I got a couple of great books for Christmas. It’s really nice when you get things that you like, but didn’t know existed until you pull off the wrapping paper. First up was Donald Fagen, Eminent Hipsters. I’ve been a fan of Steely Dan since forever. They make west coast sounding jazz/rock that number one wife says sounds like “Middle of the Road Music”. Whatever. I think they are great and they are still writing and touring despite being in their mid sixties.
The driving force behind the group, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, studied English Lit. as students and this really comes out in their lyrics and sleeve notes. And now Donald Fagen has published a collection of essays and notes with stories from his childhood, growing up as a jazz geek before the word geek became respectable, and also charting the trials of being a rock star on the road, jetting between five star hotels and sell out concert venues.
You won’t get much insight into the lyrics of the songs they’ve written, and to be honest Mr Fagen sounds like a bit of a grump from time to time. But he really can turn out a splendid phrase or two. A good read if you like well written prose. A truly great read if you follow the band.
When we go up town shopping I usually end up buying everyone a Lego minifigure. As if our house is short of bits of coloured plastic that are hard to dust. Anyhoo, they are fun to put together and always nicely themed.
It turns out that you can get a book about them. Now, I realise that what we have here is really just a brochure/catalogue/marketing thing that is probably a cynical ploy by a steel-hearted multi-national company bent on getting us to buy more bits of coloured plastic from them. But I like the pictures. And I like looking at the images and getting the “I’ve got one of them….” And you do get some more minifigures with the book as well……