Singer/songwriter Aimee Mann recently revealed that she was removed from her previously announced slot as an opening act on Steely Dan‘s upcoming U.S. tour. Now the band’s frontman, Donald Fagen, has apologized to Mann, while also explaining why she was dropped from the bill.
In a statement provided to Variety, Fagen noted, “I was misinformed as to how firm the commitment was to any particular opening act. And, although I have the greatest respect for Aimee as a writer and performer, I thought it might not be the best matchup in terms of musical style.”
He added, “But I can’t pass the buck. I’ll take the blame for the screwup. I apologize for any distress this has caused Aimee and her fans.”
Mann announced that she’d been bumped from Steely Dan’s tour in a comic strip she posted on her Instagram, writing, “No one is entirely sure why, but it seems they thought their audience wouldn’t like a female singer-songwriter?…As it happens, Steely Dan is the one band that I 100% love, with no reservations, so it really sucks.”
In his statement, Fagen addressed Mann’s comment about her being a female artist, insisting “the idea that I would make any decision based on the gender of a performer is ridiculous. That’s something that would never even occur to me.”
He also pointed out that female acts including Rickie Lee Jones and the late Phoebe Snow had previously opened for Steely Dan.
Mann tells Variety, “I totally disagree about the style thing…I know so many people who are fans of mine and fans of theirs,” adding, “Anyway, I still love them.”
Aimee had been scheduled to support the band from June 21 to July 3. The full trek currently runs from May 20 through August 13.
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