"Right Away We Walk, the Walk/
More or Less Talk the Talk"

Hello, My name is Stewart, but formerly I was "Sky," and I am a recovering compulsive sticker and decal applicator.

I want to share how Steely Dan has helped me clean up my life as a testimony to Dandom Living.

I used to be Dead Head, truckin' to every Dead show I could get to for weeks to catch that buzz of the boys as well as that magic aroma. Then Jer died. I was lost. I really started to freak. The strange trip turned bad.

Then while at the June '96 "Furthur Festival" Show at East Troy, Wisconsin, right after Hornsby's set, I ran into this guy passing out flyers, a call to a new way of life, of Dandom Living. The flyer promised a whole new scene and some "kick-ass" music. To make a long story short, I saw Steely Dan at Alpine Valley on August 3, 1996. (Yes, that was me with the dreadlocks and tie-dyes spinning to Walter and Donald in the audience at the foot of the stage.) The new scene loved me too, just like my old one, and helped me to accept that post-retro-hippie side of me I had denied for so-long.

I am so thankful that I found the Dan's tubular web site conversion kit for cleansing me of my disease and making me one who truly lives a life of Dandom Living. I now know I am entitled to the best.

As part of my spiritual make-over, I sold my VW Microbus "Pop-Top" camper and bought a BMW 750. Unfortunately, I came away from the Dead scene with one terrible compulsion: I couldn't stop plastering bumper stickers and decals -- dancing bears, JGB, "Blues for Allah", "Lesh is More" and "skull-fuck" -- all over my new BMW 750, just like I used to do with my VW bus. I'm sure you have seen many a vehicle suffering from this affliction driven by a Dead Head on the highway. Hey, I'm your neighbor...

Although helpful to many, Walter and Donald's Dead to Dan conversion chart on the Web was not enough. I even tried entering Deadhead-to-Dan Fan Internet contests with no success.

I bottomed out. I had to enter a half-way garage program specializing in vehicular maintenance addictions that plague former Dead Heads who wish to change their ways to become Dan Fans. My best thinking was what got me there, and Maggi and Hoops became my sponsors.

On the way to and from the North American conference of Dan Fans at the Gorge , Maggi and Hoops helped me work the twelve step program regarding my disease. They helped me to admit that my life and the appearance of my "Beemer" had become unimaginable. I surrendered to the higher power of Becker and Fagen. First I told myself I was sorry, and then I attempted to make amends to my BMW (as well as the community of BMW owners) by cleansing my 750 of all its stickers and decals, arranging for my rich uncle to pay for a spiffy new clearcoat-and-buff job; and giving back to the community of Dandom what I was first given by it by being active member of Steely Dan concert audiences and the "Under The Banyon Trees" guestbook. I regularly read Dandom approved concert literature like Metal Leg archives, Sweet's bio, The Dandom Digest, and of course all of those nifty web spages including steelydan.com.

It was in rehab that I took a fearless and searching personal inventory of my sticker and decal collection and learned I could take my character defects and turn them into strengths. We discussed how I could channel the energies of my sticker and decal addiction into something new in keeping with my Dandemonious spiritual goals.

I meditated and reflected deeply on this, forgiving the images of Jer and Bobby; invoking the images of Walter and Donald; religiously visiting the musical imagery of Monk and Horace; and I prayed to Sam the Butcher and Alice the Maid for helpful hints as to how to remove that gummy adhesive residue from my BMW. Then Hoops and Maggi spoke of Swami Pete's personalized license plate. In a moment of insight, I experienced "The big 'Ah-Ha!'" I could convert my character defect into hope for all Dankind by simply having one tasteful, personalized license plate for my car that would declare my new found purity of Danness. All along the way from the Gorge conference--and back too, we discussed ideas for my new license plate, a item that would reflect the new balance in my life.

A single gleaming, reflective, radiant plate of Steel which would satiate my need for bumper stickers and window decals. Thanks to Donald, Walter and "easy does it," I know I can indulge myself but with moderation; just a simple but powerful Steely Dan license plate message of eight alpha-numeric characters or less on the front and back would be enough.

Now I want to do my part and carry the message to other compulsive Dead decal and sticker applicators who wish to change. I thought I could help and inspire others like me by showing examples of possible personalized Dan-inspired license plates and sharing what I am considering for possible license plates.

Please check out my page of protypical plates I am considering. And let me know what you think. My sponsor Hoops says that he will give Steely Dan program-related audio recordings to inspire you further as thanks for talking the talk and walking the walk by submitting your plate ideas to the Dandom Digest at dandom@interaccess.com .

I want to thank you all for being there. I may not like all of you, but I love you all in a special way. Yeah. I guess.

(formerly "Sky")

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created 9.11.97 / last update 2.21.01
© 1997
j. j. mckay all rights reserved

11 September 97 | jjmckay@uiuc.edu