Tell us about Steely Dan.

Bard College, Steely Dan was performing.  At that point, Chevy Chase was the drummer-- not a very good one, but he was already funny-- and Donald Fagen was clearly a genius. I was actually a young faculty wife, I was pregnant, I think 2 months-- and he thought I was cute. So he gave me his phone number.

Which I lost. But I thought they were brilliant.

Anyway, I didn't find out about it for 10 years.  I was living in France, and came back to Amherst, Massachusetts. I walked into a record store, and heard Fagen's voice. I recognized it at once.

And I heard my name.

Then a couple of days later, I ran into someone that I had just met, and he said, "Hey, you know that song?  Fagen wrote it for you."

It's like a Zen koan to me... what does that mean, "Rikki don't lose that number"?

What would you do if you weren't writing and painting?

I'd like to come back as a Blues singer.

The funny thing is, Christmas night, I was having a feast with friends. Somebody started one of those things, 'If you could be someone else, who would you be?' I said Eartha Kitt.

Later I learned that she died that night.  But I guess that's what I'd like to be doing, singing like Kitt.