Bad Sneakers Meaning

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Steely Dan – Bad Sneakers Lyrics | SongMeanings

Five names that I can hardly stand to hear
Including yours and mine
And one more chimp who isn’t here
I can see the ladies talking
How the times are getting hard
And that fearsome excavation
On Magnolia Boulevard
Yes I’m going insane
And I’m laughing at the frozen rain
Well I’m so alone
Honey when they gonna send me home
Bad sneakers and a Pina Colada my friend
Stompin’ on the avenue
By Radio City with a
Transistor and a large sum of money to spend
You fellah, you tearin’ up the street
You wear that white tuxedo
How you gonna beat the heat
Do you take me for a fool
Do you think that I don’t see
That ditch out in the valley
That they’re digging just for me
Yes I’ve gone insane
You know I’m laughing at the frozen rain
I feel like I’m so alone
You know I’m going insane
Yes I’m laughing at the frozen rain
And I’m so alone
Lyrics submitted by
AbFab, edited by nomusician2
Bad Sneakers Lyrics as written by Walter Carl Becker Donald Jay Fagen
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics powered by LyricFind
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Bad Sneakers - Wikipedia

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Bad Sneakers – Wikipedia

“Bad Sneakers”Single by Steely Danfrom the album Katy LiedB-side”Chain Lightning”Released23 August 1975 [1]RecordedNovember 1974 – January 1975;ABC Recording Studios Inc., Los AngelesGenreRock, jazz rockLength3:16LabelABCSongwriter(s)Walter Becker, Donald FagenProducer(s)Gary KatzSteely Dan singles chronology
“Black Friday” (1975)
“Bad Sneakers” (1975)
“Kid Charlemagne” (1976)
“Bad Sneakers” is a song by jazz rock band Steely Dan. It was released as the second track on their 1975 album Katy Lied. [2] Producer Gary Katz later regretted not releasing the song as the first single. [3]
It also appears on the compilation albums A Decade of Steely Dan[4] and Citizen Steely Dan.
Michael McDonald’s vocals on the song are some of his first for the band;[5] he would continue to perform background vocals for the band in recordings until 1980. [6]
Contents
1 Personnel
2 Covers
3 References
4 External links
Personnel[edit]
Donald Fagen – lead vocals
Michael Omartian – piano
Walter Becker – lead guitar
Hugh McCracken – rhythm guitar
Chuck Rainey – bass guitar
Jeff Porcaro – drums
Victor Feldman – percussion, vibraphone
Michael McDonald – backing vocals
Covers[edit]
The alternative band The Push Stars covered the song for the Me, Myself & Irene (2000) soundtrack. [citation needed]
References[edit]
^ “Steely Dan singles”.
^ Steely Dan – Katy Lied Discogs
^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2012-01-27. Retrieved 2008-01-22. CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
^ A Decade of Steely Dan Discogs
^ Michael McDonald’s Massive Body of Session Work (Non Doobie-Brothers)
^ Michael McDonald at Everything2
External links[edit]
Steely Dan at Discogs
Bad Sneakers Lyrics
Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
vteSteely Dan
Donald Fagen
Walter Becker
Jeff “Skunk” Baxter
Denny Dias
Jim Hodder
David Palmer
Royce Jones
Michael McDonald
Jeff Porcaro
Studio albums
Can’t Buy a Thrill (1972)
Countdown to Ecstasy (1973)
Pretzel Logic (1974)
Katy Lied (1975)
The Royal Scam (1976)
Aja (1977)
Gaucho (1980)
Two Against Nature (2000)
Everything Must Go (2003)
Live albums
Alive in America (1995)
Plush TV Jazz-Rock Party (2000)
Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz with Steely Dan (2005)
Northeast Corridor (2021)
Singles
“Dallas”
“Do It Again”
“Reelin’ In the Years”
“Show Biz Kids”
“My Old School”
“Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”
“Pretzel Logic”
“Bad Sneakers”
“Kid Charlemagne”
“Peg”
“Deacon Blues”
“FM (No Static at All)”
“Josie”
“Hey Nineteen”
“Cousin Dupree”
“Janie Runaway”
Album tracks
“Aja”
“Any Major Dude Will Tell You”
“Dirty Work”
Compilations
Greatest Hits (1978)
Steely Dan (1978)
Gold (1982/91)
A Decade of Steely Dan (1985)
Reelin’ In the Years (1987)
Do It Again (1987)
Citizen Steely Dan (1993)
Then and Now (1993)
Showbiz Kids (2000)
The Definitive Collection (2006)
Related articles
Discography
Gary Katz
Roger Nichols
Category
Authority control
MusicBrainz work
This 1970s song-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding
the explanations of bad sneakers, daddy..., dr. wu, and your ...

the explanations of bad sneakers, daddy…, dr. wu, and your …

Berserk Kirkunread, Jun 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/25/98to I came up with several explanations to a few songs form the Katy Liedalbum. I’d be interested in some responses with these:bad sneakers seems to be about a rookie drug dealer. The chorus seemsto explain that he used to be poor (he wears bad sneakers) but hasrecently purchased a pina colada. He is naive and somehow got suckedinto the business. There he is standing in New York with a transistor(possibly a drug term) and his pay from his new job. everything seemsto be going well, but after a while he becomes paranoid and feels don’t live… is a song about a father who is an alcoholic, druguser. he goes out to Hackensack to meet a supplier and couplet “Daddy ain’t smokin no fine cigar/ but we know you’resmokin’ wherever you are” seems to imply that he is either burning inhell or doing something sexually deviant that he is forced into doing, possibly under threat of wu is about a guy has a very beautiful wife (Katy) and a friend whois a doctor (Wu). What he does not know is that his wife actually takesa liking to his friend. She schemes to fake a terible illness in orderto have some time with the doctor. So, the narrator (husband) rushesher to his friend, Dr. Wu, hoping that he can save this woman’s stays at the hospital all night, very worried that his wife may dieand feeling “strung out”. After waiting for many hours for some news, he decides to go into the emergency room to see whats going on. What hesees is his friend, Dr. Wu, humping his wife. The narrator concludes bysaying that he applauds his wife for her craftiness and realizes thatDr. Wu is only an average guy who would, of course, jump at theopportunity to bang gold teeth II seems to be about a gambler who is so far in debtthat he trembles every time his poker buddies ride to his house. Theonly thing this poor man has in his possesion is his gold cause he is obsessed with gambling, the man foolishly puts his goldteeth up and realizes that he has lived a fool for gambling away hiswhole life. He lets these scheming card sharks into his house and theyslowly take everything he owns, right down to his gold Pharesunread, Jun 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/25/98to Hey, I can’t say for sure what “Daddy… ” refers to, but I like far as “Bad Sneakers” is concerned. I read somewhere that it was asemi-autobiographical song concerning Walter Becker’s problems withdepression while living in L. A. He was almost suicidal from what Iremember or at least he thought he was slowly killing himself. “.. think that I don’t see that ditch out in the valley that they’redigging just for me? ” He also hated L. and really missed Manhattan:”when (are) they gonna take me home? ” I read that Doctor Wu was a euphamism (sp? ) for someone or thing thatcomes in between two people, such as a mistress or drugs or that make any sense? Keith Pharesunread, Jun 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/25/98to Have you ever listened to Your Gold Teeth I (off of “Countdown… ” Ithink)? It might shed some more light on YGTII. “Throwing out your goldteeth” definitely sounds like it concerns gambling. YGT I tells moreof a story. john nicolunread, Jun 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/25/98to >>bad sneakers seems to be about a rookie drug dealer. The chorus seems>>to explain that he used to be poor (he wears bad sneakers) but has>>recently purchased a pina colada. He is naive and somehow got sucked>>into the business. There he is standing in New York with a transistor>>(possibly a drug term) and his pay from his new job. everything seems>>to be going well, but after a while he becomes paranoid and feels alone. >As far as “Bad Sneakers” is concerned. I read somewhere that it was a>semi-autobiographical song concerning Walter Becker’s problems with>depression while living in L. He was almost suicidal from what I>remember or at least he thought he was slowly killing himself. >you think that I don’t see that ditch out in the valley that they’re>digging just for me? ” He also hated L. and really missed Manhattan:>”when (are) they gonna take me home? ” Yes, I believe the “Reelin’ in the Years” bio by Sweet says the “transistor” is not a drug term; it’s simply a slang for a “transistorradio”, which I believe is simply a portable radio (mid-70s, that was probablypretty exciting technology:-). >>dr. wu is about a guy has a very beautiful wife (Katy) and a friend who>>is a doctor (Wu). What he does not know is that his wife actually takes>>a liking to his friend. She schemes to fake a terible illness in order>>to have some time with the doctor. So, the narrator (husband) rushes>>her to his friend, Dr. Wu, hoping that he can save this woman’s life. >>He stays at the hospital all night, very worried that his wife may die>>and feeling “strung out”. After waiting for many hours for some news, >>he decides to go into the emergency room to see whats going on. What he>>sees is his friend, Dr. The narrator concludes by>>saying that he applauds his wife for her craftiness and realizes that>>Dr. Wu is only an average guy who would, of course, jump at the>>opportunity to bang her. >I read that Doctor Wu was a euphamism (sp? ) for someone or thing that>comes in between two people, such as a mistress or drugs or something. >Does that make any sense? I had heard “Doctor Wu” referred to marijuana, and “Katy” referred to cocaine. (“Katy Lied” referring to the lie of the cocaine high, I guess). I’d like to mention the “just when I spend the last piaster I could borrow” cording to Merriam-Webster, piaster is a Spanish coin (fairly archaic; the boyswere getting literary again), so the dude’s strung out in Spain or hnKeith Pharesunread, Jun 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/25/98to What did you think of that bio (by Sweet)? A lot of the talk aboutrecording/mixing technique went over my head but I thought that on thewhole, it was pretty informative considering the fact that SD wouldn’tbe interviewed for it. Michael Stevensunread, Jun 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/25/98to it was the Vietnamese piaster to which they were referring…. trust meMichaelScott Andrew Borton wrote in message <6murjk$qmh$>… >john nicol <> wrote:>>> I’d like to mention the “just when I spend the last piaster I couldborrow” bit. >> According to Merriam-Webster, piaster is a Spanish coin (fairly archaic;the boys>> were getting literary again), so the dude’s strung out in Spain orsomewhere>> nearby. >>Piasters were also the currency used in South Vietnam at least until the>fall of Saigon, which occured *after* “Katy Lied” was written, so it was a>contemporary currency at the time of KL. “Piaster” was also an Britishslang>term for Turkish coinage, and I’ve heard it being used in reference to>modern-day Egyptian currency (Which is officially the Egyptian Pound). >>>>>–scott>>–>scott andrew borton> Dorjeunread, Jun 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/26/98to Keith Phares wrote:> I read that Doctor Wu was a euphamism (sp? ) for someone or thing that> comes in between two people, such as a mistress or drugs or something. >> Does that make any sense? Keith, I believe I’ve read that Dr. Wu was a philosophy professor of D. F. ‘s whenhe attended college in Alabama. As I interpret the Wu song, it is asimple pun on the word “woo”. The lyrics strongly suggest that he’sstarting to fall for a woman he’s seeing and is no longer the “lovedoctor” but just an ordinary guy losing control of his emotions. Dcymbalsunread, Jun 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/26/98to donald fagen never went to school in nicolunread, Jun 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/26/98to Wow, the Internet works in strange and mysterious is gonna be like that fake Kurt Vonnegut posting! I remember the post that talked about a Dr. Wu in Alabama… As I recall, it was meant to be a joke, throwing in a reference to Alabama because of the whole “Deacon Blues” thing. Whoever wrote that, please back me up, becauseI can’t locate it on dejanews! D. didn’t go to school in Alabama, nor did W. B. They both wentto Bard College in upstate New hnKeith Pharesunread, Jun 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/26/98to Donald Fagen went to Bard college in N. Y. He also spent a summer atBerklee. I guess Dr. Wu could have been one of his professors. I readthe Dr. Wu thing in a bio of SD by Brian Sweet called “Reelin’ in theYears. “Berserk Kirkunread, Jun 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/28/98to Michael Stevens wrote:> it was the Vietnamese piaster to which they were referring…. trust meyou could have a point there. Wu is probably a south eastern last name, perhaps vietnamese. But then there is the reference tobiscayne bay in miami. how does that fit in? What is your reason for believing that they are talking about the vietnamesepiaster? Michael Stevensunread, Jun 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/28/98to
“Biscayne Bay, where the
Cuban gentlemen sleep all day… ”
South Viet Nam, communist
countries…
The Piaster line was an intentional attempt
to rhyme with the word “last” as in “. piaster”
from a Rolling Stone interview with Fagen and Becker in either 1976 or early
1977.
BTW, I had thought you were being humorous
in your explanation, were you really serious? If so, I’ll tell ya what I
know, if yer ncerely!
Michael
Berserk Kirkunread, Jun 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/28/98to
Michael Stevens wrote:
“Biscayne
Bay, where the Cuban gentlemen sleep all day… “South
Viet Nam, communist
Piaster line was an intentional attempt to rhyme with the word “last” as
in “. piaster” from a Rolling Stone interview with Fagen and
Becker in either 1976 or early,
I had thought you were being humorous in your explanation, were you really
serious? If so, I’ll tell ya what I know, if yer ncerely! Michael
I was half-joking about my interpretation of Dr. Wu. I knew it was
a far cry from what Fagen intended (? ) but it did seem to fit the lyrics
quite well when I got down to thinking about it. Go ahead and tell
us what you know.
Martyunread, Jun 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/28/98to Michael Stevens wrote:> > “Biscayne Bay, where the Cuban gentlemen sleep all day… “> South Viet Nam, communist countries… > The Piaster line was an intentional attempt to rhyme with the word> “last” as in “. piaster” from a Rolling Stone interview> with Fagen and Becker in either 1976 or early 1977. > BTW, I had thought you were being humorous in your explanation, were> you really serious? If so, I’ll tell ya what I know, if yer> ncerely! > > MichaelCome now, do you expect “the boys” to explain themselves in an interviewwith Rolling Stone. Surely you rtyMichael Stevensunread, Jun 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/29/98to
Ok, Marty and
Berserk….
It’s funny that I
nearly threw in the caveat that one can never be entirely certain when Mssrs.
Fagen and Becker are being serious in any situation. So, no, I do not expect
them to have been altogether truthful in the interview I cited from ~’76. Still,
they were in an upheaval at the time, losing the ‘band’ and reconfiguring
themselves as an entity around which studio musicians might play, an early
incarnation of ‘virtual musicianship’, the type of which ultimately became
disparaged by the likes of Milli Vanilli. With this in mind, I feel the info I
cited was more probably accurate than not. Even were it to be disproved as being
false, the fact that either Fagen or Becker promulgated the falsehood should
count for something
So let me go
onward, having, I hope, covered myself for any falsehoods I might
perpetuate…
Bad Sneakers is an
allusion to the state of schizophrenia. The story regards an inpatient who
vacillates between a state of clarity regarding where he is (the Greater Los
Angeles Metropolitan area identifiable via the reference to “. ditch
out in the valley that they’re diggin just for me. “, an earthwork project
in the San Fernando Valley), even though he demonstrates his psychotic state by
saying that it is being dug up for him; and a state of either recollection, or
fantasy, wherein he is in Times Square, groovin’ to the tunes on his transistor,
wearing his ‘bad’ (as in ‘cool’) sneakers, and drinking Pina Colada, a popular,
very popular, cocktail amongst the ‘youthful set’, a large sum of money to spend
signifies ‘freedom’, but just as possibly is a reference to the fact that Radio
City Music Hall, and its surrounding environs were a tenderloin (red
light)district at the time.
Daddy Don’t
Live in that New York City No More is about an NYC pimp who has been carted off
to jail. Additional double entendres are probably applicable.
Katy Lied (Dr. Wu)
is an allegorical reference to heroin addiction, where ‘Katy’ is heroin. Very
many Viet Nam era veterans were returning home addicted to the cheap and potent
Asian heroin when this song was crafted. Once they got back stateside, it was no
longer cheap, and less potent. Many went to doctors for treatment, and were
placed on methadone. They were told the methadone was non-addictive and would
help them break the addiction to heroin. Methadone was found to be as addictive,
if not more addictive, than heroin. That is the “lie” as in ‘..
lies, you can see it in her eyes… ‘. Again, other double entendres are probably
applicable in this song too.
I spoke at length
with Walter Becker, backstage at Shoreline Amphitheater near Palo Alto, in
California, after the show on August 12, 1993. He confirmed most of what I have
told you regarding these songs during that conversation. Unlike Fagen, Becker
seemed to enjoy talking about the hidden meanings in the songs, but he was less
than completely candid, either. I suspect that nearly anything one hears
from these guys, second hand or otherwise, should be taken with the appropriate
sized grain of salt.
I have omitted referring
to any aspects of the ‘meanings behind the music’ which I cannot ‘verify’, so we
each can retain some of the meanings we have come to attribute to them. I
think that ‘the Boys’ would like it that way…..
Michael

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