Another rare look at early Steely Dan surfaces: Reelin' in the Years

Originally published at: Another rare look at early Steely Dan surfaces: Reelin' in the Years | Boing Boing


@RubenBolling, Thanks for continuing to share Steely Dan nuggets!


Actually, Steely Dan appeared on the second regular episode of The Midnight Special (third episode counting the pilot) on Feb. 9, 1973. This was from the brief period when David Palmer had replaced Fagen as their frontman to alleviate Fagen’s agoraphobia and stage fright. They performed “Do It Again” with lead vocals by Palmer and “Reelin’ In the Years” with lead vocals by Fagen.

Comparing the two performances of “Reelin In the Years,” the band is obviously more wooden in this show, possibly because they had just started touring together. Also, there are no backup singers or extra percussionists, just the six core band members at the time.

Here’s a link to the performance of “Do It Again” from that show, with Jeff “Skunk” Baxter as a percussionist:

And here’s a link to the entire episode, since the only way you can see that performance of “Reelin’ In the Years” is to go to YouTube and look up the time stamp. That’s probably because the August '73 performance is more deserving of its own clip.


Indeed. That was great.
The 70’s were pretty goddamn cool.

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These two videos show the full energy, creativity and chops of the them at their best. Every one on stage is having a blast and nailing it. It’s pure joy. Not the least because they had a reputation as being a “studio only” band.

I’m in the aging-hipster-with-gen-x-music-taste demographic but I legitimately love the Dan after getting into them ironically from Yacht Rock. I saw them at an outdoor pavilion in the Chicago burbs in like 2015 and it was legitimately one of the best shows I’ve seen. Just two wizards working perfectly together with an army of professionals backing them.

Bonus (to the surprise of no Dan fan but mildly interesting to anyone who doesn’t know), post SD and the Doobs, Skunk Baxter had a helluva pivot into the defense/missile consulting world.

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