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Eminent Hipsters


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The life and times and cultural heroes of the musician and songwriter Donald Fagen, co-founder of Steely Dan

About the Author

Donald Fagen was born in 1948 and grew up in New Jersey. He is a graduate of Bard College, where he met musician Walter Becker and started a musical partnership that eventually became the band Steely Dan. Can't Buy a Thrill, Steely Dan's first album was released in 1972; over the next eight years, the band released six more critically acclaimed albums that blended elements of jazz, rock, funk, R&B and pop, culminating with Aja (1977) and Gaucho (1980). Steely Dan disbanded in 1981 but later resumed playing live concerts, as well as releasing two albums of new material; they have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. Fagen has also released four albums of solo material, including The Nightfly (1982), and, most recently, Sunken Codos (2012). In the 1980s, Fagen briefly wrote a film music column for Premiere magazine, as well as contributing pieces to Slate, Harpers Bazaar and Jazz Times.


Nerdishly clever, entertainingly original and even a moving reconfiguration of the memoir format. -- Bernadette McNulty * Sunday Telegraph *
Fagen, as you might expect, is an elegant and erudite writer. -- John Mulvey * Uncut *
If you're a Dan fan you should read this book. If you're not a Dan fan you should read it anyway. * The Afterword *
Part memoir, part personal dissertation, and it makes for an enjoyable, if brief, read. -- Dylan Jones * GQ *
A curious little autobiographical volume by another hero of long ago, Donald Fagen, once and again of Steely Dan. * Spectator *
Eminent Hipsters is regularly funny and insightful. * Sunderland Echo / Dorset Echo *
I would like to be given Eminent Hipsters. -- Sebastian Faulks * Observer *
An excellent, albeit slim, collection of essays about the Steely Dan singer's formative teenage influences as "a subterranean in gestation with a real nasty cast of otherness". -- Andy Gill * Independent *
A memoir of inspired essayism and darkly comic recollection which barely touches on Steely Dan yet utterly satisfies. -- Mat Snow * Mojo *
This is moaning of the highest order - jazz moaning, you might call it - and Fagen keeps it up for 70 brilliant, hilarious pages. For the intelligent, grumpy old music fan, only one of these books needs to be bought as a present this Christmas, and it's not Morrissey's. -- Markus Berkmann * Spectator *
Eminent Hipsters is regularly funny and insightful...whether you know who Fagen is or not, it's still worth anyone's time. * Yorkshire Evening Post *
The writing is sharp, wry and elegant, without a single wasted word. -- Aidan Smith * Scotland on Sunday *
This book is a piece of pure bliss. -- Anthony Quinn * Guardian *
An unalloyed joy. -- Les Gofton * Times Higher Education *
Constantly surprising, and recalled with great elegance. * Financial Times *
A terrific and easy read. -- Jonathan O'Brien * Sunday Business Post *
Wry, funny and forensically observant. * Saga *
A terrific music memoir. -- Tony Clayton-Lea * Irish Times *

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