By Donald Fagen

A witty, candid, sharply written memoir via the cofounder of Steely Dan

In his exciting debut as an writer, Donald Fagen—musician, songwriter, and cofounder of Steely Dan—reveals the cultural figures and currents that formed his inventive sensibility, in addition to delivering a glance at his university days and a hilarious account of lifestyles at the street. Fagen offers the “eminent hipsters” who spoke to him as he was once growing to be up in a bland New Jersey suburb within the early Nineteen Sixties; his colourful, mind-expanding years at Bard collage, the place he first met his musical associate Walter Becker; and the agonies and ecstasies of a up to date cross-country journey with Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs. Acclaimed for his literate lyrics and complicated preparations as a musician, Fagen the following proves himself a cosmopolitan author together with his personal special voice.

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That development stems from the clashing merger of adversarial extremes, out of the wedding of top freaks. Classicists and Romantics alike have been unaware that the sun process was once trembling at the verge of a human explosion that may remodel guy and make him the grasp of the universe. again in my room, in Kendall Park, examining via the sunshine of a tensor lamp, i presumed: he’s describing the twenty-fifth century, yet . . . possibly, in the market someplace, throughout course 27, simply round the subsequent curve of space-time, the second one half the 20th century can be simply as exciting—even even though not anyone thinks so. The amazing applied sciences, intrepid spacers jogging at the moon, the loud, wild tune, the intercourse, the social and cultural upheavals, the colours, the freaks, the fun—in brief, the journey. i used to be a secret agent for Jean Shepherd i used to be brought to Shep, as his lovers referred to as him, through my bizarre uncle Dave. Dave, who was once somewhat a hipster, used to crash on our couch while he used to be among jobs. Being a bookish and a bit of imperious twelve-year-old, already desperately weary of lifestyles in suburbia and appalled through Hoss and Little Joe and Mitch Miller and the heinous Bachelor Father, I figured Dave was once my guy. One evening, after ruthlessly beating me at rummy, he placed down the playing cards and acknowledged, “Now we’re gonna hearken to Shepherd—this guy’s nice. ” The Zenith desk radio within the kitchen got here to lifestyles halfway via Shepherd’s subject matter tune, a kitschy, galloping Eduard Strauss piece referred to as the “Bahn Frei” polka. after which there has been this voice, comfortable, but abounding with jest. in the event you understand Jean Shepherd’s identify, it’s most likely in reference to the now vintage movie A Christmas tale, that is in keeping with a number of tales in his booklet In God We belief: All Others Pay funds. He additionally did the compelling voice-over narration. each Christmas, TBS offers a twenty-four-hour A Christmas tale marathon. There are annual fan conventions dedicated to the film—released thirty years in the past this Thanksgiving—and the unique position, a home in Cleveland, has been became a museum. yet lengthy ahead of A Christmas tale used to be made, Shepherd did a nightly radio broadcast on WOR out of ny that enthralled a new release of alienated youngsters inside variety of the station’s robust transmitter. together with me: i used to be a secret agent for Jean Shepherd. within the overdue fifties, whereas Lenny Bruce used to be starting his climb to holy infamy in jazz golf equipment at the West Coast, Shepherd’s all-night monologues on WOR had already won him an intensely unswerving cult of listeners. not like Bruce’s provocative nightclub act, which had its origins within the “schpritz” of the Catskills comics, Shepherd’s improvised workouts have been extra within the culture of Midwestern storytellers like Mark Twain, yet with a latest city twist: say, Mark Twain after he’d been relationship Elaine may well for a yr and a part. the place Bruce’s antics made headlines, Shepherd, along with his hot, charismatic voice and folksy variety, may well practice his so much subversive exercises with the bosses within the WOR entrance workplace and the FCC being none the wiser.

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