Interview with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker on CompuServe, Oct. 20, 1995

Sponsored by the CompuServe Online Steely Dan Fanclub. GO STEELYDAN.

Glenn: hello everyone....

Glenn: welcome to an evening with Steely Dan

Glenn: Donald Fagen...

Glenn: and Walter Becker...

Glenn: without further ado...

TOM BREWSTER asks: Is East St. Louis Toodle-oo" the only cover Steely Dan has recorded?

Steely Dan: WB - Yes it is

Barney asks: Your classic Rikki Don't Lose That Number ... is the lyric a plea on the part of a friend of a heroin abuser ... that (she) should call him if she needs to kick the habit and the urge to use grows too great?

Steely Dan: WB - Of all of the outre interpretations of the lyrics of Rikki that is the most boring yet

peter asks: I've been both a fan of your music and a casual student of Medieval History since my college days back in the '70s. I'd really like to know what prompted you to write Kings, as royal secession in twelfth and thirteenth century Britain is not the stuff of which most pop songs are made.

Steely Dan: DF - We wanted to write a song that would chain mail

David Lavalley asks: Donald and Walter, the guitar solo from Don't Take Me Alive is my all-time favorite...just rips my head off. Who played it, and how far did you go in composing solos vs. letting players improvise? P.S. Glad you're back

Steely Dan: WB - that particular solo, a doosey, was played by Larry Carlton

Steely Dan: DF -That's Larry "Mr. Guitar" Carlton

Steely Dan: WB - All of the solos on our records were improvised by the players themselves, with no more than the occasional ribald encouragement offered up by us

John asks: To Donald: With all the mixed reaction to Kamakiriad, (I loved it, naturally), what's your outlook for another state of the art digitally recorded new cd?

Steely Dan: DF - What the hell are you talking about? What mixed reaction? Everyone I knew loved it. It was nominated for Record of the Year

Steely Dan: WB - Actually I think I had a couple of reservations about one thing and another, perhaps now would be as good as a time as any.... oh the hell with it

Marc Printz asks: What is the difference between Pretzel Logic and Predicate Logic?

Steely Dan: DF - Nickt verstehen.

Nancy asks: Using Walter's "Quick Read Song Quotes" format, how would you classify your political beliefs? Have they changed any from the '60s and '70s?

Steely Dan: DF - That's a good one

Steely Dan: DF - Nixon then. Gingrich now. Same old, same old.

Steely Dan: WB - Anarcho-Syndicalist gutterpuppies with a taste for a well put backbeat

Harris Bookfor asks: Steely Dan's music can be categorized as having jazz, adult contemporary and rock influences. Some songs have a blend of several types of music. The last few Becker-Fagen-SD albums appear to be gravitating away from rock. What does the future hold?

Steely Dan: DF - Its breath

Steely Dan: WB - Just you wait

Big Al asks: Do you know about the "Steely Damned," a 13-piece band in San Diego, that does a great job covering exclusively Steely Dan material?

Steely Dan: WB - Yes and it is my fond dream of someday surprising them at their nasty work and sitting in for a set or two...don't tell them though

Brian asks: Ordinary robots would blow up trying to compute some of your material. In a Universe without art how would you reconcile the two inputs of 1) WONDERFUL MUSICIANSHIP AND MELODY and 2) CHARMING CYNICISM AND BIZARRE LYRICAL IMAGERY? (all good things)

Steely Dan: DF - I assume you mean how would we channel our unique energies in a world without art. Rollerball maybe

Steely Dan: WB - I never liked Art as much as Zoot.

mike p. asks: What is your favorite SD song and which is your least favorite

Steely Dan: WB - Favorite is The Elephant's Secret. All the others are tied for second.

Robert Drumm asks: What are your plans? More touring? A studio album? A video?

Steely Dan: DF - A video

Steely Dan: WB - A series of videos.

Chad asks: Walter, which one track is not a track of whack? ps...loved the Chicago '93 show..travelled 800 miles & a harried customs crossing for it!!!!

Steely Dan: WB - The one in the back.

Brian Caterino asks: Is Donald Fagen doing anymore work with the New York Rock and Soul Review?

Steely Dan: DF - Not at the present time.

Simon J. Gregory asks: What are each of your top 5 favorite albums that have been released in the last several years?

Steely Dan: WB - The last five Milli Vanilli albums were bitchin' .

Dan Butler asks: I have a CD called Becker and Fagen, Founders of Steely Dan, Greatest Hits Volume 1." It doesn't sound very produced. The label is "Fabulous Sounds." My suspicions are that this may be an "unauthorized" recording. Is it?

Steely Dan: WB - This recording is part of a series of recordings dedicated to financing the college education of a former managers children.

Marcus Allen asks: Walter and Donald...which one of you came up with the name "Steely Dan"? Is it true that it came from the movie "Naked Lunch"?

Steely Dan: DF - I did

Steely Dan: WB - I did

Steely Dan: DF - Yea from the movie

Steely Dan: WB - Same for me

Dave asks: The Eagles and Bee Gees had a big influence on your 70's albums. How has Michael Bolton inspired you?

Steely Dan: WB - He has inspired my hairline to receed at an ever accelerating pace.

Abisch/Scott asks: is the website address in the "liner notes" from Alive in America legit?

Steely Dan: WB - try it and see.

John Dawson asks: What did you play on Letterman tonight, and how'd you choose?

Steely Dan: DF - The Elephant's Secret, it is our favortie song. But you should know that by now.

Steve asks: There is still about 4 songs that were not released on citizen steely dan why?

Glenn: what songs there Steve?

Steve: dallas , and i forgot the others but they were released on b sides

Steely Dan: WB - "Dallas" was left out because it is stinko.

Steely Dan: DF - Ditto for the others.

Keith Rosenfield asks: What album would you suggest for someone who wants to hear Steely Dan at their best?

Steely Dan: WB/DF Becker and Fagen, Founders of Steely Dan, Greatest Hits, Volume 1.

George asks: Can you define a mu-major chord? It is the type of major chords in the song Peg?

Steely Dan: DF - As I told the prodigy hacker the other night, a mu major chord is a major triad with an added second.

Scott Butler asks: Sci-fi author William Gibson, father of the term "cyberpunk," seems to be a big fan of Steely Dan. Have either of you ever read any of his work?

Steely Dan: WB - Of course we have, and he is entitled to his opinion concerning great music of the 20th Century.

peter asks: Donald, I remember reading in an interview 10 or 12 years ago that you said you wanted to be a "dirty old man" when you grew up? Still aspiring?

Steely Dan: DF - I am proud to say I have achieved my goal.

Tjitze van Dijk asks: I am from the Netherlands. Dutch fans would love to see and hear you live in concert. Do you have plans to tour Europe?

Steely Dan: WB - We hope that we will be able to bring a band to Europe in the next year ot two.

Tam asks: Do you have any pets? If so what and how many?

Steely Dan: WB - I have, or rather my family has, a dog, 2 cats, a tweetie bird of some sort, various reptiles, and, until their unfortunate demise earlier this week, a chinchilla or two which were loaners

Steely Dan: DF - I had a pet peeve, but it escaped out the window, never to be seen again.

Dave asks: No wonder you both hated interviews, don't these questions all suck?

Glenn: now now Dave!

Glenn: that one did

Steely Dan: DF - Right on, bro

Big Al asks: A publisher in L.A. told me he heard some masters of your stuff from MCA's vaults that was never released. What up with this?

Steely Dan: WB - Probably a liar

Steely Dan: DF - Or certainly a nasty rumor at best.

Steely Dan: WB - Our own exhaustive search of the archives produced nothing in the way of releasable material.

Russ Ketchum asks: Do you plan on producing any of your "older material" that has not been previously recorded "legally"? I am referring specifically to things like Android Warehouse or Oh, Wow It's You?

Steely Dan: WB - Well those are catchy numbers, but chances are we'll concentrate on new material when we get back to recording.

C Dembeck asks: Where did you get The Nightfly from? A talk-show?

Steely Dan: DF - As far as I know it's original material.

Simon J. Gregory asks: When do you predict your next studio album will come out?

Steely Dan: DF - First we have to get up the courage to tell our parents.

Steely Dan: WB - Well said.

Tim Weston asks: Hi guys. Gee what a thrill. I was wondering if there's any truth to the rumour that you once made Kay Starr sing the bridge to Parker's Band 50 times, taunting her with the phrase: "That was perfect; do one more."

Steely Dan: WB - Let me alert the assembled audience that this question has been posed by a ringer.

Steely Dan: DF - I feel that this question is evidence that a Stafford Boy is online.

Steely Dan: WB - The legitimate heir to the Jo Stafford-Paul Weston musical legacy.

Steely Dan: DF - P.S Say hello to Darlene and Jonathan Edwards.

David Barber asks: Walter, any story behind the guitar of yours on display at the Hard Rock Cafe here in Nashville?

Steely Dan: WB - I would need to know which guitar that was.

Steely Dan: DF - That's funny because a guitar of yours was on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Stockholm.

Steely Dan: WB - There is one in Pnom Penh too.

Liz asks: What is the biggest change in music industry since you started recording?

Steely Dan: DF - Automation

Alfred Hardaway asks: Who is your most influential musician on your music? Do you share musical influences?

Glenn: for the last question of the eve.

Steely Dan: WB - The drummer. He's your number one make or break guy.

Steely Dan: WB\DF - Thank you and good night.

Steely Dan: WB - Goodnight Donald

Steely Dan: DF - Goodnight Walter

Glenn: thank you guys! To everyone GO STEELYDAN to visit the online fan club. We'll post the transcript

Glenn: for this chat in there!

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