Steely Dan And The Doobie Brothers Announce Massive Joint North American Tour

Jeff DalyAP Images

Steely Dan will team up with the Doobie Brothers for a summertime concert tour that will mark Steely Dan’s first major tour since the death of founding member Walter Becker. The tour, titled The Summer of Living Dangerously, will begin May 10 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will continue through July 14 with a final show in Bethel, N.Y. You can see the full list of The Summer of Living Dangerously tour dates on Steely Dan’s official website.

Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers have had a connection for more than 40 years. Michael McDonald played with Steely Dan in the early 1970s as part of the band’s touring group before joining the Doobie Brothers.The two bands also toured together as recently as 2006 before teaming up at the BluesFest at the O2 Arena in London last year. For the 2018 tour, the classic rock bands will play a total of 37 shows in the U.S. and Canada, hitting cities in Florida, Texas, California, Missouri and more.

While Steely Dan played a few shows last fall, the supersized concert series will be the band’s first major trek since the death of co-founding guitarist Walter Becker in September. While Becker’s music will always be an integral part of the show, if it were up to his surviving musical partner, Donald Fagen, the show would go on with a different name.

In an interview with Rolling Stone‘s Music Now podcast, Donald Fagen revealed that he would rather call the post Walter Becker touring band something other than Steely Dan, but that concert promoters were not buying it.

“I would actually prefer to call it Donald Fagen and the Steely Dan Band or something like that,” Fagen admitted. “To me, Steely Dan was just me and Walter, really – it was like a concept we had together.”

The new tour dates come amid Donald Fagen’s lawsuit against Becker’s estate to retain control of the band, according to Rolling Stone.

In the suit, Fagen cited a Buy/Sell Agreement the two musicians signed 45 years prior, on Halloween in 1972, which stipulated that if a Steely Dan member quit or died, the band would purchase all of the member’s shares in the group. But less than a week after Becker’s death, Fagen reportedly received a letter from the late musician’s estate that stated the agreement dated in 1972 is “of no force or effect” and that Becker’s widow, Delia, was entitled to 50 percent ownership of the band and a director/officer title. Fagen’s lawsuit also alleges that the Walter Becker defendants currently operate the Steely Dan official website and refuse to share control of it.

Steely Dan's Walter Becker and Donald Fagen
Featured image credit: Nick UtAP Images

Steely Dan’s last album was recorded in 2003 with Everything Must Go. The group is best known for the 1970s hits “Reelin’ in the Years,” “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number,” and “Peg,” which featured backing vocals by the Michael McDonald, who would go on to join the Doobie Brothers. McDonald later credited Becker and Fagen for using his voice in a unique way during the sessions for the “Peg” single back in 1977.

“It wasn’t an easy part for me to do,” McDonald told Billboard. “Because the harmonies are so close, I had to have them turn off the other part so I could sing the new part without hearing the other part, because I couldn’t sing that close to myself harmonically without failing badly. So that was difficult…Donald and [Walter] were very patient with me. Hearing it back with all the parts in was really thrilling, because Donald and Walter were probably the first people to use my voice that way.”

The Doobie Brothers, best known for the hits “Taking’ It To the Streets,” “What a Fool Believes,” and “Minute by Minute” last released music in 2014 with the album Southbound.