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Steely Dan


Donald Fagen of Steely Dan is born.


Walter Becker of Steely Dan is born.


Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, cofounders of Steely Dan, meet as students at Bard College in upstate New York. Fagen will graduate in 1969 with a degree in English Literature, while Becker will drop out.


Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are hired as staff songwriters at ABC-Dunhill Records in Los Angeles.


Steely Dan coalesces around the core of keyboardist/vocalist Donald Fagen and bass player Walter Becker. The other members of the original group are guitarists Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Denny Dias, drummer Jim Hodder, and vocalist David Palmer.


Steely Dan’s debut album, ‘Can’t Buy a Thrill,’ is released. It hangs on the charts for a year, peaking at #17 and launching two hit singles


‘Countdown to Ecstasy,’ Steely Dan’s second album, is released. It contains several of their most popular songs, including “Bodhisattva” and “My Old School.”


Steely Dan’s biggest hit single, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” is released. It rises to #4 and pulls the album from which it came, ‘Pretzel Logic,’ up to #8 on the album charts.


Steely Dan perform at the Santa Monica Center. Guitarist Jeff Baxter thereupon leaves to join the Doobie Brothers and drummer Jim Hodder quits as well. Following this tour, the group does not perform again under the Steely Dan rubric until 1993.


Steely Dan’s fourth album, ‘Katy Lied,’ is released. Founders Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are backed by a who’s who of rock and jazz personnel.


‘Aja,’ Steely Dan’s most accomplished and popular album to date, is released. It is the group’s first to be certified platinum (one million copies sold), and it reaches #3 on the album chart. It also wins Steely Dan a Grammy for “Best Engineered Non-Classical Recording.”


‘Gaucho,’ Steely Dan’s seventh album – and last new music that will usher from them for 20 years – is released. It yields a Top Ten single, “Hey Nineteen.”


Steely Dan’s ‘Alive in America,’ recorded on their 1993 and 1994 “reunion” tours, is released.


‘Two Against Nature,’ Steely Dan’s first studio album since 1980, is released.


Walter Becker of Steely Dan solicits bids for his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction trophy via the band’s website.


Steely Dan is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the sixteenth annual induction dinner. Moby is their presenter.

Steely Dan