I’m trying not to have a cow, but am struggling. Since this issue has to do with Steely Dan, I threw into the Bart Simpsonish title the Black Cow reference to their great song of the same name. I know, really clever. Another day, another clever title. But I am upset about what I see advertised for Steely Dan this summer …
I know, I know, I should be upset that the Doobie Brothers are touring at all, but that falls more into the “who gives a rat’s ass” bucket for me. They can continue to be “Takin’ It To The Streets,” just as long as those streets are all one-way out of town and earshot.
I am upset about Donald Fagen touring under the Steely Dan name. Is Donald Fagen not aware that his decades-long songwriting partner Walter Becker died in 2017? Did he not give a eulogy at Becker’s funeral? I know, Walter Becker didn’t sing any of the Dan’s hits, but he was as much the heart & soul of Steely Dan as Donald Fagen is. This would be like Paul Simon touring solo as Simon & Garfunkel.
Will I go see Donald Fagen and company this summer? Well, maybe, but unless he has original Steely Dan guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on lead guitar, I don’t think he should use the Steely Dan name. Baxter would be a great fit since he went from lead guitar for Steely Dan to play for the Doobie Brothers. However, at age 69, I wonder if he could play for two bands in one night.
I am glad Donald Fagen will continue to perform Steely Dan songs. But since his partner-in-music Walter Becker is no longer with us, can I suggest that Donald Fagen just tour as Steely or maybe just as Dan? I got it, how about Steely Don? “Any Major Dude Will Tell You” that “Only A Fool Would Say That” I didn’t do Donald Fagen’s “Dirty Work” in picking a new band name.