The music-loving world was stunned over the weekend by the news that Walter Becker, guitarist and co-founder of the seminal ’70s rock group Steely Dan had died. He was 67 years old. In the wake of his death, a wide and diverse range of his musical peers, everyone from Questlove to Slash took to social media to express their admiration for Becker’s abilities and contributions to popular music, and their deep sadness over his loss.
Becker’s bandmate Donald Fagen shared a statement where he said, “Walter Becker was my friend, my writing partner and my bandmate since we met as students at Bard College in 1967…He had the knack of creative mimicry, reading people’s hidden psychology and transforming what he saw into bubbly, incisive art.” Adding, “I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band.”
Today, Becker’s daughter Sayan shared a personal letter that she wrote to her father to his personal website. It’s a touching letter that gives a personal insight into the man that so many worshiped for his genius. The sardonic figure, known to offer truly hilarious asides during most concerts.
“I may not understand the meaning behind your witty, highly intelligent comments or jokes, but for you to smile and make everyone –- or even thousands all at once — smile and laugh, then yeah you got something going for you pops,” she wrote. “I get it. Your presence makes everyone’s day a little brighter. I love you for that.”
Read her entire letter below.
You loved music more than anyone I know. You’re always there bobbing your head to each beat, doing a little dance here and there, or sitting over there with your big head phones on and swaying back and forth. I could see it, your dissecting the song — listening in closely for each beat , for each musical instrument — you know, whatever you musicians do. But I get it.
Every road trip without fail came, The Pit Stop at some guitar store. Heck, dad, I keep telling you why don’t you just own your own store? Five hours go by as I sit watching you fiddle with a guitar here and there… yet you never end up buying one. I understand though; it was your fun place, like an arcade; playing all you can, and as loud as you can. Your candy shop.
Dad you’re kinda funny; sometimes I may not understand the meaning behind your witty highly intelligent comments or jokes, but for you to smile and make everyone — or even thousands all at once — smile and laugh, then yeah you got something going for you pops… I get it. Your presence makes everyone’s day a little brighter. I love you for that.
Coast to coast. How is it that you know so many facts about every state or country we visit? We would walk through Central Park Zoo and just randomly point out some little thing… and here it comes, some long historical fact about it. Dad, it’s a seal for crying out loud! It amazes me how intelligent you are.
“Dad, I like that we understand one another”
“Sa-girl, we are soul mates”
“Dad I love you to the moon and back”
“Girly face I love you more than that, to the next galaxy”
“Wow, that’s far!”
“Well it’s true”
For your love for music, your fatherly advice and devotion, your knowledge about the world and your blindingly sharp sense of humor… for all that, and more. We had one hell of a ride. You are my world, my soulmate, my father, that I love so much. It’s true your love is shining from the next galaxy. I could see it now; you got a whole galaxy of guitars to look at. Rock on dad, rock on until your heart is content.
I hear you.
I get you.