Donald Fagen Confirms Steely Dan Will Continue In Touching Tribute To Walter Becker - Noise11.com
Walter Becker of Steely Dan photo by Ros O'Gorman

Walter Becker of Steely Dan photo by Ros O'Gorman

Donald Fagen Confirms Steely Dan Will Continue In Touching Tribute To Walter Becker

by Roger Wink, VVN Music on September 4, 2017

in News

Donald Fagen has written a tribute to his Steely Dan partner Walter Becker who passed away earlier today (September 3) at the age of 67.

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.

Donald Fagen
September 3 2017

Fagen and Becker started playing together in 1967 and formed Steely Dan in 1971. The band played the Classic East and West festivals this past summer; however, Becker did not participate per doctor’s orders.

Walter Becker died on Sunday 3 September 2017.

vvnmusic.com

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