Donald Fagen on the album that plunged him into a depression

At the height of the 1970s, there were no better perfectionists than dan of steel. Throughout every album they made, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker never settled for anything less than perfect and would often go through dozens of session musicians to achieve their desired result. After their huge hit album Ah, the group began to fall out of favor with each other and broke up after Gaucho.

While Fagen was free to do whatever he wanted afterwards, he later mentioned that the start of his solo career was a bit of an adjustment. After a two-year absence from Steely Dan, Fagen’s solo effort The nocturnal fly took a lot from him, saying (via Mojo), “I really put everything I knew into this album. I think like a lot of artists, especially in the music business, I was young and successful, and I was still a teenager. “I was trying to get through it with The Nightfly. It was kind of a self-examination of my childhood. It took me a long time to go through some kind of transformation.”

While Fagen was free to express himself outside of ‘The Dan’ aesthetic, he mentioned that the end result didn’t satisfy him, saying, “After that, I really wasn’t inspired to do what. whether it be. I fell into a little depression for a while and started going to therapy. I felt I had energy and new things to write. I worked every day, but I didn’t like what I was doing. I played the songs again the next day and I didn’t like them very much.

Fagen has also been transparent about how The nocturnal fly made him reassess his approach to the studio. Until his solo career, he had been a workaholic in the studio, working tirelessly until he got the sound he heard in his head. Now that he was on his own, Fagen was much more vulnerable, even when he decided against touring with ‘The Dan’ or solo.

After running around with music for so long, Fagen mentioned having a hard time trying to get away from work, saying, “I basically had to figure out how to have a real life — the only life I had was in the studio. . A lot of that was because I didn’t want to address certain things that I had to personally address, and the job gave me the chance not to do any sort of self-examination.”

While Fagen needed therapy after stepping out of his main outfit, Becker left the studio’s rabbit hole by stepping off the grid. After moving to Hawaii, Becker worked through his drug problem and didn’t even dabble in music for a while, saying, “Career was a good organizing principle for something that was pretty chaotic at times. other respects. But in the end, that didn’t work either. And when the dust settled, it was 1980, and it was time to clean up, so I ended up coming here because I wanted a complete change of pace.”

Time makes the heart grow fonder, however, and “The Dan” reappeared years later when Becker took the stage with Fagen to promote his second solo album. Kamikariad Although ‘The Dan’ would continue both with and without Becker following his death in 2017, the followings like Two against nature And Everything must disappear remain the last fans to have heard of the best of jazz-rock.

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