Donald Fagen on Sirius Radio
- February 2008 -

Fagen on Totally 70'sHe did three appearances of which the first one on the Totally 70's channel on February 7. I haven't got the whole show, but Carsten in Denmark who was kind enough to send me what he recorded says that it was like the stuff I got to hear; the DJ of the show; Magic Matt and Donald Fagen exchanging a few jokes and lighthearted banter inbetween a selection of 70's music that I doubt Donald helped pick.

A few Steely Dan songs in the mix, but it felt like Matt and Donald had met upp to joke around for an hour or so with the result being cut up into one minute or less slices that was sprinkled over the three hour show. Roughly four minutes an hour.

Here's a couple of exchanges to give you a feel of what was being said:

Matt: (singing as Pretzel Logic fades) the man gave me the news, he said you must be joking son, where did you get those shoes...
Donald: (deadpan) Now, it sounds like you need a little diaphragm work on that singing, you know, maybe a few lessons, you could, you know enroll like somewhere, get a few lessons...

: : : :

Matt: Anywhere in the world that you have not performed with Mister Becker or solo that you would love to get onstage?
Donald: (Laughing) You got me on that one.
Matt: What do I win?
Donald: I don't think I'd like to go to the Congo right now. Maybe someday, but ... I'd like to steer clear of the Congo right now. Or Zaire as they used to call it.

: : : :

Matt: Rikki Don't Lose That Number ... Mr. Fagen ... Mr. Donald Fagen, you know, Steely Dan...
Donald: You're not going to ask that question are you?
Matt: Yes I am!
Donald: (amused) No, no ... you're not
Matt: You mean the one, the Song For My Father. No I'm not asking that question.
Donald: Oh, good.

: : : :

Matt: (singing) "Put a dollar in the kitty, don't the moon look pretty" .... that is one of my favourite songs of all time.
Donald: I like that song too. I like that one too I have to say.
Matt: Love that. Just from beginning to end if there was ever a more perfect song,you name it. Time Out Of Mind is, I think, up there in the top four best songs of all time.
Donald: We do that one live too.
Matt: Let me pull my head out of your butt now...

: : : :

Matt: What's your favorite part of a chicken? Or, first of all; do you eat chicken Mr Fagen?
Donald: Here we go; more of the gay subtext, you know ... I don't know...what's happening here? I ... excuse me, did I walk into the right room here or...
Matt: First of all Mr Fagen I'm not gay although there's nothing wrong w...
Donald: Not yet! Not yet!
Matt: No, not even close to gay I must tell ya.
Donald: That's what they all say...
Matt: Second of all...
You know...
Matt: I wasn' aware that was some sort of gay subtext...
Donald: ...You know, that's what Tom Cruise says every day when he wakes up in the morning, you know.
Matt: Ouch!

Fagen on Radio MargaritavilleThe second was Radio Margaritaville on February 13 and repeated four days later on the 17.

It was just Donald and the music. I don't know in what order these three shows were recorded, but apart from the two latter shows being the more serious ones, these are also the shows were you get a bit more of Donald the DJ.

He talks a bit about the songs and the artists during this hour of calypso, reggae and assorted other flavors of sounds meant to get you thinking about sun, sand and a good time.



1. Perez Prado & His Orchestra - Mambo #8

Donald says hi and that Prez moved from Cuba to Mexico in 1948 and that he had one of the tightest bands. That the grunt he was famous for actually was a word meaning "say it" in Spanish.

2. Perez Prado - Patricia
3. The Slickers - Johnny Too Bad

A song featured on the album The Harder They Come, the soundtrack for the movie of the same name. He saw that when it came out.

4. Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band - Hard Times
5. Dionne Warwick - Land Of Make Believe

"Fantastic song by Burt Bacharach." "He used to tour with Marlene Dietrich. Sounds like a pretty good gig".
Regarding the next song: "All the folkies back then used to have it".

6. Mbuti Pygmies - Molimo Fire Dance Song
7. Elis Regina & Antonio Carlos Jobim - So Tinha De Ser Com Voce

Donald says Elis Regina was a fantastic Brazilian singer. "I heartily recommend that album; Elis and Tom, Elis unfortunately succumbed to a O.D. Alchohol ... tranquelizers ... that sort of thing... She was not a happy girl".
Regarding Machito: "He had the first really fantastic afro-cuban orchestra. Dizzy Gillespie, of course, was hevily influenced by Machito".

8. Machito - Donde Estaabus Tu
9. Stan Kenton - Maria
10. Herbie Mann - Comin' Home Baby
11. Tito Rodriguez - Liza
12. Cal Tjader - Soul Sauce (Guachi Guaro)
13. Esquivel - Miniskirt
14. Cal Tjader - Afro Blue

Afro Blue: Mongo Santamaria's composition. That was the original. You might be familiar with John Coltrane's version. Speaking of the early 60's; if you've ever seen the original film of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita you might know this tune:

15. Nelson Riddle - Lolita Ya-Ya
16. The Mighty Terror - TV Calypso

"The actual occasion for my being here today is to plug my new box set which is called Nightlfy Trilogy. It's got all my albums in there, which means three. Plus there's some bonus material in there. If you're inclined to listen to something like that you can go down and buy it ... if there were any record stores ... which there hardly are anymore, so... you might try it online. If that doesn't work I have nothing else to say to you".

17. Lolita Flores - Vete De Mi

Fagen on Pure JazzThe third and final on Pure Jazz February 16.

Donald starts off by saying that he's been a jazz fan since he was 10 or 11 years old. That would put it about 1958 or so. He used to go down to the E J Korvette's store and buy jazz records. Then as he got older he 'd go in to New York and go to the Dayton record store on 8 street and buy jazz records. They cost about $4.50 which was just about the total of his allowance in those days.

His older cousins would to take dim to jazz clubs like The Vanguard and The Five Spot. He even to Birdland once and saw Count Basie. And Max Gordon at The Vanguard used to let Donald in the club even though minors weren't allowed. He sat him next to Danny Richman's drums. The vibrations would vibrate his coke towards the end of the table and just before it fell over he moved the coke back to the middle of the table.

"So I have at least some credentials as a fan".

1. Cannonball Adderley - Toy

Talks about when he and Walter saw Gene Ammons in Chicago in the 70's during a Steely Dan tour.

"It was very, very cold. Gets very cold in Chicago when the wind comes whipping over the lake".

They went down to Rush Street looking for something to do on an off night.

"And there, in this nasty little club we saw the name Gene Ammons. And that night he was playing with Lock-jaw Davies. We walked in, and there was a junkie occupying one of the tables and the other tables were empty. And we had a fine time that night".

2. Gene Ammons & Sonny Stitt - There Is No Greater Love
3. Miles Davis - It Could Happen To You

Red Garland was an influence on Donald. The first jazz record he bought was Soul Junction. He heard the piano player on Mort Fega's radio show and asked his parents if they would buy him the record. Mom did.

"That was the beginning of the end for me. And I went into another reality, which I'm still trapped in, I'm afraid." He tried to cop Red's licks and play them on the piano.

4. Red Garland - Birk's Works

Says he thinks Dizzy's a great singer. Perhaps not technically. There's a flat note or two, but he'd much rather hear Dizzy than Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra. There's real soul in Dizzy's vocals and you can tell he really means it when he sings the lyrics.

5. Dizzy Gillespie - Dizzy's Business
6. Dizzy Gillespie - On The Sunny Side Of The Street
7. Dizzy Gillespie - Something In Your Smile

"A lot of people haver brought up the fact that the introduction sounds a bit like the intro to Song For My Father by Horace Silver. Actually it was not intentional. We had a brazilian bass line written out, pretty much a standard brazilian bass line. And when the drummer on the day, Jim Gordon, heard the bassline he, I guess, thought of Song For My Father and started playing the drum part. And, frankly, if I had caught that I would have asked him to play something else, but I didn't .... so there it is; the very similar introduction".

8. Horace Silver -Song For My Father
9. Coleman Hawkins - Swingin' Skotch

Talks about how he saw Coleman Hawkins at The Vanguard in the early 60's. He was opening for Mingus who came on and decided to do one of his rants on record companies. Something that shocked the 13 year old Donald. Coming in from the Jersey suburbs and seeing Mingus do this routine was a real life lesson. And Mingus accused Hawkins- who by now was drinking at the bar - to be an Uncle Tom and so on.

Most of the other suburbanites who had come in and were drinking their Manhattans weren't all that entertained, but Donald was. It went along with the whole jazz experience for him. But Coleman Hawkins was laughing. He had heard this many times before.

"It was really quite a scene".

10. Charles Mingus - Slop

Says that both he and Walter are fans of Gerry Mulligan, and that the only time he met Gerry was when Donald was going with a female journalist who were doing a piece on tenor player Warren Marsh. She went up and asked Gerry if he had something to say about Warren. Gerry was drunk at the end of the show and laughed her off. Which is consistent with stories Donald's heard about Gerry.

"He wasn't, you know, the universally most loved person in the world".

11. Gerry Mulligan - Blueport
12. Benny Goodman - Good-Bye

- Neb S, March 2008

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