One Hour Sale, A Conversation with Steely Dan

By Jody Denberg
KGSR radio

Welcome to “One Hour Sale, A Conversation with Steely Dan,” featuring songs from their new album “Everything Must Go,” available as of June 10th, 2003. “Everything Must Go” is Steely Dan’s ninth studio album, only their second studio album in the last quarter century and their first since 2000’s “Two Against Nature,” which earned them four Grammys, including one for Album of the Year.

I’m Jody Denberg and I’m in Santa Monica with Walter Becker and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan.

Gentlemen, I know you are East Coast natives, but Steely Dan formed here in LA. Where do you make your homes now?

(Fagen) Well, I still live in New York. We were out here from ’71 to ’78 making the Steely Dan albums that were on ABC Records. We came out here in ’71 from New York and moved back in ’78.
(Becker) Well, I split my time between New York and Hawaii, at this point.

And the record was recorded in New York, the new album.
(B) Little bit in Hawaii, but almost all in New York.

Did your location affect the writing or recording of “Everything Must Go?”
(F) I don’t think so. I think we have a — kind of a Steely Dan room in our minds where these things are conceived. The only thing that made this one different maybe was that the — 9/11 happened during the recording of this album.

So much of “Everything Must Go” is recorded live to analog tape, which is, I guess, a different way of working for Steely Dan. Why did you go that route?
(B) Well, we found ourselves working in a studio other than our usual studio. And it was a little place that — called Sear Sound that we discovered after we got there had once been the Hit Factory where Don and I had worked on an album back in 1969 or 1970. Anyway, it was still sort of an old-style studio. Small control room, same type acoustic treatment in the playing room and great little tracking room. And they didn’t have any digital machines. They had a lot of great, old vintage mics and tube equipment and analog machines. And we just started working on these analog machines. And we loved the way it sounded.

The new album is full of grooves. I mean, there’s these deep musical groves on it. It seems like it would take forever to get them in the pocket when you’re recording live.
(F) Well, actually, we got lucky. We started working with this drummer that we discovered — he played on “Two Against Nature” on a cut. And his name is Keith Carlock. Everything we threw at him, he was able to pick up on really quick. So by the end of the day or sooner, we’d have a track. I mean, he was just a great groove — groove drummer. And he’s also unusual in that he’s a great groove drummer and he’s also a very good jazz drummer, as well. So he’s got both the jazz technique and, you know, the happening backbeat.

Who are some of the other main musical menches who were involved on “Everything Must Go?”
(B) I like that “main musical menches” thing you know.
(F) Yeah.
(B) I’m going to use that myself later tonight at dinner or something.
(F) I think part of the reason we had as much success getting things happening was we had a whole rhythm section. We had a six-guy band. Two guitar players, two keyboard players, bass and drums that — where everybody really felt things the same way and was able to, you know, get on the same wavelength and really define rhythmic parts and come up with cool parts and all that. And so the other guys in the band — Donald played keyboards, of course. And I played bass. Jon Herington played guitar. Hugh McCracken played guitar. John we’d played with before, we’d toured with and recorded with before. And of course, Hugh we’ve been recording with since the ’70s. And Ted Baker was the second keyboard player. Great musician that we played with on our last tour and on the last album.

So much of “Everything Must Go” seems to address the current state of affairs here in the US of A. Was there a point after the last album when the two of you got together to brainstorm where you were going lyrically with “Everything Must Go,” or were these just the songs that poured out?
(B) As I recall, we did talk about certain kind of thematic things that we were going to write about before we started writing the songs. But they had nothing to do with the things that actually happened in the country. They were more sort of personal themes or — motivations for the characters in the songs or back stories for the characters in the songs. And I think, to some extent, you know, the preoccupation, if there is one, with social order is just — is more a product of sort of our growing fascination and horror at what we see around us and what’s happening in the world and so on.

So many times the lyrics to Steely Dan songs are like puzzles that could have different solutions. Does it bug you when people ask you what the songs are about?
(F) Well, I think it’s kind of defeating for us to just give any explanation of the songs, because I think part of what makes them interesting is associations that they spring in the listener’s mind. But, you know, we certainly have something in mind when we write them that’s, you know, maybe specific. Although sometimes I’m not sure if we even get down to the real details. You know, they’re songs. We’re not writing a novel or a film, so we don’t have to know everything about a character and we don’t have to know everything about the situation the character’s in. But we have a general idea. But I think that the listeners, generally speaking, even if they get something else from the song than what we intended, it’s usually pretty close, especially as to the feeling of it.

Well, the song that opens the album is “The Last Mall.” And it seems like the beginning of the end. Are we sure the beginning of the end of what?
(B) Well, but it’s a very swinging beginning of the end. It’s a hard grooving, hard rocking beginning of the end, you know. And I think that matters as much as anything, don’t you? If we’re going to go, let’s go out rocking — that’s what I say.
(F) Apocalypse Wow.

(Plays “The Last Mall”)

That was “The Last Mall” from Steely Dan’s new album “Everything Must Go.” And this is “One Hour Sale, A Conversation with Steely Dan.” “The Last Mall” ends really suddenly. That abrupt ending may be a case of the musical making a conceptual point?
(F) Well, yeah, actually, it has a sort of standard ending that musicians who play at the end of a blues — well, with some altered chords, but the last chord is absent. So I guess that does reinforce the idea of the Apocalypse Wow theme we were referring to earlier.

Wow. The Yin and Yang of the Dan often happy music, contrasted with bleak stories. I’m thinking of “Black Friday.” I’m thinking of “Jamie Runaway.” But on this album, the dichotomy seems really apparent. I mean, is it just that the new lyrics are really dark and the new music is really happy?
(B) Well, I think — I don’t think that the lyrics are necessarily darker than many others that we’ve written over time. Even in the more subdued or hypnotic groove things on the album, because of the way the band played them and because of the fact that they were real collaborations of us with the band to make these things, they have a — they have an energy and a, enthusiasm and — that they transmit, which comes through.

It swings, man.
(F) Yeah, we couldn’t really get them to play joyless. Even when we wanted them too, you know.
(B) Yeah, we tried to, like, all of our usual stuff to like, you know, grind them down to a consecrated nub. But these guys were just, you know, in some cases, too young and strong.
(F) Too tough for us.
(B) Yeah, they just outlasted us. What can we say?

Did winning four Grammys, including the Grammy for Album of the Year for the last album, “Two Against Nature,” affect your lives beyond having to answer this question?
(F) Not to any great extent. We — it affected our — we had to travel out to Los Angeles to go to the Grammys. We were household names for about three days across the country.
(B) That’s right.
(F) But then after that everything pretty much settled into the — you know, the usual grind.

The next song we’re going to hear from “Everything Must Go” during this “One Hour Sale…” is Things I Miss the Most. Could be the saga of a recent divorcee or the tale of — I was thinking and hoping maybe some corporate corrupt executive who was stuck in jail. Am I warm?
(B) Oh, absolutely. I think all of those things are plausible, you know.
(F) It’s, you know, the — how low the mighty have fallen type of a, type of a thing, that’s true.
(B) I could have been a contender.

(Plays “Things I Miss The Most”)

From Steely Dan’s new album “Everything Must Go:” Things I Miss the Most. If you had to be separated from your prize possessions, what would be the things you’d miss the most, Walter?
(B) Well, I’ve got a guitar or two that I kind of like. I wasn’t kidding about the ’54 Strat, you know what I mean? And by the way, if anybody happens to have my ’54 Strat out there, I’d appreciate returning it. There would be a small reward. No questions asked.

Donald, what would you miss the most?
(F) Well, I think, you know, first of all, I’d grab my wife, ’cause… and she is portable. And then after that, I don’t know. I guess — see the problem is the piano isn’t portable. So maybe I’d take like a melodica or something, you know, some little keyboard instrument to keep myself occupied.
(B) Could you carry one of my guitars if, if — I mean, since you’re not going to take the piano?
(F) In the other hand, yeah, okay.
(B) Something like that.
(F) Okay. It’s a deal.
(B) Maybe your wife could carry one, too?
(F) Okay.

I’m guessing, then, one of the things you wouldn’t rush to save is your Rock And Roll Hall of Fame award. There was a hilarious and sarcastic campaign that you had to be elected into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame online. And then, low and behold, Steely Dan was inducted. And then I saw you auctioning off at least one of your awards. What were some of the better bids that you had on the awards?
(B) I think my favorite bid was the — our keyboard player, Ted Baker, offered to trade it for his Bunsen prize plaque that we gave him at a concert in the year 2000. And I thought about that one pretty seriously. And then I turned him down. Donald, I believe, left his Hall of Fame statuette in the hall overnight on the very night it was given to him.
(F) That’s true that — on the day after, there was a knock on my door. And it was a neighbor who I had, you know, left my Hall of Fame plaque out in the hall by mistake. I guess I had a few things I was carrying. But he returned it to me.
(B) Yeah, that’s a real honor code building over there that Donald’s in.

So the awards do both reside with both of you still. They did not receive winning bids, is what I’m —
(B) No, they did not. We have them — we have them in New York. We had some very generous offers, but in the end, you know, you’ve got to like package (the) thing. You’ve got to get the money order from the guy or — you know, the girl has to fly into town. She’s got to see a doctor. It just was too much trouble.
(F) But, you know, I think the fans like to see us get awards because it ratifies their tastes over a long period of years. So there was something nice about getting these awards. I mean, for us too. No kidding.
(B) That’s right. The main reason for even accepting or considering accepting any awards like this for us, aside from the shallow, you know, gratification it affords us and whatever money we can squeeze out of the thing one way or the other, is for the greater glory of our fans, which is always on our minds.

Are there songs on the new album that were germs of songs that were never completed before or are all of these post-“Two Against Nature?”
(B) “Germs” is a good word.
(F) Yeah, we have a lot of songs that, you know, have a kind of a bacterial or infectious quality to them that… in all of the worst possible sense. But I’m thinking that these were all songs that we wrote after “Two Against Nature.” We had some songs leftover and we even tracked at least one of them and got a good track. But for one reason or another, we picked this particular set and they were all new ones.

There’s a phrase I’ve heard used for someone who’s unemployed. They say that person is “on the beach.” And the song “Blues Beach” on “Everything Must Go” speaks of the early resigned. During the 20 years that Donald Fagen and Walter Becker didn’t record together as Steely Dan, did either of you think that your band was eternally kaput?
(F) Well, our band, I guess, actually was on the beach, as you say, as of about 1974, our steady band. After that, we started using a group of players, both in New York and Los Angeles that we tried to adapt to their various styles. But I don’t think we were on the beach, really. Walter was literally on the beach for part of that in Hawaii.

(Plays “Blues Beach”)

“Everything Must Go” is the new album from Steely Dan. And we’re having a “One Hour Sale, A Conversation with Steely Dan.” That song was “Blues Beach.” First, what in the world is a paranymphic glider?
(B) See, this is why we don’t like to give the reviewers printed copies of the lyrics. Because that might have just slipped by, although now that I think about it, even people who have listened have asked that question. Paranymphic glider is an imaginary vehicle that you would take an imaginary girl on an imaginary date with.
(F) A particularly hot date.
(B) A very hot imaginary date.

Are they for sale on your website or —
(B) No, but it’s —
(F) We have a prototype. They’ll be available soon.

There was a time when Steely Dan, like some of the characters in the song — we just heard “Blues Beach” — was early resigned. And then there were a series of events that ultimately led to Steely Dan rearing its head again. Donald, you played some Steely tunes on the New York Rock and Soul Review. And Walter, you produced “Kamakiriad,” Donald’s solo album.
(F) That’s right.

Then you joined the New York Rock and Soul Revue on the road.
(F) That’s right.

And then, Donald, you produced Walter’s solo album, “11 Tracks of Whack.”
(B) That’s correct. Co-produced, yeah.

So, surprisingly enough, when the name Steely Dan was used again, it was for a concert tour and not for an album — for the first time in ’94. And you guys hadn’t played on the road for 20 years. How did it happen that when Steely Dan resumed it was on the road?
(B) No one would have predicted that, I don’t think. But as it happened, Donald had finished the “Kamakiriad” album. He had done the Rock and Soul Review for a couple of years and I had done a few. And we wanted to promote his record. And also, we had seen the reception and the enthusiasm that was there for us to do Steely Dan songs. And so we just put two and two together. Plus, we had a manager at that time that felt that he could show us, if we did a little touring, that it was not going to be the incredible series of SNAFUs and, you know, screw-ups that our tours were in the ’70s. So he was right and out we went.

When you started playing concerts — and there were tours in 1994, ’95, ’96 — did you approach them with more of an improvisational slant or were you just trying to reproduce the records faithfully?
(F) I don’t think we were ever interested in really reproducing recordings. I think … although, on the other hand, I think when we listened to the old records, we noticed that some of the arrangements were actually quite good and quite complete and worked well on stage. Things that we could expand for the stage or things that — things that were hits that were kind of boring to play after a while, we’d try to change the arrangement once in a while to try to kick ’em up a little bit. And maybe if we have a soloist who’s working with us who we think might fit in really good on a certain song we can expand the arrangement to include some improvisation, et cetera.

How is your music appreciated differently in, say, Japan, where there’s a language barrier?
(B) Of course, we don’t really know exactly what they make of the parts that don’t make sense to them. But we know that they’re big fans and that they like the music and that they get the — you know, they’re very attentive to the songs. There are probably things in our songs that don’t translate that well. But we’ve had that same problem with — even with English-speaking people, now that I think about it. So…

There were so many years when Steely Dan was an insular institution. And now, there’s concert tours and the Internet gives you more exchange with your audience. Who are these people listening to Steely Dan?
(F) That’s a good question: Who are these people?! These are the people who made this country great.
(B) They’re good, good
(B & F) The sons and daughters of the pioneers.
(F) You know…
(B) We don’t know, you know…we see people at shows and we meet people at shows or on the street or something like that. And generally speaking, very likable, affable bunch of people. Obviously, they have excellent taste in music.
(F) Yeah, I think we actually have the most intelligent fans. You know, possibly in the area of psychosis we’re probably also equal with some other bands who are known for that. But —
(B) But you know what I’ve found that the real hard-core psychotics are not faithful to one band or another. They switch around, depending on who, you know, happens to pop up on their radar screen.

When folks are listening to your songs and there are various interpretations, as we mentioned earlier, do you have any favorite misinterpretations that were so far off you could share them without shattering anyone’s allusions?
(F) Well, I remember once in — this is actually concerning a song that was on my solo album “The Nightfly.” It was called IGY. And the chorus was, “What a beautiful world this will be, what a glorious time to be free.” And I had calls from several corporations who wanted to use the song in their commercials. I guess what they didn’t realize was that the chorus was meant to be ironic. And it was actually sort of stating the opposite of what it seemed to be saying. So that was one thing I can recall.

Can you remember any favorite misinterpretations, Walter?
(B) I seem to remember that somebody thought that the line “the sparkle of your china” in Bodhisattva actually said something like, the spark of your vagina.

Well, there’s a song we’re about to hear called “Godwhacker” that people will interpret in various way. But it seems to be, obviously, about terrorism and the post-9/11 bring them back dead or alive mentality. The start of the end of history. But there’s a lot of different ways we can go with this song. Since Steely Dan has been known to wax satirical a time or two, have you ever pondered the role of satire in society, especially during times like now?
(F) Well, yeah, it seems like, you know, what we’re going through now tends to… as if there was some kind of standing gag order in place that you couldn’t be funny or sarcastic. We’re trying to ignore that. But it’s — it is difficult.
(B) It’s actually when — that’s when they say standing gag order, they mean that there has to be an ongoing series of gags.
(F) Yeah.
(B) That’s what they’re trying to tell us.
(F) That’s the way we work so that’s how we’re taking it.
(B) That’s how we look at it. Unfortunately, a lot of what’s going on now is beyond satire. It’s already really in the realm of satire as it’s unfolding, you know. And, you know, can’t really be satirized because it’s already so ridiculous.

We’re having a “One Hour Sale with Steely Dan.” And “Everything Must Go.” That’s the title of their brand new album. The last few years have brought a lot of new technologies to sound reproduction. 5.1, super-audio CDs, improved sampling rates. Are either of you attuned to technical innovations, either when you’re recording anew or in relation to your back catalogue?
A (B) I think we’re aware of two kinds of technical innovations. There’s the kind No. 1 — Category No. 1 would be things that can help us to do something that we wanted to do musically or sonically that we couldn’t do before and that we probably wanted to do for 20 years. The Category No. 2 are things that can actually increase our income. And so every time somebody comes up with some new format in which our material can be repackaged, we put aside whatever forebodings we may have about the durability or advisability of that particular format and throw our weight behind it 110 percent and get the product out there on the shelves and see if anybody will buy it.
Now, the one exception to that would be the album — the “Aja” album, because one of the reels of master tape from the “Aja” album is — I’m not going to say that it’s lost or missing, but I have a feeling that wherever my ’54 Strat is, that’s where that reel of tape may be. So we can’t really do any 5.1s or haven’t figured out yet a way to do a 5.1 or a DVD-A or anything else of the “Aja” album. But stay posted.
(F) Yeah, if anyone knows where a multi-track tape is, hand it over.
(B) Yeah. We have a $600 reward out on that baby, I think. It’s up to $600 now.
(F) No questions asked.
(B) Right.

You mentioned the ’54 Strat. Walter, what are your favorite guitars these days?
(B) Mostly I use one particular Strat type guitar that was built by Roger Sadowsky that’s a very nice, playable instrument. Sounds great.

And Donald, what are your favorite keyboards? And as importantly, how do you decide which one to use for which song?
(F) Well, let’s see, as far as pianos, I’ll just play whatever piano is in the room, pretty much. My other two main instruments are, you know, an old Fender Rhodes piano, Rhodes 88 and a Wurlitzer electric piano. Some parts lend themselves to one electric piano or the other. And you can tell that by just trying it out and seeing how the action responds and so on. But generally speaking, I don’t — very rarely use synthesizers because they’re not tunable in the way that pianos or old-fashioned electric pianos are tunable — which is to say you actually have a piano tuner come in and tune them by ear. Because synthesizers always sound a little out of tune to me, no matter what.

Speaking of muso type stuff. I think it was May 2001, you both received honorary doctorate degrees from the Berklee School of Music and attended the student’s tribute concert that featured your music. What was that experience like? Did you like their interpretations?
(B) Well, the really astounding thing was the next day when we shook the hands of everybody in the graduating class. And I’ve never — I’ve never shook —
(F) Had to be about 600 handshakes.
(B) Yeah. And that’s a hell of a thing right there. You know, your hand is sore for days after that.
(F) Yeah.

So it really made an impression on you both?
(B) Oh, yeah.
(F) Well, I — you know, destroyed my career. I can no longer play the piano, but, you know…

I’ll take another tack, then, to asking about other people’s interpretations of your songs, because there was the film “Me Myself and Irene.”
(B) I see what you’re getting at.

Yeah, the soundtrack had everyone from Leon Redbone to Wilco. Did any of the covers stand out to you as exceptional or at least as interesting?
(B) Yeah, I thought the best one was the one by the group, Ivy. A version of a song called Only a Fool Would Say That. That was —
(F) Yeah, that was good.
(B) — my favorite.
(F) And it was my favorite, too.
(B) And all the rest of them were good, too. It was all good, in other words.

Well, one thing that’s always good and that thankfully always remains in this world and on your albums, the topic of women and sex. And to my ears, there’s a series of tunes about those topics on “Everything Must Go.” And one may mark the start of the end of history. It features Walter Becker’s first lead vocal on a Steely Dan studio album. The song “Slang of Ages.”
(B) Thank you very much there Jody!

Why did you choose to sing this song, Walter, from the dozens and dozens that you and Donald have co-written?
(B) Because this song had sort of a talking verse. And so it was easier — far easier than any of the others that have been available to me heretofore. Yo, Yo, Jay-Z, look out!

(Plays “Slang of Ages”)

Musical history being made, that slinky Steely Dan song “Slang of Ages” from the new CD “Everything Must Go.” It’s the first to feature lead vocals by Walter Becker. Teamed with your songwriting, production and multi-instrumentalist skills, I’m thinking, Walter, you grew up in a musical environment. Is that true?
(B) Well, no, actually. I grew up in the suburbs of New York City in the ’50s. And so there was the music of the day around on the radio — in the car radio and so on. But it was — nobody played in the house and there were no instruments. My father had been made to play the violin when he was a kid. And he was still sort of bitter about that, as far as I could tell. He did have a copy of the Harvard Dictionary of Music, which I found later that I had colored when I was a little kid. That was about as far as it went, though. So after that it was just what was in the air.
(F) Didn’t your father have a copy of “The Dialog of the Carmelites?”
(B) He got that when I was about like 12 or something like that. He had like three or four records and that was one of them.
(F) Oh, I see.
(B) A very strange collection. It was “The Dialog of the Carmelites,” an opera by Poulenc, which featured his favorite part was the guillotining of the nuns at the end where they sing a little dirge.
(F) It’s my favorite part, too.
(B) You hear this whack of the blade and there’s one less voice in the — singing the dirge. And then another whack of the blade and — down to the last nun.

What about you growing up, music in the house?
(F) Yeah, well, my mother was a singer when she was a kid. Well, from about age five to 15 or something like that. She used to sing up in the Catskills at hotels and so on. Sort of the Shirley Temple of the Catskills or whatever, of the Borscht Belt. And so she used to sing around the house. She knew quite a bit about swing music. And generally speaking, the women in my family, as with many sort of depression-era Jewish families, the women could all play the piano a little bit. You know, so I just picked it up.

For many of us, Steely Dan turned us on to classic jazz the way British Invasion rockers paved our path to first-generation blues. I know you still love your roots and influences, but these days, if — let’s say you’re reading a magazine and you read an article about a critically acclaimed contemporary musician. Would you seek it out? Would you go, wow, this Wilco review seems interesting or this Beck guy?
(B) Yeah, I actually did buy the Wilco album. And I bought a couple of Beck albums. And so occasionally, not as often, maybe as you might think, but once in a while.
(F) Yeah, I’ll buy something occasionally. I’ve got a Beck album somewhere. You know, I like TLC when they were — when they were hot. I still mainly listen to my — these old jazz records pretty much when they get — you know, they’ve been reissued on CD and they sound really good. That’s sort of still the staple of my, you know, record collection.

I maybe should have asked you this before when we were talking about covers. Have you ever written a song you had hoped would be covered by a particular artist?
(F) Well, when we first moved to California, it was because we had gotten these jobs as staff writers at ABC/Dunhill Records. Our job was to write songs for the house artists. So in those days, we were trying to get songs done by other artists. Unfortunately we didn’t get very many done. We realized very quickly we couldn’t really write pop songs very well. That’s when we took out our other book with the other songs in it and got a few musicians together and formed a band.

“Hey 19,” by Al Green. I mean, you know, something like that would be —
(B) Could have been. I don’t see why not. It’s still a good idea.

What are some of the most unlikely places you’ve heard your music?
(F) It was pretty weird, like, I was in this mall in Japan when we were playing and heard — actually heard “Hey 19,” an instrumental version. What sounded like a Japanese choir of schoolgirls singing — you know, humming the melody. That was pretty exciting.
(B) You know, I don’t know if I believe that story or if that was just something that you dreamed.
(F) No, it’s a true story.
(B) We’ve got to get a copy of that. That’s —
(F) I know. I mean, I was — I was just so astounded.
(B)See you can never trace something like that down. That’s the thing. You know, we hear great Muzak versions or — and we never get to hear them

As we are coming close to the end of this “One-Hour Sale, a conversation with Steely Dan” about their new album “Everything Must Go,” the modern age does demand a few modern questions. One of the new songs, “Pixeleen,” besides having a keen falsetto part, seems to be about digital delights and deceptions. Steely Dan has had its own website for about seven years. I’m wondering if one of you is more Internet interested than the other?
(F) That would be Walter Becker.
(B) I was living in Hawaii when the Internet — when I became aware of the existence of something called the Internet. And so it afforded me an opportunity to be in communication with the culture at large that was pretty new and unique. That’s how I slipped into it.
(F) Our engineer, Roger Nichols, was always deep into computers, going way back into the ’70s. And so I think we both — we both knew a little bit about computers, especially in regard to programs having to do with music and percussion programs, going back aways.

“Everything Must Go” ends with the title track, Donald. And as you arranged the horns, you may be the one who can reveal what spurred the unusual tenor sax fanfare introduction of the title song.
(F) Right. Well, yeah, actually, that wasn’t really arranged. We originally had a piano introduction planned for “Everything Must Go.” And then — which is actually the melody and chords of the bridge, which is stated later. But we had done this one track with this tenor player, Walt Weiskopf. And he had this kind of cosmic sound that we associate with ’60s free jazz. And we realized it would be a good way to start that tune by having him state the melody. Because it’s sort of this incredibly grandiose introduction, get your expectations up for a song about a bunch of losers.

Well, with the song and album “Everything Must Go,” should we be worried about the end of Steely Dan, the end of the world, both?
(B) I wouldn’t worry. I think —
(F) No use worrying about it really.
(B) Really. We just feel that from the ruin of the old will grow the new.
(F) Rise like a phoenix.
(B) Yeah.
(F) You know, because —
(B) We’re celebrating that part of the process.
(F) See, even if the worst happens, remember there’s always mutation.

(Plays “Everything Must Go”)

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