Donald Fagen

Happy Birthday

Donald Jay Fagen
January 10, 1945
Passaic, NJ

Donald Fagen is cool AF as he sits behind the keyboard, looking like the Jewish Ray Charles. 

Donald Fagen was a Rock n Roll fan that became a jazz snob after attending the Newport Jazz Festival. "I lost interest in rock 'n' roll and started developing an anti-social personality." said Fagen. He later became interested in Funk, Soul & RB including Sly & The Family Stone, 

Fagen's life was forever changed when he met Walter Becker in a coffehouse at Bard College in 1967. The duo became fast friends and the seeds of "Steely Dan" were planted in 1970. 

Can't Buy a Thrill, Steely Dan's debut album, was released in 1972. "Do It Again" and "Reelin' In the Years" reached No. 6 and No. 11 respectively on the Billboard singles chart. Along with "Dirty Work" (sung by David Palmer), the songs became staples on classic rock radio.  Because of Fagen's reluctance to sing live, Palmer handled most of the vocal duties on stage. During the first tour, however, Katz and Becker decided that they preferred Fagen's interpretations of the band's songs, persuading him to take over. Palmer quietly left the group while it recorded its second album. He wrote the No. 2 hit "Jazzman" (1974) with Carole King.
Becker and Fagen disliked touring and wanted to concentrate on writing and recording. The band's last concert was July 5 1974 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in California. 

The band was now a duo that became obsessed with making perfect records. 

The World's greatest session musicians were called in to lend a hand. Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Chuck Rainey, Bernard Purdie, Steve Gadd & Victor Feldman. 

Steely Dan created some of the coolest, most original jazz rock, mellow, smooth, kick ass songs ever recorded. A genius body of work that will never be rivaled. 

Breaks, solo albums, reunions and a new found love of touring were to follow. Becker passed away in 2017 and Donald Fagen is now the only member of Steely Dan. He is still out on the road carrying on the legacy with an amazing band of musicians. 

Happy Birthday Donald Fagen!
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