Journalist John Moss, explores the idea of Kid Charlemagne from the Royal Scam as a mere brand of Steely Dan's lyrical style. Steely Dan band member Donald Fagan chooses the name "Kid Charlemagne" wittingly to create an allusion to the emperor (Charlemagne) who united Western Europe to the self-proclaimed "King of Acid" Owsley Stanley. Kid Charlemagne gives the emotion of impractical simplicity. Kid Charlemagne gives the emotion of impractical simplicity. From Ancient Greece to postmodern philosophy they have observed the unity of opposites, this song reveals it perfectly.
Everyone always knew the story of “Kid Charlemagne” the infamous acid fanatic, but no one ever knew Steely Dan’s “Kid Charlemagne”; the real tale of the glamorous dynasty of Owsley Stanley. Owsley the “King of Acid” was not only a self-chemist who “mixed diamonds with pearls” but later became the sound-manager for the Grateful-Dead, controlling their music by not just the famous wall of sound but through psychedelics. Owsley Stanley was an unquestionable Renaissance man.
The more you consider Owsley Stanley becoming an LSD pioneer, the more you realize that he provided his product for free to musicians such as the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles. By achieving these deeds he was "crowned" "King of Acid". Owsley became so affiliated with LSD in the 60's "Owsley" became listed in the Webster dictionary as "extremely potent, high-quality type of LSD." Though the appealing part of Steely Dan for most was never just the song it was the tale behind it. Occasionally one might listen to a Steely Dan song and never realize the subject was so dark, as all of the allusions to these subjects were incredibly layered.
Steely Dan's divergent approach to lyrics provided a refreshing dose of reality to a genre that was plagued by sappy love ballads. Steely Dan was for all intents and purposes a studio band. they would force session musicians play for hours and hours on end in order to get the perfect take. This commitment to recording was joined by incredibly subtle and, at times, dark lyrics. Though Steely Dan never performed live in the 60's and 70's the word of the fictional dildo band became a trademark for most radio stations.
John Mayer is what modern-music is missing. Mayer: Dead and Co. guitarist/lead singer discusses the endless expiration with Grateful Dead music, that somehow always has decades of consistent sound. Mayer joining the group not only added a perfect balance to the sound to the new Dead but brought youth into what the original band reflected. Mayer expects the Dead & Company alliance to continue, eventually expanding to new music. He is nonetheless fertile ground.
Kid Charlemagne by Steely Dan of their fifth album The Royal Scam is a shining example of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen’s commitment to studio perfection and lyrical wit. I think as with all Steely Dan work, the guitar is in perfect balance with all of the other musical and lyrical elements on the track. The guitar in Walter Becker's hands perfectly bestow the rise and fall of LSD manufacturer and Grateful Dead Sound-editor Owsley Stanley. Though Owsley's extravagant and exciting lifestyle ended by him crashing into a ditch, after, his legacy was restored into songs.
“ Mark? He just didn’t feel like coming,” said fellow Dire Straits band member at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mark Knopfler lead singer and guitarist for Dire Straits decided to skip the Rock and Roll hall of fame because of the unappealing sense that was given to him. He declined his invitation after countless weeks of drama concerning Dire Straits in the Rock and Roll hall of fame. Knopfler never cared for competing for a prize or a crowd he simply played for himself. Though Knopfler is beyond pleased with his bands accomplishments though it seems truly insignificant to him.
Steely Dan loved to write songs about taboo subjects like drug use, pedophilia, and murder. Becker and Fagan never wanted to be rockstars in the traditional sense. They rarely toured and spent most of their free time with each other, meticulously crafting their next subversive hit. The staggering thing is that you could easily dislike the track but still feel undertaken by the catchphrases like (“Never gonna do it without the fez on,” which is about a condom. Fagen's delivery of vocals were considered to show nihilist wag pondering post-utopian ideals.
From New York to LA Walter Becker and Donald Fagan were always considered as well-raised, smart jewish boys who were always outsiders. From the beginning of both of their careers they became known as polar opposites of an ordinary rock band. Becker and Fagan were also known for coming up with the most unconventional names from Buddhist philosophy to copious amounts of drugs. Though in 1976 when The Royal Scam was released which It is often said that as the first track on guitar centric album especially Kid Charlemagne. "The gleam of jazz rock rubs up against tales of damaged lives lived in spoiled seclusion."
Fagan and Becker never became the superstars that they could've become and instead hung out with each other planning their next recording. Though Steely Dan has recently changed their identity as an irony loving, recording band to a live-music performing group. This new group revealing new remastered versions of old-hits. Though it was Steely Dan released from studio permanence, reveling in the road. For decades Steely Dan was known as the "studio band", and would require an absolute impeccable take.