Tags: walter becker | dies | steely dan | guitarist

Walter Becker Dies: Steely Dan Guitarist Was 67

Image: Walter Becker Dies: Steely Dan Guitarist Was 67
Walter Becker, October 2013 . (Wikimedia Commons)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 September 2017 11:15 AM

Walter Becker, cofounder of the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame band Steely Dan, died Sunday at 67.

Becker collaborated with fellow Steely Dan cofounder Donald Fagen, on many of the bands biggest hits in the 1970s, including "Do It Again," "Reelin' in the Years," and "Rikki Don't Lose That Number," The New York Times noted.

Becker's official's website posted photos of the guitarist when he was a young child and a more recent photo with the caption "a daughter's tribute," but did not offer any other details.

"Walter Becker was my friend, my writing partner and my bandmate since we met as students at Bard College in 1967," Fagen said in a statement to Billboard magazine. "We started writing nutty little tunes on an upright piano in a small sitting room in the lobby of Ward Manor, a mouldering old mansion on the Hudson River that the college used as a dorm.

"We liked a lot of the same things: jazz (from the twenties through the mid-sixties), W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, science fiction, Nabokov, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Berger, and Robert Altman films come to mind. Also soul music and Chicago blues," he continued.

The band broke up in 1981 but reemerged in the 1990s, won several Grammy Awards before being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

The New York Times described Becker as a guitarist and writer who "made suavely subversive pop hits out of slippery jazz harmonies and verbal enigmas" with Fagen. The newspaper called the band's music sleek, understated, and polished to the point where they developed a reputation as being studio perfectionist.

The Times reported that Becker did not join Steely Dan this summer at Classic West and Classic East festivals in Los Angeles and New York City. Fagen told Billboard in August that "Walter's recovering from a procedure and hopefully he'll be fine very soon."

"I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band," Fagen said in his statement to Billboard.

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Walter Becker, cofounder of the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame band Steely Dan, died Sunday at 67.
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2017-15-05
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 11:15 AM
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