Jun 28, 2018

Old ... and Improved Fidelity


Edited: Oct 1, 2018

We're all familiar with the crusty "11 Tracks of Whack Outtakes" that

have been banging around the interwebs for a couple of decades.

Sure, they're neat sounding tunes--- what we can hear of them,



It sounds like the versions out there are some advanced generation

of an old cassette. We found the first generation cassette. Add some

nifty modern digitization tools, a tweak or two from superfan Dan Belcher, and

NOW we've got something to hear!


We're starting with Sanpaku ....


movie: matt kerns

.....and Ghost of Hipness Past.


movie: matt kerns


We'll get to the others eventually. But in the meantime, please to enjoy

the creamy goodness of these tunes sounding quite a bit more like

God and Becker made 'em.


Great sounding versions also on our Downloads page, as usual.


Jeez -- Dan, Matt -- coming through to save the day. I'm beginning to feel a little more like The Damsel In Distress than I'm comfortable with. Watch out: compensation for such states usually involves a lot of testosterone (and yeah, we got some too)

Jun 28, 2018

Thanks D-Mod! I just tried the new download links at the bottom of the page linked from the newsletter and got an error about "that page doesn't exist." Looking forward to it though!

Jun 28, 2018Edited: Jun 29, 2018

Yeah Tony, the file doesn't exist until it loads. F*%$ me.

Luckily, they're on the Downloads page now


Jun 29, 2018

Downloads only 613 bytes

Jun 29, 2018Edited: Jun 29, 2018

Thanks to Dan Belcher and his Google Drive and his generous donation of his time, we can now all hear and download mp3 or FLAC of both songs.

Jun 29, 2018

oh fuck yes. I remember finding these demos my freshman year of college, and still have a vivid memory of walking around campus in the bitter cold listening to them on my ipod. that synth line in Ghost of Hipness Past, I don't know if it was a placeholder or what, but everyone I played the track for (circa 2006-7, circa 18-20 years old) flipped their shit over it. I'll save my accolades for Lies I Can Believe for whenever it's posted.....

Jun 29, 2018

I'm glad I was able to help clean these up and make them sound even better for everyone to enjoy. Walter gave us so much great music and made my life better as a result, so it's nice to give back.


D-Mod - You are very welcome. :)


OnTheCorner - That synth line in Ghost of Hipness Past... Yeah... When I was working on that song, I took off my headphones and played it on my good speakers to check my work, my wife heard it and was like "well, that's a weird one." If you can picture that melody being like a guitar line with some nice slides and bends, I can see it being pretty fantastic. But with that synth sound... Beyond that, however! After listening to this song about a dozen times in a row while tweaking it, I have come to a conclusion: this song is really fucking good. I mean, I enjoyed it before when I first heard it a couple years ago, but yesterday it finally clicked and really sunk in. Also worth noting, just how good is Walter's voice in this song?? Mercy.

Jun 29, 2018

It’s been quite a while since I listened to the older, poor quality versions of these, and all I can say is that these upgrades are a revelation! I love both these songs. I’ll need to go through multiple listens as usual to get the full impact, but Wow! I don’t even remember hearing that sax in the earlier version of Hipness— is it real or some synth invention? Maybe Bob Sheppard? Thank you so much D-Mod!!

Jun 29, 2018

Love these and looking forward to the rest. Thanks so much.

Jun 29, 2018

One more thing I'd like to say about the joy of listening to these: in the past when I would have the opportunity to hear bootleg demos, I would always suffer a twinge of guilt--knowing that Walter (and /or Donald) would not be happy that these were out. In fact I have a sense they were probably pretty angry at times and felt violated or betrayed by someone. So even though I of course enjoyed hearing them because of my intense interest in their creative process, I couldn't shake that guilty feeling. Now... what a difference, to know that not only did WB approve of these being heard, but was hopefully very happy somewhere about it! I can now listen completely care-free, and it's wonderful to be able to share my thoughts openly "with those of my kind". Thank you again D-Mod for that gift.

Jun 29, 2018

Wanted to clarify that I really like that synth line/sound, almost sounds like it belongs in a hip hop beat, but i'm not sure which era ... the syncopation gets me good.

actually, the drums on Sanpaku sound a little 808ish. again, in a good way, to my ears.

Also, the Ghost of Hipness Past is such a quintessential WB song title.

Jul 2, 2018

I love this website! Thank you so much for sharing this material. I am a huge fan, and Circus Money has never stopped being on heavy rotation for me. Amazing to hear the vulnerability on the demo of Paging Audrey. Larry Klein said he tried to get WB to belt less, and I assume this was a recording of his explorations! Are there more recordings from the Slim's gig? It sounds phenomenal.

Jul 3, 2018

hi amontuori - yes in time more Slims material will make it up here. In the meantime there are still songs that (practically) no one has heard-- in demo form of source. Glad you like it all

Jul 3, 2018

Ghost of Hipness is catchy and a killer song! Why the hell didn't Walter include it on TOW?

Jul 4, 2018

Amazing sonic upgrade! Thank you so much. This is easily becoming my favorite website on the internet. Wonderful, loving, joyous work.

Jul 5, 2018

Hans -- THAT'S the $64,000 question. (if you weren't raised on american TV someone will have to explain that colloquialism )..on more than just this song too, It's interesting to see his "what I've got for album" lists in his notebooks, as the lineup changes, and what is and is not on the "master" demo DAT he would make from time to time with his "chosen" songs. He (and Donald) had a saying: "We got some things, we need some things" as an always-true evaluation of where they were at on a project. Walter's notebooks are full of that phrase. Once I'm all the way through finding and posting major music, I'd like to analyze these progressions, combine with what he said about it (not much) and see if we can come up with a hypothesis.


I will tell you, and this may have nothing to do with this track which was written early and easily could have been rehearsed with Adam Rogers et. al., But since he was almost always writing and making demos, you know he couldn't just convene a group out of thin air whenever he was ready to record a song or two. Usually, there was at least an implicit project in mind, with many songs written...and THEN you fly everybody out to Maui for a couple of months. So the first consideration when we ask: why didn't he record that? must be: was a band around when he finished it? Perhaps it would have been different if he had a studio in the States. But then again, if my aunt had a nut she'd be my uncle.


Curious, in early 97 I think it was, he sent me a cassette with three *very* strange rough demos on it... and seeing notes and tapes from that time suggest to me he was just gonna start writing anothr batch for another one. But then...2vn...which i think everyone can agree was more exciting:). Anyway by the time he had the C$ band convened a decade later, of course he had a batch of NEW songs.


But that's what we're here for, right? Make a home for the orphans and the ones left on the side of the road, some forgotten, some (from his notes), always on his mind.

Dec 13, 2018

Walter...wherever the fuck U are, I love you like crazy; I mean, how can a girl resist that bass on the "reverie" sections on Ghost...?


"Don't look now....."

Apr 7

Great to hear the clearer version of Sanpaku. I heard it years ago and really love the unusual drum timing Thanks for the Slim's cuts as well - sweet to hear..

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
  • 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.