Because there is nothing more representative of the day after Thanksgiving than cold turkey and Black Friday, we took some liberties this week with the Flashback and ran with the apropos rather than the official.
These artists need no introduction, and seriously, we need to make ourselves a cold turkey sandwich and hit the stores, so we’ll make this brief. “Black Friday” was originally released on the classic 1975 Steely Dan album Katy Lied, although this version was performed some twenty-five years later. The concert, recorded live in New York at the Sony Studios, saw Donald Fagen and Walter Becker performing new material as well as classic hits, which were eventually released on both a CD and DVD called Two Against Nature (where this clip is from).
Ironically enough, in these economic hard-times, the song was a reference to the first stock market crash of 1869 when investors tried to corner the market on gold, buying as much of it as they could and driving up the price only to have the US government release $4 million worth of gold into the market, driving down the price and clobbering the investors. While the song is about events in the US, it mentions a town in Australia: “Fly down to Musswellbrook.” Musswellbrook is a rural town 2 hours North of Sydney that is full of kangaroos (thus the line, “Nothing to do but feed all the kangaroos”). The story is told from the vantage point of one of the investors ruined by the crash and the reference to Muswellbrook (middle of nowhere) is a nod to forgetting about city life and finance completely. Interestingly enough, it is believed that Becker and Fagen selected the name of Musswellbrook from an atlas, mainly because it worked well with the next line, “I’m going to strike out all the big red words from my little black book.”
Steely Dan “Black Friday”
And what can you say about John Lennon during the later years of his life besides his music was greatly affected by Yoko Ono and heroin? Incidentally enough, the song “Cold Turkey” was written during the Abbey Road sessions, yet rejected by the other Beatles. Though never released on a studio album, the song is often considered Lennon’s “first single” away from the Beatles and was a staple among performances by the Plastic Ono Band. There are a bunch of live clips floating around of “Cold Turkey” including the first time he performed it as well as at the 1969 Toronto Rock and Revival Show, which featured Eric Clapton on guitar, Klaus Voorman on bass, and Alan White on drums and was later released as a live album.
The song — appropriately enough — is about Lennon quitting heroin cold turkey because he wanted to start a family with Yoko. An experience he wrote about, and is captured in this fan-made promo video for the song.
John Lennon “Cold Turkey”