter from the rain Here comes that rainy day It won't make it real again Not all the horses all the men It won't do you any good Not all the pills in Hollywood We all need protection now and then Here it is again He loves you —he loves your story dear He wants you — he wants you out of here He sees you — he sees you disappear He wants you — he wants you out of here Well we all ride together in this world Wait forever on the curb And we all ask for much more than we need And we get what we deserve He hears you — he's seeming not to hear He wants you — he wants you out of here He's got you — he's had you up to here He wants you — he wants you out of here He needs you — you and what army dear He wants you — he wants you out of here He reads you — he reads you loud and clear He wants you — he wants you out of here Another one of Becker's infamous "Love Songs"! Anyone woman at all familiar with his Whack work and demos would think long and hard before sweetly trilling "write me a love song, dahling!" -- knowing she was as likely to get one of these than an Almost Gothic  or a  Paging Audrey . That musical bouquet of his was always as likely to conceal a shiv than sweet-nothings. This tune was one of three demos Walter sent me on a DAT in late 1997  (ever-thoughtful, he bundled it with a portable "Walkman"-type DAT player. Sort of like Voyager. I was impressed). I asked him: "so these are rejects from Whack ?" to which he replied nah,  just a few things he'd been working on lately. By this time he was  deep into writing for Two Against Nature  with Fagen, so it took me a couple of beats to realize that after his Whack  work, he and his Opcode had apparently just kept on trucking along.  He must have liked this one, must have been keeping it on his "potentially active" list, since he was still occasionally listening to it few years later...  ...as he was one afternoon in late '99 .... PS: His vocals on these three '97 demos were uncommonly lackluster, to put it kindly.  One of them, in fact -- a tune called The Love You Ax -- will remain forever sealed, falling into the rare category of the demo vocal  he would never allow out of the box. It's a nice tune though; perhaps one day 'll post an instrumental of its solo and outro, for a sense of its feel. I just have to guess first  if that would make more of you pissed or pleased.
  • We have a serious bottleneck here at WBM. We've got some cool tracks ready to go. But the visuals, the movies, the slideshows... gotta tell you …sometimes, like now, we just don't have it in us. Can you to help out? Here's a chance for the collaboration(s) we've always hoped to have with you. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to make a visual track — video or slideshow — for …drumroll please….. Girlfriend, with Live Band (Rogers, Ephron, Perowsky, Parks, Bease, WB) We need it to be: = an m4v 7:00 in length (we can convert from X to m4v) = absent type, with no sound. = lightweight, simple, quick n' dirty Several of you have requested this music and yes, we found it, and Bob’s yer uncle. .. if only we can get a visual done. Use this thread where y'all quickly decide which one of you will give it a go (don’t worry, if this works out, there’ll be plenty of unpaid exploitable labor jobs to go around). And we'll post a couple of WB pics you can use if you like. But please … shake a tail feather. The sooner we get a visual we can use, the quicker we can post GF w/ Band, *plus* a cool companion cut we have in mind! We’ll monitor the thread for the lucky (talented, heroic, wunnerful, generouos, valient) volunteer and get in touch.