Once again it is our sad task to announce news of the passing of another music legend. The cause of Walter Becker‘s death has not been revealed, however he was recently forced to cancel his appearances at the Classic West and Classic East concerts due to illness.
Along with Donald Fagen, Walter co-founded Steely Dan in 1972. The band would go on to sell over 40m albums world-wide and leave a truly wonderful legacy – perhaps we should just let the music speak…
Donald Fagen posted this fitting post to his long time friend:
“Walter Becker was my friend, my writing partner and my bandmate since we met as students at Bard College in 1967. 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.
Walter had a very rough childhood – I’ll spare you the details. Luckily, he was smart as a whip, an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter. He was cynical about human nature, including his own, and hysterically funny. Like a lot of kids from fractured families, he had the knack of creative mimicry, reading people’s hidden psychology and transforming what he saw into bubbly, incisive art. He used to write letters (never meant to be sent) in my wife Libby’s singular voice that made the three of us collapse with laughter.
His habits got the best of him by the end of the seventies, and we lost touch for a while. In the eighties, when I was putting together the NY Rock and Soul Review with Libby, we hooked up again, revived the Steely Dan concept and developed another terrific band.
I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can, both with the Steely Dan band. We’ll miss him forever.”
Walter Becker who passed away on 3rd September 2017 – aged 67.