What's weird about going to the same school as Becker and Fagen is noting over the years how little they've changed. Every time they pop up--where do these guys GO between records?--I get to say to myself: "Yup, there they are. They haven't changed. Christ I hope I don't look that bad."

They had an amazing talent for just turning up in the old days. You'd be walking from Tewksbury up the hill to the coffee shop and there they'd be: Always together. Sorta edgy. Generally pretty spaced, though how could you tell, really, considering that we were all of us tripping on the same music and the sex and the readily-available study-aids and so forth.

I never saw them with any girls, oddly, and I never saw them apart, but I do remember hearing them play one time back then. Chevy Chase sat in on drums. I was struck by their seriousness, all the more-so because Chase was always a goofball. Becker and Fagan loved music, that's for damned sure. If any two guys could give a shit less about a Grammy I don't know who they'd be.

When I first moved to L.A., I was in a supermarket in the Valley about two o'clock in the morning, buying beer with some new friends who became best friends. We were all into Steely Dan big time, he worked in the music business, and as I turned the corner, Boinnnggg--there they were, Becker and Fagen, looking the same, arms fulla munchies. It was just like old times. We stared at each other with that "...yeah...right..." look you reserve for people you've seen around. I wasn't about to go gushing congrats on two of the coolest dudes I've ever known, but my friend was very impressed.

And then I was in an up-scale gunshop in Santa Monica, looking to pick up some protection during a difficult time. Very chic place, BMW's and Benzes out front, all the latest Glocks and PPK's.

Becker was buying an Uzi, and who could blame him, really. For a while there we were all third world men.

I love those guys. I'm glad they're back together.