"Everything Must Go"

Mark in Boston (Blue Book, 5/30/03):  Just listened to the nice pre-order stream of EMG. I have to say, the title cut might be the best Steely Dan tune ever recorded - IMHO. Yes, even better than Aja. The lyrics and the sax work are chilling. I have this image in my mind for the first 30 seconds with that explosion of sound - of the twin towers falling and crumbling to the ground. And when the dust clears we start the song. Fuck Bruce and The Rising, Don and Walt have the balls to offer up real 9/11 feelings because 'it's high time for a walk on the real side".
    "let's admit the bastards beat us"
    "talk about your major pain and suffering"
BUT!!....there's a glimmer of hope....
    "Does anybody get lucky twice?
    Wouldn't it be nice!"
A courageous and heart-breaking tune. Alone, it's worth the price of the CD.
Thanks Don and Walter!

Hutch (GB, 6/12/03): That little prelude to the song EMG is an interesting touch. I wondered why the final chord seems to have been cut off rather than letting the instruments ring out and dissolve smoothly into silence. Maybe it represents the money hungry bastards' majestic rise to wealth and power which was abruptly cut off at the knees.

Roy.Scam (GB, 6/12/03): Love the rhyming of 'beat us' and 'margaritas'.
    On Black Friday, the losers were decent enough to jump from the 14th floor. Nowadays, the Enron types just shuffle out the door singing the blues, probably to screw us again some time. That's what the last outro makes me think of.

south of Hollywood (Blue Book, 6/16/03):  Just an aside, but "fugazy" is an urban slang term meaning fake or phony...Can you dig it, Miss Fugazy?...Let's roll with the homeys!

sharkdeville (Blue Book, 6/16/03):  Are these guys quoting William Blake and Ned Flanders (hidey-ho)on the same album?


     Tiger Tiger burning bright,
     in the forest of the night,
     what immortal hand or eye,
     could frame thy fearful symmetry?

     In what distant lands or skies
     burnt the fire of thine eyes?
     On what wings dare he aspire,
     what hands dare sieze the fire ?

     And what shoulder and what art
     could twist the sinews of thy heart ?
     And when thy heart began to beat,
     what dread hand and what dread feet.

     Tiger Tiger burning bright,
     in the forest of the night,
     what immortal hand or eye,
     could frame thy fearful symmetry?

     by William Blake

(Duke of) Earl (Blue Book, 6/17/03):  I was thinking the hidey-ho may have been a reference to Wilson on Home Improvement. Wilson never showed his full face (from the nose up), and always said "Hidey-ho neighbor."

fezo (Blue Book, 6/17/03):  I took "hidey-ho" as a nod to Cab Calloway. Think Minnie The Moocher and Ken Lay or Bernie Ebbers as a possible modern day equivalent.

John (Blue Book, 6/17/03):  Re: Hidey-ho.
     Is there anyone here (Hoops for sure, and StAl, perhaps others?) who attended the PBS tapings at the Sony studio in NY? During that session, during one song there was a misstart, and Cornelius started saying some funny line about  "Hold on, Boss," (referring to Donald). I have a faint memory that in the very brief interplay between them, the phrase "hidey-ho" came out a few times and that the band all laughed as if this were an inside joke.
     Or maybe I'm imagining it.

fezo (Blue Book, 6/24/03):  My first misheard lyric from EMG. After multiple listenings, I thought the line on the title track was:
     And if Dave from Acquisitions
     Wants to get in on the action
     With his hammer toe

Chief of Theory (Blue Book, 6/27/03):  Never in a million years would I have expected SD to latch on to this simplistic, overinflated, cliche-ridden, media hype nonsense about corporate greed. As if people like Bernie Ebbers or the Enron sleazebombs are the rule and not the exception...puh leeeeeze. In my company, once your salary reaches a certain level, you are REQUIRED to give ten percent of your income to a charity - it's a condition of your employment. It's like that in many firms. I'd be intensely  curious to know how many people, in particular journalists, who carp and whine and moan about "corporate greed" give ten percent of *their* salaries away. How come you never see a headline that says STOCKBROKER DONATES FIFTY GRAND TO AIDS RESEARCH, although it happens every day? And irony of ages: who funded the Steely Dan PBS special, or for that matter any PBS program at all?

Shaun (6/27/03):  In reality "Face Time" does mean getting more time on screen. But I don't think in this particular case that's what it means. Someone posted some great newspaper clippings from a Houston paper a few weeks back. It said how  all of the executives at Enron were always partying, drinking Margaritas and basically having sex with everyone in there offices and everywhere else at the Enron headquarters. (Even in the service elevator?) So my take take on "Face Time" is that it's about getting oral sex. Why would Dave from acquisitions have anything to do with getting anyone more screen time with his handicam in tow? Dave works in acquisitions, not at CBS. Dave is filming the boss having sex in the service elevator. 'I think it's a more amusing lyric from that perspective'.

Mitch (Blue Book, 6/27/03):  I believe the "face-time" term in the case of EMG stems from the common term for time in front of the customer - "face time". Sales reps are often measured by their "face time" with the customer. I would say it has nothing to do with time on screen. That doesn't fit the narrative.
     In the case of EMG which is a corporate song, I would say it's pretty certain that their double entendre begins there and ends with Miss Fugazy in the elevator.

DACW (Blue Book, 6/27/03):  The "face time" scene could also be a metaphor for the American public servicing Enron, Clobal Crossing etc. - they had us believing that "new economy" s**t while CEOs and execs lived a hedonistic, celebrity life. Not a week went by in the Houston Chronicle (and this was before the crash) where there was not a major article about Enron's record "profits," acquisitions, and social life...at the expense of the employees, market investors, and eventually the company     themselves...and they'd "Do It Again" ...Acquiring new companies, stock options etc. made it easy to cook the books while Robert Rubin and the rest of the regulators looked the other way...anyway, I just saw another article in the Wash. Post on how everyone want to "get in on the action"

beerberian (Blue Book, 6/27/03):  face time
     noun. Time spent interacting with someone in person, rather than via email or some other electronic link.

afoolnluv (Blue Book, 6/27/03):  Digging all the various takes on "face time", but my initial interp was the guy needed some time to compose himself before going back into public. But in a superficial way because Dave was invited to film the "emotional moment" for posterity, as in that movie about the losers in "Dot Com".
     Of course since that initial take on my part, you guys here have revealed away many different more exciting possible meanings of "face time" to me. Nice job.

Studio7Dave (Blue Book, 6/27/03):  While I agree that the title track on EMG is about corporate greed, I thing to a larger extent it's about the end of the American empire, the possible thermonuclear defense of that empire in its last days, and the remeniscence of our former empire. The end of the New Frontier if you will...

     It's high time for a walk on the real side
     Let's admit the bastards beat us

     There has finally been a successful challenge to America. We've lost a big battle and the writing is on the wall.

     I move to dissolve the corporation
     In a pool of margaritas

     If we're going down, let's have one last bash.

     So let's switch off all the lights
     And light up all the Luckies
     Crankin' up the afterglow

     Could be just setting up the party, but "Luckies" could be a sarcastic name for a nuclear target.  "Afterglow"...mushroom cloud...radiation...

     'Cause we're goin' out of business
     Everything must go

     Launch the warheads..

     Talk about your major pain and suffering
     Now our self-esteem is shattered

     We're ashamed of our empire's decline.

     Show the world our mighty hidey-ho face
     As we go sliding down the ladder

     We've been taken down a notch...or could we be going into hiding somewhere?...

     It was sweet up at the top

     It was nice to rule the world...

     'Til that ill wind started blowing

     The rest of the world is turning against us or...nuclear fallout.

     Now it's cozy down below

     Down the ladder into the bomb shelter.

     'Cause we're goin' out of business
     Everything must go

     We gave it our best shot
     But keep in mind we got a lot
     The sky the moon good food and the weather
     First-run movies -- does anybody get lucky twice?
     Wouldn't it be nice...

     Remembering the greatness of America. Aviation. Space travel. Has any nation ever been as well fed as the US?  Central heat and AC. Hollywood. It would be great if we could regain our power...nicely accentuated by a line from the quintessential American band, the Beach Boys.

     Tell me can you dig it Miss Fugazy
     Now it's gone from late to later

     Could this be a doomsday clock reference? Anyway, since we're destroying the world, let's get back to the party...

     Frankly I could use a little face time
     In the service elevator
     And if Dave from Acquisitions
     Wants to get in on the action
     With his Handicam in tow
     Well we're goin' out of business
     Everything must go

     Can it be the sorry sun is rising
     Guess it's time for us to book it
     Talk about the famous road not taken
     In the end we never took it
     And if somewhere on the way
     We got a few good licks in
     No one's ever gonna know

     Why would the greatest empire the world has ever known not be remembered?

     'Cause we're goin' out of business
     Everything must go

Mitch (Blue Book, 6/27/03):  Do you ever think we give Donald and Walter too much credit? I, as much as the next guy, like to find little hidden meanings in their songs...but the entire deconstruction of EMG as reflecting the decline of the American "empire"...well...to me that's a reach.
     These guys are great song writers. But c'mon...sometimes a song that sounds like it's about a company going bankrupt is a song about a company going bankrupt.
     (This is in NO WAY a slam ad D&W...it's just that I think you can take any song lyric and intrepret the way you want. Kind of like how people have taken Nostradamous' quatrains and made them relavent to current events.)
     Songs like "Third World Man" and "Aja" and "Home At Last" and "Chained Lightning" have made us think that every song is some sort of deceptive narrative. Sometimes their stuff is pretty straight forward.
     I suppose that's why the website is called "Fever Dreams".

Only a Fool (Blue Book, 6/27/03):  "So let's switch off all the lights/ And light up all the Luckies/ Crankin' up the afterglow"
     I might be just repeating what everyone already knows, but this verse is just hinting at something similar to "face time in the service elevator".
     Basically, The comapany's dead. Lets have some fun, and afterwards have a smoke to crank up the afterglow (Lucky Strike is a brand of cigarettes and the pack even says "Luckies" on it).
     Pretty straightforward I thought.

Rob (Blue Book, 6/27/03):  I agree with Mitch. I appreciate the post interpreting EMG as the decline and fall of the US, as it seems well thought out. But my gut tells me that it really is just a song about a company going out of business, since the narrative all fits quite well when taken this way.
     Certainly, Dan tunes run the gamut from fairly obvious to quite obtuse in terms of lyrics, but I would put EMG in the fairly obvious category. Not to say that there's nothing interesting about the lyrics, though. The much-discussed "Face time in the service elevator", for example. Its just that the overall subject seems pretty clear.

Peter Q (6/27/03):  I have found a good slogan to work by in examining Steely Dan tales is that frequently what appears to be psychological explanation is not,and that is certainly the case in the story of the song EMG. The phrase "everything must go" is something we associate with RETAIL SALES - just look at the cover of the disc, the jewelry hawker. A clothing store, a shoe store, an electronics store, a store selling QUANTIFIABLE MATERIAL GOODS might put up a sign saying emg; however, this is not where our narrator is from at all. He's from a WHITE COLLAR CORPORATION, a service company, dealing in intangible products, not in hard goods. What could the phrase "emg" possibly mean here?  What must go, the office furniture? The computers? The pencils? Hardly. SD is talking about attitude changes, cleaning out the wolves, about mindset. The song reflexively harkens back to TLM and TIMTM - the thematic is carried around in a circle, a first in a SD album, making this almost a kind of concept album of mood (not like The Who's glam rock Eurotrash such as Tommy or Quadrophenia, but more subtle).As always in the Dan literary aesthetic, the emotionally inarticulate schmuck who tells the story looks for comfort in booze ("pool of margaritas", is interchangeable by now with "we've got provisions and lots of beer" or "down in the bottom of the wine dark sea", take your pick).

oleander (Blue Book, 6/27/03):  Wait a minute.
     Does no one realize what REALLY happened to Enron and similar corporate execs?
     They ended up laughing all the way to the bank.
     They made out like fucking bandits, and that's what's going on under EMG.
     Yes, they admit the bastards beat them; they've been called on the carpet for their transgressions and their status post scrupulectomy. But memory is short; have your lawyers stretch it out long enough, and the American public will move right on to something else.
     Therefore, they don't dissolve the corporation in black bunting, but in the quintessential party drink. And when the lights go out on the biz, the afterglow of getting away with offshore-sheltered millions begins. They may do the whiney pro forma "major pain and suffering," but why do you think "it's cozy down below"?
     "Does anyone get lucky twice? Wouldn't it be nice?" Ouch. I am SUFFOCATING in the irony. They carefully planned this luck of theirs and hid it well. (BTW, this is a great line in an SD song, since what was 2001 about except the Dan getting lucky twice?)
     Yes, "the sorry sun is rising"--not a hot, bright judgment of their wrongs, nor a fresh new dawn, but a sucker of a sun that thinks the party's over. Get hip, Sol! The protagonist is booking it to Bimini. As for "the famous road not taken," is it too obvious to point out that this is a ref to Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," which is used to drum into every eighth-grader's head that we must choose; our choices make us as we make them; and that you can never go back  and make the same choice twice? But the guy in the song thinks the road not taken is for saps, and that he can have his cake and eat it. He took the spacious highway to Moloch, pedal to the metal, and never looked back.
     And is sure he'll get away with murder: "And if somewhere on the way/ We got a few good licks in/ No one's ever gonna know..."
     Tax sheltered fun in the sun in perpetuity. Yeah, I'm really worried about his self-esteem... Keep in mind he got a lot,  all right....

DACW (Blue Book 6/28/03):  Oh, yes, those are crocodile tears...the sense of entitlement and invincibility has Ebbers and Lay thinking they  can make a comeback (The OTHER DONALD trumped the real estate market in the tri-state area more than once) if they continue to avoid indictment... Enron used the the .com New Economy model. Global Acquisitions and stock options are not counted as debits...leverage the company with cheap bank loans, as they've leveraged them more than a decent sized Central American country...pump up your own stock in a rising market and funnel the market cashouts back into acquisitions, which don't count as debits...it's a freakin' money machine...stay on the front page of the business section...cook the books, while the regulators look the other way, and, in fact, cook the government books in     2000...then when the market comes stumbling down, the paper profits vaporize as capital is sucked into a monetary black hole...meanwhile Lay and Skilling tell the employees and 401k ers to hold onto their stock, while the management geeks dump theirs for big wads of cash...
     The party never ends...but then "let's admit the bastards beat us" indicates that this was all a game..Just this inning is  over, at least in their minds...while Rome burns, let's loot the suckah...but they will miss the face time, the perks, the glowing wonderment of the business and social pages...the irony - we know who the REAL bastards are...
     So this has been just a Circus...and whose left cleaning up the elephant poop?? US, the suckahs that PT Barnum pegged a 100 years ago..or do we....Didn't we contribute to this and laugh and were entertained as long as the wine flowed our way?...the Louisianization of America....aren't we just pissed because their wine wtill flows while we're left  with wHine?
     How many of us believed our broker or trades analysts, whether real or on the web, when they told us not to be concerned about our growth stocks having P/E ratios of 100:1 or more...investing in companies that never made a profit...as long as Dow Jones increased 30% per year, who asked questionis as speculation and mass action drove a market? how many of us laughed about "irrational exuberence" while we pumped our growth funds because some yo-yo from TIAA-CREF told us we were years from retirement and to stay put, despite that voice in our heads screaming BUY BONDS, BONDS!! Not that we hadn't seen this before in the 1920a...and now we're farther away from retirement than ever...just as well - better for the health anyway...while the poker players are slipping away from the table with as many chips as they can stuff in their pleated trousers...
     OK, so they've got Martha Stewart, just when are Lay and Ebbers going down?
     Now the new economy is done or at least we finally recognized that it never existed beyond the Green Book...but have we learned any lessons?
     I'm having a Memento moment with this album...perhaps it really starts with the collapse of the new economy (EMG)and ends up with the big Kablooie (TLM)...have to chew on this...

Brett (Blue Book, 6/28/03):  Where I come from getting "faced" means getting fucked-up and I think Don and Walt are just kids on the block. Face
     Time = Party Time.
     BTW, add this great quote to the quorum: "Behind every great fortune is a crime."

tones GB, (7/2/03):  'k ... maybe this has been talked to death already, but is there a better line in a song than,

             "Frankly I could use a little face time
            in the service elevator"


             It could mean
             a) time to compose oneself
             b) a sexual favor coutesy of Miss Fugazy
             c) beating the crap out of one of the bastards who caused the collapse, and having Dave film it for laughs later

             ...or any number of things I haven't thought of yet. And the rest of the lyrics just let you make of it what you will.

wormtom (Guestbook, 7/1-2/03):  alright   I'll take a stab at Everything Must Go
    this one being the closer is a nice summation piece of all preceding it
    the opening instrumental is not only a wild stab at what proceded it but also is the equivalent of the corporation blowup scandal (the initial disparing implosive notes - discovery and induendo), then the 'we will rise above this' ascending sax solo (all is well if the scandel subsides) and then the final fallout (the whole house of cards comes tumbling down) brilliant!
    then we have the aftermath - the picking up the pieces as it's falling down all around one
    I picture this a corporate righting -
whether an Enron like financial scandal or a dot.com looks great on paper fallout. Obviously the stock analysts have more say than one would like on their livelihood
    the protagonist has bet his career on this up and rising company. Mid to late thirties, incredibly ambitious. He's not one of the masterminds who was directly responsible, but don't let him off the hook either, he's risen by emulating them to a t and wants their corner office as well. He's pissed he wasn't clever enough to have thought it up or rewarded enough to fluff the whole thing off
    he's pissed, but he's such a go getter that this is viewed as only a big setback that will be righted down the line with his cool business savy
    surely self confident - just got caught up on the wrong ship sinking
    the musical accompaniment has this optimism in the face of the bottom falling out

    "It's high time for a walk on the real side
    Let's admit the bastards beat us"

their companies financial woes were finally made public
the bastards are the higher up corporate insiders who ran things into the ground with smoke and mirrors, cashed out the stock options and grabbed the few golden parachutes before it all goes down

    "talk about your major pain and suffering
    now our self esteem is shattered
    show the world our mighty hidey-ho face
    as we go slipping down the ladder"

he's banked it all on the company and now shell shocked
time to dust off the resume and act cool and collected to hopefully land the next job elsewhere (just hope I'm not too tied to the scandal)
that corporate ladder he so aspired to climb is now a downhill slope
all that ass kissing and pressed suit image is now all for naught

    "It was sweet up at the top
    till that ill wind started blowing
    now it's cozy down below"

top of his game, making a hell of a lot more than any of his college buddies
ill wind of the scandel
cozy down below - too many steps down to be tied in too far on a federal probe

    "we gave it our best shot
    but keep in mind we got a lot
    the sky the moon good food and the weather"

we were really living the high life
everything that money and prestige could buy

love this line

    "does anybody get lucky twice
    wouldn't it be nice"

he landed the ultimate job with primo stock options and bonus
the good life
then it all falls apart
will I be as lucky next time? will another gravy train happen?
and am I savy enough to ride it (and jump out at the right time?)
damn if I had only cashed out those stocks before the fall

this line is hilarious

    "frankly I could use a little face time
    in the service elevator"

our protagonist wants an audience with his higher ups
the very ones that brought it all down
he's got his "face time" sharp exec lingo down
and his superiors (mentors and possible contacts for his next aspirations)
are surprisingly absent as he packs his office and moves on (using the service elevator)

    'and if Dave from Acquisitons
    wants to get in on the action
    with his handycam in tow"

can we document our fallen leaders for the impending investigations and "get a few good licks in"

    "can it be the sorry sun is rising
    guess it's time for us to book it
    talk about the famous road not taken
    in the end we never took it"

the scandel's been revealed to the light of day
time to exit stage left without too much sticking to me
damn, if we had only cashed out sooner
we could have continued living in oppulence
with some time to kill before the next bmw payment

what a great ending to the album....

....[in more detail....] our protagonist is an overzealous win at all cost mid 30's business man
    he really emulates the guys above him who ran the company into the ground but bailed out to peachier harbors and a place in the caymans
    he is upset not that they destroyed things for him
    but that he didnt'get a piece of the action himself
    he's  all tied up in now useless stock options while they bailed early
    he lives and breathes business dealings and feels he's God's gift to the soon to be corner office. He's upset, but he's so confident, that the next one is a new challenge, no need to get down on it after a brief reprieve of magaritas
    he wants "face time" - business lingo for unobstructed one on one audience with the big cheese. Miss Fugazy is probably the boss' secretary (who is bluffing clueless on where the boss is hiding out). He's packing his last things and wants a little "one on one" and possible reference, new list of business contacts etc, to land the next big business job
    the guy is so scrupleous, ambitious and self absorbed that this downslide is more a meager challenge than a setback
    he's just a little pissed he'll have to slug it out to make those next few bmw payments as he's overextended in an exorbinant lifestyle

Hank Silvers (Blue Book, 7/2/03):  wormy, I was thinking almost the same thing about the beginning of the song EMG. The increasingly frantic effort to keep the company afloat, followed by the calm as it sinks out of sight into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
    I don't have the impression the song is about major corporations and their well-publicized transgressions, though. I'm thinking it's just a generic dot-com that lived the high life on venture capital.
    They all put in a lot of hard work to try to help the company make it, and even though there were some successes, some semi-big scores, in the end they failed. Now that it's almost all gone, they're taking one last look around the old HQ before locking the doors.
    One of them has even brought a camcorder to try to keep the moment forever, but it's only going to be a flat 2-D image at best. Eventually, the digital tape will deteriorate, or the home-burned DVD will decay, but even if the recording medium holds together, someday the man himself who recorded it will be gone and no one else (apart from the odd historian) will know or care what the pictures mean.
    The company goes, the pictures go, the humans go too...all things must pass, everything must go.

DACW (GB, 7/3/03):  [wormy] -- very INTERESTING take on EMG...maybe that's where they "got a few good licks in "...course, we could double entendre that line to death as well...the kicker for these guys when they're on a roll as on the EMG album - their characters are so three dimensional and open ended with a clever peek into their minds as rationalization and perception blur...not like the mindnumbing Iggles' Hole in the Song or CashKeeper by Fleetwood Mac...

"Face Time" (GB, 7/3/03):  equals "sucking face."

CL (8/15/03):  I agree with the objections raised against the "nuclear defense theory". Being a commercial lawyer I have witnessed quite a few corporations go down the drain the last few years. The song is quite simply a very accurate observation in the aftermath of the IT-crash and the fall of giants such as Enron and Arthur Andersen. A "Black Friday" of 2003, if you will.

afoolnluv (Blue Book, 9/5/03):  Blind, soulless capitalism is the reason this country is going down the tubes, and I think that's what EMG as an album is about.

DEACON BLUE (Blue Book, 9/5/03):  ... When W&D are critisizing the world society they just put their finger at the right place of the wound...
    Honestly i think there's no great difference between the Saddams,Osamas and George W's in this world.There just all bloody fucking Godwackers.

Pivotal Pete (Blue Book, 9/5/03):  Interesting speculation about D+W's pessimism and anti-capitalist viewpoints. I tend to suspect the "answer" to the questions "What do they think? and "What do they mean?" are about as ambiguous (or multi-layered) for our heroes as they probably are for most of us.
    For example (analyzing this logically) while there's a strong "This freakin' world is coming to an end" theme in EMG, I'm sure these two very-well-read creative people are aware that apocalytic literature is a genre that's been around for decades or centuries. At any point in history, people have been able to look around and conclude: "Time's up." So far, 100% have been incorrect. (King of the World is, what, 25+ years old? and them marigolds is still there ...)
    EMG is an artistic creation. It clearly picks up on some of the angst we who despair of Enron, Rumsfeld, recession, terrorism etc. feel -- but I kinda doubt it's predicting The End. On the contrary, for me it's a therapeutic way of dealing with that despair, making it funny and not so depressing. Kind of an album-length version of New Frontier -- having a party in the bomb shelter. Or whatever in the elevator (at the risk of starting that one again ... Whoopee!!)
    In fact, the push-and-pull between ideals and reality, good behavior and temptation, creepy people and poor lost souls (which one IS Charlie Freak?) is the most consistent aspect of SD lyrics. As in Shakespeare, every hero is flawed and every craven fool is human. I've felt that, while they probably weren't happy to admit it, the message of "Only a Fool Would Say That" is one of the most accurate they've written.

Peter Q (Blue Book, 9/5/03):  Interesting. Many seem to miss the consistency in Becker & Fagen's lyrics from, say, Show Biz Kids' disgust at crass materialism on down through EMG. In the few songs in the Mach 1 period where they get into socio-political matters it's always the same old blase', Eugene McCarthy 1968, way left of center type of liberalism. It hasn't changed in 30 years. I think we should understand that B/F's minds about their worldview, as well as their opinions about music, were established years and years ago. Sometimes they apply their beliefs to contemporary themes and events but their beliefs have been fundamentally unchanged for decades.

Steven in CT (GB, 9/9/03):  As I was listening to the title cut of EMG and trying to synthesize some overall meaning, I kept concluding that ultimately it's an optimistic view. After the Last Mall closes, after God gets whacked, after the corporation dissolves, after the divorce, after the summer (at Blues Beach), after it all, life goes on. There is a morning after for the survivors. The sun rises today even on the Enron pirates. Maybe the CFO becomes a deli man and trades Niemann-Marcus for Costco. He's a little older and wiser. Maybe he even has the secret smile of having gotten a few good licks in. I think Warren got a few good licks in that he shares with anyone who cares to listen. And if my friend is right and Donald and Walter have sung their swan song (God forbid!)I'm glad I got to hear their licks too.

"Lunch With Gina" &c.