Walter Becker

Today I went to see the Raphael exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. I went with my daughter and was inspired to write a post about the experience.

Sadly though, when I got home I spotted a tweet which led me to the news that Walter Becker had died.

My reaction to the news was immediate and emotional. We've lost so many great musicians over the last couple of years you might think the death of the co-founder of Steely Dan wouldn't have such an effect. But it did and here's why.

Steely Dan were a hugely important band to me. One of those bands whose albums I would listen to on cassette until the oxide had worn off. A band that mixed excellent musicianship with a cynical humour that I really appreciated. A band that took a love of jazz and wove it into rock music without losing any power. Lyrics that were thoughtful, deep and witty, even if the reality was they were also meaningless. I knew I loved this music then but I'd not appreciated how deeply it had worked its way into my DNA. Donald Fagen's (non) singing voice was perfect for the songs, but they wouldn't have had that edge without the teamwork of him and Walter Becker.

The good news is, there is a wonderful legacy of songs to remember him by. I take that for now.


Popular Posts