Donald Fagen Pens Touching Tribute To Steely Dan Guitarist Walter Becker

first_imgWith the passing of Steely Dan co-founder and guitarist Walter Becker, a 50-year history of one of the most prolific songwriting duo’s in rock history comes to an end. Becker and bandmate Donald Fagen began writing music back in 1967 at Bard College, and went on to create some of the most technically proficient and innovative music the rock world has ever heard.Fagen penned a touching tribute to his long-time friend, bandmate and writing partner, discussing the beginnings of what would become Steely Dan, their shared interests, as well as touching on Becker’s “rough childhood” and great sense of humor.Here is the full tribute via Rolling Stone: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.Donald FagenSeptember 3 2017last_img

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