The first memory of this song was of the cold—-it was the during the winter [before the Blizzard] of ‘78.
As I got ready for school, it was pitch black outside—close to 6am in the morning, snowing… my Moms always had a radio on in the morning as we got ready, and as funny as it sounds, Steely Dan’s “Black Cow” was one of the first songs I actually connected with a memory of the radio that morning—
I remember asking what it was and being that my Pops [who was also a DJ] was in my eyes, a know-it-all, he shows me an album cover from his record collection: “Aja" was what it said… It was termed jazz-rock, but it was really (unknowingly) an early stab at jazz fusion and I wasn’t aware of what the song really meant until I was older…
I dunno why I got saddled with the memory of that particular song, but for some reason, I liked the feel of the it. I had no idea about what a Black Cow was other than what I saw grazing in rural New England or what the song meant other than getting a shake at the Newport Creamery .
A few years ago, a good friend of mine, Richard Pirkl (funny how he’s present for every significant musical memory that I have…) had a garage sale and I snagged the very same album along with a few Police records and some other tchotchkes…I still have those albums and I didn’t know it then, but after a family reunion recently, my Pops was playing the same album—it was right then at that moment, I realized that song was on the album I had and it all came back.
Incidentally “Déjà vu” from Lord Tariq and Pete Gunz had come out, so it came full circle— but to tell you the truth, (blame it on nostalgia) I appreciate the original break from Steely Dan that much more…