WCSX Classic Cuts
Steely Dan: “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”
The Hook: Think you know what it’s about? Well, you don’t. (And neither do we.)
Year Released: 1974
Album: Pretzel Logic
Writers: Walter Becker and Donald Fagen
Stats: Peaked at number-four on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Background: Becker tells us he’s heard many people’s interpretations of the song and “none of them are true.” According to Wikipedia, one possible explanation was offered the March 24, 2006 issue of Entertainment Weekly. They revealed that writer, poet and artist Rikki Ducornet, who knew Fagen at Bard College, may have inspired the song. She claims he gave her his phone number at a party, though she was married and pregnant at the time. Fagen wouldn’t confirm the story for EW, though.
Walter Becker of Steely Dan on the meaning of “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.” OC:..are true. :09
“Oh, ‘Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.’ I’ve heard a lot of great theories as to what the lyrics to that one are about, but I’m here to tell you that none of them are true.”