Walter Becker, Steely Dan Guitarist Dead At 67

Walter Becker, guitarist and co-founder of the popular '70s rock band Steely Dan died Sunday at the age of 67. 

Many artists have tweeted their condolences, including Canadian musician A.C. Newman: “RIP Walter Becker. Half of one of the greatest and most original bands in rock history."

Although no details have been revealed about the cause of death, Becker was absent from Steely Dan’s July performances due to an unspecified illness. The only other information provided was a statement back in August from bandmate and personal friend Donald Fagen, telling Billboard “Walter's recovering from a procedure and hopefully he'll be fine very soon.”

The Rock Roll Hall Of Fame-inducted and Grammy-winning band split in 1981, and eventually came back together in the '90s for another two successful albums.

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Fagen shared a touching note after Becker’s death. Read the full heartfelt sentiment 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 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.