The entertainment world is mourning the loss of Walter Becker, the Steely Dan guitarist, bassist, and cofounder who died Sunday at age 67.
Becker’s longtime musical collaborator Donald Fagen said in a lengthy and heartfelt statement, “Walter Becker was my friend, my writing partner and my bandmate since we met as students at Bard College in 1967. … 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.”
Fagen added, “I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band.”
As news of Becker’s death spread, singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb tweeted that he was “a true inspiration,” and John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats said, “Steely Dan changed the way I understand music forever.”
Fellow musicians weren’t the only ones offering praise: Sci-fi author William Gibson declared Becker “one of my favorite writers ever,” and actor Michael Chiklis called Becker and Fagen “two of the greatest song writers of our time.”
Read more tributes below.