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They are the sort of band that thinks nothing of enlisting 40 studio musicians and 11 engineers for a 7-song record. They're perfectly fine making top-notch session guitarists do 40 takes of a solo ("I was there for six hours playing stuff until we found something they liked," Jay Graydon told us). They've sold over 40 million records, virtually none of them to girls. They are Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, the embodiment of the '70s better known as Steely Dan, and they may be the only jazz-rock group in history to appeal to fans of both genres.

Whether you find them sly or sleazy, slick or subversive, catchy or cheesy, chances you know plenty of their songs. But how much do you know about the mysterious band-turned-duo itself?


~Jens T. Carstensen
Steely Dan Songfacts
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Comments: 10

I am the rocking grandma who grew up in FM!Lucky from Blue
I could add as an interesting fact prior to it became band's name, that the didldo manufacturers and lately Burroughs could have taken it from the nick-name of a bulgarian MMA wrestler Dan Koloff- Steely Dan. Named like that because of his physical bestial strength, Steely Dan won gold medal in european championship in Paris, in 1930's which somehow correspods with the dildo's marketing in France later that time.Miro from Gabrovo, Eu
"Do It Again" has one of the coolest lines ever written..."But the hangman isn't hangin' And they put you on the street"...IMHO...Bill from Pittsburgh, Pa Usa
Bob you must not be a fan. I've seen them six times and they were fantastic each time.John from Wilmington Nc
8. can't believe I guessed "true" on the baxter/mcdonald "trade". these aren't sports teams.Will from New York, Ny
Two of the most amazing musicians I have ever seen in concert - I would happily go and see them over and over again (Add Michael McDonald back in and the combo is beyond amazing!)Peter Stawicki from Dallas, Texas
I saw Steely Dan in the '90s. Worst concert I have ever seen, before or since.Bob from Studio City, Ca
Mikle Ary is slightly wrong. It's true that Steely Dan are named for a dildo , but not an actual dildo! The phrase "Steely Dan" originally appears in William S. Burroughs' famous non-linear novel "Naked Lunch", as the name of a fictional metal strap-on dildo. Becker & Fagen, who were fans of Burroughs, found this amusing and named their band after it.Terry Maynard from London, England
Very unique sound from these two guys.Ken from Louisville, Ky
Steely Dan is named after a popular type of dildo sold in Europe in the early part of this century. Yes, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter did leave Steely Dan to play for the Doobie Brothers. He Departed the Doobies in 1979 and was replaced by stellar multi-instrumentalist, John McFee.Mike Ary from Vancouver, Wa