Formed by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, Steely Dan is an American rock band that was founded in 1972. The band often times played very complex jazz harmonies, and intricate arrangements with a mixture of rock, and funk influences. They have been influencing many artists all these years. And things that don’t go unnoticed in the rock nation are the feuds between one another.
Back in the mid-1970s, John Lennon and Steely Dan’s relationship took a wild turn. Steely Dan had a lot of things when it came to music. They would observe the world around time and write lyrics about America’s fast-changing pop culture scene.
Back in 1971, Lennon was on ‘The Dick Cavett Show’ alongside Yoko Ono. There, he talked about peace and love. However, things were not like Lennon said at all. There were lots of problems going on, and he had failed to see it in such a way. Sadly, Lennon could have only wanted to give hope to others, but Steely Dan didn’t take it lightly. They released a song in 1972, ‘Only a Fool Would Say That’, which was a response to Lennon’s peace.
The lyrics sang, “You do his nine to five, drag yourself home half alive, and there on the screen, a man with a dream.” It was quite a thing to say for them. The song is a beautiful one with mellowed melody. The band made fun of Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’. This criticism of John Lennon is more than anything you could ever see.
This was not the only time they had a feud. In 1975, Lennon released the song ‘Steel and Glass’ which is said to be an attack on Becker and Fagen. While talking with Rolling Stone in 1977, he even said, “Steely Dan’s a bunch of shit. They’re nothing, they’re just a parody of what they started out as.”
It’s not clear if the two ever reconciled before Lennon’s death in 1980. The 1960s were a time of destruction and uneasiness. Both Lennon and Steely Dan had their own opinion on the matters that were going on. With more than 500000 jobs lost, burglaries, drugs rampant, and murders maybe Lennon’s idea of peace would have never worked out. That’s the reason Steely Dan came up with such daring lyrics.
Listen to Only a Fool Would Say That by Steely Dan Down Below.