Walter Becker Dies; Steely Dan Musician Was 67

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The world has lost yet another legendary musician today ...

Walter Becker, one of the co-founders of Steely Dan, passed away earlier this morning.

Walter Becker

He was only 67 years old.

The announcement of his death was first made on his personal website, with no other information than the date of his birth and today's date -- the day he passed.

As of now, we don't know the cause of death, but we do know that he was having health problems earlier this summer that caused him to miss some Steely Dan concerts.

Donald Fagen, the other co-founder of the band, said in July that 'Walter's recovering from a procedure and hopefully he'll be fine very soon."

Tragically, as we know now, that was not to be the case.

Walter Becker Photo

Walter and Donald founded Steely Dan together all the way back in 1972, with Walter playing guitar and bass and co-writing the songs with Donald.

They were successful up until 1981 when they broke up, but they reunited in 1993, and they've been touring since then.

Though we don't have any details about Walter's death at this time, we do have a touching tribute written by Donald for his longtime bandmate and friend.

Read the tribute in full below:

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 siting room in the lobby of Ward Manor, a mouldering old mansion on the Hudson River that the college used as a dorm.

Walter Becker and Donald Fagen

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.

Walter Becker Pic

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.

Our condolences to the people close to Walter -- it sounds like he will be missed.

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