Interview: Donald Fagen - JazzWax

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July 08, 2011


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Bill Kirchner

Horace Silver wrote "Song For My Father" after visiting Sergio Mendes in Rio, so maybe Fagen has a point.

James Cimarusti

One of Donald Fagen's favorite science fiction writers is one of my favorites too. His name is more correctly spelled Fredric (no "e") Brown for those interested in reading his works.

Doug Zielke

Like Mr. Fagen, the cover photograph of "The Nightfly" says everything about the way I grew up listening to music. I so miss the radio dial filled with late night DJ's and real jazz.

Dave James

I've always maintained that Fagen and Becker are the Cole Porters of late 20th century pop. No one writes lyrics like they's not even close. If you have doubts about that, check out "Hey, Nineteen".

I was in college when I first heard them. I was hooked, lined and sinkered by "Reelin' In The Years" and I've been a fan ever since. In their early years, they didn't tour all that much so I consider myself lucky to have seen them at the old Paramount Theater in Portland, Oregon in September of 1973. Great band, great show. An unforgettable evening.

Thanks for all the terrific memories, but mostly, thanks for the music.


Several years ago, Donald Fagen was on the cover of Jazziz Magazine. It was a simple silouette of him standing alone. I've lost that magazine in moving, and would love to find a copy of it. Can anyone help?


Great interview thanks for that:

Could we bring to your attention please an album of Steely Dan covers we love here. by SARA ISAKSSON & REBECKA TÖRNQVIST called Fire In The Hole Its wonderful. Should be released also check SARA ISAKSSON & REBECKA TÖRNQVIST as performers in their own right

Joseph Panza

I became friends of Donald's parents. They stayed at the condominium complex where I lived. His father Gerry and I played a lot of tennis together and my wife and I would have dinner with his mother Eleanor and Dad.
Some time ago, I heard that Eleanor passed away and contacted Gerry. I have not been able to contact him for quite a while. I would like to know if Gerry is still living and if so, how can I reach him.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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