Steely Dan was established in 1972 by two musicians, Donald Fagen(lead vocals, keyboards) and Walter Becker(guitarist, bass, backing vocals). However, only a few people know that band members have a college friend who almost took the route to join them. In fact, all of them were playing the same college band. 

So, which comedian was a drummer in a band that would later become Steely Dan?

Chevy Chase is a comedian and a drummer in a band that would later become Steely Dan. Chevy Chase, Donald Fagen, and Walter Becker played in the same college band named “The Leather Canary.” After Chevy left the band, the remaining two band members would go on to form Steely Dan.

It might sound strange that Chevy Chase could have been an active band member of Steely Dan. However, one decision made him change the direction of pursuing the path of a successful drummer and becoming an active member of Steely Dan. To understand the whole story and what happened after Chase decided to quit The Leather Canary, keep reading below.

How Chevy Chase almost became Steely Dan’s drummer

It is strange to imagine Chevy Chase as an active member and drummer of Steely Dan. However, that would have happened if Chevy didn’t make one specific decision during his college years. Chase was certainly a very exciting person in college. 

Everybody knew him for his surreal personality and ability to make anybody laugh. Initially, he joined the college as a pre-med student but would transfer to the acting course later. There is one story tied to his years at the college. 

He was expelled from that same college because he kept a live cow in his room. Yes, you heard that right, a live cow in the college dorm room. Now, before we get to the cow situation, Chase had started playing drums with a couple of bands in college a few years prior. One of the bands was The Leather Canary, known in college as a “bad jazz band.” 

Three members of The leather Canary band were Chase, Becker, Fagen, and his good college friends. When he was expelled from the college because of the cow incident, his life took a turnaround, and Chase would go on to pursue a long list of both boring and exciting jobs before he would eventually start his comedy career. 

He did jobs until he became a full-time comedian: cab driver, truck driver, motorcycle messenger, construction worker, waiter, busboy, fruit picker, produce manager in a supermarket, audio engineer, salesman in a wine store, and theatre usher.

In conclusion, Chase never had a chance to stay with Becker and Fagen because he was expelled from college due to the cow incident. How ironic this situation was. Nevertheless, if you look closely enough, it is a good sign of future sucess in his comedy career.

What band was Chevy Chase a part of?

Chevy Chase had been a member of two significant bends. Well, the first one we mentioned may be insignificant in general. However, it is significant considering the whole story and what happened after the cow accident. 

So, Chase was a part of the college band The Leather Canary. The bend had a total of three members, and they were Chevy Chase, Donald Fagen, and Walter Becker. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker would later form the bend today known as Stanley Dan. 

The second bend Chase was a part of is a short-lived American psychedelic rock band, Chamaeleon Church. The bend was founded by Ted Myers, a singer and songwriter, and the main reason for its formation was the disbandment of the Lost. 

Members of Chamaeleon Church were Tony Scheuren(guitarist, vocals), Kyle Garrahan(guitarist, vocals, piano) and Chevy Chase(drums, vocals, keyboards).

Does Chevy Chase play an instrument?

Yes, as discussed earlier, Chevy Chase was an extremely talented drummer. He played drums during his college years in The Leather Canary, along with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. 

Chase was always considered a talented drummer, but he never actually pursued a career as a professional drummer. Nevertheless, after the college bend, he was a part of one more band where he played drums, Chamaeleon Church. 

In addition to amazing drum skills, Chase could also play piano. Also, he started playing piano during his college years, but in the end never actually focused to much on his music career since he found himself in comedy later in his life.

Was Chevy Chase a good drummer?

Chevy Chase was a talented drummer. However, he never became a full-time professional since he did various other “normal” jobs before he found himself in comedy. You can see his drumming skills on display during his college years in The Leather Canary and later in the band Chamaeleon Church.

Who was Steely Dan’s first drummer?

Jim Hodder was Steely Dan’s first drummer. Jim is an American drummer who initially joined Steely Dan after he left the Boston-based group “The Bead Game.” He was a part of Steely Dan for the time of the first three albums, after which he decided to leave the group in 1974.

What’s happened to Chevy Chase?

What really happened to Chevy Chase is that he has imploded, personally and professionally, after many successes, he had in his early 30s. 

The years afterward were catastrophic for Chase since he began alienating countless different people who were genuinely trying to help him and his career grow. 

The problem of too much money and fame was what Chase was battling with, and after his 30s, he simply couldn’t handle it. 

Before his death, he was not the happiest person on the planet since he realized that he couldn’t steal the attention that made him have positive emotions. 

Why is a street named after Chevy Chase?

Actually, Chevy Chase Boulevard is not named after Chevy Chase, drummer and comedian. Furthermore, many people believe that the street has its name because of the Ballad of Chevy Chase, a well-known fold song. 

In conclusion, the street isn’t named after Chevy Chase, the drummer, but probably is inspired by an old Scottish song called “The Ballad of Chevy Chase.”

What makes Chevy Chase so hard to work with?

There was a time when Chevy Chase could demand more than 7 million dollars for a single movie. However, that began to change after his 30s and rise to fame. Undoubtedly, Chevy Chase is one of the hardest people to work with. 

He was burning friendships and bridges and rubbing people up the wrong way. He was known to make enemies with his co-stars, directors, and even producers. His “behind the scenes” acting made Hollywood grow tired of him. 

It is well-known that Chevy Chase had problems with his ego and was usually arrogant to his colleagues. Entertainment Weekly wrote, “the ugly truth is that many people simply don’t love Chevy Chase.” Some people, his colleagues, even go as far as to say that he posseses an incredible talent to piss people off. 

He had beef with celebrities and even talk hosts like Bill Murray that would end badly for him. Even though Chevy Chase has an incredible talent for pissing people off, he will still be remembered as someone who had an incredible impact on movies, the music industry, and the comedy scene.

Is Chevy Chase disliked in Hollywood?

Chevy Chase has probably been one of the most disliked actors in Hollywood. That is because he used to argue with his colleagues, co-stars, friends, talk hosts, etc. Chase was not the type of person you wished to see at 8 o’clock in the morning with a goal of working straight for the next 10 hours. 

In addition, the main shift in his personality happened after his 30s when he suddenly rose to fame and started to see him as someone very important. Furthermore, Chevy Chase already had problems with his ego and couldn’t control his emotions when somebody challenged him on set or even during a casual conversation. 

Chevy Chase was one of the actors who could easily make more than 5 million dollars for every single movie he was chosen to act in. He even had a physical altercation with SNL co-star Bill Murray. 

That all happened on the Howard Stern Show. The fight had happened backstage in 1978. Chase’s very difficult personality is why most of his Hollywood colleagues despise working with him. 

Nevertheless, many people with whom he had serious arguments believe that Chase is pure-hearted and that he should be remembered as someone of a great impact on the Hollywood, music industry, and comedy scene.


Chevy Chase was not a Steely Dan member. However, he used to play in the college band The Leather Canary, together with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. 

Initially, Chevy got expelled from the college due to the “cow incident,” and the remaining band members would later form the band, Steely Dan.