Donald Fagen: Eminent Hipsters (Penguin) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Donald Fagen

Eminent Hipsters

Published by Penguin

Dec 30, 2013 Issue #48 - November/December 2013 - HAIM Bookmark and Share

This collection of autobiographical essays from Steely Dan’s Donald Fagenwho might otherwise have become a journalist, or an English teacher, as he explains hereprimarily focuses on early influences that found him in Cold War-era suburban New Jersey during his youth, up through his early adulthood and too-square-to-be-a-hippie years. There’s enough name-dropping of jazz and pop esoterica to satisfy readers seeking his thoughts on Ennio Morricone and The Boswell Sisters, but it’s just as interesting when he discusses non-musical items, such as when he connects the Corto-Thalamic Pause technique to Scientology and Golden Age science fiction, or the chapter on radio broadcasterand A Christmas Story authorJean Shepherd. He manages to come off as humorous, authoritative, and magnificently geeky, sounding like a down-to-earth liberal arts professor. It’s a breezy, informative read, and should be interesting even to non-fans. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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