Yet another Steely Dan lost treasure has been unearthed. The daughter of late Steely Dan engineer Roger Nichols has found the audio for a commercial jingle the band wrote and recorded for Schlitz Beer in 1972 or 1973. Link to the article on Jake Malooley's excellent Steely Dan newsletter, "Expanding Dan," here (partial paywall).
Steely Dan producer Gary Katz recalls:
"It was soon after 'Reelin' in the Years' that someone called and asked if the guys would write a song for the Schlitz commercial. And as I remember it, Donald said, 'OK, but we're gonna write it.' By which he meant, they didn't want to do a commercial somebody else wrote."
It's a strange production for a commercial, with a high-pitched spoken-word preamble in Spanish, performed by guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter with the help of some helium, translated into English by a faux commercial announcer voiced by Fagen. Then there's more high-pitched Spanish sprinkled throughout the song.
Baxter says that the song was never used by Schlitz because he used the Spanish verb "coger," which means "grab," in the sentence Fagen translated into English: "He says he likes to grab for all the gusto he can get." Baxter says "coger" is also used as Spanish slang for sexual intercourse.
Sexual slang aside, I'd say that as nice as the music is, the entire use of the weird, high-pitched Spanish rendered the production unusable as a commercial jingle.
When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of beer.