Steely Dan Aja cover

What is that ribbon supposed to be?  It looks like a piece of the US flag.  Is that what it's supposed to be or something else? I never understood it.  I see the profile of the face of the Japanese model, though.


I never thought that is was an American flag, I figured that she was supposed to be Aja, and it was just an artsy-fartsy photograph.

As far as I can tell, The cover is of an Asian woman in a partially open robe

with a blue, white and red border on all the edges. 

What do you see Dog?


I see the lady’s partial face profile, and what looks like a ribbon or something. I can’t make it out. I wish I could see the partially open robe, but I don’t. I just don’t get what those "lines" are. Cloth? flag? Ribbon?  I don't see blue anywhere, just a whole lotta black. 

It was outtake of the cover photo shoot.

The red and white are part of the kimono/happi coat/robe the model is wearing. It extends along the front were it opens. It also looks like it trims the end of the sleeve.

Her face BTW is almost full front but veiled.

US Flag Code 8(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.

What is that ribbon supposed to be? It looks like a piece of the US flag

I see a black robe with red and white trim.

All these US flag references are a bit nationalistic.

I never 'saw' a flag....or even the hint of it....mea culpa...

A very stylish bit of photo work for an outstanding album....later, spouses' penchant for watching 'dress design competition programs on the 'screem' drove one to wish 'high fashion' designers would get into rehab....and the models gain some pounds.

...then, I walk out 'n about.....and look at the Rest of Us....

...and want it all to Go Away....*wry L-ing*

Did you know that Phil Hartman, the comic actor from Saturday Night Live and News Radio Fame, was the graphic artist that created that cover?

The album cover was designed by Patricia Mitsui and Geoff Westen and according to Donald Fagen, Aja was the name of a Korean woman who married the brother of one of his high school friends. It's obviously the red and white trim of model Sayoko Yamaguchi's black robe.

@aewarren If it was that obvious, I wouldn't have posted this.  On the album cover, all I see is a whole lot of black.  I don't see a black robe at all.  After @theflattire posted the FB link, it is now clear to me, since I see the robe against a white background.   Didn't think this would turn into an "obvious" fiasco referring to nationalism and citing statutes.  UGgghhhhghgghhg

Haha. I guess it’s just one of those things that you either see or you don’t. And when you do see it, you can’t un-see it.

This is an outtake from the Aja photo session that might clarify things a bit.

@roxy54 Yes, thanks. Sometimes my sarcastic humor is a little too subtle. 

@tony1954 Great link/info. Thanks

@shtinkydog I was messing with you on the flag code. Anyhow, it's statute not statue. (Name the show)


I should be thanking you for posting the question.

I was always confused by the image as well and your question sparked me to investigate.

Funny how it now looks completely different when you have context.

@sls141 ...I've woke up late to movies playing and had a similar response...

A better one (kinda) is spouse 'n I on a long charter bus trip with the AV playing chinese 'soap operas' with no subtitles (predominately Asian riders onboard)....

Made up our own dialogs for psychotic scrips.....alien possessions, attacks outside by oversized rodents....laughing at the wrong parts....

@asvjerry Over the years, since I've seen "The Big Chill," I've used that line many, many times.

"Sometimes, you just have to let art flow over you."

@asvjerry - ever see Woody Allen's 'What's Up, Tiger Lily'? That's kind of how that works.... 

... and I gotta say that all these years that always seemed somewhat flaggy red white and blue. Nice to see what it really is.... 

@sls141 , down with that...👍  Goin' with the flow makes sense until the roar of the ever eventual waterfall is finally comprehended....Then the excrement that's buried the fan becomes the priority......

"When it all stops making sense, that's when it all seems to make sense."

...we've a magnet on the fridge that proclaims that, and I'm not one to argue with a small rectangular plate with a smug looking woman depicted upon it.....

@celtic66 , ordinarily, I'd agree.....but, given the state of the newz of the day (bombing, blizzards, bombastic venting by everyone's fav baboon of no clue, border 'bad vibes' augmented by Our Side of the river.....

....and 'Thunder' by The Prodigy comes up in my ears from the cell stream....

If it gets any 'slower''s been a varied pleasure to chat with y'all....

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *pow*

I'm jesting.....

I hope....*muted L*

Happy F'n Fried daze.....😆😏

My favorite album of all time. Recently got the UHQR of it shipped the day it was released. Incredible....blew away my Mofi Original Master. Unfortunately (but expectedly) it hurt the resale value of the Mofi. But I sold it anyway..... I think it is Fagen's favorite too since he plays more songs from that album than any other at their concerts.

@sokogear - He may very well like it the best, but likely of more importance is that the audience wants to hear that the most, being their biggest selling album. I've got that UHQR, too - awesome! 

@larsman - at this point Donald does whatever the hell he wants. The only one he plays that he thinks the audience wants is Rikki Don't Lose that Number. They used to never play it when they first started touring again after their breakup in the early 80's. I bet he thinks it is too pop.

He just turned 76 and I hope he keeps touring as long as he can play. He is pretty grouchy, but that led to some great music/albums driving the studio musicians crazy. I guess the touring band that has been together so long has gotten used to him.

For me it was noticing the tiny end of her fingertip that made me see the robe. I think the mystery of I think I see her but I’m not sure is the visual point. The song is certainly atmospheric. What an album! It’s been my reference album for auditioning gear for 40 years.