Phish’s Trey Anastasio Honors Steely Dan With Medley of the Band’s Hits for Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction

First formed in the 1970s, Steely Dan, which consisted of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, watched as the band gained international fame that seemed to encompass the decade. While releasing nine studio albums throughout their time in the spotlight, the band gained high praise from Rolling Stone as the publication considered them “the perfect musical antiheroes for the seventies.” Gaining entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2001, the band recently entered the Songwriters Hall of Fame with a special performance by Phish’s Trey Anastasio

Videos by American Songwriter

Part of the 2024 induction class, Steely Dan stood alongside R.E.M., Hillary Lindsey, Dean Pitchford, and Timbaland. Wanting to honor their legacy in the music industry, Anastasio took to the stage to perform hit songs like “Reelin’ In The Years” and “Kid Charlemagne.” Taking place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, Anastasio jumped at the chance to help celebrate Steely Dan. 

[RELATED: 3 Songs You Didn’t Know Trey Anastasio Wrote Solo for Phish]

Trey Anastasio One Of Steely Dan’s Biggest Fans

Discussing the importance of the ceremony and his connection with Steely Dan, Anastasio admitted, “Steely Dan — who I am inducting tonight — I loved them when I was a kid, I have all their albums — probably some of the first guitar solos I ever learned. But the songs, it’s about the songs. Gaucho might be my favorite [Steely Dan album], Aja, Pretzel Logic, The Royal Scam. It is my great honor to induct them into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. I am a true fan.”

While outside of being a massive fan of Steely Dan, Anastasio harped on the importance of the song.  “I am in a song-based industry. Music, it’s all about the songs, it always has been and it always will be — regardless of the style.”

Other than Anastasio, iconic music manager Irving Azoff also spoke about Steely Dan and shared a moment in their career where they decided to send a blank image as a promotion image. Although not always understanding their humor, he joked, “To say they had a great sense of humor would be an understatement.”

Sadly, Becker passed away back in September 2017 after being diagnosed with a form of esophageal cancer.  

(Photo by Joy Malone/Getty Images)

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