Are You Reelin’ In the Years?

People who enjoy the music of Steely Dan are reelin’ today — not in the years; but in the news pertaining to the death earlier today of Walter Becker, who met Donald Fagen 50 years ago this year and co-founded the band named Steely Dan with him.

Are You Reelin’ In the Years?

Steely Dan not only incorporated many styles of music in their songs — mainly rock mixed with jazz — but I could listen to their music in a plethora of environments.

One of those environments is travel.

The late Walter Becker sang as lead singer for the first time on Slang of Ages on the 2003 album Everything Must Go; and I usually play it whenever I am in the Netherlands — primarily because of the following lyric:

Now did you say you were from the Netherlands
Or was that “Netherworld”?
If you grew up in Amsterdam
Then I’m the Duke of Earl

Regardless of the misspelling, I enjoy listening to the song Aja from the 1977 album of the same name whenever I am in Asia — and I especially like the instrumental part of the song:

Chinese music under banyan trees
Here at the dude ranch above the sea
When all my dime dancin’ is through
I run to you

My Old School is a song from the 1973 album Countdown to Ecstasy; and I listen to this song whenever I am in California — especially because of the following lyric…

California tumbles into the sea
That’ll be the day I go back to Annandale

…as long as I am not in California when that actually happens.

Let us not forget how Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me), as I was born and raised in Brooklyn.

Most of all, I listen to the greatest hits of Steely Dan — from Dirty Work through Slang of Ages — when I am on a long road trip in countries such as Botswana, Austria, Oman, the United States and South Africa; and I have done so for years.


I will still continue to listen to songs by Steely Dan long after the passing of Walter Becker — but with a slightly heavier heart, knowing that no more songs by the team of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen will be composed.

I rarely pay homage to people who have achieved fame, as they are no more human than you or I; and I do not believe in idolizing anyone…

…but in relation to travel, I sometimes feel compelled to write something if their work happens to touch my life in some way — similar to this article I wrote about the death of David Bowie, who was not one of my favorite musical artists.

To really stretch a creepy and disturbing trend only perceived by me, I seem to directly or indirectly affect people who have achieved fame when I mention them…

I am beginning to have second thoughts about revealing other minor travel goals related to lyrics from songs in a feeble attempt to perhaps that will help prolong the lives of some singers; and although David Bowie did not sing the song Show Biz Kids, Donald Fagen of Steely Dan did — and he was recently arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife.

…and I posted the following comment on August 23, 2017 for this article pertaining to 4 tips to survive a red eye flight in economy in response to a photograph of Dan Miller of Points With a Crew:

Perhaps I am crazy; but in my opinion, you actually resemble Donald Fagen of Steely Dan in that photograph of you in the hoodie, Dan.

Perhaps I should call you Danald Fagen from now on…?

Dan Miller

Photograph ©2017 by Dan Miller.

“Hmm I’m not seeing it so maybe you are crazy” is how Dan Miller responded; so I will let you be the judge. Compare the photograph of Dan Miller on the left to this photograph of Donald Fagen which was posted at Rolling Stone earlier today.

In the meantime, rest in peace, Walter Becker, who died earlier today at 67 years of age. I hope that one day I can touch the lives of others in a way similar to how Walter Becker and Donald Fagen have touched mine…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Are You Reelin’ In the Years?”

  1. Wes says:

    Love Steely Dan. Saw them live about 4 years ago, and the show they put on was album quality. Tremendous loss to the world of music. Thanks for the good write up.

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