Walter Becker, Steely Dan Co-Founder, Dead at 67

by Wade Massey September 4, 2017, 0:58
Walter Becker, Steely Dan Co-Founder, Dead at 67

Walter Becker, of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted band Steely Dan, died Sunday, Sept. 3, at the age of 67.

The guitarist's death was reported on his personal website with two photographs of the musician and the epitaph: "feb. 20 1950 - September 03 2017". He faced legal action after his girlfriend died of a drug overdose in his apartment in NY, where soon afterward he was hit by a taxi and injured.

Walter Becker was my friend, my writing partner and my bandmate since we met as students at Bard College in 1967.

Yet Steely Dan's songs found their way into a lengthy roster of soundtracks that no doubt spread the group's jazzy rock and intricate musicality to fans who'd never so much as touched a radio dial. Fagen was the lead vocalist. Also soul music and Chicago blues. "We want that ongoing flow, that lightness, that forward rush of jazz". They penned several hits, including Do It Again, Reeling' in the Years and Rikki Don't Lose That Number.

Named after a sex toy in William S. Burroughs' novel "Naked Lunch", Steely Dan debuted in 1972 with the album "Can't Buy a Thrill".

Our thoughts are with Walter's loved ones during this time. They reunited in 2000 with "Two Against Nature", which earned a Grammy Award for album of the year. In 2003, they released another, "Everything Must Go".

On the morning of his death, Becker's homepage, WalterBecker.com, was switched to a simple diptych featuring an image of him as a child alongside one where the adult musician's impish charm was unchanged.

Even musicians who hadn't shared a stage with Becker for forty some-odd years shared Fagen's pain, as Becker's influence proved boundless.


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