Walter Becker, co-founder of Steely Dan, dies at age 67
His bandmate Donald Fagen promises to keep their music’s memory alive.
Walter Becker, bassist, guitarist and co-founder of the band Steely, has died at age 67. Thew news was confirmed earlier today on Becker’s website with no cause of death disclosed at this time. Becker had to cancel Steely Dan US tour dates earlier this year after suffering from an unspecified illness.
Steely Dan, named after a sex toy from William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, released their first album, Can’t Buy a Thrill, in 1972. It features the classic ‘Reelin’ in the Years’. The band is best known for their albums like Aja and Katy Lied and were inducted (by Moby, believe it or not) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
The band’s rock and jazz fusion influenced hip-hop as much as it did its own genre. Kanye West’s 2007 single ‘Champion’ samples Steely Dan’s ‘Kid Charlemagne’ and artists like Ice Cube, MF DOOM and De La Soul, among others, have also sampled the band’s music.