Thread: Jeff Porcaro
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:46 PM
gretschgal1 gretschgal1 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 44
Default "Gaucho" (Jeff/Steely Dan)

In researching Jeff's credits list for Toto Network, I found a Gary Katz interview someplace (I'll have to look it up and post the link----gimme a couple days, please....).

The interview detailed the tracking session for "Gaucho".
Porcaro and Katz did 46 seperate takes and pieced that track together bar-by-bar. Jeff's efforts kept the tune from being trashed.

""When Jeff was working, especially with Donald and Walter, his sense of devotion was unmatched. If he'd feel he wasn't doing exactly what Donald wanted, Jeff -- being the huge fan and the man that he was -- would throw his sticks at the wall in frustration and say, 'Get someone who knows how to play a shuffle! Call Purdie!' A few minutes would pass, he'd collect himself and do another take, and on those occasions he always brought to my face another smile.' Jeff's formidable efforts on behalf of "Gaucho" rescued the track from being scrapped."

"We were recording tracks for Steely Dan's "Gaucho" album at A&R. It was Jeffrey and three other musicians. In those days, we would record tracks forty, fifty, sixty times until Donald felt he had a track that was steady enough. In those days ('79), we didn't use click tracks, and the kind of click track that was available, Jeffrey hated. We played the track for quite a long time that night, and at about 11:00 or so, Donald said it wasn't working for him. When that happened, it was usually the kiss of death; we never tried the track again and the song would be lost. So at 11:00 he and Walter felt they had exhausted that track and were going to call it a night. Jeffrey and I were upset about that, because it was definitely going to hit the can, and we loved the song. Donald said, 'Okay, you guys stay, and if you cut a track that you like, call us and we'll come back.'

"We stayed there most of the night. I had a chart, and Jeffrey would play a take, and I would hear eight good bars -- not that all the bars weren't good -- but I tried to think like Donald. But I would mark those bars, and then the next four good bars... we did about seventy takes. We finally left at about 5:00 in the morning, and the next day I went to the studio with Roger Nichols and Jeff, and we literally edited this track bar by bar. I had all these markings on my chart... it was a fluke that I made a track that felt good. We called Donald, and they came over late in the afternoon and couldn't find anything wrong with it. And as nonchalantly as he had left the night before, he said, `There's another track.' "
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