Walter Becker Collection
Born February 20, 1950 in Queens, New York, Walter Carl Becker began his legendary collaboration with songwriting partner and fellow jazz aficionado Donald Fagen while they were students at Bard College and bandmates in the groups, the Don Fagen Jazz Trio, the Bad Rock Group and the Leather Canary, which for a time included future comedy star Chevy Chase. After graduation, they toured with the group Jay and the Americans and had their music featured on the soundtrack of Richard Pryor’s film You’ve Got to Walk It Like You Talk It or You’ll Lose that Beat. In 1971, Becker and Fagen moved to Los Angeles where they formed the band Steely Dan with guitarists Denny Dias and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, drummer Jim Hodder, and singer David Palmer. They created a distinctive sound unlike any other of its time: a unique blend of rock, jazz, pop and R&B musical styles, with sophisticated, ironic lyrics containing obscure literary and cultural references.
It was the release of the band’s sixth album Aja in 1977 that would solidify Becker's and Fagen's reputation as songwriting and studio recording masters. The U.S. Top Five charting album, featuring top jazz luminaries including Larry Carlton, Victor Fledman, Wayne Shorter, Tom Scott and Lee Ritenour, won the Grammy for "Engineer – Best Engineered Recording – Non-Classical" and produced the hits “Peg,” “Josie,” and “Deacon Blues.” Aja also became one of the first American LPs to be certified 'platinum' for sales of over 1 million albums.
Becker had a notorious obsession for gear and a huge collection of boutique guitars, amps and effects. He is attributed for the invention of the term G.A.S. in his 1996 Guitar Player article.
His huge collection of gear was recently auctioned and we were fortunate enough to get four of his very rare guitars. You can check them here