Steely Dan co-founder and guitarist Walter Becker dead at 67

Jay Jacobs
September 4, 2017

Walter Becker, guitarist and bassist for rock band Steely Dan, died Sunday.

So while the intentions behind keeping his band's music alive are admirable, Fagen should bear in mind there was and is only one Walter Becker who brought Steely Dan's music to life in the first place.

He met Fagen for the first time while they were both students enrolled at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

"He was cynical about human nature, including himself, and incredibly amusing", said Sunday Donald Fagen, in a tribute to Walter Becker.

Walter Becker of Steely Dan performs at Coachella in 2015.

Jim Pugh, left, Walter Becker, center, and Donald Fagen, right, of USA rock group Steely Dan performs in the Stravinski Hall stage at the 43nd Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland, Saturday, July 4, 2009. Steely Dan ran out of steam and broke up in June of 1981 at which point Becker moved to Hawaii to become an avocado farmer.

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The band released its debut album in 1972, Can't Buy A Thrill. In the interview, Becker downplayed the success of Steely Dan, whose Aja album was outselling the Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones at the time.

"Walter's recovering from a procedure, and hopefully he'll be fine very soon", fellow co-founder Donald Fagen said.

The band continued producing albums throughout the 1970s, Boasting songs penned by Fagen and Becker and music provided by some of the best session musicians in the business.

The band won three Grammys, all for the 2000 album "Two Against Nature". Together with Don Fagen, Becker had been inducted into the Rock "N Roll Hall Fame and was a multi-Grammy Award-winning musician".

"You are so loved Straight to the stars...." That job got them their own record deal, and with a bevy of studio musicians backing them (including future Doobie Brother Jeff "Skunk" Baxter) they created Steely Dan.

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