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This is the only Steely Dan song with a third credited writer, Paul Griffin, who also plays organ on the song. On a BBC Online chat March 4, 2000, Donald Fagen said, "The Fez was recorded using a rhythm chart but there were a few bars missing and Paul Griffin, the keyboard player on the day, came up with a nice little melody, so we felt we should include him in the writer credits."
A Fez is a kind of hat popular in Turkey and Morocco. The lyrics don't appear to have a deep meaning.
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With his X-wife Exene, John fronts the band X and writes their songs.