I know the song doesn’t have anything to do with the national day of shopping known as Black Friday — it’s actually about the original Black Friday, an 1869 financial disaster. But still, in recognition of Steely Dan frontman Donald Fagen’s Jersey roots (he grew up in Passaic, Fair Lawn and Kendall Park), we’re making today’s installment of the 350 Jersey Songs series Steely Dan’s “Black Friday.”
A rhythmically propulsive track from the band’s 1975 album Katy Lied, as well as a minor hit single in its own right, “Black Friday” is a natural crowd-pleaser at Steely Dan concerts, as the 2000 clip below shows.
Steely Dan co-founders Fagen and Walter Becker met while attending Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. Becker is not a New Jerseyan, though another original band member, singer David Palmer, was, having grown up in Warren Township (Palmer was no longer involved in the band by the time of “Black Friday”).
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday from Sept. 2014 to Sept. 2015. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. The complete list is here.
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