Tributes have been paid to Steely Dan’s Walter Becker, who died on Sunday (September 3) aged 67. A cause of death has not been disclosed.
Becker was co-founder of the band with lead singer and keyboard player Donald Fagen. The pair met at Bard College in New York.
"He was smart as a whip, an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter,” wrote Fagen in tribute. “He was cynical about human nature, including his own, and hysterically funny."
Becker was forced to miss Steely Dan concerts in July as he was recovering from a medical procedure.
Mark Ronson, who produced the current No.1 album by Queens Of The Stone Age, tweeted that Becker was “one half of the team I aspire to every time I sit down at a piano.”
rest in peace WALTER BECKER, one half of the team i aspire to everytime I sit down at a piano. thank you for your unparalleled contribution— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) September 3, 2017
Ryan Adams wrote on social media that Becker “changed my life with music”.
Walter Becker, you changed my life with music. You are so loved— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) September 3, 2017
Straight to the stars.... My friend pic.twitter.com/vqVeglX5Tc
John Darnielle, of The Mountain Goats, tweeted: “Steely Dan changed the way I understand music forever”.
Steely Dan changed the way I understand music forever; I started writing songs under the name "the Mountain Goats" the same month 1/2— The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) September 3, 2017
Slash posted a photo of Becker on Instagram, writing “RIP #WalterBecker”, while Danny Baker said Becker had created a body of work “the equal of any in popular music”.
Home to hear about Walter Becker. To create a body of work the equal of any in popular music is to remain. Still here. Chained Lightning. pic.twitter.com/WgV7EPmr6L— Danny Baker (@prodnose) September 3, 2017
For Radio 2’s Bob Harris, Steely Dan and Becker “invented a unique style”.
So sad to hear that Walter Becker has died. Steely Dan invented a unique style and had a fabulous groove. They were cool. #RIPWalterBecker— Bob Harris (@WhisperingBob) September 3, 2017
Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow said: “Walter and Steely Dan set the standard for sophisticated progressive pop, and he will be greatly missed. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues.”