Any Major Dude Will Tell You
Donald Fagen of Steely Dan talks shop
Today on Tablet, David Yaffe talks with Donald Fagen of Steely Dan about his new album, the Jews, and Lenny Bruce.
Becker and Fagen loved rock ’n’ roll along with the harmonic language of jazz, and they didn’t think it was out of place to throw in a few very, very dark jokes, which Fagen says was definitely a Jewish thing for him. Macabre shtick was certainly connected to the world of his fathers—and his mother, too. “Major themes in my life,” Fagen said reconciling the Holocaust, Jewish identity, and a humor as dark as Kafka’s. “We were, through the jazz connection, also into Lenny Bruce. My older cousins used to have subscriptions to Paul Krassner’s The Realist. My mother used to stomp around the neighborhood for Adlai Stevenson. She knew all the standards and showtunes, but when I was a kid, I bought the single to ‘Jailhouse Rock.’ But then again Elvis seemed like the kind of guy who used to beat the shit out of me in high school, so I never had much of a connection.”
Check it out here.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.