Steely Dan guitarist Walter Becker dies aged 67

Kelly Massey
September 4, 2017

Becker formed one half of the band's initial duo, performing lead guitar by the side of Donald Fagen, Steely Dan's keyboardist and lead vocalist.

Becker, who was born in Queens, met Fagen when they were both students at New York's Bard College.

In a statement on Twitter, Donald Fagen has said of his late bandmate, "he was smart as a whip, an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter".

Fagen described his bandmate as "cynical about human nature, including his own, and hysterically amusing".

As Rolling Stone reports, this news followings Becker missing a string of Steely Dan shows over the summer while recovering from an unknown medical procedure.

Walter had missed some of Steely Dan's recent concerts due to an undisclosed illness. Once standoffish with press, Steely Dan became reliably gracious interview subjects, a move that when paired with their cornball stage patter, helped warm a once notoriously chilly band.

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The guitarist's passing was confirmed by a post on his website, which simply displayed two images of Becker in his childhood and in later life along with the dates 'feb.

Between 1972 and 1980 Steely Dan released eight albums, each of which were critical and commercial successes.

Becker was careful to distance his music from the "fusion" wave that was taking shape in jazz at the time. The 1977 album "Aja" is considered by many critics to be their masterpiece.

The band later reformed to release comeback record Two Against Nature in 2000 and final album Everything Must Go three years later.

"You are so loved Straight to the stars...." My friend. You were every one of them, shining bright in my soul Showing us all what was really possible.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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