Steely Dan – Mobile Home (no label)

Mobile Home (no label)

Paramount Northwest Theater, Seattle, WA – July 1st, 1974

(72:01):  Bodhisattva, The Boston Rag, Do It Again, Brooklyn (Owes The Charmer Under Me), King Of The World, Rikki Don’t Lose That Number, Pretzel Logic, My Old School, Dirty Work, Reelin’ In The Years, Show Biz Kids, This All Too Mobile Home

Steely Dan is a band whose music resides in the subconscious even if one isn’t necessarily a fan of their music.  With many hits a staple of rock radio, anyone who grew up on the AOR format in the seventies and early eighties was fed with a steady diet of their hits.  Their music defines easy classification.  With roots in both rock and jazz, they borrow forms heavily without a firm commitment to either one.  Their music is much like William S. Burroughs, their muse. 

Avant garde, eclectic, but holding together on some sort of psychotic plane of beauty.  The Seattle soundboard is very good and loud with some distortion present in the upper frequencies.  There is a cut “King Of The World,” at 2:52 in “Old School” one right before “Dirty Work,” after “Reelin’ In The Years,” and at 3:11 in “Mobile Home.”  Otherwise it does present the entire concert.

Touring off of Pretzel Logic, this trek would end a couple of days later on July 4th and Seattle is one of their final live shows for almost twenty years.  Fagan and Becker are joined by Denny Dias and Jeff Baxter on guitars, the late Jim Hodder and the late Jeff Porcaro on drums, Royce Jones on vocals and Michael McDonald on keyboards and vocals. 

The tape begins with the mc making a snide comment about Steely Dan’s appearance, saying, “here by popular demand, at great expense to the management.  You may like them.  Personally, I don’t.  From Los Angeles California, Steely Dan!”  The opening song “Bodhisattva” blows the roof off the place, being played with particular ferocity.  They follow with “Boston Rag” and afterwards Fagen says, “Hey Skunky you’ve got some fans down front.”  “Fucking-A pisser!” Baxter chimes in before he introduces the next song as something you don’t hear much when you’re old. 

“King Of The World” is about “iinspiring terror in a large mass of people.”  Their current hit “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number Follows” which hit number four on the charts about this time.  The title track of the latest album is described as a blue number and is as close to the blues as Steely Dan ever got.  The set ends with “Reelin’ In The Years,” their first hit. 

The performances on this tour include a special introduction to the piece and and extended keyboard section by the end.  The encores include “Show Biz Kids” and the rarity “This All Too Mobile Home.”  Similar in feel to “Boston Rag,” it is a simple story of a guy looking for his ex-wife.  The song, and show, end on a drum solo as Fagan says good night to Seattle and tell them he’ll see them again (but not for another twenty years). 

Mobile Home is packaged in a single jewel case with glossy paper inserts and is overall a good production.  The rough quality of the soundboard isn’t for everybody, but is good enough for the Steely Dan collector to appreciate.   

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  1. There are three more shows from 1974 circulating (London, LA and San Diego) that are of extremely good quality – very clean recordings with a well balanced sound. These remind me of some of the KSAN radio shows that make the rounds through the blogosphere. Like this, those shows are very energetic and a must have for SD fans or anyone curious about how they sounded live nearly 40 years ago.


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