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Legendary Musician Dead

The world of music lost another legend over the weekend.

Walter Becker passed away at the age of 67. Becker co-founded the popular band Steely Dan back in 1972 with lead singer Donald Fagen, and he would play both bass and guitar for the critically acclaimed group that would go on to have its share of commercial success. As CNN shares, his death was confirmed on his personal website, which displayed two photographs of Becker and a short digital epitaph that read "feb. 20 1950 -- sept. 03 2017."

Steely Dan produced a number of memorable hits, including "Do It Again," "Reeling' in the Years" and "Rikki Don't Lose That Number." The band would go their separate ways in 1981, but they would later get back together to release two more albums. Fagen penned a heartfelt tribute to his friend and bandmate that was shared by Rolling Stone magazine.

“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,” Fagen wrote. “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.”

Fagen provided some insight into what led Becker down the musical road to begin with, and it’s a tale familiar to many artists.

“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,” Fagen continued. “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.”

As with many bands that achieve extraordinary commercial success, rifts developed that ultimately led to a breakup.

“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,” Fagen continued. “I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band.”

Tributes have been pouring in on social media as well, including one from Canadian musician A.C. Newman.

“Walter Becker. Half of one of the greatest and most original bands in rock history,” Newman wrote.

No cause of death has been revealed as of yet. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Becker’s family, friends, and loved ones.

Source: Variety, CNN
Photo: YouTube

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