Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker dead at 67
STEELY Dan pioneer Walter Becker has died from unknown reasons at the age of 67.
The guitarist, bassist and co-founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted band was reported to have died by his official website but no cause or any other details were provided.
Becker formed the influential progressive rock band with classmate Donald Fagen in 1967.
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Do It Again
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Reelin' in the Years
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Steely Dan - named after a sex toy in William S. Burroughs' 'Naked Lunch' - went on to score hit singles with Reelin' in the Years, Do It Again, Rikki Don't Lose That Number and Deacon Blues.
"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," Fagen said in a statement published by Variety.
The band released their first album - Can't Buy a Thrill - in 1972 and went on to release a total of nine studio albums, the last, Everything Must Go, in 2003.
However, as Fagan wrote, Becker's "habits got the best of him by the end of the seventies" and the band endured a long hiatus.
But the duo reformed the band in the late 1990s to more critical success and Steely Dan were eventually accepted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.
"(Becker) was smart as a whip, an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter. He was cynical about human nature, including his own, and hysterically funny," Fagan wrote.
"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."