It’s Music Monday, and this is your big debut. It’s like a dream come true!
Not really, it’s just Music Monday.
Thought it could be a dream come true, depending on how you feel about Mondays.
Oh, who am I kidding? No one likes Mondays. Myself included.
Has a song’s distinctive sound ever just stuck with you? I know that sounds like a dumb question, but hear me out. I have alot of songs that have memorability based not on the group or the lyrics but their distinct sound. Such is the case with today song, though I do like other songs by the group.
“Peg” is a song from Steely Dan’s 1977 album Aja (pronounced “Asia”). With the memorable Jay Graydon guitar solo and that “it’s oh so seventies” sound, not to mention Michael McDonald’s background vocals, this song is one of Steely Dan’s biggest hits. It is tied with “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number” and “Hey Nineteen” for longevity on the charts (19 weeks!!!), and reaching #11 the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978 (#62 at year end for 1978). The song is also ranked the 87th best song of 1970s by Pitchfork.
So…who is Peg exactly?
The story is that the song is about Broadway actress Peg Entwistle, who gained fame for jumping from the Hollywoodland sign in 1932, ending her life before her first film was ever released. But some of these lyrics suggest otherwise. For example, what’s a “pin shot” (when it doesn’t relate to golf) and “blueprint blue?”
Well, it turns out Peg is an aspiring actress, being promised a big break (the singer is the director/producer making these lofty promises), and that “pin shot” is a pin up photo. The “blueprint blue” lyric is a reference to porno. So…Peg is a porno actress.
But seriously, lyrics and Peg’s profession aside, this song is fantastic. I love the sound of it, and when you listen to it, perhaps you will too?
And this is a cool segment on the creation of that distinct sound of “Peg.” Look for Michael McDonald talking about his contribution!
Interesting fact about the album cover for Aja – the late actor Phil Hartman, before he became an actor, was a working graphic artist (he held a degree in Graphic Arts from Cal State Northridge) who designed covers for Poco and America, as well as Steely Dan’s Aja cover. I’d heard the fact about his previous career in a few biography-type shows back when he was killed in 1998. But I never knew he designed this cover, though I remember Steely Dan being one of the groups mentioned.
In his honor, I’ve made the featured image the album cover.
But I seriously can’t help but feel bad for Peg. She really wants to be a star!
Well, that about does it for this semi-depressing Music Monday song, wrapped up in a catchy “oh so seventies” sound. I love it, even if I don’t like what Peg has to do to get ahead in her acting career. Poor Peg!
However you feel about this song, or however it makes you feel, try to enjoy your Monday, and as always, enjoy the music!
Mondays can be “like a dream come true” if you want them to be, you know!