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(Slate)   Why is Donald Fagen so angry? Well, if you have to ask DON'T BECAUSE HE IS DONALD F*CKING FAGEN   (slate.com) divider line 55
    More: Cool, Donald Fagen, Steely Dan, Dan, Michael McDonald, Doobie Brothers, John Updike, mornings  
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3475 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 14 Oct 2013 at 7:15 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-14 07:31:31 AM  
Old man yells at cloud...  Move along.
 
2013-10-14 07:34:34 AM  
FrancoFile: Talented Old man yells at cloud...  Move along.


FTFY
 
2013-10-14 07:44:21 AM  
 Or, after a frustrating Dukes gig in San Antonio: "I'd been imagining a flash theater fire that would send the entire audience screaming up the aisles, trampling each other to get to the exits."

Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald? A fire might be necessary just to wake the audience up.
 
2013-10-14 08:26:34 AM  
Did he ever go back to his old school?
cuz we both went to the same school

not so csb
got nuthin
 
2013-10-14 08:27:54 AM  
This magazine article is the babyboomer male equivalent to that feminazi woman's article "ten days in the life of a tampon".
 
2013-10-14 08:31:23 AM  
When I saw Steely Dan last summer it was very disappointing. Fagen hardly sings and Walter Becker hardly plays. Fagen had backup singers do most of the work and Becker sat in a chair and played a chord every once in a while as some other guitarist did all the heavy lifting.

Then instead of an encore Donald Fagen sprayed the audience with gasoline and lit us on fire. Then he laughed maniacally as we ran for our lives.
 
2013-10-14 08:36:44 AM  

ExpressPork: Then instead of an encore Donald Fagen sprayed the audience with gasoline and lit us on fire.


In one take? I'm calling BS.
 
2013-10-14 08:36:53 AM  

ExpressPork: When I saw Steely Dan last summer it was very disappointing. Fagen hardly sings and Walter Becker hardly plays. Fagen had backup singers do most of the work and Becker sat in a chair and played a chord every once in a while as some other guitarist did all the heavy lifting.

Then instead of an encore Donald Fagen sprayed the audience with gasoline and lit us on fire. Then he laughed maniacally as we ran for our lives.


I hate that about concerts. They make you wait to the very end for what everybody wants.
 
2013-10-14 08:38:45 AM  

EyeballKid:  Or, after a frustrating Dukes gig in San Antonio: "I'd been imagining a flash theater fire that would send the entire audience screaming up the aisles, trampling each other to get to the exits."

Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald? A fire might be necessary just to wake the audience up.


Say what you want about the assclown who ruined two otherwise fine bands, but Boz and Fagen are worth going to hear.
 
2013-10-14 09:07:33 AM  
There's something about that mindset that doesn't seem to end well. Kurt Vonnegut was another one - wearing a sardonic, humorous facade to cover a bitter and depressed personality. It almost seems like they spend their lives playing in the muck, secretly hoping to find some rationale or redemption for the stupidity and madness, and becoming more visibly disturbed as they approach death without discovering it. They remind me of Antonius Block from "The Seventh Seal," more afraid of the ultimate pointlessness of life than the certainty of death.
 
2013-10-14 09:08:38 AM  

Dr. Kefarkian: Did he ever go back to his old school?
cuz we both went to the same school


He lives across the river now, and used to play with Levon Helm's band from time to time. IIRC Donald married Levon's ex-wife. The band would do a free show every year at this farmer's market on 209, with pumpkin cannons going off every 15 minutes or so.

/actual csb
 
2013-10-14 09:36:27 AM  

Gulper Eel: Dr. Kefarkian: Did he ever go back to his old school?
cuz we both went to the same school

He lives across the river now, and used to play with Levon Helm's band from time to time. IIRC Donald married Levon's ex-wife. The band would do a free show every year at this farmer's market on 209, with pumpkin cannons going off every 15 minutes or so.

/actual csb


I wonder if he ever sat in w/Pat Metheny ... I think my head would asplode.
In my 1st semester, my roomies & I were working on a harmony assignment, and as a joke, I sez, "Let call up Pat and see what he has to say."  Well, somebody did, and an hour later, he's knocking at the door.  Free harmony lesson and jam session into the wee hours.

I loved that school.

/actual csb.
 
2013-10-14 09:53:18 AM  
dionysusaur:  Say what you want about the assclown who ruined two otherwise fine bands, but Boz and Fagen are worth going to hear.

Yep... I'm not a fan of McDonald, but Don & Boz are awesome, though admittedly they both also have their odd vocal quirks. (Don's adenoidal, and Boz occasionally veers into Kermit The Frog territory.)

FTA: Fagen and his partner Walter Becker would sift mercilessly through these takes, in some instances recording several different guitarists' versions of a solo before they'd settle on one with the proper vibe.

Also yep. I know one of the bass players who worked on the "Aja" sessions, but didn't wind up on the album. (Max Bennett) He told me Walt & Don had something like a dozen veteran bass players come in & lay down their tracks in assembly line fashion. Same for guitarists, drummers, etc. Who knows how many legendary session guys' tracks wound up on the cutting room floor...
 
2013-10-14 10:01:52 AM  
Way back when, on their first reunion tour, I went to see them at the Time-Warner Suntrust Bank Live Nation TWC Hardee's AllTel Walnut Creek Pavillion Amphitheater. Coming out of the men's room I happened to see Fagen and Libby Titus pull up in a limo behind the chain link fence that separates the backstage area from the crowd. Fagen got out first and had a massively sour look on his face, like he had a headache. I waved and yelled "The  rats won!" - an old Bob Newhart joke, and Fagen's a fan. Fagen looked up, smiled, and waved back.

/CSB

Anyone who deals with the public comes to hate that public, you don't have to be a performer to achieve that level of disgust with humanity. If I had been touring since the late 60s, I'd probably be wishing for a neutron bomb at every performance.

/Denny Dias made the right choice
 
2013-10-14 10:07:41 AM  
Thought it was well known that Steely Dan hates touring.
 
2013-10-14 10:07:48 AM  

GibbyTheMole: dionysusaur:  Say what you want about the assclown who ruined two otherwise fine bands, but Boz and Fagen are worth going to hear.

Yep... I'm not a fan of McDonald, but Don & Boz are awesome, though admittedly they both also have their odd vocal quirks. (Don's adenoidal, and Boz occasionally veers into Kermit The Frog territory.)

FTA: Fagen and his partner Walter Becker would sift mercilessly through these takes, in some instances recording several different guitarists' versions of a solo before they'd settle on one with the proper vibe.

Also yep. I know one of the bass players who worked on the "Aja" sessions, but didn't wind up on the album. (Max Bennett) He told me Walt & Don had something like a dozen veteran bass players come in & lay down their tracks in assembly line fashion. Same for guitarists, drummers, etc. Who knows how many legendary session guys' tracks wound up on the cutting room floor...


Rick Derringer tells a tale about playing a lick around 200 times in the studio for an expressionless Becker & Fagen. After each take, one or the other would just say: "Again," and Derringer would play it. At the end of the take Becker said "thanks" and they walked out. And the lick never appeared on an album.

But the odd thing is that Derringer and other similarly mistreated musicians claim they love working with the Dan. I'm sure the check clears, that's one thing, but I suppose they feel it's something of a big deal to be included in the session call with guys like Steve Gadd and Larry Carleton.
 
2013-10-14 10:09:36 AM  
www.geeksofdoom.com
2.bp.blogspot.com
Required listening in the mid 70's.
 
2013-10-14 10:15:22 AM  

OldManDownDRoad: their first reunion tour


To date, still their best tour.
I stopped going to see them around Everything Must Go.

Their shows went from 3 hours of awesome to 100ish minutes of this :

ExpressPork: Fagen hardly sings and Walter Becker hardly plays. Fagen had backup singers do most of the work and Becker sat in a chair and played a chord every once in a while as some other guitarist did all the heavy lifting.

and dear lord help you when Becker gets center stage and drones on an on about "Little Foxy"
 
2013-10-14 10:33:38 AM  

Primitive Screwhead: and dear lord help you when Becker gets center stage and drones on an on about "Little Foxy"


It was the only time I've seen them, but Becker did get up once and do this super-long cringe-worthy beatnik thing in the middle of "Hey Nineteen" to lead into the end part.  It went on and on and on. And on.  It was really pointless and corny.  I would have actually preferred the standard "How you doing (name of city)!  How about those (home team)s, eh?!" over whatever it was he was trying to do.     
It was something along the lines of "You know you folks gonna get home and make some loooove....you look up in that cabinet and you drank the vodka last Saturday, there's that empty  schnapps bottle that your teenage son drank and he thought you wouldn't know about....then you reach wayyyyy back and there it is...the Cuervo Gooooooold!"

Ugh.
 
2013-10-14 10:34:43 AM  

Primitive Screwhead: OldManDownDRoad: their first reunion tour

To date, still their best tour.
I stopped going to see them around Everything Must Go.


The Walnut Creek show was pretty early in that tour and they were still shaking things down, but it was an excellent show. The one and only time I shelled out the extra bucks for the premium seats, and it was worth it. Becker actually cracked a few jokes from the stage, including some advice about putting some black electrician's tape over the red light on the camera you were using to illegally record the concert so the bouncers couldn't see it.

I saw them on the next reunion tour in Virginia Beach. The first half of the show was remarkably flat, and Fagen was obviously pissed at things like missed cues. Don't know what they did during the intermission, but they came back and kicked ass for the second half. Cornelius Bumpus was rockin' on that show.

/and then concerts got too expensive, or were treadmill exercises in Greatest Hits catalogs.
 
2013-10-14 11:04:11 AM  
It's funny, I saw Steely Dan back in 1995 for the tour supporting Alive in America at the Camden Waterfront, and he looked like a completely laid back, happy guy.  Granted it was almost 20 years ago (wut?), but it looked like Fagen's biggest concern in life was choosing between the Cuervo Gold and Cuervo 1800.  Who knew?
 
2013-10-14 11:05:42 AM  
OldManDownDRoad:

Rick Derringer tells a tale about playing a lick around 200 times in the studio for an expressionless Becker & Fagen. After each take, one or the other would just say: "Again," and Derringer would play it. At the end of the take Becker said "thanks" and they walked out. And the lick never appeared on an album.

But the odd thing is that Derringer and other similarly mistreated musicians claim they love working with the Dan. I'm sure the check clears, that's one thing, but I suppose they feel it's something of a big deal to be included in the session call with guys like Steve Gadd and Larry Carlton.


LOL... Yeah, I think I've heard that Rick Derringer story too. Max never said much about whether it was a good experience or not to do the tracks... just that it was an assembly line process. I doubt he was too broken up about not being on the album, though. he's been on roughly eleventy billion recordings since the '50s.

A friend of mine saw "The Dan" in Omaha on their last sweep through the area. I think he paid $200 for tickets. he said the band was great but the sound mix was subpar, which surprises me, given their "audiophile" rep.

I love 'em though. I have every one of their albums, even the weird and frequently lousy early demo compilations.
 
2013-10-14 11:09:52 AM  

69gnarkill69: [www.geeksofdoom.com image 480x480]
[2.bp.blogspot.com image 320x320]
Required listening in the mid 70's PERIOD.


FTFY
 
2013-10-14 11:53:29 AM  
Who cares what some yacht rock boner thinks anyway.
 
2013-10-14 12:45:59 PM  
FTFA...

He was apart. Aloof. As punk as a dude in his 60s can be. I marveled that the guy still had the juice.

Did this writer actually just describe Donald farking Fagen as "punk"?

Turn out the lights, this thing is over.
 
2013-10-14 02:04:51 PM  
d2wauxewsmxec.cloudfront.net
 
2013-10-14 02:48:51 PM  

PluckYew: Thought it was well known that Steely Dan hates touring.


One of the funniest things I saw on Reno 911! Was when the blonde female cop was on administrative leave, she became a Steely Dan groupie, following them around on tour.
 
2013-10-14 03:07:16 PM  
Sounds like they need another decade-long sabbatical.
 
2013-10-14 04:11:25 PM  

Primitive Screwhead: I stopped going to see them around Everything Must Go.


"Two Against Nature" was an amazing album, fully up with the rest of the Dan catalog, and actually ahead of some. I may have listened to "Everything Must Go" possibly three times in total.
 
2013-10-14 04:36:08 PM  

69gnarkill69: [www.geeksofdoom.com image 480x480]
[2.bp.blogspot.com image 320x320]
Required listening in the mid 70's.


For me it was "Royal Scam" and "Aja" at the top of the pile.

"Scam" because I was a fan of Larry Carleton from The Crusaders, and I couldn't believe that was him on "Kid Charlemagne." It was like Mr Smooth had gone home, changed into black leathers, and them gone back into town carrying a straight razor.

"Aja" is just a perfect album, particularly for that time period. Do a couple bong hits and then sit there with a few fellow musicians and try to figure out WTF was going on.

That's a back-to-back set of album releases unrivaled except by The Beatles' following "Magical Mystery Tour" with "Sgt Pepper."
 
2013-10-14 04:57:19 PM  
Asking $115 per ticket for a show in Atlanta a month or two ago. I didn't pay it.
 
2013-10-14 05:50:58 PM  
OldManDownDRoad:

Agree on Aja. At 9 years old I read the inside-cover lyrics multiple times while my older sister blasted the entire album in her apartment. I was completely confused but I knew this "Josie" person seemed like fun and I needed to meet how somehow.
 
2013-10-14 06:13:49 PM  

perigee: There's something about that mindset that doesn't seem to end well. Kurt Vonnegut was another one - wearing a sardonic, humorous facade to cover a bitter and depressed personality. It almost seems like they spend their lives playing in the muck, secretly hoping to find some rationale or redemption for the stupidity and madness, and becoming more visibly disturbed as they approach death without discovering it. They remind me of Antonius Block from "The Seventh Seal," more afraid of the ultimate pointlessness of life than the certainty of death.


And so it goes.  I think a large part of that mindset can be traced to the fact that getting old is both painful and banal, more so for someone who achieved notoriety in their youth.  Waking up to pee three times a night has a way of making even accomplished men quite grumpy, and at a certain point you realize that you will never sound as good, write so well, or think as clearly as you have before.
 
2013-10-14 07:34:18 PM  
Love the Dan. Doesn't surprise me that they're getting old and cranky, as it seems to suit them. Still working out a set covering The Royal Scam.
 
2013-10-14 07:58:38 PM  

EyeballKid: ExpressPork: When I saw Steely Dan last summer it was very disappointing. Fagen hardly sings and Walter Becker hardly plays. Fagen had backup singers do most of the work and Becker sat in a chair and played a chord every once in a while as some other guitarist did all the heavy lifting.

Then instead of an encore Donald Fagen sprayed the audience with gasoline and lit us on fire. Then he laughed maniacally as we ran for our lives.

I hate that about concerts. They make you wait to the very end for what everybody wants.


Or they don't play what everyone wants at all. I saw them in Tulsa a few months back and they didn't play FM, Deacon Blues, Hey Nineteen and Rikki Don't Lose That Number. Arguably 4 of their 5 top songs.
 
2013-10-14 08:45:21 PM  

ExpressPork: When I saw Steely Dan last summer it was very disappointing. Fagen hardly sings and Walter Becker hardly plays. Fagen had backup singers do most of the work and Becker sat in a chair and played a chord every once in a while as some other guitarist did all the heavy lifting.

Then instead of an encore Donald Fagen sprayed the audience with gasoline and lit us on fire. Then he laughed maniacally as we ran for our lives.


I saw part of a Beach 'Boys' performance from last year on YouTube. They had about 20 extra musicians with them who appeared to be doing most of the work.

From what I have read elsewhere they hired professional musicians to play the instruments in the studio even when they were in their prime in the 1960s.
 
2013-10-14 09:03:46 PM  

theorellior: Primitive Screwhead: I stopped going to see them around Everything Must Go.

"Two Against Nature" was an amazing album, fully up with the rest of the Dan catalog, and actually ahead of some. I may have listened to "Everything Must Go" possibly three times in total.


Nature is the more lauded of the two, but for me Everything Must Go is the better album. I find myself skipping around the former to find songs that really connect, whereas Go is just a gas straight through.
 
2013-10-14 09:05:26 PM  
Also: Sunken Condos swings, babies!
 
2013-10-14 09:20:09 PM  

torr5962: OldManDownDRoad:

Agree on Aja. At 9 years old I read the inside-cover lyrics multiple times while my older sister blasted the entire album in her apartment. I was completely confused but I knew this "Josie" person seemed like fun and I needed to meet how somehow.


Black Cow still gives me chills when I hear it. Aja was the album I played when I was trying to impress the ladies and made me appreciate the aphrodisiac effect of the saxophone.
 
2013-10-14 09:20:34 PM  
They lost me after "Royal Scam". Aja and Gaucho were sub par and over produced.
 
2013-10-14 09:33:17 PM  

69gnarkill69: [www.geeksofdoom.com image 480x480]
[2.bp.blogspot.com image 320x320]
Required listening in the mid 70's.




You forgot one.

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-10-15 12:58:20 AM  

Charlie Freak: Love the Dan. Doesn't surprise me that they're getting old and cranky, as it seems to suit them. Still working out a set covering The Royal Scam.


This. They were old and jaded almost by the time they came out of puberty.
I've seen them twice, once in 2006 with Michael McDonald, so the set was naturally Aja-heavy. And again in 2009 (7th row... for free!) when they performed the whole Royal Scam album. It was great, except when the fire alarm started going off at the start of The Caves of Altamira (my favorite from that album- bummer).

I also got to see the Dukes of September show, and was impressed all-around. Maybe I'm easily entertained, but I just have nothing bad to say about them live. I do genuinely like Michael McDonald, in all his cheesy yacht-rock glory. No shame here. I will say I'm glad Don had his piano pointed sideways, and not out towards the crowd, or else I would have been in the "splash zone." (3rd row!) That dude is one sloppy, salival SOB!

BTW- someone complained about Becker leaving all the guitar heavy-lifting to other musicians.... Uh, yeah you mean- what he's always done? He's a self-described medeocre guitarist. He never did play any of the noteworthy licks.
All the things people are complaining about here, I found endearing. The "beatnik diatribe" Becker does in the middle of Hey Nineteen; and even giving the back up singers their own tune once in a while (Carolyn Leonhardt is a sexalicious babely diva. I can listen to her all day).

I have all their albums including demos and whatnot, and all of Don's solo albums (Sunken Condos, his latest, is great. I like it better than Morph the Cat from 2006). My favorite band by far. <3
 
2013-10-15 05:38:23 AM  
you people take your big black cow and all get out of here!
 
2013-10-15 08:30:14 AM  
The best song about smoking heroin you will ever hear
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34RWWy61zlg
 
2013-10-15 08:43:10 AM  

OldManDownDRoad: 69gnarkill69: [www.geeksofdoom.com image 480x480]
[2.bp.blogspot.com image 320x320]
Required listening in the mid 70's.

For me it was "Royal Scam" and "Aja" at the top of the pile.

"Scam" because I was a fan of Larry Carleton from The Crusaders, and I couldn't believe that was him on "Kid Charlemagne." It was like Mr Smooth had gone home, changed into black leathers, and them gone back into town carrying a straight razor.

"Aja" is just a perfect album, particularly for that time period. Do a couple bong hits and then sit there with a few fellow musicians and try to figure out WTF was going on.

That's a back-to-back set of album releases unrivaled except by The Beatles' following "Magical Mystery Tour" with "Sgt Pepper."


'Twas the other way around.
 
2013-10-15 08:56:28 AM  
John Buck 41:  You forgot one. (Countdown To Ecstasy)

Great album.  One of my top 3 faves from the Dan.  That one, Scam, and Aja are my favorites. Last band practice, we kicked around doing "Bodhisattva". We already do "Reelin' In The Years" from their first album, which is a fun one to play.
 
2013-10-15 09:00:25 AM  
I know it's probably been there forever but I just discovered this: Steely Dan Dictionary

Great site to waste a few moments on.
 
2013-10-15 09:34:33 AM  

Primitive Screwhead: I know it's probably been there forever but I just discovered this: Steely Dan Dictionary

Great site to waste a few moments on.


That is awesome.  As a young teen I never knew what the hell those guys were talking about half the time and that made it cool to me.
 
2013-10-15 09:47:00 AM  

Primitive Screwhead: I know it's probably been there forever but I just discovered this: Steely Dan Dictionary

Great site to waste a few moments on.


Cool site.

GibbyTheMole: John Buck 41:  You forgot one. (Countdown To Ecstasy)

Great album.  One of my top 3 faves from the Dan.  That one, Scam, and Aja are my favorites. Last band practice, we kicked around doing "Bodhisattva". We already do "Reelin' In The Years" from their first album, which is a fun one to play.


Didn't know you were a musician. Neat.
 
2013-10-15 10:30:35 AM  
John Buck 41:  Didn't know you were a musician. Neat.

Eh... It's a thing. Not getting rich at it, for sure.  We're doing Reelin' in this vid. I'm the guy with the hat & Strat on the right.  Some of the vocals are kinda dodgy, but, eh...

I ordinarily wouldn't post a video here on Fark, but I kinda feel like I know you, and I can ignore the asshats who may make jerky remarks.
 
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