“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
Light the candle
Put the lock upon the door
You have sent the maid home early
Like a thousand times before
Like the castle in its corner
In a medieval game
I foresee terrible trouble
And I stay here just the same
—-Steely Dan, Dirty Work
Time flies – it was six years ago that I wrote about Naked Lunch – the Steely Dan Cover Band at Lee Harvey’s. We saw them a time or too there after that, but the last time, two years ago, they said they couldn’t play at Lee Harvey’s anymore. They simply didn’t make enough money to pay all those musicians (it takes about a dozen to do Steely Dan justice).
But, wonder of wonders, they are back. Lee Harvey’s never used to charge a cover, but now, sometimes, they do. It was only ten bucks to see greatness, so we went. As always Naked Lunch sounds more like Steely Dan than Steely Dan does. Awesome.
A while back we were driving down to the Cedars with a couple friends in the car, looking for something to do. We thought we’d stop by Lee Harvey’s for a beer and maybe a burger, but when we arrived there wasn’t a parking spot in blocks and the beer garden was packed. We weren’t looking for that kind of a crowd – we wanted more of a mellow scene – so we passed by. I was wondering what had attracted that many people so I looked it up later. It was a band called Naked Lunch – a Steely Dan tribute band.
Over time I kept hearing, here and there, how good Naked Lunch was. They were scheduled to play Friday Evening and I thought about going, but the week had been brutal, I was feeling my age, and decided I needed to stay home. Luckily, powerful thunderstorms tore through the Metroplex and the show (semi outdoors) was moved to Sunday afternoon.
I was checking the time out on Lee Harvey’s Facebook Page – and noticed their free food contest. Most days, the fifth commenter on their daily post gets a free drink and entree. I usually never paid attention, but this time I couldn’t help but notice that the post only had two comments. I counted to thirty… then typed “Can’t Buy A Thrill” into the comment line and was surprised to find out I had timed it right and was the winner.
So now we had to go.
Which was extra good because the weather was beautiful (there is no better weather… not even California weather… than late-summer Texas a day or two after a big storm) and the band was most excellent.
Naked Lunch has been playing Steely Dan for fifteen years now… and they have got it about figured out. At one point I was sitting at a picnic table, eating a bit and had my back turned to the band. I remember thinking, “If I didn’t know that was a tribute band playing, I would think someone was spinning some Steely Dan vinyl behind me.”
Of course, to put on a Steely Dan show you need a whale of a band (a lot more than you need for, say, Simon and Garfunkel). Three piece sax/horn section, two guitars, base, drums, xylophone/percussion, keyboards, and a couple of female backup singers. It makes for a big sound.
Since it was a rescheduled afternoon show it wasn’t quite as big a crowd as the time we had driven by. Still, there were a lot of folks, a very diverse crowd, and everybody had a great time.
At a show like this, with so much music over so long of a time, you have to think about what your favorite Steely Dan song is. For someone my age, “Reeling in the Years,” has to be the iconic piece of music, with its rambunctious guitars… or is it “Do it Again”? – man that one brings back memories, but in this, the second decade of the twenty-first century, neither are my favorite. The one I like best is “My Old School” and that amazing horn line. I’ve always had a weakness for instrumentals.
The only downside is that they didn’t do “Dirty Work” – Candy’s favorite.
Another reason we like to go to Lee Harvey’s on Sundays is that they usually hold benefits for animal rescue groups and there are a lot of dogs in the garden. Candy likes that. Today, Dallas Pets Alive was having their anniversary party. They were selling raffle tickets and Candy, to support the group, bought a handful. Our luck held and we won a 50 buck gift certificate for Lee Harvey’s.
So I guess we’ll be back.