- Steely Dan
It's weird, and more than a bit ironic, to see Walter Becker and Donald Fagan on tour as Steely Dan in the 21st century. Becker and Fagan quit touring at the height of Steely Dan's popularity ("Rikki Don't Lose That Number," their first Top 5 hit), signaling the breakup of a band that might never really have been a band anyway. They stuck to that decision for 19 years, passing on potentially big scratch through the heyday of arena rock.
So why start touring now? Don't ask. Becker and Fagan (the only "real" members) always did what they felt like doing, rules be damned. No touring? Only the Beatles had such leverage. And on the singles front, the Dan went the Rolling Stones one better by refusing to edit an F-bomb out of "Show Biz Kids" for radio play, thus dooming it to a high of No. 61 on the charts. But here they are, in their mid-50s, crisscrossing the land to support Everything Must Go, their ninth album of jazz-inflected melodies and witty, esoteric lyrics.