When No One Knows Your Favorite Band


By: Connor Lenahan

It’s an odd phenomenon to have your favorite band be one that none of your friends have ever heard of. Despite how much I write or talk about Kanye West, Alter Bridge, Drake, Frank Ocean, Foo Fighters, Maroon 5, Fiona Apple, Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, Outkast, Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, Tool, Johnny Cash, Paramore, or any other artist that pops up from time to time, all of them are behind Steely Dan for me.

Steely Dan, the duo of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, are a jazz rock outfit that has written some of the most musically precise pieces ever. They also lay claim to, for my dollar, the best lyrical content I’ve ever found. I throw around Steely Dan lines that no one but my parents, brothers, and girlfriend catch commonly. I’ve even lifted Steely Dan lines for Unbreakable article titles.

I’m working under the assumption that you don’t know any of their music. Well, that’s probably not true but you wouldn’t have known. Chances are that you’ve run across “Reelin’ in the Years” and “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” at some point, even if you are under 25.

It’s odd to not have anyone outside of the previously mentioned family/girlfriend that knows the band I have been listening to since I was 4 years old. Hell, I even wrote a bracket about Steely Dan and their best song back in 2013.

Why all of this? Tonight will be my fifth time seeing the Dan in concert and I could not be any more excited. This is a band that I will almost certainly drop everything to see live, even if they have been playing largely the same setlist for the last six years. It doesn’t matter. I still love them all the same. Even more, I love getting to introduce people to a band they have never heard before. Tonight will be my girlfriend Laura’s first time seeing them. She is almost more excited than I am. That makes tonight special for me.

If you’re ever bored and looking for something to listen to, and something that is truly spectacular, this is the band for you. Steely Dan doesn’t have a single bad song in their entire catalog. You could pick apart their lyrics for years – I have.

Tonight I will probably be the second youngest member of the crowd behind only Laura. One day, maybe around show number 25-40, I won’t be anymore. In a perfect world I’ll get to keep seeing my secretive favorite band for life. Maybe someday you all will join us.