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Sun Sep 3, 2017, 03:36 PM

Steely Dan's Donald Fagen remembers Walter Becker in thoughtful note

Steely Dan's Donald Fagen shared a thoughtful note following the death of his bandmate Walter Becker.

Becker, who had been suffering from an unspecified illness, passed away Sunday (Sept. 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.


At: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/7950043/steely-dan-donald-fagen-walter-becker-death-statement

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Reply Steely Dan's Donald Fagen remembers Walter Becker in thoughtful note (Original post)
sandensea Sep 2017 OP
tableturner Sep 2017 #1
sandensea Sep 2017 #2
sweetroxie Sep 2017 #4
hatrack Sep 2017 #3
kysrsoze Sep 2017 #5
Cicada Sep 2017 #6
underpants Sep 2017 #7
sprinkleeninow Sep 2017 #8

Response to sandensea (Original post)

Sun Sep 3, 2017, 03:39 PM

1. My absolute favorite music!

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Response to tableturner (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 3, 2017, 03:40 PM

2. They got me through high school, let me tell you.

And I still have the albums (got Katy Lied on the turntable as we speak).

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Response to tableturner (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 3, 2017, 04:03 PM

4. Right up there on my list, too. eom

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Response to sandensea (Original post)

Sun Sep 3, 2017, 03:53 PM

3. I've played music most of my life . . .

And the teenage aspirations I shared with most of musical friends were:

1. To be as good players as Steely Dan
2. To be able to write as well as Fagen and Becker
3. To be as cool as Steely Dan

Never got close in any category - not even remotely close - but they remain one of the most distinctive bands of all time, and one of the best songwriting teams ever.

So glad I finally got to see them live three years ago. Just fantastic, and worth the wait.

So long, Walter - we'll miss you.

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Response to sandensea (Original post)

Sun Sep 3, 2017, 04:46 PM

5. R.I.P., Walter Becker. A fantastic musician. Got to see him...

a few years back. I was wondering why he wasn't at the Steepy Dan show here in L.A., but I was lucky enough to see Larry Carlton play in his place.

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Response to sandensea (Original post)

Sun Sep 3, 2017, 05:15 PM

6. Music from a different world

Their songs sound like they came from a different planet where music developed on a path independent of ours. I am not educated about music but I bet their harmonies are unique. How in God's name did these completely unique songs get in their heads?

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Response to sandensea (Original post)

Sun Sep 3, 2017, 05:23 PM

7. Their drummer at Bard College? Chevy Chase

Becker met his long-time musical partner, Donald Fagen, while attending Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. While at Bard, Becker and Fagen formed and played in a number of groups, including the Leather Canary, which also included fellow student Chevy Chase on drums.[6] At the time, Chase called the group "a bad jazz band.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Becker

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Response to sandensea (Original post)

Sun Sep 3, 2017, 05:42 PM

8. I so do love Steely Dan. Got all their cassettes and CDs when they came into vogue.

They have an inimitable sound.

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