Walter Becker

Walter Becker, the unsung hero behind the smooth grooves of Steely Dan, brought a unique blend of wit and musical prowess to the forefront of rock and jazz fusion. Born in 1950, Becker formed Steely Dan with Donald Fagen in the early '70s, crafting a sound that defied categorization.

Steely Dan

Their debut album, "Can't Buy a Thrill" (1972), catapulted them into the spotlight with hits like "Do It Again" and "Reelin' in the Years," showcasing Becker's virtuoso guitar work and Fagen's sardonic lyrics.

As Steely Dan evolved, so did Becker's influence, shaping albums like "Aja" (1977), a masterpiece of jazz-rock fusion that earned critical acclaim and a Grammy Award for engineering. Tracks like "Peg" and "Deacon Blues" epitomized Becker's meticulous attention to detail and penchant for blending genres.

Offstage, Becker was known for his dry humor and laid-back demeanor, often downplaying his role in Steely Dan's success. When asked about the band's enigmatic lyrics, he quipped, "We just like to mess with people's heads."

Despite Steely Dan's hiatus in the '80s, Becker remained active in the music scene, producing and collaborating with artists like Rickie Lee Jones and China Crisis. His solo work, including the album "11 Tracks of Whack" (1994), showcased his eclectic musical palette and songwriting prowess.


Becker and Fagen were infamous for their perfectionism in the studio, earning them a reputation for being difficult to work with. Yet, their uncompromising vision yielded timeless classics that continue to resonate with audiences today.

Sadly, Becker's untimely passing in 2017 marked the end of an era, leaving behind a legacy of innovation and creativity that continues to inspire musicians across generations. With his razor-sharp wit and unparalleled talent, Walter Becker remains an icon in the annals of rock and jazz history.

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Songs: Peg, Josie, Reelin' in the years

Gear: Fender Stratocaster   

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