DEMAGAGA remembers the legendary bass guitarist that helped form one of rock’s most formidable and iconic bands, Steely Dan


Walter Becker’s death was announced on his website with no cause of death listed. He was 67 years old.

Rolling Stone cites a tribute to Walter Becker from longtime friend and collaborator, Donald Fagen:

“”Walter Becker was my friend, my writing partner and my bandmate since we met as students at Bard College in 1967…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.”

Becker was absent from Steely Dan performances in July 2017 under doctor’s orders to rest and recuperate from a medical procedure.

Steely Dan takes its name from the William S. Burroughs novel Naked Lunch. In that novel a dildo by the name of Steely Dan figures prominently into the narrative and thus was born perhaps the most hilariously named but most seriously considered rock band in history.

Steely Dan’s albums routinely combined elements of jazz, pop, rock music, and soul. Despite a shifting roster, the band never lost its touch and has maintained a high quality level of output to this day.

In 2001, Steely Dan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame with an induction speech given by musician and artist Moby. You can watch this video above.

You can watch their performance in the video below.

Rest in peace Walter Becker.