Major Dudes: A Steely Dan Companion

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The enigmatic band Steely Dan has been popular, and mysterious, since the 1970s. Major Dudes: A Steely Dan Compendium demythologizes the group while at the same time adding a new layer of mystery. Editor Barney Hoskyns has compiled a collection of previously published articles, interviews, and record reviews about the work of Donald Fagen and the late Walter Becker – both as Steely Dan and as solo artists.

It’s made clear in these pieces that Fager and Becker viewed themselves as clever hipsters, ones who were far too cool for the college they attended, Bard – “one of your basic beatnik colleges.” In a sense, Steely Dan’s lyrics and music moved the ball forward in the genre of being cool. In the process, they were among the progenitors of progressive rock and smooth jazz.

In Major Dudes, Fagen and Becker come off as quite likable. However, they were always in character in the same manner as Bob Dylan. One is never going to fully understand what made them tick. Their goal, perhaps, was to simply produce popular but intelligent music.

This compendium could have been better edited by Hoskyns. It’s quite repetitive. But for Dan fans, it’s close to essential reading.

Reviewed By:

Author Barney Hoskyns
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher The Overlook Press
Publish Date 2018-Jun-05
ISBN 9781468316278
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2018
Category Music & Movies


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