As a student of musical history, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen knows that during the Great Depression musical revues were a popular form of live entertainment.
“There were Earl Carroll’s ‘Vanities’ and the Ziegfeld Follies,” he says. “From the audience point of view, it’s fun because revues are fast-moving, a lot of singers are involved and there’s a variety of music. And people just wanted to have a good time.”
So does that mean the “Dukes of September Rhythm Revue,” coming to PNC Pavilion at Riverbend on Friday and featuring Fagen, Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald, was launched in response to the ongoing Great Recession?
“No, but it occurs to me that sometimes these things happen on an unconscious level,” Fagen says.
There will be at least one difference between those Depression-era shows and the Dukes of September tour.
“They also had a lot of sex,” Fagen explains. “This won’t, but there will be two lovely back-up singers providing visual eye candy.”
The Dukes of September Rhythm Revue featuring Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs, hits Riverbend’s PNC Pavilion Friday. Go here to read Steve Rosen's full interview with Fagan.