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This page is dedicated to e-mail received from interested readers of the SD web page, and will include responses from Donald and/or Walter or, occasionally, other relevant individuals who may have information or opinions bearing on readers' questions. Name and e-mail address may be withheld on request.

Subj: 3 Tracks Of Whack
Date: 96-05-03 16:25:24 EDT
From: (Nathan)

Donald and/or Walter,

Three quick things. First I must say that I thought Walter's guitar
solos on "Kamakiriad" were exceptional and about 3,000 times more
interesting and tasteful than the work of certain tour guitarists
whose names contain too many Z's, and I hope Walter will bless us with more of his exceptional lead playing this tour.

I have heard both of you mention Thomas Pynchon as an early influence; I was interested in what your personal take(s) on "The Crying of Lo t 49" was/were. Do you think Oedipa's quest was a real escape from the tupperware society, or was immersing herself in an odd, obscure postal conspiracy just her personal cop-out (her version of her husband's drug use). I tend to think the later, but I thi nk that mine is the minority opinion. What do you gentlemen think?

Finally, in the grovel department, any chance of us hearing Black Cow
this summer? It would give us a great oppertunity for a bit of
Donald's fender rhodes mastery, and I think the quasi-"Theme from The Love Boat" grandeur of the horn arrangement would sound incredible live!

Take care,
Nathan Clevenger

It's very flattering to be favorably compared to a great musician, thanks. I would have to revisit the Pynchon before offering up any opinion on the matter, though. I'll let you know. Black Cow? dammit, sworn to secrecy on the set list, can't say a thing. W

Subj: Good morning,
Date: 96-05-03 17:11:07 EDT

The Dan Cam is a good one!

Sincerely yours,
Steely Danica Baralis

Subj: Yo! Free tickets?
Date: 96-05-04 02:41:50 EDT

Hi guys,

On your web site's 1996 Tour Announcement you misspelled the name"Cornelius". I'm sure Mr. Bumpus would appreciate a correction. His mother probably never called him "Cormelius".

So, can I have backstage passes to the Mountain View show for pointing this out?

- John

sure. have your pal cormelius fix you up.

Subj: Things I'd like to see vol. 1
Date: 96-05-04 02:51:55 EDT

Gentlemen, I would like to see/hear Ornette Coleman play on a future Steely Dan album. I believe this disonant collaberation might be interesting. I am the foremost authority on my personal opinions (in case you were wondering).

p.s thanks for canceling the 8/16/96 show at the gorge in WA. I could'nt handle the great tickets I had. I'd rather obtain the nosebleeds for the next night (boo!)

with respect,
Mike Ashton

Would this be a good time to apologize to everyone who was inconvenienced by the cancellation of the 8/16 Gorge Show?

Subj: Royal Scam!!!
Date: 96-05-04 04:04:07 EDT

The Dancam is a royal scam!!! You've been discovered!!

Subj: Debt of Honor
Date: 96-05-04 18:39:37 EDT

DF & WB,

I've been a huge fan of yours since 1972 when pops finally got me an FM radio. But I feel that you owe me not one, but two explanations. Numero Uno. Fresno, Calif., summer, 1974. You stayed at the Tropicana Hotel on Blackstone Avenue. Your bus co mes in, and your tour manager, or producer, Katz, a cheap fuck, tips me only $20 for carrying all your bags and guitars to the rooms. To make up for it, he promises to leave me two tix at Selland Arena. I bring a *date* and guess what? I'm not on the list. Do I become a unibomber? No, I deal with it, and years later when you guys finally get off your duffs and tour again, I buy a couple tix for Shoreline. (I finally moved to SF, thank god.)

I got permission from my wife to come see you guys in Sept 1993, three days after my son is born! You put on a great show.
Numero Dos. Shoreline Amp. Sept., 1994 or 95 (I think). You guys play virtually the *same* goddamn show over again, this time with a few fewer players. The 93 show had a better guitar soloist. What gives? You expect me to pony up *again* and see the same show a third time? I know you guys are up to something. Here's where to send the make-up tickets. You'll feel much better for it. I know I will, since I've spent more than $300 over the years on your records, CDs, and two concert dates.

Your Humble But Emotionally Scarred Patron,

Rusty Weston
55 Greenwood Ave.
SF CA 94112

This year's shows will have lots of new players and lots of never-before-performed-in-public-by-us songs. And as for you, Rusty -just send us proof of purchase for those records, cd's, and concert dates, and the tickets are yours.

Subj: nothing
Date: 96-05-04 22:14:37 EDT

Hello Members of Steele Dan,

I basically wanted to see if you guys really
read your e-mail or if someone else feeds through
it for you. The world may never know...


Subj: Greetings
Date: 96-05-04 22:33:35 EDT

Not much I can say in a few words. How about "thanks", for the music, the memories. Nearly every Steely Dan tune brings back a memory, a sight, sound, smell or feeling from the past. Don't know what it is, but it's good, damn good. (Is there subliminal content or just pure genius?). Thanks again.

Bill Dedrick
Louisville, KY

P.S. If you're looking for a good deal on a GIV, let me know!

Subj: song possibility
Date: 96-05-05 00:04:02 EDT

Hello, on the incredibly small chance that this gets read, I thought
that I might send you an idea for a song.

A man discovers his cat can talk and takes it on the road to make money. They do make money, but the cat becomes an alcoholic or coke addict, whatever works. In order to keep the cat talking at shows the guy has to supply him with booze/drugs. Eventually the cat enters some kind of center to straighten up.

The more I wrote about that the more I realized it sucks, but imagine
what people will think trying to figure out what the fuck the song is
about. Thanks for the time and the music.

Good idea. But what's the guy supposed to do for money after the cat straightens out? tell me that. w

Subj: Get your a.. over here! :-)
Date: 96-05-05 09:54:22 EDT

Hi guys,

I realize that I am not the first one to ask, and I hope
that you don't mind - it's just that it would have been
so nice to see you here on the other side of the Atlantic

How are you doin with your plans (?) for an European tour?

Best regards from a rainy Oslo, Ari

Subj: Another Open Letter to the Dan Re: The Dan Cam
Date: 96-05-05 21:43:40 EDT

Dear Mr. Dan,

You've done it again! The DanCam is Dantastic! I only worry that my constant clicking on the "get the latest picture" button while at work might leave me on the unemployment line, but it's a small risk to take. The never ending parade of images keep me enthralled, though I do, admittedly, have problems with my long term memory. To watch is to feel like a cultural voyeur, knowing that your carefully crafted, jazz inspired songs will (regardless of
any short term commercial success... oh c'mon, you don't REALLY think you'll knock Glebe high school graduate Alanis off the charts do you?) in ten short years punctuate my mall shopping experience. While I watch I can actually feel the creative tension between the group's two principals, their difficulties with disobedient session musicians (but cattle prods? I mean really... and forget that Singapore studio idea) and their struggles to deal
with the horrible pain associated with severe sun burn.

But while I feel the Dan cam is a fine idea, I simply don't think it goes far enough in making the fans feel part of the entire creative process. Might I suggest that you include sound samples from that days recording? In only hours you would received feedback like...

"You know, I really like it, except I'd suggest that in that chord. Um, you know, the one near the end... that you add an extra note or two to really fill it out."


"I think if you got that guy from Oasis to replace Donald as lead it'd be a lot better"

Also, perhaps you should publish prototype lyrics. Expect letters like... "Well I really enjoyed how you managed to encapsulate most of the historical events of the early 20th century in one 5 minute song, I don't feel you put enough emphasis on the Boer war"

Hope this helps. Please pay me $5 (US... enough to feed a Canadian family of four for a year) for these ideas.

Your Biggest Fan.

with a sense of entitlement to match.

Subj: Rikki Don't Lose that T-Shirt
Date: 96-05-06 02:17:14 EDT


It was odd enough to consider such a thing as a Steely Dan souvenir
t-shirt, however, your spiffy '94 line sported the lyrics to "Rikki
Don't Lose That Number" interspersed with tour dates. Like any idiot
that survived the twenty-year drought, I made the mistake of banking on a performance of said song, and in turn, drained the last of my butane while the rest of the audience filed out. This eventually led to an ugly scene with an usher who insisted the concert was over. Two years and many hours of therapy later, I still cannot recall that evening without a certain amount of anguish. Was I wrong in assuming that your t-shirts were not simple marketing ploys?
At least it wasn't the lyrics to Sail the Waterway...

Subj: Marching Band
Date: 96-05-06 17:26:25 EDT
From: (Andy Sydelko)

Just thought you might want to know that our Marching Band is going to be doing a show with music by you! I was wondering if you could send me some stuff, memorabilia, etc.


Andy Sydelko
Beavercreek High School Junior '97
Beavercreek Marching Band '93-'97
Alto Sax and Bassoon

Subj: What about Doctor Wu?
Date: 96-05-06 23:21:06 EDT

Donald and Walter,
How about pulling out some gems such as Doctor Wu, The Boston Rag, or Pearl of the Quarter for your live shows? I'll see your show in Camden, NJ, at the new Sony-Blockbuster theater-- the only reason to go to C amden at night. Bring guns and ride in bullet-proof limos, it's a jungle in there. Just joking, the theater is in its own safe little world, and I'm sure they will pull in some help from the Rutgers Campus Police! Feel free to drop me some e-mail, or if you want a good meal while your in Camden, let
me know. You know you're the best. Maybe we could do lunch...

dante sarubbi

Subj: overdue articles
Date: 96-05-07 07:53:35 EDT


this not precisely a message for SD, but rather for the webmaster of
their page. Is there any way of recovering the articles that are no more on show in the page? There were a couple of things I wanted to download (Larry Carlton, Dennis Dias..) but I can't find'em no more.
Can you help me?

Thanx - Alberto (Italy)

An index page of some sort is in the planning stages, so hold on. In the meantime check the "Cafe" and the "History" pages for links to some of that old stuff (Carlton?)

Date: 96-05-07 10:13:30 EDT

Don + Walt:

Although i may not be the kind of fan you are looking for (male), i sometimeswonder if the two of you are aware of the type of fan that i _am_.Mistakenly refered to as generationX. Why should you give a rat's ass? Firstly, we both pretty much skip ped the eighties. The Dan was not meant for such a foul decade, and i, well, i was in gradeschool. now that we've done with all that, we both find ourselves suprisingly relevant in the mid 90's. I and the generation who were pre-pubescent during the reagan years are now coming into our full powers: graduating or dropping out of college, voting, buying more records than any previous generation. The Dan too: on the verge of releasing what i assume to be a decade-defining album.

i've derived much pleasure in cooling out my friends and neighbors by forcing them to reevaluate Steely Dan. Songs they've heard muzaked and on the classic rock radio station now seem, after careful listening, out of time. more about what's going on with us now than we could have imagined. i've singlehandedly cleaned all of the local record stores of all their used dan vinyl. now people come over and read the lyric sheets, and find something real and really scary in the cover art for 'the royal scam'.

i dont know if people heard what the Dan were saying back in the day, but there's a bunch of 20 somethings over here who are listening now. i guess what im saying is that as a group, we have little interest and even less faith in what our elders have to say and in what they claim to have achieved. But the Dan! You mean a lot to us, to me! The Dan--Still Hard!

in sympathy,

dan k. (Mr. Magnificant One)
ann arbor, michigan

Subj: Re: Dancam
Date: 96-05-07 11:44:10 EDT


If you're gonna bait us with such a bogus ploy as the Dancam, at least stock
it with some real, unfabricated images. Would love to hear some Fez on tour.

Later. E.

Subj: Concert in Michigan
Date: 96-05-07 13:25:39 EDT

Dear "Dan,"

I am a big fan and just wanted to compliment you guys on your recording of Alive in America, it is a wonderful album and I frequently listen to it's laid back sounds when I am studying. The reason I am writing is due to the fact that you didn't include "Deacon Blues" on the live album. I don't know if there wasn't enough room or what, but I needed to know if you still perform it. I have never been to one of your concerts and the show in July, at Pine Knob, will be my first Dan experience. What I am really writing for is to request you play it at that show. Deacon Blue is my favorite composition and I feel it is one of your best. Please
consider it. Until this summer, hang loose and stay cool.

Your Fan

Matt Coullard

Subj: Life, etc.
Date: 96-05-07 18:05:06 EDT

Is there some reason you guys are avoiding Tennessee this year? You went to Starwood Ampitheatre near Nashville last year, and I was hoping to be able to take my friends to the best concert of all times. But you seem to have left our state off of your travel map, infact circling it without entering. What's the deal...don't like Olympic crowds?
Also, do either of you gentlemen read Edward Abbey? A song about George W. Hayduke seems appropriate. And I know you don't like to do covers, but I read in an interview somewhere that you were both influenced by The Band. Their singer and pianist Richard Manuel hung himself while the Band(minus Robbie Robertson)
was on tour in Florida. As both a song writer and a singer, I think the man deserves a small bit of recognition, which I think the two of you could be a significant part of.
Thanks, and hoping for some smart-ass reply soon,
Matthew Kerns

Don't know about "smartass", not sure about "soon". As for Edward Abbey, the only one I've read is that "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" thing, and that was a long time ago. wb

Subject: Life, etc.

Donald & Walter,

My question is a simple one -- do either of you have an unusual
interest in gambling? Having been a nut-bag compulsive gambler
at one point, and now a somewhat retored to normal ex-gambler;
I could'nt help but identify with several lyrics that make
reference to this insane activity.

Deacon Blues? Do it Again? etc... Have I read a little too
much into your words? Just thought I would ask...

Thanks, Jack

P.S. Request: Have some balls and come out with an album with all
new stuff... Your capable, you will sell a few million copies
with just a half-hearted effort. Your like the Stones --
except your talented. Tell those record people -- who always
want to play it safe, that your ready to tell the world that
your not just trying to suck the public for an extre few
million with repackaged old stuff -- or maybe you are???

Why should we put out an album of new stuff, which people may or may not like, when we can keep putting out the same old stuff, which we know they liked from before? That wouldn't be gambling, that would be just plain nuts.

Subj: name origion
Date: 96-05-08 01:44:10 EDT

I'm just curious as to the origin of the name "steely dan".
Can you give me any information on how the name was chosen
and any "obscure" meanings behind the name?
OK, somebody told me it was a 1940s term for a "dildo".
Is this true?

Josie - want to straighten this guy out for me? I just can't bear to tell that one again. thanks Walt

Subj: Joint venture
Date: 96-05-08 18:11:55 EDT

Dear Don and Walt,
I've been addicted to your music ever since I heard "My Old
School" on the radio, so many years ago. I'm surprised to see,
though, that women fans seem to be in the minority. Can that
really be true? I do have one question though. These days it
seems that unlikely collaberations are springing up
everywhere. Any interest in getting together with someone like
Placido Domingo? I know, on the surface it sounds like a
stupid question, but you never know what music might come out
of such a pairing.

I'm really looking forward to your Minneapolis concert. Thanks
for making this one of your stops!
Katie Manheim

Subj: fan mail?
Date: 96-05-08 19:25:41 EDT


i'm a fan from way back! we don't tell our age... do you
still record? do you really answer e-mail???


Yes, sometimes. Yes, sometimes. W

Subj: 96 Tour
Date: 96-05-08 20:35:01 EDT


I have two lame questions (when compared to the obvious genius displayed in
the previous inquiries):

1) Will Bob Sheppard be in the line up this year? (And if not, is it because you're still sore about the trombone incident?!?)
2) Will you be including Glamour Profession (one of the tastiest tunes, i think) on the set list this year? (and if not, then dammit, why not!)

thanks for all the wonderful tunes over the years.

Shep cut his own throat with that trombone stunt. Glamour Profession? not a bad suggestion. Thanks w

Subj: (none)

Funny your "favorite letter to date" is a ridiculous and boorish
trashing of Kam and the fine guitar work found throughout.... Since you guys are writing songs right now, I have an idea: how about a "we're baaaaaaack" kind of a rocker, a la Bodhisattva type, crank it up kind of thing...? You guys are the Rock Gods of all time.

Richard Westberg
Portland, OR

Subj: Hot whacks
Date: 96-05-10 00:58:37 EDT

When y'all come to Raleigh, anyone on my row who gets up for beer during "Book of Liars" will be promptly maced. In like fashion, their resulting screams will be dutifully muffled.

Whack indeed.

-Pete Corson

Now you're talking. And in case you yourself need to make the Walk of Shame at some point, don't worry, I've got your back. WB

Subj: Aloha from an ex-road dude...
Date: 96-05-10 01:06:18 EDT


Hey guys,

Is your DanCam canned, or is it the real you ? Thanks for including my name on "Alive In America", I was very proud to have been a part of the '94 tour. Now my parents have some respect for all those years I spent on the road (hey, look - my son got his name on a CD !) Plus, I can show it to all my friends and tell them how cool I think I am now....
Looking forward to your visit on the all-new '96 tour. This time, I'll
get to watch the entire show and not have to worry about guitar strings breaking. The Hollywood Bowl will be a great place to experience a STeely Dan show. By the way, if I could, I'd like to make a request: I would love to hear my favorite S.D. tu ne of all time, "Don't Take Me Alive". Then I could tell everyone, "Yeah, they played it for ME."

Thanks for the memories. Good luck on the tour. Keep in touch...

B.C. Celello
guitar tech, Citizen Steely Dan Tour '94

Subj: The Dan Cam
Date: 96-05-10 17:02:14 EDT

I love the Dan Cam. What a life! Just remember to keep your clothes on, guys.


Subj: <None>
Date: 96-05-10 18:42:57 EDT

Hi guys!

Just a quick question. Ever played Toronto??

A friend of mine says he saw the Dan at Massey Hall in, if I
recall correctly, 1973. I don't think he was fibbing.
So where the hell was I? Good question. I loved the first album
and, for some completely forgotten reason, didn't get back on
board until Royal Scam. Of course, I now love the albums that
came in between. Looking forward to seeing you this July. I'll be the guy way back in the cheap seats (my redial was on the fritz, so it took me forever to get through).

All the best -

Mike Lewis

PS If you deem this worthy of response, my eddress is (Replies don't work 'cause we've got a
funny configuration.)

We were going to make that Toronto gig in 73 but it was cancelled - good thing, I was a little worried about the border crossing. W

Subj: Tour
Date: 96-05-10 18:57:13 EDT

Hello chaps,

Is there any chance you could gig in the UK this year? I know you must be fed up of being asked this but you would sell out 10 gigs 10 times if you did come. I've been waiting to see your live since Can't Buy A Thrill came out!

Please come over if you can.


Tim Biller

Subj: 3 1/2 Words
Date: 96-05-10 21:03:43 EDT

Your Gold Teeth II....(at Shoreline in Mountain View,
CA...Pleeeeaaazzze...grovel, grovel grovel)

Subj: (no subject)
Date: 96-05-12 01:16:28 EDT
From: (kburgess)

How come no tour dates for smaller Canadian Centres? I would really like
to see Steely Dan play in Red Deer, Alberta. It would help us escape the
cowboy craze.Kirk Burgess

Subj: (no subject)
Date: 96-05-12 10:41:46 EDT
From: (Justin Eade)

Dear Donald and Walter
Be vague if you like, but its just not gonna
wash this side of the Atlantic. If you don't
get over to London and play some of those
catchy tunes of yours (when is irrelevant) I
shall be forced to marry the shiksa my mother
fears so. Now I know your hard men, but we're
talking an orgy of lapel ripping all over
certain enclaves of North London.I know that
the cattle over here are coming on like the
Christian Right back home and you can't get a
decent pizza. Yet I'm sure you'll agree that
the happiness of one, sweet yenta must
overide issues of equipment wear and tear,
wages for session boys and cryogenic
containers for managment. You know what you
have to do. I'm a desrerate man and I haven't
used a pun on your lyrics, so take me
seriously. Your American E- Mail is
astoundingly perceptive and not in anyway or
form ingratiating ('can you play my cousin
Barry's wedding' signed a BIG Dan fan,NJ) and
I apologise from breaking format.

yours with hugs, Robert (Not Justin) Clayman

PS My friend drove an lovely lady, from
Kentish Town, home. She claims to be Uncle
Walt's mother and has tissue samples and
photos to back up her claim. Apparently she's
a real sweetie.

Subj: Hello Steely Dan!
Date: 96-05-12 12:29:38 EDT
From: (Jefff Rix)

You guys are cool! I just recently graduated college in Ohio. You guys
still kick ass. We would play the Dan at all off our parties and the
colleges kids still love your music. Our college house was known as the
House of Steely Dan We turned so many kids onto your music, esp. the
alternative, deadhead types. I caught your '94 show in detroit and i
loved it. Still have the tshirt and i get compliments every time i wear
it out. Hey dudes hurry up and put out a new album. I see don and walt
fucking around all the time in front of the camera, quit playing with
all the pretty girls and start writing new music.

Good luck with the future of the Dan,
Hopefully i will catch your Pittsburgh Show this year,

Jeff Rix
the generation X Fan

Subj: European Tour
Date: 96-05-13 15:07:02 EDT

Any plans for a European tour current or future ?

Subj: New Studio Album
Date: 96-05-13 20:58:35 EDT
From: (robert l haag)

Greeting and Salutations: Are you planning a new Steely Dan album??
Kamakirad seemed to be a new Steely Dan album but it was not the same. I
play your music at work most all of the time. Quality always stands the
test of time. Thank you for the great work!!
See you at Blossom Music Center in July
Bob Haag

siteguide | news | touring | history | words | sounds | contact | home | search