I'm a big fan of what I'll call Classic Steely Dan, by which I mean the albums up to and including "Gaucho". When I was a field engineer working onshore in Italy in the early 80's I spent a fair amount of time driving to and from wellsites, and playing their 1978 compilation "Greatest Hits" kept me going. My car had a cassette player with automatic reverse, pretty fancy at that time (you could also pull it out of the dash to avoid theft!), so I had the Dan on a continuous loop. I can remember blowing down the autostrada on a beautiful morning with the boys at full volume, feeling pretty good about life in general. They had a long break in the 90's before reforming, but the subsequent albums never caught the feeling of the earlier work. Susan and I saw them live in Houston a few years back and the show was fantastic, but they only played the Classic stuff, so maybe we're not alone in our preference.
I also really like Donald Fagen's first solo album "The Nightfly". It came out in 1982, right after he and Walter Becker split, but it still has an unmistakeable Dan feel. As far as I know Fagen and Becker share songwriting credit for all the Dan albums, but it's easy to identify whch tracks were more Donald than Walter when you've heard Nightfly. Also you've got to love an album that has a track about the International Geophysical Year (which incidentally was a hit single!).
All this waffling is a lead-in to the title of this post, a riff on "Walk between the raindrops", the final track on side 2 of Nightfly. It's a fun little ditty with a simple idea - when you're happy you don't notice the rain. On the last stretch of Saturday's Zube ride I wasn't feeling very happy, but we rode between the rainshowers so I'm going with it. A stretch I know but it's not easy making up these titles.
The forecast showed heavy rain and thunderstorms for the Hockley area on Saturday afternoon, but zero precipitation in the morning, so Kevin and I took our chances and headed out for a much-needed ride. With a stong wind out of the east driving us on we averaged 17.8 mph to the Exxon, but struggled mightily on the way back. Kevin was a trooper as always, taking the lead all the way and trying to keep us at 15mph but I couldn't hold on, even on the flats sometimes, and he had to drop back for me several times. Sorry to be even more of an anchor than usual, Bassman.
I'm off to the Frozen North for Thanksgiving, so Happy Turkey day everyone -