Walter Becker, a renowned guitarist, bassist and co-founder of ‘Steely Dan’ has reportedly died on Sunday. He was 67.
Walter Becker cause of death or how the guitarist died hasn’t been disclosed by either his publicist or family.
Born as Walter Carl Becker on 20 February 1950, he was not just a guitarist and bassist, he was much more. He was also a top songwriter and record producer and did everything in the best possible manner.
Becker will be best remembered for his very respected jazz flavored band, Steely Dan, that he co-founded with his longtime associate and friend Donald Fagen. The two apparently met very early in their music career. They were not even out of the college when they started collaborating on different assignments and never looked back since then. The two studied together at Bard College in New York.
Launched in the year 1972, Steely Dan blended elements of jazz, R&B, traditional pop, and sophisticated studio production with ironic and cryptic lyrics. From its launch till its winding up in early eighties, it achieved massive commercial success. Rolling Stone has called them “the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies”. Steely Dan reunited in 1993 and has toured steadily ever since.
Initially Becker was based in New York, but he relocated to California in 1971 and formed the nucleus of Steely Dan, who enjoyed a critically and commercially successful 10-year career. Following the group’s dissolution, Becker moved to Hawaii and reduced his musical activity, working primarily as a record producer. In 1985, he briefly became a member of the British sophisti-pop group China Crisis, producing and playing synthesizer on their record Flaunt the Imperfection.
But after almost a decade, the two, Becker and Fagen, came together once again to re-launch Steely Dan in 1993. The band was active ever since. The two released their 2000 Two Against Nature album, which won four Grammy Awards. Becker also released two solo albums, 1994’s 11 Tracks of Whack and 2008’s Circus Money.
Walter Becker was ‘married for a time’ to a woman named Elinor Becker. They have a son, Kawai (born 1985). Becker also has an adopted daughter, Sa (or Sayan). Walter and Elinor Becker divorce in 1997.
A report in the Independent while talking about his life in Hawaii says, “Becker moved here in late 1981, a few months after the group Steely Dan dissolved. He lives with his wife Elinor, who is a yoga teacher. They have two children. Becker has a recording studio over to one side of the island, on some land owned by his wife in the middle of a cattle ranch, looking out across the ocean. This is where he works, he says, for long hours, such that occasionally he finds himself walking back over to the house ‘to make sure my family hasn’t moved out’.”