Steely Dan drummers


Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2015
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I read a Porcaro interview where he said he was so anxious about going into the studio with the Dan for the first time that he threw up in the men's room...
In Jeff's own words:

My first session was with Keltner with Jack Dougherty. It was a rehearsal band, and Hal Blaine was the drummer, and then the contractor called to see if I wanted to do the rehearsal band on Saturdays.
I did about five of them. I knew they were planning to do a record, and they stopped calling me for rehearsals, so I figured they were going to use a studio guy for the album. Then Dougherty called me and asked if I had ever heard of a drummer named Keltner. At that time, my biggest heroes were Keltner and Gordon. I said yes, and he said, "He just got off the road with Joe Cocker, and you and he are going to do the rehearsal band for a couple of weeks. So we rehearsed a couple of times before the session.

I was 17 and didn't even have my driver's license, so my mom drove me to the session at A&M. I borrowed my dad's black diamond pearl Ludwig set, which was just like Keltner's, because I wanted to be just like him: I wore a vest like Jim Keltner, I tried to get the heaviest boots I could, because like everyone else has said, you just wanted to emulate your heroes. Just before I got through the door, I was so nervous, I threw up right in the corner.
Thank God the tune was this uptempo samba, because my stick was going so fast. I remember Jim sits down next to me, and he looks over to me and says, "Man, do you read?" I go, "No," and he said, "I don't read that good either, you do the fills and I'll just keep time." I'm going "Right!"