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Steely Dan Live Last Week

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by [skyraider], May 14, 2018.

  1. [skyraider]

    [skyraider] Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    I saw SD last week with The Doobie Brothers as the opening act. Both groups were phenomenal in their own regard, but it was maybe not the best matchup of headliner vs. opening act. But the reason I'm posting in the bassists section is because the SD bassist was just an amazing player YET... He got almost ZERO attention. Drummer got a great drum solo. Several horn solos. Guitar player was CRAZY good, got MANY, many solos. Even the backup singers "The Danettes" got solos.

    Bass player didn't hardly even make it on camera except for a few VERY brief appearances. He was somewhat buried in the mix for the most part but I could hear the occasional riff wafting from the low end. His name was never mentioned.

    Contrast that with John Cowan playing bass for The Doobie Brothers who got ample attention; his name was mentioned several times, he sang lead vocals on several tunes and got good camera time.

    I don't get it. Maybe he'd pissed Donald Fagan off or something. But jeeze give the guy some props!
    MrLenny1 likes this.
  2. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Odd that Fagen wouldn't introduce his band, but then again, this is the first SD tour since Becker's passing, and maybe that has something to do with it. Anyway, I think if you asked Freddie Washington if he wanted more attention, he'd politely decline. He's been touring with them since 2006.
    Relsom and Brad Johnson like this.
  3. SwitchGear

    SwitchGear Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    I've seen SD play live in 2006 & 2016 with Freddie Washington on bass. Both times he was far back in the mix playing his p bass. I imagine the money must be real good.
    [skyraider] likes this.
  4. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    i've seen them live a few times and freddie was the bassist for one of the times. in donald's book he said freddie loves to golf and is always out golfing when they don't have music commitments.

    honestly i will be interested to hear how it is without walter. i always felt he was the odd man out on stage, jon herrington did all the great lead work and solos and they'd give walter some solos and i just never liked what he did with them. like he could not have been there and i think it would have enhanced the show. BUT, there could be some other musical/personal factors i don't know about that could be the glue/gel to the whole shabang, so i'm intrigued how it's going.
    [skyraider] and nolezmaj like this.
  5. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I’ve seen Steely Dan live twice. Both times Freddie Washington was playing his P-bass and both times he was low in the mix and was never featured.

    Coincidentally, I play in a Steely Dan tribute band and I am the only instrumentalist that doesn’t get a solo. I don’t mind though, as there are lots of great Chuck Rainey and Walter Becker bass lines to play.

    - Steve
    Relsom, Stumbo, [skyraider] and 2 others like this.
  6. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Cowan is a member of the Doobies and Freddie Washington is a sideman, probably the reason for not being mentioned. I saw Freddie with Fagan as a member of the Dukes Of September band and he was mentioned and his P bass sounded great, but it was outside and the sound was great.
    [skyraider] likes this.
  7. Phat Nick

    Phat Nick

    Mar 14, 2018
    I’m a great Steely Dan fan,but unfortunately I never had the opportunity to see them live. This is not the first time that someone says that Freddie’s bass is very buried in the mix...seems like a quite odd choice,since on all Dan’s and Fagen’s albums you can hear very well the bass,think about “morph the cat” for example,Freddie’s bass tone on this is monstrous!! Who knows..
    [skyraider] likes this.
  8. thenazz


    May 9, 2011
    Pensacola, FL
    Saw the two bands a week ago in New Orleans. I thought the soundman had the kick drum for the Doobies so goddamn loud it turned every song into a hippity-hoppity electronic house mix. It was just crap. I sat there thinking "That's it...I'm never going to a concert again, shag this poopie." I don't know why most sound guys think it sounds good to make the kick drum sound like a bomb going off. They started "Blackwater" with an acoustic guitar and vocals then BAM! here comes the drum. It was a joke. Thank god Steely Dan sound great. They made it worthwhile.
    Goatrope and [skyraider] like this.
  9. MixBass


    Feb 23, 2006
    L.A. Harbor
    Co-founder. GrabAxe
    It seems there's an ethos among sound men to push whatever system they have to the brink of what it's capable regardless of the style of music or size of room. And it starts with the kick.
    I know being a sound guy is a tough job but damn it's rare to find one who is musical so to speak.
    TN WOODMAN and [skyraider] like this.
  10. growlypants


    Nov 10, 2012
    I saw that same show here in Atlanta, and I couldn't agree more about the Doobies kick drum sound. (It was almost painful.) They did a pretty good show, in spite of that, though. As far as Donald Fagen, what a band!! Just amazing. I didn't understand the lack of bass guitar featuring, either, but hey. He was amazing regardless. I noticed he was sitting down, reading sheet music, too!!!!!
    [skyraider] likes this.
  11. G19Tony


    Apr 27, 2018
    Las Vegas, NV
    I've seen Steely Dan twice in the last couple years. I thought both shows were awesome, I'm glad I got to see them before Walter died. In both shows, Walter just started talking a crazy, stream of consciousness monologue. Both shows, my GF and I just looked at each other like, *** is he on? Still, two of the best shows I've seen.
    [skyraider] likes this.
  12. Phat Nick

    Phat Nick

    Mar 14, 2018
    Found this clip on the tube...Seems like Freddie sometimes gets a spot with Steely Dan :)
    [skyraider], jerry and kobass like this.
  13. Relsom

    Relsom Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    The Old Dominion
    I was at the 5/11 show in Raleigh. I dug both bands and it really didn't matter that Freddie didn't get to showcase. Fantastic show. It didn't hurt getting seat upgrades from the $17 lawn to $200 center 15th row for $10 a piece either.
    [skyraider], TN WOODMAN and MrLenny1 like this.
  14. toprekoms

    toprekoms Banned

    Aug 22, 2010
    I'm sorry, but there is no Steely Dan without Walter Becker. There is no Yes without Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, there are no Beatles without John and George, there is no Who without Entwistle and Keith Moon, etc. To me, it is undignified and an insult to the founding members who are immediately replaced upon their demise. It's all about "The Mighty Dollar". Sickening.
    IamGroot, TN WOODMAN and JLY like this.
  15. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Sometimes "the mighty dollar" pays their bills, kids collage, medical bills etc. ;)
    markjazzbassist likes this.
  16. [skyraider]

    [skyraider] Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    So how about "no Eagles without Glenn Frey" in spite of the fact that they still have Joe Walsh, Don Henley, and Timothy Schmidt? I saw them a few weeks before the SD show and, let me tell you, they were most DEFINITELY The Eagles. It was a kick ass show from one end to the other and all points in between. Sure, it would have been great to have Glenn, but they made it all work and it was pure awesome.
  17. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    it's donald's music too and he can keep doing it since he own's the royalties. go yell at some kids to get off your lawn or something
    [skyraider] likes this.
  18. MixBass


    Feb 23, 2006
    L.A. Harbor
    Co-founder. GrabAxe
    SD without WB survives whereas take away DF and no chance. Similar to Hall with no Oates. I did happen to like the WB solo stuff I heard and attribute some of the more "out" harmonic content to him but DF is "the SD" sound in my eyes. The Nightfly fits right in the catalog whereas 11 tracks of whack not so much.
    As for continuing to tour, there're quite a few people who count on the tour which was most likely booked long ahead. Though not optimal I think it's actually more ethical to continue on playing and would bet WB would feel the same. Sickening is a far reach IMO.
  19. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    spot on with everything there.
    [skyraider] likes this.
  20. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    SD touring with no WB is a tribute to Walter IMHO.
    kobass and [skyraider] like this.

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