Steely Dan’s Donald Fagan Apologizes to Aimee Mann After Dropping Her From Tour –“I Apologize for Any Distress”

After Aimee Mann took to social media on Wednesday night (March 16) to reveal that she had unexpectedly been dropped from the upcoming Steely Dan tour, the lead singer for the band, Donald Fagan, is responding.

Videos by American Songwriter

In a statement to Variety, Fagan offered an explanation. “Well, first of all, the idea that I would make any decision based on the gender of a performer is ridiculous. That’s something that would never even occur to me.”

While the reason that Mann was dropped from the tour was unknown, Mann came up with her own conclusion. “I was supposed to open for Steely Dan this summer. I just found out that they took me off the bill. No one is entirely sure why, but it seems they thought their audience wouldn’t like a female singer-songwriter?” she wrote in a comic strip on social media.

“There was a communication problem on our end,” Fagan continued. “I was misinformed as to how firm the commitment was to any particular opening act. And, although I have the greatest respect for Aimee as a writer and performer, I thought it might not be the best matchup in terms of musical style.

“But I can’t pass the buck,” he adds. “I’ll take the blame for the screwup. I apologize for any distress this has caused Aimee and her fans.”

Mann was set to open Steely Dan shows from June 21 through July 3.

In response to Fagan’s explanation, Mann shared a response, saying, “He probably didn’t even know what stage it was in, something I can easily see happening,” she said. “I totally disagree about the style thing, though. I know so many people who are fans of mine and fans of theirs, and way more women than were fans in the ’70s. It’s not as segmented as it used to be. People are thinking more of an approach to songwriting than the styles — jazz-influenced versus folk-influenced. Anyway, I still love them, and he owes me that explanation of Brooklyn.”

Prior to Fagan’s explanation, Mann had shared a solution to the whole situation on social media, writing on Wednesday night, “All is forgiven if Donald just tells me what Brooklyn is about,” in reference to the song “Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me).”

When the news broke, many artists took to social media to share their thoughts on the matter. Grammy award-winner Jason Isbell wrote,  “My wife hates Steely Dan. I have discussed that with Aimee Mann, who truly loves Steely Dan. Now I’ll never again try to convince my wife that Steely Dan is good.”

In response to Isbell’s Tweet, the Drive-By Truckers wrote, “I love some Steely Dan but there’s nothing nice about them. Their entire operating milieux is somewhat based on assholery. My personal dealings w Fagen (sic) were actually almost friendly though. Aimee Mann is The Shit! Their loss on this one.”

Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Exclusive: Jessica Willis Fisher Shares Story Behind “Brand New Day”