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Get Along, Sweet Chinaman!

The family has been listening to '70s rock the last couple weeks, especially during games of the card game, Pounce. While playing what is essentially a face-paced version of solitaire for four, there's a tendency for people to chatter, sing, whistle and make noises. If we have background music, it helps a bit towards getting everyone in sync and on the same page. Steely Dan is one of those groups we've been listening to, and one of our favorites to sing along with is their Get Along, Sweet Chinaman, which some have apparently misnamed as Kid Charlemagne. In honor of the tune, I did this sketch:

Other than my fave tune of theirs, Reelin' in the Years, I've never loved their music, finding it a bit long, rambling and esoteric, the vocals an acquired taste. But listening lately to their best, I've found I know and like most of their tunes - they must've played the heck out of these tunes on the radio in the 70's and '80s. By chance over the weekend, I saw a commercial for a Midnight Special DVD, including a quick snippet of the band doing Reelin'. Gosh, that Walter Becker was not an attractive man - a face for radio!

Walter Becker, center top; Donald Fagen, 2nd from left

He's improved with age, though, a much better look:

Fagen & Becker, circa 2007

After disbanding in 1981, they regrouped for concerts in 1993, and released two studio albums, in 2000 and 2003, respectively. I've gotta check those out, 'cause they don't seem to have missed a beat.