Steve Gadd Question Finally Answered

ohiodrummer1964

Senior Member
I don't know why it took me until 25 years after having the internet to think of this, but yesterday I emailed Steve Gadd and asked him if the stick click at 4:57 in the Steely Dan song Aja was just an accident that Donald Fagen and Walter Becker liked enough to keep, or if he did it on purpose. His wife Carol answered back and said he said it was an accident. I can die peacefully now. LOL.

I just shared that because I know other drummers have asked the same question on internet forums before. Have a good day.
 

trickg

Silver Member
So now that you know it was an accident, isn't the next question, what was that stick click supposed to be? Was he trying to hit something else and it was thwarted by the stick?
 

Merlin5

Gold Member
I always remember someone telling me that someone walked past or was standing looking through the studio door at Gadd (with a soundproof window presumably) and that Gadd noticed this person and clicked his sticks. Obviously that was an old wive's tale.

So now that you know it was an accident, isn't the next question, what was that stick click supposed to be? Was he trying to hit something else and it was thwarted by the stick?
I still think it was intentional. I know his wife said it was an accident and it may be just to keep the reply short as I'm sure he gets asked that all the time.
It's so clean and deliberate sounding it doesn't sound like an accident.

If it really was an accident, then I think he was going for a snare hit. If you listen to where his stick click is in the stereo image, it's panned dead centre, same as his snare drum.
 

J-Boogie

Gold Member
Right, leave it to Steve Gadd to make a mishit that falls perfectly in time, with a pleasant timbre lol. I think the Steely guys had guessed he hit a mic or mic stand by accident.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
That was right in time for sure . Almost like he was counting a rest, but he says accidental.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
I don't know why it took me until 25 years after having the internet to think of this, but yesterday I emailed Steve Gadd and asked him if the stick click at 4:57 in the Steely Dan song Aja was just an accident that Donald Fagen and Walter Becker liked enough to keep, or if he did it on purpose. His wife Carol answered back and said he said it was an accident. I can die peacefully now. LOL.

I just shared that because I know other drummers have asked the same question on internet forums before. Have a good day.


Affectionately known as a 'clam'.
 

moxman

Silver Member
Considering he did that incredible solo in one take, I'd say the stick click whether accidental or intentional .. Was perfect too!
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Considering he did that incredible solo in one take, I'd say the stick click whether accidental or intentional .. Was perfect too!
...or he had already reached the age of not being asked for a second take, as in that would be rude.

Or his fee was 'one take', no discounts on the second take.
 

Merlin5

Gold Member
...or he had already reached the age of not being asked for a second take, as in that would be rude.

Or his fee was 'one take', no discounts on the second take.
It's Steely Dan, they only accept perfection : D Didn't matter which A lister was behind the drums if it wasn't right, they'd be asked to 'do it again' (pun intended). Legend has it that Jeff Porcaro was on a Dan session and I believe all the musicians had to stay for hours recording and re-recording one song that they felt they'd already nailed, (gaucho album I think) while Fagan and Becker left the studio. When they returned, they eventually gave the thumbs up. Also, not sure if it's true but I seem to remember something about Porcaro (I think it was him) once being relieved of a Dan session and replaced with another drummer because it wasn't happening. Hard to believe it when talking about Porcaro so take that with a pinch of salt.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
It's Steely Dan, they only accept perfection : D Didn't matter which A lister was behind the drums if it wasn't right, they'd be asked to 'do it again' (pun intended).
I just listened to it, the 'clam' is not perfection, tho perfectly in time. If they were concerned about perfection they could've cut that clam out, but probably didn't want to risk ruining the rest of the fill.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Also, not sure if it's true but I seem to remember something about Porcaro (I think it was him) once being relieved of a Dan session and replaced with another drummer because it wasn't happening..

Are you sure that you are not mistaken here regarding the Black Friday sessions, where Porcaro himself suggested that maybe they should take another drummer for that one..?
 
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