Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Steely Dan Walter Becker's Speech on "Hey Nineteen" Transcribed

Transcribed from the Steely Dan show on August 24, 2013 in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre

(solos for awhile, music drops to low vamp)

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. And we’re so lucky to be here tonight, at the, uh, Staples Center, or wherever this is. That’s how I feel these days. Wherever I am, I'm lucky to be there. Because this, as it so happens -- I checked, and it’s true -- is absolutely the peak night of the summer of 2013. The best night of the summer is tonight! Now how do like them apples?

(solos for a few notes)

And you know what? Cause we’re here, and you’re here, and we’ve got these tunes. We still like these tunes, and you still like them too. You still know, you still know how good it is, how sweet it is, to feel some music playing, and get in with it, get down with it, it’s the music that you love, and it’s got all kinds of good feelings in it, and it just lifts you above everything that might possibly be dragging you down into the mundane plains of existence.

Now, I’m not going to get too far into that mundane thing here, but lemme just say that I know, I know, I know you’ve had to save some money and put a couple of bucks together to get down here, cause these tickets aren’t cheap, you know? And you can’t stand to be online with that, uh, Ticketvendor, Ticketserve, whatever it’s called there. That’s nothing for you, so you’ve gotta go down and buy them from the scalper anyway. They cost twice as much, and uh, you know, one thing leads to another, and you’re on your way home from the concert, and going through the door of your chateau, flinging your chapeau onto the bed. You’re sitting down there with your beloved, the object of your affliction, and you head on into the back room and pull out the little box you bought at a renaissance fair in 1967 with the uh, genuine mastodon tusk button on it.

You look in there, and lo and behold, what do you find but the absolute very, very last of the chiba chiba. The last tub of chiba chiba, as far as you know, in the whole wide world. Hallelujah. Lord have mercy. So you roll it up, skin it up, spliff it up, light it up, smoke it up... boom! There you jolly well are, aren’t you?

(plays a few more notes on his guitar)

So you’re heading into the back room, you smoked your thing and it’s all gone now, you’re heading into the back room to your beloved there, and you know that the nominal second act of this fantastic evening is right through that door. Before you head through that door, you think, “Hmm, let’s have a little something to drink to wet the whistle.” To make a long story short, you go over to the liquor cabinet there, and look in, and there’s nothing there but an empty scotch bottle and a half a gallon of some kind of creme de menthe or something like that, and that old pitcher of pink squirrels that nobody ever finished back at Halloween, at that classic Halloween mushroom party that you had.

And so the thing is, you look up there and there’s one bottle left, and it’s this golden, golden, wonderful golden fluid that somehow through the haze of your spinning little brain cells there, you remember what that is, and you can read the label sort of, a little bit, and it says “Made in Mexico”, that’s a good sign. You break it on open, and drink it on down, and it kind of tastes like burning rubber and cat fur. That’s good too. And, you know, it’s all happening, and you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, why can’t every night be like this?” I mean, look at us, We’re having a great time, right? Holy smokes! Why can’t every night be like this?

Well it can’t. And I don’t know why. I can’t do it. You can’t do it. But you’re thinking to yourself, “I’ll tell you what, though. When I’m heading up that Pacific Coast Highway, I’m going to stop off at Vendome Liquor and see if they got any of that stuff.” They still sell this stuff in the state of California, but the thing is, you can’t remember what it’s called. You can’t remember what to call it. What’s the name of the drink in the bottle? What do they call it?

(addressing Borderline Brats)

Ladies, we can’t remember. What’s the name of that drink? What do you call it? What’s the name of that drink? Tell me!

(band launches into song outro, with “The Cuervo Gold...”, and so on)


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