Saturday, December 06, 2003

Anyone have any idea what Steely Dan's song "Gaucho" is about?

My guess: it's about a Hollywood agent telling a secretly gay client to get rid of his outrageously gay companion -- the gaucho -- whose presence threatens to out the client, thereby screwing up career plans for everyone.

The song brings to mind a story I once heard -- from Michael Korda, in The New Yorker a number of years back -- about Swifty Lazar upbraiding Truman Capote for bringing along some "rough trade"-type to some social function.

Dan songwriters Becker and Fagen, of course, never work on an obvious level; they keep it deliciously obscure, so you kind of have to guess at their meaning. The lyrics of the song are like an overheard phone conversation -- they leave it to us to figure out who is talking to whom about what.

More interesting thoughts here and here and probably many places -- SD fans are worse than Dylanologists when it comes to figuring out what this or that song is really about.

No comments: