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Steely Dan’s Walter Becker: 1950-2017

UPDATE - 09/03/2017 1:00 PM EST:  Donald Fagen has released the following statement on the death of Walter Becker:

"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 with the Steely Dan band."

ORIGINAL STORY
Sad news to report this morning as Steely Dan guitarist Walter Becker has died. He was 67.

So far, a cause of death has yet to be announced. The first confirmation of Becker’s passing came via his official website, which simply read, “Walter Becker: Feb. 20 1950 – Sept. 03 2017.”

Steely Dan was booked for the Classic East and Classic West concerts this summer, however, Becker missed both performances. In a press conference call, Billboard reported that Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen said of Becker’s health, “Walter’s recovering from a procedure and hopefully he’ll be fine very soon.” No additional details were offered beyond that statement.

We will update this story as it develops.

 

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RIKKI DON'T LOSE THAT NUMBER (1974) by Steely Dan

'Rikki Don't Lose That Number' was off Pretzel Logic, and appears to be a favourite of Steely Dan fans. It was released in 1974. It's intro is a nod to 'Song For My Father' by Horace Silver. Several musicians outside the band help out on the track.

 

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Steely Dan - Do It Again (The Midnight Special 1972)

Uploaded by Hal Griffin on 2014-01-12.

 

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Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.