Steely Dan’s Walter Becker Dies

Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker died September 3 at the age of 67.  No official cause of death was revealed.

Walter-Becker_(cropped)By Arielinson – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

A multi-instrumentalist Becker began playing music on the saxophone and later began playing the guitar and bass.

Before forming Steely Dan, Becker performed with Jay and the Americans and Leather Canary. Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagan and Becker split up in 1981. During their musical career the duo has sold over 40 million albums to date.

Walter-BeckerBy Arielinson – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

While Becker and Fagan stayed constant, band members and studio players changed from project to project. Michael McDonald, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Timothy B. Schmit, Lee Ritenour, Rick Derringer, Dean Parks, Elliott Randall, Larry Carlton, Mark Knopfler and Wayne Shorter have contributed to Steely Dan albums.

After a 20 year hiatus where he spent time in Hawaii growing avocados, Becker returned to music…and working with original band mate Donald Fagan.

As a songwriter, Becker’s credits include “I Mean to Shine” recorded by Barbra Streisand and Madeleine Peyroux; as well as Steely Dan’s own albums. As a producer, Becker worked on albums for Rickie Lee Jones, Michael Franks, and China Crisis.

Walter Carl Becker was born on February 20, 1950 in Queens, New York.

Becker is survived by his children Kawai and Sayan.

Walter Becker discography:
The original soundtrack for “You Gotta Walk it Like You Talk it (Or You’ll Lose that Beat”
“Mose the Fireman”
“11 Tracks of Whack”
“Circus Money”

Steely Dan discography:
“Can’t Buy a Thrill”
“Countdown to Ecstasy”
“Pretzel Logic”
“Katy Lied”
“The Royal Scam”
“Alive in America”
“Two Against Nature”
“Everything Must Go”
“Becker & Fagan”

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