Saturday, March 29, 2014

World's Best Touring Band Continues Touring in 2014

Steely Dan had officially broken up when I first heard them, c. 1985 or so.  I naturally assumed I'd never be able them play live, let alone enjoy any new studio albums.  Fifteen shows later & counting...

Favorite tour moment: summer 2013, Boise Idaho, general admission, fifteen feet from the band.  Like seeing thirteen of my favorite musicians playing in the front room at PFB.  The music packed with humor, brilliant improvisation, micro-textures.  And like the Duke Ellington Orchestra, SD's touring incarnation has only improved with age, the antithesis of those dinosaur-rock acts who chug out the same faithful-to-the-studio-version of their Gold Hits album over & over again.

DF and WB are, by all accounts, much like me, shy introverts, & I don't think I'd approach if I ever ran into either one of them in public. (Though I did hit up Penguin Books for a DF phone interview when Eminent Hipsters came out, the only time I have ever leaned on a publisher for a favor.  Penguin PR first ignored me, then put me on a list, and then, at the last minute, a Fagen family emergency cancelled 99% of the phone interviews, mine included).

The fine example of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker's deep integrity, perfectionism, and openness to Black American art -- blues; soul; jazz -- has had a deep and lasting effect on me.  I hope they keep recording and touring for years to come. 

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