Steely Dan
United States
Music group
Jeff Porcaro:
"When Steely Dan's first album came out, I flipped. I thought they were the Beatles of California. I was always scared shitless playing for them. They were very demanding - not in a malicious way - but everyone respected them so much. You felt you were playing on something really special. When they were happy, it was great to see. It meant you'd accomplished something."

1944: Boyd Raeburn assembles a new band to play for a month in the Hotel Roosevelt in Washington, D.C. During this engagement he meets up with composer/arranger/pianist Eddie Finckel and persuades him to write an all-new book for the orchestra.
1947: Charlie "Bird" Parker records "Klactoveedsedsteen" for an obscure jazz label. This is the last significant work of the classic period. Nothing very important happens from this point on.

January 10, 1948: Donald Fagen is born in Passaic New Jersey amidst growing furor over Soviet acquisition of the atomic bomb.


February 20, 1950: Walter Becker is born in a hospital steps away from a popular midtown Manhattan bar as war looms on the Korean peninsula.
1959: Recordings from the aforementioned classic period capture the prepubescent musical imaginations of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. Inexpensive saxophones purchased forthwith.

1974: Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic album is released. It includes a wry "postmodern" reading of the classic "East St. Louis Toodle-Oo", penned by Duke Ellington and Bubber Miley.
1976: Records and releases the album "Royal Scam" which includes smash hit single "Everything You Did". Album features crack New York rhythm section, while Becker & Fagen continue to live on the bleak West Coast of U.S.A.

1979: "Gaucho" album is completed and released, concluding first phase of near-stellar Steely Dan career. Fearing reprisals, Becker and Fagen relocate to a village near Stuttgart, Germany, and eventually take over the top floor of the Atlantic Hotel in Hamburg.

1982: After a period of dissolution on the fringes of the Hamburger Werkstått group, B & F abandon symbolist thought-poetry and begin experimenting with Siamese erotic pottery.
1986: Writing in German under the pseudonym Emil Kayser III, F & B win the coveted Bølus Prize for their novel "Die Rauckinhaus". Slipping across the border into France, the authors vow to mend their ways and abstain from prose writing for the foreseeable future. A second period of dissolution ensues.

1989: Walter Becker is injured slightly during the running of the bulls at Pamplona, Spain, and for the next six months wears a knee brace and eye patch.

1991: B & F independently return to the U.S. and meet by chance at Nell's, a dance club in lower Manhattan.
1992: The duo flies out to Los Angeles to discuss film options for their novel, "Die Rauckinhaus", known in the U.S. as "Kitsch and Famous". When the negotiations for a "three-picture-deal" fall through, Fagen records "Kamakiriad" and Becker records "11 Tracks of Whack". Eventually they return to the touring circuit as Steely Dan for a series of celebrated summer concerts.

TODAY The Present Day: F & B idle away the early autumn days as they await the release of "Two Against Nature", the first album of all-new Steely Dan material since 1979.
Your Steely Dan stats
Steely Dan's artists (31)
releases (18)