Steely Dan

Steely Dan
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1967-1968: Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, erstwhile students at Bard College, discover common interests in jazz, blues, popular music and contemporary literature, particularly so-called Black Humor. They begin collaborating on songs which they perform in various pickup bands.

1971: On the recommendation of staff producer Gary Katz, the partners are signed as staff songwriters by Jay Lasker, president of ABC/Dunhill Records in Los Angeles. They move to Los Angeles where they are given a small office-with-piano in which to grind out the hits.

1972: After rehearsing after hours in the unfinished new wing of ABC Records office, the intrepid little band hits the studio and records their first album. The album, entitled "Can't Buy A Thrill", is released under the name "Steely Dan", which has been unceremoniously lifted from William Burroughs' novel, "Naked Lunch". The charter members are: Denny Dias (Guitar), Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (guitar), Jim Hodder (drums) and David Palmer (vocals).

1973: The band in various configurations tours the U.S. and Britain. Two more albums are released: "Countdown To Ecstasy"and "Pretzel Logic". Donald is now singing all the lead vocals and Walter has begun playing guitar leads. The final touring configuration includes Mike McDonald (vocals and piano), Jeff Porcaro (drums) and Royce Jones (percussion and vocals).

1975: Becker and Fagen disband the original group and begin to record entirely with various session players. The results include a series of acclaimed albums including: "Katy Lied", "The Royal Scam", "Aja", and "Gaucho".

2000: Donald and Walter receive ASCAP's Founder's Award in May. 

2001: Becker and Fagen are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March.
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