R.I.P. Walter Becker...

Walter Becker. Gone. Sad :cry:

http://bestclassicbands.com/walter-beck … ry-9-3-17/

Regards :sunglasses:

I am gutted. Thank you WB for all the music … it will live on forever!

Yeah, I’ve had my Strat out all day playing SD stuff on it along with the records. This death is a big one for me. :frowning:

That guitar solo on “Get Back, Jack, Do It Again” has always blown me away.

EDIT: I went to YouTube and saw them do “Reeling In The Years” (Midnight Special, with the Bill Cosby intro). Is that Becker playing bass and someone else playing lead guitar? Was I wrong above where I thought Becker was playing lead guitar on “Do It Again”?

The song is called “Do It Again” from Steely Dan’s debut album “Can’t Buy A Thrill” and the solo was played on what was described at the time as an “electric sitar” by Denny Dias. Walter played bass back then.

Yes, I am just reading about about him now and came across those facts. Apparently his greatest skills were as much (if not more) in writing/arranging the songs as in playing them … as described here: http://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2017/09/04/548384628/walter-becker-was-a-master-of-musical-understatement ?

Becker/Fagan sound a lot Lennon/McCartney-like in that eulogy, with more than a little bit of George Martin thrown in …

Major bummer. Given how much I’ve listened to their albums I’m kind’a surprised and now super-bummed that I never heard them live.

Becker probably played bass on their albums more than he played guitar. He was a great blues lead, but he wasn’t flashy. When he played guitar, he was the “compressor” in the band, i.e. the glue that helped bring all of the parts together to a cohesive whole.

I saw them a few times live, though I’ll confess to not seeing them on their past 2 tours.

:frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

For someone not as familiar with Walter Becker and SD, what would be considered the things that make Walter Becker such a great musician? I like what I have heard, but sadly it is not much.

I suppose it’s hard to discuss Becker without Fagen or vice versa, it really is the combination that makes them both special. For me, it’s the fact that they got me listening to Ellington without me even realising it; what I mean is, they were fans of jazz and managed to weave it into their pop and rock repertoire like an invisible thread.

I think of Walter Becker as an all-round musician, not just a musical technician; he was composer, arranger, engineer and producer as well as being a player. Together with Donald Fagen, he forged their pop-rock tunes from the raw material of the early seventies into eternal classics such as Aja and beyond, not just using the entire studio itself as a musical instrument, but also moulding the cohorts of top-class session musicians who queued up to be on the next 'Dan album into an orchestra of dreams.

That’s Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter. The show was recorded at a theater called “Banana Fish Garden” in Brooklyn, NY. There was an extended technical delay and the band didn’t go on until well after midnight, but finally appeared and played. I was there, a young kid – far to young to be out that late on a school night. I’m with everyone who is morning the loss of Walter Becker.

The other guitarist in that video is Denny Dias who did the solo on the album version. I wonder why Baxter did it live…?

Oh right, Denny Dias – an excellent player. I don’t know where Baxter came from for that. Maybe they wanted someone with more stage presence for the show? Good question.

Baxter was definitely more flamboyant on stage.

Something went wrong that night and there was an hours long delay. As I remember, they were supposed to appear at about 10 p.m., but didn’t go on until much later, after 1 a.m. I think. Only a few diehards stayed for the performance, it was on some random mid-week night. Maybe the bass player didn’t make the gig, so Becker filled in on Bass and someone 911ed and got Baxter to rush in and play? That’s a wild guess and probably wrong. We’d have to find someone who was closer to the band at that time or knows what happened that night. I’m going to hunt and peck around and see if I can find anything about this. Probably not.

Anyway, Favorite S.D. Album?

For me, the obvious, Aja The vinyl release and I had the t-shirt. :slight_smile: I still also watch the DVD that came out some years ago.

I think it has to be almost unanimous amongst Dan fans, and that DVD (clip here) should help explain why. It’s also a good introduction for those about to discover the music of Becker and Fagen.

Actually, Becker preferred playing bass early on. He also hated being on stage and was known to turn around and face the amp during live performances. :laughing: He played bass on some of their better known songs like Josie and King of the World.

This is tough. I love their entire repertoire. Aja, obviously, is awesome but so is Gaucho, in spite of the fact that neither Fagen nor Becker played a single note on that album. I also like Katy Lied for Your Gold Teeth II among other tracks, and Royal Scam for Don’t Take Me Alive and The Caves of Altamira. I guess it really depends on the mood I’m in at the time.

By the way, I highly recommend the “unofficial biography” of the group, Reelin’ in the Years. It’s a fascinating read, and talks about aspects of the band’s production techniques, etc. that you may not have known before.

The edition linked to above is more recent than the print that I read. It apparently includes their time together in the 90’s and 2000’s.

… also, for those who wonder about the lyrics, there’s Dan O’Malley’s wonderful Steely Dan dictionary.