Walter Becker, best known for playing guitar and bass in Steely Dan, has died. He was 67.
Last month, Billboard conducted an interview with bandmate Donald Fagen where he mentioned recovering from a surgical procedure.
Becker met Fagen as a student at Bard College in New York and performed together with Jay and the Americans.
The duo moved to California in 1971 and formed Steely Dan, taking the name from the novel Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs. Their debut album Can’t Buy a Thrill was released in 1972, and featured the song “Do It Again.” Following albums included the smash hits “Reelin’ in the Years,” “My Old School,” “Hey Nineteen” and “Peg.”
Their best-selling album, 1977’s Aja, won a Grammy and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003. The band itself was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
In 1994, Becker released his debut solo album, 11 Tracks of Whack followed by Circus Money in 2008.
Fagen told TMZ, “We started writing nutty little tunes on an upright piano in a small sitting room in the lobby of Ward Manor, a mouldering old mansion on the Hudson River that the college used as a dorm.”
Fagen also intends “to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band.”