Steely Dan Icon Walter Becker Dead At 67

09-05-2017
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Steely Dan

(hennemusic) Steely Dan guitarist and co-founder Walter Becker died on September 3 at the age of 67. Becker's website broke the news Sunday, without providing details, with a pair of photos of the musician - one from childhood alongside a more recent image.

The guitarist was noticeably absent from Steely Dan's appearances at the Classic West and Classic East music festivals in July, with co-founder Donald Fagen later telling Billboard that "Walter's recovering from a procedure and hopefully he'll be fine very soon."

"Walter Becker was my friend, my writing partner and my bandmate since we met as students at Bard College in 1967," wrote Fagen in a tribute he shared online Sunday. "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," Fagen continued. "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 with the Steely Dan band." Read more here.

hennemusic is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright hennemusic - Excerpted here with permission.

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