Steely Dan

By Kay Gardiner
July 7, 2018

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50 Comments
  • Steely Dan is one of the sounds of my youth. I loved the Aja album.
    We had a Maverick, Avocado green, when our daughters were young. My husband’s friend would report to him that me saw me was “hauling the mail” in the Maverick. I would then be told by said husband to slow down. Great music and a great car! Memories!

  • My all- time favorites!

  • And then we can follow it up with some Rickie Lee Jones for more quintessential cool from the 1970s . . .

  • Is there gas in the car? Yes, there’s gas in the car….
    Was lucky enough to see them live a few years ago before Walter Becker passed away. Marked that one off my bucket list. Thanks for sharing, Kay.

  • Ah, Steely Dan. Hubby introduced me to that magic… it will always be the music from our first summer in love. Thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning!

  • Love Steely Dan! Also Joe Walsh, especially Life’s Been Good. Another one from that time period that I used to sing along with and only a few years ago discovered I was singing the wrong words. Jungle Love by Steve Miller band. Somehow I never heard the title, and always sung along Chug A Lug rather than Jungle Love. My poor daughter followed along until one day, she asked, are those really the words? Then I think I looked it up.

  • My husband, my personal music guru, spent several years of his wandering youth in the towns near Bard. When he met me (years and a first wife later), he took me on a drive through his previous haunts including the Bard campus– all the while playing Aja on the car stereo. Moody, broody but somehow the essence of cool: I love Steely Dan, too. So thanks, Kay, for the chance to listen and knit.

  • Ah nice! Thanks for takin’ me back 😀

  • 1970 Maverick with 8-track player!

  • 1972 Pinto, brown! (At least I think it was ’72.) Decades later, I adopted a baby girl and named her Josie. A lovely person from work gave me a CD of the Aja album with the song “When Josie Comes Home,” which I had totally forgotten about over the years. It was the soundtrack of that first hectic baby year. A favorite baby shower present and still in rotation around here.

    • I had TWO Pintos! A tan one with the full-window hatchback that I wrecked (remember what happened when Pintos wrecked? Luckily, mine did not explode!) and then a sort of gold one with the smaller window in the hatchback – not nearly as cute as the first one! And then my first college boyfriend had a brown Maverick with a bumper sticker that said “Custer had it coming.” Brown cars – so 1970s!

      Also, since really the conversation is about music, not Fords, I love Steely Dan!

      • my first boyfriend had a brown Pinto. I didn’t have a car until after graduating from college (poor me!). And Steely Dan, great sounds.

  • What a cool reminder of that time! I always loved the Steely Dan song “Hey Nineteen.” I just sang the words and loved the melody. Now, in my late 50’s, I understand the lyrics.

  • To say that I embrace and love this band is a vast understatement. There music and quirky appearances seem to define so many corners and turns of life.

    My first recollection of hearing them was “Reeling In The Years”. …. stowin’ away the time… a weekly radio show would use that opening guitar riff to kick off the hits to come…

    I’ve seen them three glorious times (once with Michael McDonald) and even named a Siamese cat after them “Steely”. He lived up to his name and proved to be one of the coolest cats I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing…

  • My brother had a two tone green cougar (compliments of my mom’s cousin) with an 8 track tape player. Steely Dan was in the house for sure.

  • One of the first bands whose music I owned on vinyl (not counting 45s)! I have tickets to see them in concert this fall and cannot wait. Thanks for this appetizer!

  • LOVE Steely Dan. I have them on vinyl. I need to get some cds to listen on the run.

  • After making my way through HS on a steady diet of early Elton John and all things Greatful Dead I arrived in Syracuse to attend community college (recently moved from the typewriter factory bldg) and Steely Dan was always playing on the radio stations. It’s the sound track of what I call The Wasted Year. It was wonderful. Thanks for reviving that memory.

  • Where are you driving, Midnight Cruiser? I never hear or see of Oleander without bursting into Steely Dan! I didn’t even know what it was.

  • Oh, Spotify. You vex me so.

  • Julian Lennon’s favorite band. I had all their records. And those are still around here somewhere.

  • Has to be”knit and SING to this”.
    Thanks.

  • I saw them about two years ago. I felt that I had time-travelled back to my high school years. It was a wonderful evening listening to music I had loved but misplaced over the years. I can’t wait to listen and sing along again. Thank you. My husband had a 4 hour surgery yesterday so this brought a huge smile to my face this morning.

  • I’m from Lincoln, NE. We got KGOR pretty clearly and I understand what you mean about their choice of music. I had no idea you were from NE, small world!

  • what??? I got a used orange Maverick Grabber in 1979 when I graduated from college. Steely Dan’s Aja album was played non-stop in my world, too.

  • I love these songs! Great music to listen to while knitting. Thanks for sharing.

    Caroline

  • During a recent visit to the O Cafe in Greenwich Village, the young barista was singing along to a song from Steely Dan’s “Can’t Buy a Thrill.” I told him that album was a favorite of mine in high school, a few years after it first came out. He stopped and then said with a smile, “you had good taste in high school.”

  • Ahhhhh Steely Dan! They could do no wrong. They saved the 70s:)!!!

  • Over in France, Steely Dan was considered part of “le Rock californien”, go figure. Funny, my last song purchase on iTunes a couple of weeks ago (I know, how quaint) was for a couple of Steely Dan songs. No static at all!

  • I have a friend who was raised in Nebraska, he says the same, when he moved to Virginia it was culture shock! This was in the early 90’s! Ack! What the heck? But it was true, he was a lost soul here and he made a lot of mistakes, mainly in his personal life. However he forged on and now Steely Dan is one of his favorite things

    • Here’s a data point for you: I moved to NYC in 1981 and it was the first time I heard of the Talking Heads. I was furious. I’m sure they were in the record stores in Omaha and I just wasn’t tuned in enough but still!

  • Last weekend my 44 year old son and I (68) went to see opening act Doobie Brothers and main attraction Steely Dan (Donald Fagen now). It was amazing and my son has borrowed my favorite CDs and is now a bigger fan than he already was. I get it!

  • I had a brown1972 Comet, which was the Mercury version of the Maverick. Later I had a Maverick too. I distinctly remember driving from Bay City, Michigan on, I think, M-15 late at night listening to “Deacon Blues” on the radio. Probably on station WHNN.

  • OMG! Blast from the past, mun [sic]. Thanks!

  • How did I not realize until now that Walter had passed away? The Dan got me through low times in my youth. RIP Walter…I will wear some green earrings just for you.

  • I grew up in the 80’s, with Steely Dan on repeat at all possible times.
    They didn’t tour for a variety of reasons when I was a young adult, which always broke my heart. They were always, always at the top of my “must see” list, but it never worked out. Either they weren’t touring, or I lived too far away, or I was raising babies.
    They remained my soundtrack, though. They were my constant.
    Then, several years ago, they toured, and they were close by. I wanted to go, but was almost afraid to think about it too much. I’d wanted it for so long.
    My husband bought tickets and we went to see them at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
    It was a dream-come-true, better than I could have hoped, in spite of a torrential downpour.
    A few years later, we saw them again, with Elvis Costello, also at Red Rocks. Another evening of perfection, another torrential downpour.
    They’ll continue to be my life’s soundtrack.

    • Steely Dan at Red Rocks??? Oh, be still my beating heart!

  • That takes me back. One of my fav bands, still got many of their vinyls. My hubby bought me turntable for Christmas last year (hadn’t had one in years) and they sound just as good as they did as when I first got them in my teens many many moons ago. Makes me want to put one on right now, but hubby is still in bed, lol.

  • Love Steely Dan! My mom had a baby blue Maverick with a dark blue top. 😀 Here’s to coming of age in the 70s.

  • One more SD trivia they were part of early Jay and the Americans where the other members found them so creepy they called them “the Manson and Starkweather of rock and roll” (This courtesy of my college boyfriend, a SD fanatic.)

  • Asia is on my top 5 albums of all time!

  • And I’m never going back to my old school

  • At 13, one of my first musical purchases was Boston on cassette tape. One of my older brothers had borrowed it when going out on a date. The cassette player in his Ranchero ate it so he offered to replace it. I surprised him when I asked for Steely Dan “Aja” instead. My brothers had been playing it a lot during our trips to and from the farm on weekends. They listened to a lot of Eagles and Lynard Skynard, but Steely Dan was my favourite.

  • I wanted to name our first daughter Aja, but we ended up naming her Renee. I loved that song so much.❤️

  • Should have tuned the radio to KQKQ in Council Bluffs they played way better music like Steely Dan and Talking Heads. I still miss that closer to “pirate radio” radio style not so homogeneous and elevator sounding. Just wrapped up our local free music festival with Jason Isbell and Boz Scaggs as headliners. Still a challenge to get exposure to diverse music styles these days.

  • Didn’t think it was possible, but you are now elevated to an even high pedestal!

    I won tickets to see the Dan and the concert is rescheduled for this coming Monday. I also have a ticket to the Beacon on the evening they do Donald’s solo album “The Nightfly”. I get to hear his cover of Ruby Ruby live. The shivers run deep at the thought of this.

    My personal favorite album is The Royal Scam… I recall when I was small, how I spent my days alone. The busy world was not for me, so I went and made my own.

  • My first car was a 1972 Maverick Grabber in avocado green! Yes, the radio was cranked up as I sweltered on the black seats with no air conditioning other than open windows! Wind blowing in my hair! Great memories!

  • funny, I’ve been listening to Steely Dan/Donald Fagen for weeks online and just ordered the best of cd. All of mine is still on vinyal.

  • Call me Deacon Blues! I too grew up in the 70’s and drove a 1975 Maverick! Mine was red and given to me by my dad. I love Steely Dan. Thanks for the memories and the mix!

  • The Music Choice classic rock and ’70s channels play a lot of Steely Dan, but they only rotate through two pictures of the band.