Zen Master Steve Forbert Calls Down the Muse

Photos by Ray Redding/Texas Redd
Steve Forbert calling up spirits and preaching the word
Steve Forbert
McGonigel's Mucky Duck
April 18, 2015

A jaded, wary veteran like Steve Forbert seems an unlikely candidate for restoring our faith in the troubadour tradition, but he reached deep in his trick bag Saturday night to give it his best shot. He frequently seemed like a character he name-checks in the old chestnut "Going Down to Laurel:"

"Look at Johnny jivin' across the floor/ He can play the fool and make a few mistakes/ But he'll never be a bore."

And bore us Forbert did not as he threw fairy dust on our ears from across the wide span of his 15-album catalog. By the time he'd warmed up the late-show crowd and jumped into "All I Need to Do," he had the audience, many of whom knew every word of every tune, singing along on the choruses.

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So What Else Were These Steely Dan Fans Doing at Coachella?

Photo by Timothy Norris/LA Weekly
Donald Fagen of "The Dan"
Written by Andy Hermann/LA Weekly

Steely Dan fans get a bad rep for being snobby jazzbos who only like eight-minute songs with saxophone solos and overuse the word "musicianship." Which is probably why the Internet's collective mind was blown when it was announced they would be performing at Coachella this year. How could Steely Dan's pretentious, aging fan base possibly fit in amid all the hipsters, flower clowns and "cutting edge" music? Would they actually care about anyone else on the lineup, besides maybe the bill's other classic-rock radio staple, AC/DC?

But it turns out that Steely Dan really aren't all that different than the rest of us. We found some folks rocking out to "Hey Nineteen" to find out how else they were spending their weekend in the desert.

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