The music world lost another great this week with the passing of Steely Dan’s Walter Becker on September 3rd. Becker formed Steely Dan in 1972 alongside longtime musical collaborator Donald Fagen, who wrote a note to the media about Walter Becker that can be read here followed by musicians that have taken to social media for remembrance.
“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.
September 3 2017”
Walter Becker, you changed my life with music. You are so loved
Straight to the stars…. My friend pic.twitter.com/vqVeglX5Tc
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) September 3, 2017
— Bryan Adams (@bryanadams) September 3, 2017
Very very sad this morning. Heard about the passing of Walter Becker. Musical icon and wonderful guy. My… https://t.co/7okP1k4pVX
— Larry Carlton (@TheLarryCarlton) September 3, 2017
So, so sad to hear this news…
SD played locally a few years ago, they were as amazing as ever… I asked to go… https://t.co/03hyGE5a2Z
— Julian Lennon (@JulianLennon) September 3, 2017