Sunday, July 06, 2008

From the Ottawa desk:

"Artists can be quirky people, but ahead of last night's Steely Dan show, the group's manager e-mailed [Ottawa] Bluesfest artistic director Mark Monahan to request a police escort for Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.

'We've had all kinds of strange requests,' said Mr. Monahan, 'but this was a new one. They said it was never a problem in U.S. cities. I said it would probably be a problem here, but I'd ask.'

Becker and Fagen, the legendary creative core of Steely Dan, arrived by private jet from Montreal and apparently wanted the royal escort so they could avoid red lights and other inconveniences of modern day motoring -- though on a Saturday afternoon in Ottawa, those inconveniences would be minimal.

Mr. Monahan contacted the Ottawa police who even for a fee turned down the request as 'an inappropriate use of police time.' Mr. Becker and Mr. Fagen, who asked for separate SUVs to carry them from the airport, settled for a Bluesfest van to guide them into the downtown."

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