Steely Dan founding member Walter Becker dies aged 67

Steely Dan's Walter Becker Passes Away at 67

Meanwhile, the music used richly ambiguous harmonies rooted in Debussy, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins, giving the songs a sophisticated core that would be widely influential across jazz and pop. My friends and I have tickets to see Steely Dan at the same venue next month, and I'm glad that Fagen has chose to continue on: "I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band". As a kid, I never thought I'd listen to Steely Dan. Judd Apatow told his Twitter followers, "I have played no band more often or enjoyed any music more than Steely Dan".

In fact, nearly everything about Steely Dan was a paradox. "He was cynical about human nature, including his own, and hysterically amusing", he said.

Despite his success as a musician, Walter had a turbulent childhood, but he had the capacity for "creative mimicry", while at the same time having the talent to tap into a person's psychology to create "bubbly, incisive art".

A Queens native who started out playing the saxophone and eventually picked up the guitar, Mr. Becker met Fagen as a student at Bard College in 1967.

They enlisted founding members Denny Dias, 70, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, 68, and Jim Hodder, who died in 1990 aged 42, before releasing debut album Can't Buy a Thrill. Becker stopped doing drugs after that and began working as a record producer, occasionally working with Fagen on some of his solo work, but the two of them didn't properly reunite until they started touring again in 1993.

Fellow '70s superstar Paul Stanley also took to Twitter to remember Walter Becker.

There was something unusual about Steely Dan returning to the road. Thanks for all the music over so many years.

By 2003, the two had finished their next record, Everything Must Go, the first Steely Dan record to feature lead vocals by Becker, who sang on "Slang of Ages". We'll update with further information as it becomes available. The master tape of an entire, almost finished song, The Second Arrangement, was accidentally erased.

Mr. Becker had suffered some personal hardships during this time, including addiction, his girlfriend's death by overdose and a resulting lawsuit, and a serious injury he sustained after being struck by a cab. Weeks later, Becker was hit by a taxi, fracturing his leg. "The vehicle and I were attempting to occupy the same place at the same time". The band formed in 1972 and officially disbanded in 1981. Becker relocated to Maui after Steely Dan's 1980 split, a move that helped him get clean and, perhaps inevitably, mellowed him. In the second half of the 1980s he returned to music.

That album, Two Against Nature, would go on to win Album of the Year in 2000 at the Grammy Awards. And by relying on old music, sometimes performing shows devoted to individual albums, Steely Dan proved how proved how deep and enduring their catalog is.

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