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Still Reelin’ in the Years

Earlier this month I saw one of my favorite bands, Steely Dan, perform at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden NJ.

I’ve loved Steely Dan since the early 70s. As a disc jockey in college at Rutgers (WRSU) I remember playing two great songs, Do It Again and Reelin’ in the Years, from their first album, Can’t Buy a Thrill. The whole album was in “heavy rotation”.

Steely Dan’s core members are Walter Becker and Donald Fagen along with great musicians and back up vocalists. But Fagen and Becker who met in New York in the late 60s are what make Steely Dan great. Alas I never got to see them live in the 70s and 80s for a good reason—with the exception of some shows in 1972-1974, they never toured and then broke up in 1981. If the band ended there it would have been a great ride. But Becker and Fagen reunited in 1993 and have been touring since and creating new music as well. In total they now have recorded 9 albums, which have sold more than 40 Million copies

• Can’t Buy a Thrill (1972)
• Countdown to Ecstasy (1973)
• Pretzel Logic (1974)
• Katy Lied (1975)
• The Royal Scam (1976)
• Aja (1977)
• Gaucho (1980)
• Two Against Nature (2000)
• Everything Must Go (2003)

Like most Steely Dan zealots, I am in awe of the complexity of their music, their production values and Fagen’s voice is distinct and instantly recognizable. It was Fagen who was reluctant to tour and sing in the 70s, and in fact in their first tour in 1972 he did not sing, which was odd given that his voice was on the majority of their music.

Thankfully he grew less reluctant to perform and since they’ve reunited in 1993 I’ve seen them several times, each concert better than the last as technology and a great group of musicians has allowed their unique sound to come to life. They are touring now playing a mix of their music, but not album specific as they did a few years ago. The Camden show was terrific with the following set list.

Black Cow
Aja
Hey Nineteen
Black Friday
Rikki Don’t Lose That Number
Show Biz Kids
Green Earrings
Dirty Work
Bodhisattva
Daddy Don’t Live in That New York City No More
Time Out of Mind
I Want To (Do Everything for You)
Josie
Peg
My Old School
Reelin’ in the Years
Kid Charlemagne (encore)

Steely Dan still rocks. You can indeed buy a thrill if you go see them live. Go for it and thank me later for the suggestion.




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One Comment

  1. Michael Elkisch says:

    Hi Lonny,

    I saw them as well at the Shoreline Amphitheater here in Mountain View, CA. Great concert, still singing Kid Charlemagne in my head. Was thinking they played Caves of Altamira, maybe they did here. Anyway much fun.

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