Music World Mourns Walter Becker

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Fellow performers (and institutions) took to social media to pay tribute to Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, who died on Sunday, Sept. 3, at 67. Most prominent was his decades-long partner Donald Fagen, who released a lengthy statement about his “friend, my writing partner and my bandmate since we met as students at Bard College in 1967.”

We’ve chosen a few to share and we begin with NYC’s Beacon Theatre, where Steely Dan staged complete performances of several of their classic albums from start to finish, in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2015.

Warren Haynes, via Facebook, wrote, in part: “Walter was a great guitarist, songwriter, and producer. Steely Dan was a one-of-a-kind group and I dare to say there will never be another. The music he and Donald Fagen wrote together was masterful. The bar they set for songwriting, both musically and lyrically, was astounding. The world is forever grateful for the music that Steely Dan bestowed upon us. Thank you, Walter.”

Rickie Lee Jones, whose album Flying Cowboys was produced by Becker, wrote, in part: Steely Dan “introduced a new idea into the musical conversation of the time. It was the idea that intelligent music was cool. Steely Dan made it cool to be educated. It is safe to say that they are the beginning of college rock.”

Burton Cummings, via Facebook: “Steely Dan were truly one of a kind…Walter and Donald wrote it all…tremendous pieces of music like Peg, Deacon Blues, Reelin’ In The Years, Hey Nineteen, Rikki Don’t Lose that Number and Aja to mention a very very few. Walter has left a mark that will shine forever…”

Michael McDonald, via Facebook: “Walter Becker was always an honest artist. A gifted musician/composer. A poet of real wit and intellect. Both as a member of Steely Dan and like Donald Fagen, in his solo work. Always insightful, brutally honest at times also usually hysterically funny, and like a true artist always in our best interest. From his close friends and family, to his distant fans, we were all lucky to know him.”

Best Classic Bands Staff

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