Why'd you have to go and die, man. I get the news this morning from Rima via Telegram. I can't believe it, but it's true. So many people have passed in the last few years, it brings mortality into sharp, unpleasant focus. Since it would be ridiculous for me to suggest that you haven't heard Steely Dan, go ahead and have a fresh listen to an old friend, the Dan's Gaucho, my personal favorite (if you deem valuations based on tenths of a degree valid, otherwise ALL Dan records are my favorite).
Steely Dan was really two bands. One was the studio iteration where Becker and Fagen crafted their amazingly textured albums, staffed with a never-ending assemblage of guest artists from all walks of music. The other was the band they ran for live shows. It would be easy to misunderstand that the two are not one in the same. I guess you could say that the live band played covers of their own music. I don't mean that as an insult. The albums are individual works of musical art, impossible to replicate live, even for Becker and Fagen.
I am near tears as I write this, but my very first album ever was Can't Buy A Thrill and I have loved, adored, and revered Steely Dan every day of my life ever since.
Much love to you for all you have ever given me, Walter.