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Viewing topic "R.I.P. Walter Becker."

Posted on: September 03, 2017 @ 03:11 PM
Total Posts:  1055
Joined  07-01-2013
status: Guru

Walter Becker, co-founder and guitarist of Steely Dan, has died aged 67

Rest in peace Walter and thanks for the music.

“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, both with the Steely Dan band. We’ll miss him forever.

Donald Fagen

September 3 2017

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Posted on: September 04, 2017 @ 06:03 AM
Total Posts:  10
Joined  12-10-2006
status: Newcomer

Sad day today.
Thank you for posting.

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Posted on: September 06, 2017 @ 09:07 AM
Total Posts:  1110
Joined  10-02-2002
status: Administrator

I don’t really know that much about Walter Becker. I suspect that’s because that’s the way he wanted it. But his music, created with and alongside Donald Fagen in Steely Dan, was absolutely pivotal in shaping my career.

Growing up in the UK back in the seventies, while the charts were full of Tony Orlando and Dawn (no offense, but), Sweet (ditto) and the Simon Park Orchestra (huh?), into my freshly released from public school ears came My Old School and that blistering guitar solo from Jeff Baxter.

That track, the rest of that album Countdown To Ecstasy and, quickly, the album that preceded it, Can’t Buy A Thrill, took up permanent residency on my turntable, around which me and my fellow bandmates gathered and feasted.

Fortified and inspired by the Dan’s rich and complex harmonic song structures, meticulous playing, mystifying and deliciously snarky lyrics, my band re-dircted itself from its hitherto proggy, Yes and Genesis leanings, got a record deal and started making records ourselves. Some even compared us to Steely Dan. I wish. Still, couldn’t buy a thrill better than that.

To Walter Becker I owe a massive debt of thanks. Not only for the excellent music he made over the years, but for steering me in a whole direction and whole new understanding of what constitutes great popular music. Or just great music.

I hope his life was as fulfilled and rich as the pleasure his music gave. You did good Walter Becker. R.I.P. 


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Posted on: September 06, 2017 @ 05:13 PM
Total Posts:  1055
Joined  07-01-2013
status: Guru


Me too. I love to play rhodes, and if you play rhodes, you have to love Steely Dan really.

This always makes me laugh, so risqué but clever.

They always announce this as having a “rural narrative” haha.

Cousin Dupree.

Well I’ve kicked around a lot since high school
I’ve worked a lot of nowhere gigs
From keyboard man in a rock’n ska band
To haulin’ boss crude in the big rigs
Now I’ve come back home to plan my next move
From the comfort of my Aunt Faye’s couch
When I see my little cousin Janine walk in
All I could say was ow-ow-ouch

Honey how you’ve grown
Like a rose
Well we used to play
When we were three
How about a kiss for your cousin Dupree

She turned my life into a living hell
In those little tops and tight capris
I pretended to be readin’ the National Probe
As I was watchin’ her wax her skis
On Saturday night she walked in with her date
And backs him up against the wall
I tumbled off the couch and heard myself sing
In a voice I never knew I had before


I’ll teach you everything I know
If you teach me how to do that dance
Life is short and quid pro quo
And what’s so strange about a down-home family romance?

One night we’re playin’ gin by a cracklin’ fire
And I decided to make my play
I said babe with my boyish charm and good looks
How can you stand it for one more day
She said maybe its the skeevy look in your eyes
Or that your mind has turned to applesauce
The dreary architecture of your soul
I said - but what is it exactly turns you off?


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Posted on: September 07, 2017 @ 06:54 PM
Total Posts:  2052
Joined  01-29-2004
status: Guru

A class act.

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