Jerome Aniton was the truck driver for Steely Dan during their early 70's tours.

It is June, 1974. Steely Dan is playing at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in sunny California). Jerome, intoxicated beyond the Milky Way, steps on stage to introduce the band.

Any thoughts on how he will address the crowd soon fade away. But Jerome is skating backwards at the speed of light. The audience goes wild; Walter and Donald are ecstatic. "Mr. Whatever is here tonight." Don't worry, Jerome: They got the Steely Dan T-shirt.

Jerome, they better be good to ya, wherever you are.

Testing... one, two... testing
Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen

We're glad you made it here tonite
Becau' you gonna miss a...
you can tell yo friend tomorro'
that they gonna miss out on a (bleep)damn good thang we gonna give you tonite.

(drum roll)

Right on!

What we gonna give you tonight, it'll be down to the nitty gritty.

You can tell all yo friends... Way home in uh...
Hell... Hell! I don't care, you can tell 'em, in anyway you want (bleep)! Hahahahahaha...
You can tell 'em that, you can tell 'em tonite
That Santa Monica had been definee' set on fire.
And they make, and they make out on uh... them good thang.
The best thing ever happened to Santa Monica is gonna be here tonite.

(drum roll)


And you can also... Aw, you little ol' purty... purty, little purty one, Uh!
If he ain't here tonite, Uh! You can tell him, forget it too, you know.
Because, Mister... Whatevah, is here tonite
He gonna get down tonight, Brother
He gonna get with it
He gonna give you something that Santa Monica that never had.
If it good to ya, it got to be good for ya!

Right on! Yeah!

And one thing I can tell ya, Brother. He's here tonight.
Mr. Magnificent one is here... The Beautiful one is here...
Hahaha, you little 'ol purty one, you here two
You know... Whatevah.

Here is the Magnificent one
The one and only one
Mr... Steely... Dan... Whatever!

Band starts playing Bodhisattva
Steely Dan - Bodhisattva (Live)
Recorded (on cassette), live at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium , Santa Monica, California - June, 1974.
"Hey Nineteen" Single, "B"-side (1980)
"Citizen Steely Dan", Box set (1993)

On their 1974 US tour Steely Dan had hired a truck driver cum emcee called Jerome Aniton. He was a character quite unlike his employers with an unquenchable thirst for alcohol and a devil-may-care attitude that, perversely, Becker and Fagan admired too no end. His fondness for alcohol did wonders for his introductions, and on more than one occasion he crashed the equipment truck. At the prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, where at the time Steely Dan were the only "rock 'n' roll" group permitted to play, Aniton did thousands of dollars' worth of damage driving their equipment truck out of the building, smashing a massive hole in one trailer which housed most of Dinky Dawson's personal possessions. It was raining torrents as Steely Dan's crew drove to their next gig in Boston so someone had crawl up on to the top of the trailer and try to patch the hole over before the gear inside was ruined.

On another occasion Aniton drove from Baltimore to Washington at night without headlights accompanied by two fifteen-year-old girls in the front seat. He was accident prone and incessantly intoxicated, and ought not to have been allowed to continue with such responsibility, but Becker and Fagan had taken a shine to him and insisted he be retained in some capacity.

So Aniton became the comedian of the party, sending the band into paroxysms of laughter with unconventional behavior he considered normal. Aniton was given the responsibility of introducing the band on stage and his introductions were exaggerated interpretations of what an emcee might say at black soul reviews. Aniton was a truck driver doing his take on a black emcee while under the influence of alcohol and presenting a white band... but it worked a treat. He gave some memorable and hilarious introductions, and even became something of a favorite among fans who relished yet another unexpected quirk of Steely Dan. The first time he introduced them, the band enjoyed it so much they played the opening song better than ever before.

Part of the fun was that Aniton didn't even understand Steely Dan... he actually thought Donald Fagan's name was Stevie Dan. On one occasion, ever unsteady on his feet, Aniton stumbled into Fagan's grand piano on stage and said to one of the other players, "I bumped into Stevie's piano."

His introductions varied nightly from "Stevie Dan" to "Mr. Stevie Dan and Whatever." The more Aniton drank, the more hilarious his introductions became so everyone encouraged him to partake as much as possible. Aniton might go on and do a rambling two-minute-plus introduction replete with expletives while the band members laughed aloud behind him, encouraging him with audible asides. At a gig in Cleveland, Aniton's geography deserted him and he referred to the city as being on the east coast.

--From Steely Dan: Reelin' in the Years by Brian Sweet

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