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The Steely Dan Dictionary: F

Listing 3 entries:

Don't make me do it without the fez on / Oh no
Song: The Fez   Album: The Royal Scam

A type of brimless hat, usually made from red felt with a tassel on top.

Worn by men in the Middle East, or in the US by Shriners (a fraternal lodge organisation) during festivities. Islamic in origin, the hat is named after the holy city of Fez, Morocco.

As for what it means in the context of the lyrics, there are two competing theories — the first (and most straightforward) is that the fez is simply a fetish item for the song's protagonist. The other common suggestion is that it's a slang term for "condom", which some claim Becker and/or Fagen once admitted to in an interview — however I have yet to read such an interview, so this latter theory remains speculative at best.

Link: History of the Fez

The good copper pans / The '54 Strat / These are the things I miss the most
Song: Things I Miss The Most   Album: Everything Must Go

The Fender Stratocaster, arguably the world's most famous type of electric guitar.

Launched in 1954 by Californian inventor Leo Fender (following his earlier electric guitars, the Broadcaster and Telecaster), the Strat quickly became a huge success and over the years it has remained a favourite of guitar gods everywhere, from Buddy Holly to Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton.

The Strat is still being manufactured today, but for true guitar buffs, an original 1954 model is the one to own.

Link: Inside a '54 Strat

She's wearing Ambush and a French twist / She's got us wild and she can tell
Song: New Frontier   Album: The Nightfly

A type of women's hairstyle, in which long hair is tied upwards and fastened in place at the back or top of the head, usually with bobby pins, a hair clip or even "hair sticks".

The French twist is considered an elegant yet practical hairdo: suitable for work or special occasions such as weddings, cocktail parties, or just a night on the town.

Link: YouTube: How to French Twist hair