Donald Fagen said in a statement Sunday that his Steely Dan bandmate was not only "an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter" but also "smart as a whip," ''hysterically funny" and "cynical about human nature, including his own."
"We started writing nutty little tunes on an upright piano in a small sitting room in the lobby of Ward Manor, a mouldering old mansion on the Hudson River that the college used as a dorm," Fagen recalled in his statement.
"We liked a lot of the same things: jazz (from the twenties through the mid-sixties), W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, science fiction, (Vladimir) Nabokov, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Berger, and Robert Altman films come to mind.
They played with the 1960s pop group Jay and the Americans and penned the song "I Mean to Shine," performed by Barbara Streisand in 1971 before moving to California and founding the band, which they named after a sex toy in William S. Burroughs' 1959 novel "Naked Lunch."
"Like a lot of kids from fractured families, he had the knack of creative mimicry, reading people's hidden psychology and transforming what he saw into bubbly, incisive art," Fagen recalled.
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