donald fagen

Steely Dan and Walter Becker Interviews

By Harvey Kubernik c 2009 c 2011 c 2017

Walter Becker, songwriter, guitarist, bassist and co-founder of Steely Dan with Donald Fagen has died this past Sunday at the age of 67. No cause of death was announced.

Fagen wrote a posted tribute to Becker, stressing, “I intend to keep the music we created together alive as I can with the Steely Dan band.”

In 1977, one night I co-hosted a late night radio program on KPFK-FM in North Hollywood with deejay and music writer/critic Richard Cromelin, then with The Los Angeles Times, and we actually debuted Steely Dan’s Aja tracks over the radio.

Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen and Walter Becker drove over from their Malibu pads and chatted for a couple of hours, happily whipped out their acetate test pressing of Aja and the phone lines lit up. The duo spun “Black Cow” and “Deacon Blues” and some vintage jazz library selections during the world premiere of Aja.

A decade ago I conducted a phone interview with Walter Becker. His solo album 11 Tracks of Whack had just been released while Steely Dan’s Alive In America, was just about to be, as was the band’s Citizen Dan box set. Continue reading