When the guys from South Park were making a movie with stop-action puppets, I remember one of them remarking how difficult it was to get puppets to do even the littlest things, when a human actor could have simply been told what to do and he'd do it. I got the same feeling with this old nugget by Steely Dan. Playing every part all the way through a hypnotic 6-minute song is hard to do, especially when each verse is almost a minute long. If I only had a 4-piece band and we each could play at the same time . . .
Modern music-makers would probably just do one verse and chorus, record it and then simply duplicate it six or seven times, but my mind doesn't work like that. When I learned guitar in the early 60s it was a rite of passage to be able to play a Chuck Berry song all the way through, without making too many mistakes.
What actually inspired me to do this song was my Fender G-Dec amp which plays the distinctive drumbeat so well I used 6 minutes of it as a click track. I also liked the understated guitar setting the G-Dec provided and used it for both guitars. I played the bass on my ES-335 using a bass-emulating setting on my Boss BR-600 effects device. A Casio WK-200 provided the keyboard sound and Gavin O'Keefe did an ethereal viola solo via the internet. The vocals were doubled and harmonized by the Vocalist Live 3 and I even turned on the Auto-Tune. I wish it had changed the voice even more.