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Fagen Wanted McDonald to Front Steely Dan

Michael McDonald
(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen has always been one of rock’s most reluctant frontmen. In fact, he revealed that during the sessions for 1975′s Katy Lied, Fagen actually wanted then-session singer — and soon-to-be Doobie Brother Michael McDonald to take over lead vocal duties for the band. McDonald, who was a keyboardist and vocalist in Steely Dan’s last touring band before quitting the road, went on to perform on 1976′s The Royal Scam, 1977′s Aja, and 1980′s Gaucho.

Fagen admitted that he was pushing for McDonald to front the band as soon as he heard him sing: “Actually, when I heard him, I said. . . y’know, ’cause I had never planned to be singer, that kind of happened by accident. My first thought was, ‘Hey, let’s make him the lead singer. ‘Cause, ‘y’know, we’d only done a couple of albums and I figured, ‘Hey, why not change mid-stream.’ But, I was voted down. They didn’t think it was a good I dead to mix. . . I could play instead of a big front man, which I’m still, y’know, I’m still dealing with.”

Steely Dan tour dates (subject to change):
July 19 – Atlantic City, NJ – Ovation Hall
July 20 – Canandaigua, NY – Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands PAC (CMAC)
July 21 – Toronto, ON – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
July 23 – Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion At Nautica
July 24 – Kettering, OH – Fraze Pavilion For The Performing Arts
July 26 – Louisville, KY – The Louisville Palace Theatre
July 27 – Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre
July 28 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theatre
July 30 – Fort Wayne, IN – Embassy Theatre
August 1, 2 – Highland Park, IL – Ravinia Festival At Ravinia Park
August 2 – Indianapolis, IN – Murat Theatre
August 5 – St. Louis, MO – Peabody Opera House
August 6 – Omaha, NE – Orpheum Theater
August 8 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
August 10 – Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Garden
August 11 – Boise, ID – Idaho Botanical Garden
August 13 – Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater
August 15 – Redmond, WA – King County’s Marymoor Park
August 17 – San Francisco, CA – America’s Cup Pavilion
August 18 – Reno, NV – Reno Events Center
August 20 – Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Bowl
August 21 – San Diego, CA – Humphrey’s Concerts By The Bay
August 23 – Las Vegas, NV – Pearl Concert Theater
August 24, 25 – Los Angeles, CA – Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE
August 28 – Austin, TX – Bass Concert Hall
August 30 – The Woodlands, TX – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
August 31 – Grand Prairie, TX – Verizon Theatre At Grand Prairie
September 3 – Kansas City, MO – The Midland By AMC
September 4 – Tulsa, OK – Brady Theater
September 6 – Memphis, TN – Mud Island Amphitheatre
September 7 – Alpharetta, GA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
At Encore Park
September 8 – Saint Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre
September 11 – Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Cafe / Hard Rock Live
September 12 – Boca Raton, FL – Mizner Park Amphitheatre
September 14 – Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall
September 15 – North Charleston, SC – North Charleston Performing Arts Center
September 17 – Charlotte, NC – Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre
September 18 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheatre
September 20 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
September 21 – Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center for Performing Arts
September 24, 25 – Boston, MA – Wang Theatre at Citi Performing Arts Center
September 27 – Bethlehem, PA – Sands Bethlehem Event Center
September 28 – Mashantucket, CT – MGM Grand At Foxwoods

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