The Steely Dan archives are proving to be very fruitful. Lost Gaucho sessions song “The Second Arrangement” was recently given a formal release, and here’s another, albeit very different, track. This one dates back to 1972 around the time they were recording their seminal album Can’t Buy a Thrill, and it’s a jingle for Schlitz beer.
This is another rarity from engineer Roger Nichols’ boxes of tapes. According to The Expanding Dan, they agreed to writing this bit of marketing melody under the conditions that Schlitz take the jingle as-is.
“As we were doing it, somebody came by from Schlitz’s ad agency — you know, a guy with a powder-blue sweater tied around his neck and quite literally a stopwatch in his hand,” Steely Dan producer Gary Katz told The Expanding Dan. “He walked into the control room and thought he was going to take over, and that just wasn’t gonna happen. He started asking questions about the song. Donald said aloud to me, ‘Do you have your hand near the red button?’ Then he addressed the ad guy: ‘If you say another word about this song, we’re just gonna erase it.’ So the guy left.”
The jingle, which features voiceovers in both English and Spanish, ended up getting rejected by Schlitz due to the Spanish voiceover. Says Nichols’ daughter, “the Spanish word for ‘grab’ can also mean [insert four letter word for sex here].” There’s no denying the Dan-ness of this very catchy jingle, though. Listen below.
Steely Dan will be on tour with the Eagles this fall.