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Walter Becker Of Steely Dan Dead At 67

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Photo By Geoff Tischman

Walter Becker, the innovative guitarist, bass player and co-founder of the legendary Grammy Award-winning duo Steely Dan has died.

The Queens-born musician was 67.

The cause of death at this time is unknown, however, sources have told SEM that Becker had been battling an undisclosed illness.

In the late-sixties Becker found himself at Bard College and it was there he met his future songwriting partner Donald Fagen. The two joined forces initially with Chevy Chase on drums in the band Leather Canary, but Fagen and Becker soon dropped out of school and relocated to Brooklyn to hone their songwriting partnership.

Steely Dan was a dominant force from 1969-1981, releasing seven albums in that period and becoming one of the most famous acts on the planet.

While they were on an extended hiatus, Becker produced one of Fagen’s solo albums and even joined the band China Crisis in 1985, playing on their lush classic Flaunt The Imperfection.

The band released two more albums, 2000’s Two Against Nature and 2003’s Everything Must Go.

Over the course of their career, Steely Dan sold almost 50 million albums.

Of his fallen friend Donald Fagen wrote in Rolling Stone that 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.”