Don’t Lose That Number

You don’t want to call nobody else, Ricky.

While everyone else is ramping up that ear polluting holiday muzak, The Nest is queuing up only the greatest songs every recorded!  Well, at least by may somewhat questionable standards.  It’s time to reel in the years with the next selection in my no holds barred Top 30 Songs We Just Feel Like Playing countdown!  Since DJ Scratchy is on strike over my taste, I’ll have to do her dirty work and bring you another masterpiece from the golden days of FM…. and yes, that means no static at all.

#22. “Hey Nineteen” – Steely Dan

The 1970’s were such an amazing clearance bin full of some of the more eclectic acts to ever become regular contributors to the pop music charts of the time.  In the late 60’s, a couple of young dudes named Donald Fagen and Walter Becker got together and took their mutual interest in jazz music to form what would become one of the most successful groups of the 70’s.  That would be Steely Dan, perhaps the only rock group in history that was named after a dildo.

I’ll bet Mitzi knew that factoid…

While I’m a fan of a number of Steely Dan hits like “Deacon Blues,” “Peg,” and the criminally underappreciated (and likely future DVA) “My Old School”… it was their final and only big hit of the 80’s that I chose to appear in this countdown.  “Hey Nineteen” emerged from Gaucho, the last album Becker and Fagen recorded before splitting up, and was only held off until a 1980 release due to legal issues.  But it was well worth the wait for this #10 Billboard entry…

There really isn’t another era of rock and roll history this song could have possibly emerged from other than the soft rock phase pop music went through in the late 70’s and early 80’s.  The music is quite dated, but still sounds oh so good in ’19.  “Hey Nineteen” is such a fun and funky little easy listener… and deals with a subject all of us people past a certain age can appreciate.  How those young whippersnappers of today can’t appreciate or don’t even know about the things we grew up with.  Forget ‘retha Franklin… does Nineteen even know what a fucking payphone is today?

Hey Forty-Four! How do you take a selfie with this dumbphone?

I’ll be back, Jack, to do it again next Monday…


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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16 Responses to Don’t Lose That Number

  1. the perfect song for hanging around in a bar or ina street cafe on a day we forgot to go to school…

  2. I really did like Steely Dan’s music but “Hey Nineteen” was a favorite. Ahh…..great memories!


  3. Back in the day when I played record disks, I had that album and this has always been a favorite! Thanks for starting out the week with some lovely nostalgia. Was your last sentence a clue as to an upcoming selection by chance? 🎸

  4. I admit, from the title of this golden nugget of musical nostalgia, that I was expecting to hear “Ricky Don’t Lose That Number”…a song that takes me back to the first (and nearly the last) crush I ever had when I was a teenager. A friend of my brother’s, named “Ricky” had taken a shine to me (apparently) and we were doing that awkward first crush dance that most folks of a certain era did in those days, when I was rudely uprooted by my parents and moved to a far reach of Utah where Ricky didn’t figure in. Hey at 13, who drove (legally)? Not Ricky. I was crushed and my self-esteem, shaky at best never recovered. Well I’ll make do with “Hey Nineteen”, although that song stroll is much later in the story of me. Thanks for sharing it! 🙂

    • I’ll never give away the actual song that blatantly in the title…but it’ll always have some kind of significance. In this case, both Steely Dan songs and 19 being a number (which Rikki may or may not have lost already).

  5. 8675309

    Steely Dan was different from all of the pretty guy bands, or all of the Dan Fogelberg, Loggins and Messina types, and other sappy crap everyone listened to at my old college. Steely Dan was innovative and smart. They had their own sound. I wasn’t the biggest fan but I appreciated what they were doing.

    Of course I was the weird one who listened new wave, punk, and classical music, usually in secret.

  6. crimsonowl63 says:

    I was a senior in high school when this song and album came out. I was never a big fan of them, but I did like “Ricky Don’t Lose That Number” and “Reelin’ In the Years” and làter “FM”.

    My husband loves Steely Dan and I am now familiar with most of their songs. This one’s okay.

    It doesn’t sound dated to me…..

    • I can’t imagine this sound in any song that didn’t come from 1975 to about 1981 or so. That was the heart of mellow rock/quasi-jazzy sounding crossover… and this song so typifies that sound. But I’ve always secretly loved that music, which is probably why I adore “Hey 19″…

  7. draliman says:

    I’m trying to think about what to say about this song. I’m gonna go with “inoffensive”.

  8. I like to pretend I’m still 19 when I hear that song. Don’t understand why Steely Dan doesn’t get the love they used to. RIP Walter Becker. “The Cuervo Gold, the fine Columbian makes tonight a wonderful thing.” Yes, indeedy, it does. Can’t wait until next week, ES! Mona

    • I was so lucky to listen to a 70’s station in the late 90’s that played a lot of Steely Dan… because I sure as hell don’t hear much of their music anymore. And if I do, it’s always “Do It Again,” which I can’t stand…

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