Ten Favorite Days of the Week Songs: Black Friday (#3)
By Four Walls
March 12, 2017 9:08pm CST
I'm counting the days until the "days of the week" countdown is finished. I'm close to the end, and I'll give you a spoiler: there's only one song that might be considered a "surprise" left. Two of the last three are, I would say, obvious, including today's entry. Here it is. #3: Black Friday - Steely Dan I'd say this one was, if not obvious, no surprise. One of the greatest bands of the 1970s, Steely Dan probably was so great because they never toured. Well, they did for the first couple of albums (in fact, a friend of mine saw them opening for Elton John!), but they got out of the habit. I remember front men Walter Becker and Donald Fagen being on The Robert Klein Radio Show when Goucho was released and admitting that they almost toured with the Aja album in 1977. "We gave everyone what they wanted," Fagen said in terms of paying the first-rate musicians they would take on the road. "Then they started talking...'you're getting how much? I'm getting this much.' And, that was the end of the tour." However, their technical perfection in the studio did, in my opinion, help bring about the demise of rock and roll for the sake of the music. Since Steely Dan was so popular, everyone decided to follow their lead of making albums that were sterile sounding. Y'know, it worked for The Dan. When everyone else tried it, without the level of song quality that Becker and Fagen delivered, it just stunk....not to mention the fact that it took the spontaneity and heart out of rock. But enough of that. Let's talk about this song. Now the term "Black Friday" means "the day after Thanksgiving," but this song came out in 1975. Back then, the term referred to stock market disasters. Contrary to popular belief, "black Friday" wasn't the 1929 Stock Market crash (which was "black Thursday"), but a generalization of financial disaster....along with the people who cause them by their unscrupulous behavior. The protagonist of this song is a rat. "I'll stand down by the door and catch the gray men when they dive from the 14th floor," he brags (a reference to the widespread reports of "countless" stockbrokers who leapt to their deaths during the 1929 crash [aside: a Washington Post article said that only two people actually jumped on Wall Street, and at best calculation, less than ten suicides could be directly related to "Black Tuesday"]). He makes like Steve Miller -- taking the money and running ("I'll collect everything I'm owed and before my friends find out I'll be on the road"). He's off to Australia ("I'll fly down to Muswellbrook....with nothing to do but feed all the kangaroos") to enjoy his riches while everyone else suffers. It's a great song about an ugly scam artist. You'd expect nothing less from Steely Dan. Black Friday Written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen Recorded by Steely Dan From Katy Lied, 1975 I guess I'll change my name:
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Oh, man, "Don't Take Me Alive"!!!!!! "Agents of the law, luckless pedestrian." What an opening line!!
Steely Dan was a great band! My favourite Friday song and the first one that came to my mind was the one by the Easybeats. I used to dance like crazy, while driving, whenever this song was played, no matter what day it was.
Subtitled and remixed with high quality sound! R.I.P. Stevie Wright (20.12.1947 – 27.12.2015)