There have been times in the career of Steely Dan when the group rarely, if ever, toured. However, those times apparently are gone. [Choose your own Reelin’ in the Years joke here].
The group has just announced an extensive summer tour that will keep Donald Fagen and Walter Becker (along with a stellar backing band) on the road from July through September.
The dates start July 19 at Ovation Hall in Atlantic City, and run through a September 28 show at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Other cities on the long itinerary include Toronto, Indianapolis, St. Louis, San Diego, Los Angeles, Tulsa, Philadelphia and Boston.
The duo has dubbed the tour “Mood Swings: 8 Miles To Pancake Day,” whatever that means. The backing group is appropriately called the Bipolar Allstars for the trek.
That band features Keith Carlock on drums, Freddie Washington on bass, Jim Beard on keyboards and Jon Herington on guitar. Other than Carlock, the same band toured with Fagen last year as the Dukes of September, though it also included Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald. Considering that lineup, I’m a bit surprised the ‘70s didn’t retroactively explode when they toured. Three backup singers will join the tour, as well, and of course they’ve also been given a group name. The Borderline Brats, as they are being called, are described as “three sublime, soulful songbirds” in a statement.
The band has sold over 40 million records around the world since its debut was released in 1972. The two were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and are known for hits including “Reelin’ in the Years, “F.M.,” “Hey Nineteen,” “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” and “Babylon Sisters.”
This tour will mark the sixth tour for the group since 2006. This is quite remarkable considering the two didn’t tour together between 1975 and 1994.