When I was fifteen years old, I had the most ridiculous crush on a guy named Tom, who was the college roommate of my sister’s boyfriend. Although my adolescent longing for Tom’s relentless hotness went thoroughly unrequited, he and I did have a sweet sort of friendship. Lots of times, my sister would let me tag along on visits to her boyfriend’s apartment, and we would all listen to records together. Besides Frank Zappa’s Freak Outand Just Another Band From LA, Tom introduced me to an LP that made a strong and lasting impression on me; the just–released (at the time) Steely Dan epic, The Royal Scam. Like any Beatles album you can name, The Royal Scam is a true masterpiece of recorded music.