Monday, September 04, 2017

Walter Becker 1950-2017

The co-founder of Steely Dan has died from an undisclosed illness.

From 1994, here's my favorite track from his debut solo album.

I've said it before but -- damn, this death stuff is really starting to piss me off.

PS: To paraphrase Cameron Crowe, you still can't buy a better album than Countdown to Ecstasy...

...or Pretzel Logic.

Yeah, I know most people are more partial to the Dan's later, more self-consciously sophisticated records, like Gaucho or Aja, but those two have always struck me as just a little too mellow by comparison. Which is, I guess, to say that they don't rock as hard.

Not that there's anything wrong with THAT, of course.


Anna said...

No argument re: Showbiz Kids and Barrytown, but as good as "Junkie Girl" is, I always preferred "Cringemaker". YMMV. :)

Anna said...

PS: Not to brag (too much) but I met Becker at Tower Sunset right after "11 Tracks" came out. He was a nice guy! :)

Anonymous said...

The very first thing that I read this morning - Walter Becker.
One year older then me.
Countdown...who the hell are these guys.
I was and am sad today.


Gardner said...

This one's messed me up. The Dan speak to something In me I can't find by myself.

dave said...

A big fan of "Katy Lied" - for a long time, "Doctor Wu" was my favorite SD song!

Anonymous said...

Hello, please remain seated,

Much sadness on hearing the terrible news about Walter Becker. The Royal Scam is my personal favorite Dan album. Off the top of my head, other highlights, for me: (like Dave) Dr. Wu; the guitar solos in My Old School; Pretzel Logic; the sheer smoothness of the whole mix of Deacon Blues, on and on.

Walter, wherever you're at now, may there always be gas in your car.


Anonymous said...

Very sad news about Walter - very few groups in rock-n-roll have combined elegance and sleaze as artfully, as intelligently, as powerfully as Steely Dan. In some ways, his passing reminds me of the death of Glenn Frey 18 months ago, in the sense that both men had considerable talent, found artistic partners (Fagen/Henley) that also were talented, and then together created a significant body of work, in roughly the same era. One can, of course, debate the merits of those respective bodies of work.

Nonetheless, R.I.P., Mr. Becker, and thank you for the many great songs.

J. Lag

pete said...

11 Tracks - the best album about addiction/recovery ever made. In case you're wondering it's alive and well/That little habit that you left with me/Here in the suburbs where it's hard to tell/If I got the bear or if the bear got me - best album opener I've ever heard, and that includes "Come Together."

I learned Junkie Girl and I've even played it in public, which makes me proud. God bless you, Walter.

Anonymous said...

J. Lag,
your're right -

Walter gone has made me contemplate the years I have left, he was a contemporary.
Thank God I've still got Bob,Neil,Randy,Paul to grace my ears.


Anonymous said...

I think Katy Lied is my fav but that could change with the day. Everything up to Aja. That's my Steely Dan cut off.

Anna said...

Anyone heard "Circus Money", the follow-up to "11 Tracks"? It's great! :)

Billy B said...

I've always been partial to "Countdown to Ecstasy", mainly due to the fact the thing rocked hard. That being said, there are no bad or mediocre SD albums, IMHO.

RIP Walter.