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Sixth & I

Donald Fagen

In Conversation with Cary Sherman

Oct 29, 2013 • 7:00 pm ET
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For over four decades, Steely Dan has been rock-and-roll royalty, going from “the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies,” according to Rolling Stone, to the 2001 Grammy winners for Album of the Year, one of the biggest upsets in GRAMMY history. Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen shares his thoughts on music, writing, and his influences from childhood to the present in Eminent Hipsters.

Growing up in suburban New Jersey, Fagen recounts how he sought solace and escape through music (mainly jazz) and books, as well as the figures who influenced him when he felt alienated from the rest of the world. Fagen gives glimpses into his high school and then his college years at Bard, including the moment he met Walter Becker, who would become his Steely Dan partner.

More than a memoir, Fagen dissects his cultural influences with the same dry and cerebral voice that he gave his lyrics, and combines historical background with his personal perceptions on how each—whether musician, writer, or radio personality—played a role in forming him as a musician and a person.

In conversation with Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America.