It’s kind of hard to picture Chevy Chase rockin’ out on stage with Steely Dan. But as it turns out, it may have very well been the direction he was headed. When Chevy Chase was in college, along with studying acting, Chase was also a musician. Chase played drums in college for a band called The Leather Canary, which he referred to as a “bad Jazz band.” After he left the band, two band members and classmates went on to be quite successful as the band Steely Dan. Those two men are none other than Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.
Musically it’s said that Chase has absolute pitch. He played drums and keyboards for a rock band called Chamaeleon Church, which recorded one album for MGM Records before disbanding in 1969. To give the album a more soft-rock sound, producer Alan Lorber made several alterations in the mixing, including the muting of Chase’s bass drum, and Chase was reportedly incensed when he heard the final mix.
If you’d like to know some other jobs Chevy Chase had before making it big, hworked as a cab driver, truck driver, motorcycle messenger, construction worker, waiter, busboy, fruit picker, produce manager in a supermarket, audio engineer, salesman in a wine store, and theater usher.
So yeah, he’s got a pretty interesting background. Hearing about his being “incensed” certainly sheds light on all the issues he had on SNL. Rumor has it as soon as he hit it big on that show he acted higher and mightier than everyone there.
Source for this info: Fruchter, Rena. I’m Chevy Chase…and You’re Not. Virgin Books, 2007
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