Jeff Baxter Confirms Steven Tyler Refused To Sing A Steely Dan Song
Former Steely Dan guitarist Jeff Baxter revealed a conversation between him and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler during his latest interview with Rock History Music. Baxter stated that he wanted Tyler to sing a new version of one of the band’s classic songs by sharing his response.
Steely Dan released their second studio album entitled ‘Countdown to Ecstasy’ in July 1973, and it got critical acclaim thanks to its well-crafted songs and lyrics. Even though the record didn’t produce a hit single, some of its tracks still drew the attention of rock music lovers. One of them was ‘My Old School,’ which was based on a true story of a drug bust at Bard College while Donald Fagen and Walter Becker were studying there.
Years after its release, Baxter wished to work on ‘My Old School’ remake for his upcoming solo album ‘Speed of Heat,’ which will come out on June 17, 2022. Baxter reached out to his friend Tyler to serve as a vocalist for the song and sent the track to him during the creation and recording process. That early version included the guitarist’s vocal performance because Baxter decided to give the singer an example about the style.
The Steely Dan icon stated that he advised Baxter to sing ‘My Old School’ instead of offering him that part when Tyler listened to it. Baxter was reluctant to do it because he wasn’t a singer, then he thought that if a talented and experienced musician like Steven Tyler admired his performance, it would be the right thing to do. As a result, Baxter’s scratch vocal turned into a completely different experience for him.
Baxter said in his interview that:
“I mean supposed to do it. I had asked Steven Tyler and sent him the track. I put a scratch vocal on it because I wanted to hear what I was trying to do. When I sent it to him, he said, ‘Who’s singing?’ I said, ‘Well, that’s me, but I did that as a scratch vocal so that you knew where it was going.’ He said, ‘Why don’t you sing?’ I said, ‘Because I’m not a singer.’ He said, ‘Well, you are.’ I thought I was not. I asked, ‘Are you serious?’ He said, ‘Yeah, take this shot.’ So I figured he knows a lot more about this stuff than I do.”
You can check out the interview and song below.