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It’s a sad time in the rock world as we say goodbye to Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, who died Sunday at his home in Hawaii. He was 67. The news came early Sunday, announced via Becker’s official website as photos of the guitarist as a boy and as an adult appeared alongside his date of birth and date of death; his daughter offered up sweet tribute, hailing Becker’s lifelong love for music and the fierce intelligence that highlighted the brilliant sense of humor that left his wife, Elinor, and two children laughing and enveloped in a constant sense of wonder about the world around them.
Best known as the co-founder, guitarist, bassist, and co-songwriter of Steely Dan, Becker’s cause of death has been announced yet though sources are citing an “undisclosed illness” – possibly the same one that sidelined Becker this summer, preventing him from appearing at Classic East and Classic West alongside Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen.
Fagen, whose friendship with Becker dates back to the pair’s 1967 meeting at Bard College, said of Becker:
“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.”
What a crushing loss to the rock community, and the world at large. Our hearts are with Becker’s family, friends, and fans as they struggle to navigate life without him, and we thank him for devoting his life to helping bring great music to the world.