Host marconi: boxers or briefs, everyone wants to know
DonaldFagen: My stepdaughter cautioned me never to wear tightie whities as she calls them, but I've still been holding out.
WalterBecker: Laugh. Touche.
Host marconi: what would a steely dan do of an evening at home?
Host Sam_Sutherland: Marconi, please post questions in the "Ask questions here" queue. Merci.
WalterBecker: I just want to say hello to everybody. I'm sitting in Hawaii, just me and my dog Claris.
rockinwoman: Love the Alive in America release! Am listening to it now. When will the album of new material be released?
WalterBecker: We've got it in the can we're just waiting for a decent commercial space.
Host Sam_Sutherland: Which political party do you expect to be in power when that release is viable?
WalterBecker: The American Nazi party.
DonaldFagen: I think that Eurasia will be in power by then!
WalterBecker: My daughter Sa will be the first female Cambodian President.
DonaldFagen: I think that Empress is more like it!
pdb: Will there ever really be a http://www.don+walt.com?
DonaldFagen: I think you got that buddy!
WalterBecker: Try http:\steelydan.com\steelyindex.htm
DonaldFagen: There is something sexy about that steely index thing!
WalterBecker: I know.
maddog_surrender: Gentlemen: It is really exciting to be able to chat with you using this medium. As you can tell by my alias, I am a huge fan. Can you tell me about what inspired "Gaucho" and "Dr. Wu?"
WalterBecker: Well one day Donald and I shared a cab with a short thin Hispanic physician wearing a cape and promising to give us eternal life.
DonaldFagen: And that's what you call inspiration!
dubman: What music do you guys listen to? Do you still listen to the late 50's, early 60's jazz you heard on the radio growing up? Are you guys classical fans at all? And how often do you listen to your own material and how has it grown on you over the years.
WalterBecker: I thought there was going to be a 2 question per customer limit.
DonaldFagen: I'm having an operation to have the growth removed next week - that's answering the question about our material!
WalterBecker: Mostly Gene Ammons records.
rud: Walter, I have heard you do some great songs live which did not appear on 11 Tracks of Whack, like Our Lawn and Three Sisters Shaking. Why didn't you record these? And, on Medical Science, which appeared on a Japanese 11 Tracks of Whack--why only in
WalterBecker: Well I could only put 11 or so tracks on 11 tracks of whack
DonaldFagen: Wait a minute - weren't there 12 tracks on there?
WalterBecker: There was? And I was saving some stuff for next time.
dubman: I suppose this is the ideal forum to ask how has technology influenced the creative process over the years for you guys. Walter, I've read that you use sequencing software while writing songs. With MIDI you can tweak the feel and the timing of each phrase to your heart's content. How much has the actual process of sitting down and writing the song really changed over the years because of high tech?
DonaldFagen: Do you detect a hint of irony in that question?
WalterBecker: I think we're getting stiffed right there in the room. I think that was a very innocent question as posed by the network user.
DonaldFagen: In other words it was corrupted somewhere on the way from there to here!
WalterBecker: That's right by a chipster living grouper.
DonaldFagen: Someone who belongs to the 'Children of Ironic Parents' group.
WalterBecker: To answer the question in a way, all of the technology actually amounts to nothing more than a huge technoboondoggle. Which helps the would-be song writer postpone his creative angst for moments at a time.
Mikaele_B: Walt, any chance you could talk Don into doing SD Alive in Paradise - Maybe you can teach him to Surf (and you can leave out the and/or die part). If the Eagles can draw 25,000+ at Aloha Stadium (last Monday) surely you guys can do as well.
WalterBecker: It's so happens that Donald is an accomplished surfer already.
DonaldFagen: Yeah, that was a gnarly one!
WalterBecker: We're looking forward to playing in Hawaii. Someday.
JRMcInto: Were the lyrics for "King of the World" somehow inspired by the antics of Jimmy Jones in Guyana?
DonaldFagen: Pre-dates it.
DonaldFagen: Actually Jimmy Jones was inspired by those lyrics!
pdb: Will there ever be a Steely Dan Christmas album?
DonaldFagen: Will there ever be a Steely Dan Christmas album? I feel like Johnny Carson! Je ne sais quoi.
WalterBecker: I don't know. What do you think Donald. If there were, it would be a fourth quarter thing for sure.
DonaldFagen: Good thinking!
WalterBecker: That's why I make the big money.
tarkus: Your first album had David Palmer as one of your musicians,, is this the same David Palmer who worked with Jethro Tull, and do you have any plans to work with him again?
WalterBecker: Next question.
Host Sam_Sutherland: How did you go about picking musicians for the live bands on the '93 and '94 tours?
WalterBecker: We tried to pick guys that looked like R. Crumb cartoon Jazz musicians.
DonaldFagen: (nodding) I like it.
Mikaele_B: Don and Walt: Have always been impressed with your musical talents but frankly am blown away by your sense of humor. How much formal training have you had in this area?
DonaldFagen: We both attended the Philadelphia school of comedy...
WalterBecker: And were in Vaudeville for many many years.
DonaldFagen:I used to play Ronnie Burns on the 'Burns and Allen' show
WalterBecker: Ya, you were great as Ronny. Do you still have those shoes?
JRMcInto: Was Josie someone special, as references to her are made in two album cuts?
DonaldFagen: Do you remember a second one?
WalterBecker: I'm thinking hard.
DonaldFagen: We know the main reference - what was the second one?
WalterBecker: We don't want to crash the whole network. We don't want to pull down the web.
DonaldFagen: We don't want to tear down the whole network until we have something to replace it with.
pdb: What are your favorite Web sites?
WalterBecker: It would be in poor taste for me to tell you considering children might be in the discussion.
marconi: What's in your refrigerator at home?
DonaldFagen: Prince Albert in a can!
WalterBecker: Soylent Green. And a nice German white.
DonaldFagen: I failed spit take.
eflotsam: how is it that you gentlemen seem to get some of the best performances from the musicians you play with?
WalterBecker: I'm offering a reward for anyone who finds any bugs in the Microsoft network. The reward will be some stock options...
DonaldFagen: I think it has something to do with the scrotal vise we've been using.
WalterBecker: Sam knows about the scrotal vise. He used to be an A&R man at Windham Hill.
djjb: Who are major influences and inspiration in your music from the Jazz world.
WalterBecker: Well, Charlie Parker
DonaldFagen: It's - I think that question has to be more specific because there are many fine bopsters that we enjoy.
WalterBecker: Karl Cetebrew
DonaldFagen: Serge Chaloff.
WalterBecker: Serge Chaloff was one of the greats
DonaldFagen: and Big Sid Catlett.
pdb: Who would you say is the best Steely Dan sound-alike?
DonaldFagen: Donald Fagen.
WalterBecker: Without a doubt. Who were those English guys. Danny Wilson. Prefab sprout has their moments. Cruel shoes too
pdb: Do you guys subscribe to Metal Leg or the Steely Dan mailing list?
Host Sam_Sutherland: How did you choose the songs for the live album?
WalterBecker: Donald and I have complimentary subscriptions to Metal Leg magazine. Make that Life Time complimentary subscriptions.
DonaldFagen: Whether we like it or not.
WalterBecker: From which we have yet to recover.
DonaldFagen: It was a slow painful process ... you can finish the sentence
WalterBecker: From which we have yet to recover
marconi: Has anybody else done versions of your songs that sounded good to you?
DonaldFagen: I kinda like that version of 'Kid Charlemagne' by Jerry Lewis.
WalterBecker: Herbie Mann did a version of Do It Again that was kind of slick. That's a beaut.
Host Sam_Sutherland: The album mixes tracks from lots of different cities. Does any one concert or city stand out as a high point? A low point?
WalterBecker: I think we felt distinctly unloved in Saratoga, NY and this in spite of the fact that there were about 22,000 people there.
DonaldFagen: Everybody likes me!
WalterBecker: You know what Marlo Brandon said, If I'm in a room with 200 people I got to get out of there.
marconi: Do you listen to the radio when you're in the car? All-news? All-sports? Rush Limbaugh?
WalterBecker: It's kind of ironic, I live where you drive in a car and Donald lives where the good radio stations are. So, we're both fucked.
DonaldFagen: Isn't that a kind of primitive question? Let's go to the next one.
NESMICCIN: The lead on "My Old School" is one of my all time favorites, who played it and did it take him long to compose or was it part of a jam session?
DonaldFagen: Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter played the original.
WalterBecker: Jeff Baxter and it was extemporaneous as far as we know.
Kujawa_mj: I spent many years next door to Pete Christlieb, listening to his killer sax. Did he ever play on any tracks other than Deacon Blues???
DonaldFagen: You also used to hear him rev up the engine in his dragster?
WalterBecker: I think Pete is still pissed at us. We produced his album. You know.?
Host Sam_Sutherland: You've worked together producing each of your recent solo albums, but Donald is listed as the producer for ALIVE IN AMERICA. How'd he get the job, and why didn't you both tackle production?
WalterBecker: There is an interview and I had a bad day. Make that a bad hair day.
DonaldFagen: And I did a little favor for Irving Azoff - I'm not going to say what it was.
WalterBecker: I love it.
DonaldFagen: With these guys I feel like I'm on MST 3000.
Host Sam_Sutherland: Over the years, you've slipped science fiction themes into a lot of songs. There's even a cyberpunk edge in some of the later things in both the group and solo albums. Are there specific books or authors, or even movies, that have influenced this?
DonaldFagen: Well, we were both big science fiction fans in our younger day. And there's a lot of writers we used to read.
WalterBecker: Should we give them some of the names?
DonaldFagen: Heinlein, Van Vogt, Pohl, Alfred Bester, Kurt Vonnegut, etc.
WalterBecker: Is this a steam powered network? It's like we're having trouble building up pressure. Put another log on the fire.
bjmay: Did anyone get the meaning of the "Decade of Steely Dan" album cover
DonaldFagen: Not even us!
WalterBecker: Certainly not our wives
dubman: In the jazz world it's considered a very legitimate form of musical expression to reinterpret someone else's tune or even their style, as you have done with Charlie Parker for instance, but rock musicians are more likely to be derided as "derivative." Any thoughts on why this is so?
DonaldFagen: Well, since rap music and sampling have become standard, I think that derivative is all good at this point.
WalterBecker: Ya, I think that that question is a kind of period question.
DonaldFagen: That guy's stuck in the 70's ... like us. A true fan.
WalterBecker: Stuck in the seventies.
pdb: Will you guys continue to maintain an on-line presence?
DonaldFagen: That's yours.
WalterBecker: That is a truly snide question.
DonaldFagen: I think it depends on our record sales.
DonaldFagen: Cause you know I saw this digital camera I was interested in today, and it is pretty expensive.
WalterBecker: I'd say based on the way this interview is going. But all kidding aside, there actually is the aforementioned Steely Dan website
DonaldFagen: Are you referring back to one of your favorite web sites?
WalterBecker: we'll try to fill with goodies. In other words, as the sales notch up the more cool things on the website. More amusing. If we had something like that could we post nice personal shots of our personal lives.
pdb: Tomorrow's Girl was the 2nd one
DonaldFagen: Tomorrow's Girls was the second one --- he's right. He should win a lap dance from Josie herself. Just wishful thinking on my part.
Host Sam_Sutherland: We're running out of time, campers, so let's take just a few more questions.
DonaldFagen: We only got a few minutes left - we got to get some good ones!
pdb: Will you ever release a CD Plus, complete with the videos or on-line lyrics?
DonaldFagen: We lost Walter! Claris gnawed through the data line.
RoxyMusic: Donald, with your unique vocal style, how and when did it come about that you became lead vocalist for the band?
DonaldFagen: It was a terrible accident. I can't discuss it.
DonaldFagen: (Walter) Donald had greatness thrust on him.
Corboyd: Any truth in the "Nasty" rumor that Steely Dan will do Country Western on their next album??
WalterBecker: That is a nasty rumor.
Host Sam_Sutherland: Most of your songs are really dark, and it's hard to cite a Steely Dan song that would qualify as a "love song," at least in the usual sense of that tag. Have you deliberately avoided this option? Is there a Steely Dan song that you think IS a love song?
WalterBecker: You know that country music thing doesn't sound like such a bad idea.
DonaldFagen: They're all love songs! What are you talking about?
pdb: Will there be a new studio album? WILLTHERE?
DonaldFagen: Our new album, Steely Dan at Folsom Prison, will be released in 1996.
WalterBecker: On the Justice Dept. label.
DonaldFagen: Hail and Farewell!
Host Sam_Sutherland: Ladies and gentlemen, Walter and Donald have left the building. You've been beautiful, don't change...
WalterBecker: Ditto from me.
WalterBecker: And Roger Nichols if you can hear this please call home.