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Walter Becker | via walterbecker.com

Guitarist and bassist Walter Becker, co-founder of boundary-pushing rock band Steely Dan, passed away this weekend, according to an announcement on his website. He was 67 years old. 

Though official details were not given, Becker was not part of the “Classic East” and “Classic West” concerts the band recently performed in Los Angeles; according to an interview his bandmate Donald Fagen gave in Billboard, “Walter’s recovering from a procedure and hopefully he’ll be fine very soon,” but the type of surgery or prognosis were not elaborated on.

Becker and Fagen formed Steely Dan in 1972 after meeting at  Bard College in New York; he was the core member alongside Fagan during its original run in the 70s and early 80s, and it’s post reunion era in the 90s and 00s. He also released two solo records, the most recent being Circus Money from 2008.

Though his music almost always was described via references to jazz, Becker shunned that label, as Rolling Stone‘s reflection on his life points out.

“I’m not interested in a rock/jazz fusion,” Becker told Rolling Stone in 1974. “That kind of marriage has so far only come up with ponderous results. We play rock & roll, but we swing when we play. We want that ongoing flow, that lightness, that forward rush of jazz.”

Since Becker and his music are a major part of the fabric of the WXPN community, DJ Julian Booker will host an hour of Steely Dan beginning today at noon; tune in on the radio at 88.5 in the Philadelphia region, or XPN.org worldwide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDAFsFeskKE


https://youtu.be/ea3Bofkmwlc



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