The Avocados of Classic Rock

The Common Places of Siliconía
2 min readSep 11, 2023

It came to me in a dream this morning — Steely Dan is the avocado of classic rock. ”But I like avocados!” you might say. So do I. But Steely Dan is like avocados were back in the 1970s. You didn’t know if it was a vegetable or Messican voodoo fruit, so you were scared to put it in your mouth. “Peg” is a fantastic example of this.

https://youtu.be/u_pt3khMRFs?si=mbWSVM2pyY1C3NRb

1. Given that the band is named after a dildo, anything named “Peg” is going to be hilarious, right off the bat.

2. “Peg” has those same annoying-assed out-of-place jazz chords that were in every song on the radio when my parents were fucking and I was conceived 1974–1979. If human beings are just sound waves made shape in utero, then Gen X folks, we are all composed of Steely Dan’s ubiquitous 9th chord Qi particles.

3. So, the song’s bopping along with that sound of shag carpets and gas lines and ex-nuns in Fort Worth and blango that fucking guitar solo enters the room. It’s so weird, so gnarly. So sgrquawnk. That’s my absolute favorite guitar method. “Peg”, Guitar Slim’s “The Story of My Life”, Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in The Rain”, anything Sonny Sharrock did. All has The Sqrquawnk. It’s Pig Fucker Music, but unlike the rest of the Yoko Ono style, this is actually listenable. It won’t trigger the entire party to flee screaming for the exits like a shit in the water. In fact, it’s actually a popular. It works. Its good.

4. But then it’s back to the guacamole. Still arty and the product of good technique, but at the end of the day, avocados are just pretentious bisexual tomatoes.

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