Steely Dan at the precise moment that they became slightly repulsed and deeply, distantly amused by even their own existence
I've been listening to Gaucho a lot more lately and I'll be damned if it isn't one of the most interesting, funny, and complicated records I think I've ever heard. In this scheme, I will, of course, not be damned.
("The Dan" is really one of the worst band nicknames ever.) In service of "The Dan"'s greatness and in an effort to make them more "accessible" i.e. marketable to that coveted Under 35 and Earnestly Thoughtless demographic, I am pitching a concept to Rockstar Games (makers of the Grand Theft Auto series) for a Gaucho video game.
Bullet points include:
- Walter Becker is late for a session and boy, is Gary Katz angry! You have to find Becker in his hotel suite - which is ample - before MCA goes over budget on the hired session musicians; the MCA DollarClock in the upper-left hand corner will tell you exactly how much Becker's mischievious antics are costing the label. After five minutes, Becker starts blowing coke and the DollarClock accelerates exponentially. Is he under those magazines? Behind that shower curtain? On the move? Upon losing, an A&R man pats your balls with the back of his hand and buys you a Greyhound ticket back to Cincinnati. Becker sniggers.
- A "rhythm"-based section (a la Dance Dance Revolution or Guitar Hero) wherein you discover an extremely tired and dejected Mark Knopfler alone in the studio, having just heard the final mix of "Time Out of Mind" and realizing that several hours of slaving under the fickle whims of Becker and Fagen were reduced to about seven seconds of bright guitar squiggle. You have to copy all of the "licks" rejected for the album; if you succeed, Fagen calls a car service for Knopfler, who sobs softly and erratically bleats "You know what? I like the ECM catalog! Yeah, the whole fuckin' thing! Not just Keith Jarrett!" Fagen looks away.