Before you click the following link Back to my Old School in which author Seth Kaufman attempts to pick the brain of a friend of a friend’s mother about her acid trips back in her Bard college days, you may want to catch your breath first.
There. That feels better, doesn’t it? Are you ready now for the next line? We’ll try to keep it short. Don’t worry. Your curiosity won’t have to bite the dust and there will be plenty of room left to vacuum clean, walk the dog, water the plants or order in food. But we have to properly introduce this story to you. It’s no secret. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker were young, once upon a time. They did what many other youngsters did if opportunity arose. They tried and tested stuff. They did drugs. Donald Fagen writes about it in his book Eminent Hipsters and you may find some mildly curious folks and Dan fans contemplating the correlation between the music of Steely Dan and possible drug use.
“Someone said to me, ‘Hey, have you heard this group Steely Dan.’ It kind of all happened when I was in Europe. So I missed all that stuff when they were getting famous. Marcelle actually wrote a book called The Dog Is Us, which is about this era, too. [Ed note: Steely Dan scholars may be interested to know she also wrote a novel about a woman in a rock band called Rock On.]”
Ok, ok. Here you go! Seth Kaufman interviews Carol Abbe, former classmate of Donald Fagen. And don’t feel shy to contact Seth if you know about a friend of a friend of a friend and their father or mother back in the day of Bard and acid.
Eminent Hipsters isn’t only a book written by Donald Fagen, it’s also the name of a Dutch Steely Dan tribute band in Groningen, the most northern province in the Netherlands close to neighbor Germany alongside Groningen’s east border. The band will perform on Sunday April 15, 14:30 hrs Statenzaal at the Drents Museum, where you can visit an art exposition about American Realism called The American Dream. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, so we just went to their website and found a short and crisp biography:
The band Eminent Hipsters originated from a passionate love for the music of Steely Dan, the non-categorizeable pop group that was formed in 1972 by the eminent hipsters Donald Fagen (vocals, keys) and Walter Becker (guitar, vocals). Songs like “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”, “Josie”, “Deacon Blues” and “Reelin’ In The Years” became major hits.
The music of Steely Dan is an amalgam of jazz, rhythm & blues and pop with a ‘westcoast’ mix. The often sarcastic and literary lyrics are charteristic, containing black humour. Well-known albums are “Aja” en “Gaucho”, moretheless perfect studio productions that took Becker en Fagen long. The best studio musicians were hired to record their parts for days. The parts then might be deleted by them.. The result is a discography that had stood time wonderfully and is excellent in sound and quality.
Pianist Tony Hoyting, big Steely Dan adept and long-time fan, decided to join forces with pianist and SD-lover Felix Degenaar. Together they formed in 2015 the Steely Dan tribute band “Eminent Hipsters”, as a tribute to this American phenomenon.
Steely Dan being on the frontier between jazz, pop and rock, one has to be very knowledgeable to create a worthy tribute. Everything should be perfect, there are no shortcuts!
So they knew to get the musical crème-de-la-crème of Groningen and surroundings in their 14-piece formation.
The band plays a fitting summary of the Steely Dan-repertoire as well as tracks from the solo albums of Donald Fagen.