Musings on the byways of popular culture
03/09/2017 by dai 75 Comments
03/09/2017 at 12:55
Sad news -the quiet half of an exceptional duo – a ‘reel’ loss!
03/09/2017 at 13:07
I always hoped I would get a chance to see the Dan.
His music (including the 2 solo albums and China Crisis) has given me great joy.
03/09/2017 at 13:31
Very sad news. I was hoping for one more album.
Flaunt The Imperfection gets a deluxe release in a couple of weeks.
03/09/2017 at 13:21
Another sad reminder that we have lived through a golden age.
We will never see a band like Strely Dan ever again
03/09/2017 at 18:16
Strely Dan? The hazards of posting without reading glasses in the pub.
I was a bit star struck. Mike Harding was drinking in there.
I think that comment says it all.
We will never see or hear a band like Steely Dan again.
A tragic loss.
Junior Wells says
03/09/2017 at 13:33
Great band , great player.
Any major dude will tell ya
03/09/2017 at 13:45
Oh no. What a loss. Gutted.
03/09/2017 at 14:03
Gutted….a Major Dude indeed.
03/09/2017 at 14:06
Bummer. Too young. I love The Dan.
03/09/2017 at 14:15
Sad news. I too was hoping for one last hurrah. RIP
Vulpes Vulpes says
03/09/2017 at 14:42
Now come my friend I’ll take your hand, and lead you home.
03/09/2017 at 17:56
I have something in my eye now.
03/09/2017 at 14:50
Shit, shit, shit. Hope they carry on. Michael McDonald would be a good musical substitute with chops and previous, but Don’ll have to up the sardonic MCing which was so much of their live schick.
03/09/2017 at 14:56
Don’t think they should carry on, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Fagen does indeed continue under the SD banner.
03/09/2017 at 20:03
I think he intends to for the time being at least, although surely that would mean no more new releases.
A.) finds a new writing partner
B.) carries on writing solo but for the Dan.
Neither of which would be good moves IMO.
03/09/2017 at 14:59
Fuck, thats bad news.
Don’t they have UK gigs lined up in October? Grateful I got to see them and pleased I have all the albums to remind me of what fabulous music they made.
03/09/2017 at 20:09
They played some US gigs in July minus Walter, while he was in hospital and then recuperating, so maybe they’ll go ahead anyway.
Our local (excellent) SD tribute band “Stanley Dee” will be gutted. All 11 of them have tickets for one of the October gigs. Especially gutted if Donald cancels.
Always loved their first 3 albums and grew to like some – love others of the rest, in time. Even the 2 Revival albums.
I was only talking about them to my old mate Martin on Friday night, so I blame myself. If I’d kept my trap shut maybe he’d still be with us.
03/09/2017 at 15:07
Properly shit news.
A major talent who undoubtedly had more in him that we’ll never get to hear now.
Grateful to have seen him play with The Dan.
03/09/2017 at 15:24
This site and its predecessors have been sneered at by some for SD fandom but in a time of non-entities, a Major Dude has undoubtedly left the building by any yardstick.
Lodestone of Wrongness says
03/09/2017 at 15:35
Second all that, Dougie
03/09/2017 at 15:38
Oh crap. Bloody love the Dan and never did see them.
03/09/2017 at 17:27
I had bloody tickets for October! Mind you Fagen’s obit intimates he’ll continue to tour as SD.
count jim moriarty says
03/09/2017 at 15:45
03/09/2017 at 15:51
Sad news, bit late to the Dan but made up for it once I’d seen the light.
Original run of albums are pretty much flawless really
03/09/2017 at 16:03
I can only echo what everyone one else has said. Bloody love the Dan. Never did see them.
I just played “Slang of Ages” Off “Everything Must Go”, one of Walt’s few (if not only) vocals. Was welling up. Oh well… 🙁
03/09/2017 at 20:36
Apart from the two solo albums, 11 Tracks Of Whack & Circus Money.
03/09/2017 at 16:28
Really very sad news.
Max the Dog says
03/09/2017 at 16:55
Sad news indeed.
03/09/2017 at 17:45
Sad news indeed
03/09/2017 at 18:08
Lovely tribute from Richard Williams to Walt and the music of the Dan:
03/09/2017 at 19:00
Walt. You da man.
No one likes Steely Dan.
Even those that love them – as I do – don’t like them.
They are unlikeable.
Supercilious but too smooth. Superior yet weedy. Flawed but invincible.
Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe. What? No way!
That was the beauty of it.
The braggadocio. The perfection. Covering what?
A stricken heart. A puny physique. A huge habit. The morals of a rattlesnake.
Beneath all the arrogance, the cleverness, the inhuman sheen, lay the truth.
A kind of beauty.
Self-knowing of its own weakness.
That’s what I love about the unlikeable Dan.
Do love. Will love.
Walter Becker… you da man.
03/09/2017 at 19:03
Terrific post, Fin.
03/09/2017 at 19:41
The Dan were way too cool for school.
They were (I presume to use were now) unique on that side of the ocean for dealing in irony.
03/09/2017 at 22:52
Terrible news about Walter, probably rock’s least-schlocky character (not saying Donald’s cuddly, but WB was positively barbed). Great great music and lyrics.
Nice post, Fin.
03/09/2017 at 19:01
Bugger – yet another little piece of my growing up (and since) shuffles off. Too young. SD right up there in my “musical things that mean a lot to me” top 10.
Glad I got to see him with SD a couple of times live.
03/09/2017 at 20:34
03/09/2017 at 20:56
One of the great songwriters and arrangers of our times. Becker and Fagen are immortalised in the unimpeachable catalogue they put together. If I had to take only one band’s music to a desert island, it would be the incredibly rich, melodic, uplifting, funny, soulful, funky sounds of Steely Dan.
And then there’s the solo albums. This has one of my favourite choruses: Girlfriend, from WB’s first solo album, 11 Tracks of Whack.
03/09/2017 at 22:17
03/09/2017 at 22:31
My best of the Dan list …
Best of the Dan
H.P. Saucecraft says
03/09/2017 at 23:53
Surf and/or Die
Earthbound to Johnny boy just picked up your message
‘Bout those Balinese ikats you thought I might buy
Now your voice on my machine is more alive than what you are
Since your daredevil hang glider fell out of the sky
Now Armand’s looked all over but he can’t find your car keys
Were they under the tire? Were they under the seat?
Because as it stands now your beloved white Aires
Is fair game for the vandals up on Makapuu Street
And your grandmother’s number, we know it’s here somewhere
But Suze can’t seem to find it, now she’s losing control
And so what about her, and little Eldon and Layla
And that hypothetical spectre, your gilt-edged soul
Which defied many perils, in the face of all reason
And in so many settings and for all your young years
Insisting on pure freedom for its too-short season
Riding high on its ration of enchantment and fear
Over the hill and into the next meadow and on and on and on
In a near random universe there are still certain combinations
Picked out from all other possible ones
Which, when given some time and the just-right circumstances
Not too far from the earth or too close to the sun
They will dance and they’ll spin in the embrace of the trade winds
Playing havoc with the hearts and the upturned faces down below
Until the laws of curved spacetime, susponed without warning
Kick back in with a vengeance for the last act of the show
Going too far too fast in that final wing over
As your glider comes tumbling out of the clouds
And you clutch at your chest but the chute never opens
And they find you there tangled in that white nylon shroud
When we get Grandma’s number I think I’ll just say to her
Your Johnny’s home for Christmas, it was a hell of a ride
And I know that some day you’ll be showing me those blankets
All covered in glory on the hereafter side, saying
There was never any question, it was always all or nothing
Surf and/or die
04/09/2017 at 00:13
I’d never encountered the word susponed until this
04/09/2017 at 00:44
Not sure about that myself. Listening to the song, it could be “suspend”. But this is as good as writing – in any field – gets.
04/09/2017 at 01:10
yeah, maybe he just flubbed ‘suspended’ and left it
anyway, like you say, to able to write like that, I’m in awe and not a little envious.
Was touched by this tribute from Rickie Lee Jones: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/read-rickie-lee-jones-poignant-tribute-to-walter-becker-w501078
04/09/2017 at 22:18
Yes that’s really good.
04/09/2017 at 01:50
More brains than balls ver Dan.
But that’s ok there is a time for brains and there is a time for balls.
Expect DF will continue and under SD banner. Said recently that touring was only way they could afford to continue to record the way they like presumably endless takes in expensive studios with top flight endless sesssion musicians
04/09/2017 at 20:32
Well they haven’t recorded for a long time. Pretty sure there will be no more Steely Dan albums. Fagen is 73, maybe he has 1 or 2 more solo albums left in him.
Moose the Mooche says
04/09/2017 at 21:09
Fagen has always been 73.
Baron Harkonnen says
04/09/2017 at 08:15
Thank you for the music Walter, I saw you with your band a few times and I will never forget those times.
Fly high Walter, your spirit will never die.
04/09/2017 at 11:18
I struggled to take them seriously, what with that balding side parting longhair thing going on and All Around My Hat. But @Twang has shone a little light on their early stuff and I may even move on to the second album one of these days.
06/09/2017 at 10:34
In yesterday’s Times obituary, which I read keenly, it said of Steely Dan “the band broke up after the album Groucho which took two troubled years to record”. Had to laugh, the image of the cool South American cowboy in Gaucho being replaced by an image of the zany moustachioed Marx brother. I bet Walter Becker would have have had something cutting to say about it. And what of the lost Steely Dan albums Harpo and Zeppo?!
06/09/2017 at 11:30
GCU Grey Area says
06/09/2017 at 17:11
View post on imgur.com
06/09/2017 at 19:00
Thats brilliant Mr GCU, in the elevator shoes. Bravo. Bravo.
07/09/2017 at 10:36
Top work, GCU!
07/09/2017 at 12:02
I just couldn’t resist your misread, Caro.
07/09/2017 at 15:57
The Times had to issue a correction the next day. Not only had they made such a big mistake (I can’t help thinking the media club Grouchos in London they probably all frequent had something to do with it) but they had also erroneously named Becker’s parents with Donald Fagen’s parents first name.
07/09/2017 at 11:25
Unspeakably brilliant. I’ve passed this on to friends.
07/09/2017 at 15:59
Followed two years later by Fagen’s solo album The Firefly.
06/09/2017 at 11:47
Bodacious? Why, certainly
06/09/2017 at 17:07
I live in hope that there some hidden recordings waiting to see the light – I doubt it though.
07/09/2017 at 11:26
I have some 11 Tracks Of Whack outtakes/extras (so 18 Tracks Of Whack) if there’s any interest …
07/09/2017 at 13:52
Yeah man! PM?
07/09/2017 at 14:24
08/09/2017 at 03:13
(None of these tracks is commercially available, so enjoy bootleg status. Don’t panic about the Z-share pop-ups – they don’t install anything – just click them away and reclick the download button if necessary).
08/09/2017 at 04:55
I should point out that these have been available in some form for some time, but these are newly-cleaned-up versions, and the best I’ve heard. They sound fine added to the album.
07/09/2017 at 19:08
Just how good is Junkie Girl….brilliant and poignant in equal measure….
07/09/2017 at 22:08
I’ll just park this here.
07/09/2017 at 23:52
Likewise, here’s a superlative Dan article from Katy Lied days by the normally very brisk Christgau, going into some detail for a change.
08/09/2017 at 03:15
Excellent. I wish I still had the hilarious list of “things not to say in the studio” that the Dan prepared a few years back.
08/09/2017 at 05:11
Ready, Freddie (pronounced red-eye fred-eye)
The phones sound O.K. but I need more of myself
We won’t need a click
I like what you’re trying to do but not the way you’re doing it
An excellent first attempt
Was that the sound you had on the demo?
Make the click louder
That was a pretty good take for this time of night
If you want the tempo any brighter than that, we better wait for a sunny day
No dynamics? We’re playing as loud as we can
I think that’s a pretty good sounding take for what were getting paid..
That was great, let’s do it again
Is that about as tight as you boys want to get it?
Is it possible the click is speeding up?
I’m at the point where I’m making dumb mistakes – before I was making much smarter mistakes
So many drummers, so little time
Why don’t we do the double first and the lead will be easier to get once we’ve got the double
I never had this problem when I was being produced by Lenny and Russ
We got some things, we need some things
Punch in at the section
You can’t make ice cream out of shit
You can’t polish a turd
Just let your spirit soar
My spirit’s already sore from the last thirty takes…
Less is more
Less is Paul
Less is Brown
Less is less
That’s the way I’ve been playing it all along
I just wish I could get a whole band that sounds as good as I do
This will be a great opportunity for me to show off my chop
Let’s hear the bass, if you can call it that
Play something Paul would tell Linda to play
Does your amp have an underdrive channel?
You can erase that one, I remember exactly what I played
We’ll catch that in the mix
You guys can fix that in Soundtools, right?
I brought my kid along, he’s never been in a recording studio before
My girlfriend sings great background vocals
I know a great drummer
You guys want to try some heroin?
Your girlfriend’s been in the bathroom a long time
Please, man, stay away from my faxes, okay?
I’m not going to be any more dishonest with you than I am with Donald
I’d like a little more of a live feeling on this tune.
I also play eleven other instruments
Sorry I’m late, I just got through with my blood test (or CAT scan)
That vocal’s not a keeper is it?
That’s how I wrote it but that’s not how I like to play it
I can’t think of any improvements that won’t make it worse
That ground loop is a trademark thing for me
That’s the new old comp from today – I want to hear the new old comp from last Tuesday
That reverb would sound a lot better if it were coming out of a piece of MY GEAR
How bout we get rid of these 3M machines and get ourselves a frozen yogurt machine
Roz Shrank on line one for you
Skunk called, he’s on his way down
The frozen yogurt machine is broken
When was the last time we worked together? Tonight.
08/09/2017 at 07:23
I regularly use the phrase “an excellent first attempt” in the studio.
And also, come to think of it, “that was great, let’s do it again”.
08/09/2017 at 09:50
WOW!!!!!!!! Thank you so much! I take back everything I ever said about you, Tig. Well, most of it. Some of the time. A bit, anyway. That once.
“Play something Paul would tell Linda to play” – I’m dying here.
“When was the last time we worked together? Tonight.”
08/09/2017 at 10:28
Loads of Dan stuff – including that list – here:
08/09/2017 at 13:01
Oh. I wasn’t aware you have said anything bad about me. Are you taking back all the compliments then or am I deluded? 🙂
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