The Music's Over

but the songs live on forever

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Subscribe

  • Join 1,865 other subscribers

  • Follow And Like

  • Meta

Posts Tagged ‘Steely Dan’

RIP, Walter Becker (September 3, 2017) Steely Dan

Posted by themusicsover on September 3, 2017

Walter Becker
February 20, 1950 – September 3, 2017

By Arielinson – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikipedia

Walter Becker was the co-founder, co-songwriter, guitarist, and bassist for the immensely successful rock band, Steely Dan. Formed with Donald Fagen in 1972, the band built a sizable cult following almost immediately for their unique blend of pop, rock, traditional jazz and R&B behind clever lyrics.  Joined in the studio by top-tier session players, Steely Dan went on to record some of the most popular songs and albums of the ’70s.  Over the course of their first eight years, they released a remarkable seven albums – only 1979 going without.  Even more astonishing, among those seven albums, one was Double Platinum in the US, five were Platinum, and the other went Gold. Those included Aja, Can’t Buy A Thrill, Pretzel Logic, and Katy Lied.  In all, Steely Dan has sold over 40 million album worldwide.  As a band, Steely Dan went on hiatus in 1981, but both musicians carried on with other work.  For Becker’s part, he moved with his family to a more quiet life in Hawaii where he farmed avocados while working as a producer.  A few of his more notable clients were Michael Franks, Rickie Lee Jones, and China Crisis who credited him as being an official member of the band.  He and Fagen regrouped as Steely Dan in 1993 and immediately went on a well-received tour, their first in almost two decades.  In 2000, they released Two Against Nature, their first album since 1980.  It earned them four Grammys including Album of the Year. The following year found them being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  During the latter years of Becker’s career – while still touring and recording with Steely Dan – he released a solo album, guested on other albums and did some song co-writes.  On September 3, 2017, Walter Becker passed away, and by all accounts, it was unexpected. Cause of death was not immediately released.  He was 67.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Posted in Musician, Rock, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (April 8, 2011) Roger Nichols / Producer & Engineer

Posted by themusicsover on April 8, 2011

Roger Nichols
September 22, 1944 – April 8, 2011

Roger Nichols was a respected producer and recording engineer who over the course of his career, accumulated seven Grammys.  Most closely associated with Steely Dan, Nichols also worked with the likes of John Denver, the Beach Boys, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, and Diana Ross, to name just a few.  Raised in Southern California, Nichols went to high school with Zappa with whom he made his earliest tapes.  After graduating from college where he studied nuclear physics, Nichols first found work has a nuclear operator at the San Onofre nuclear power plant north of San Diego.  But in the mid ’60s he moved back over to music and opened his own recording studio.  In 1970, he went to work for ABC Dunhill Records where he met Walter Becker and Donald Fagen who were hired writers for the label.  Within a year, Nichols was behind the board for the birth of Becker’s and Fagen’s group, Steely Dan.  He would go on to engineer such landmark albums as their Pretzel Logic, Aja, Countdown To Ecstasy, and Gaucho.  He earned Grammys for his work on Aja, Gaucho, Two Against Nature, FM, and John Denver’s All Aboard!.  Roger Nichols was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May of 2010, and died from it on April 8, 2011.  He was 66.

Posted in Engineer, Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Died On This Date (March 13, 2011) Owsley Stanley / LSD Icon; Longtime Soundman for Grateful Dead

Posted by themusicsover on March 14, 2011

Augustus Owsley Stanley
January 19, 1935 – March 13, 2011

Owsley “Bear” Stanley was a sound engineer and former notorious LSD cook who was reportedly the first to manufacture large quantities of the drug.  His high-quality LSD, often given away for free, became plentiful in the San Francisco area during the mid ’60s so is credited for being an essential piece of the hippie movement.  As a respected sound engineer, Stanley was employed by (and also helped finance) the Grateful Dead.  He met members of the group during Ken Kesey’s famed acid tests of 1966 and became their first sound man.  He also co-designed their iconic “Steal Your Face” skull logo with Bob Thomas.   It was Stanley who developed the advanced high fidelity live sound system used by the Grateful Dead.  He also helped launch Meyer Sound, the respected concert sound system manufacturer.  During his years with the Grateful Dead, Stanley started the practice of taping the band’s rehearsals and live shows – this lead to the phenomenon of audience-generated tapes that spread well beyond the Dead.  He also made countless live recordings during the ’60s and ’70s of such acts as Jefferson Airplane, Miles Davis, Janis Joplin, Santana, and Johnny Cash to name just a few.   Owsley and his exploits have been documented in (or at least inspired) such songs as “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix, “Kid Charlemagne” by Steely Dan, and numerous others.  On March 13, 2011, Owsley Stanley was killed when the car he was driving swerved off a road near his home in Queensland, Australia.  The car reportedly went down an embankment and crashed into some trees killing Owsley and injuring his wife.  He was 76.



Posted in Engineer, Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Died On This Date (March 13, 2011) Owsley Stanley / LSD Icon; Longtime Soundman for Grateful Dead

Died On This Date (August 5, 1992) Jeff Porcaro / Toto

Posted by themusicsover on August 5, 2010

Jeff Porcaro
April 1, 1954 – August 5, 1992

Born into a musical family, Jeff Porcaro began playing the drums at an early age. His father was well-known session drummer, Joe Porcaro, and his brothers, Steve and Mike Porcaro are active studio musicians as well. Drum lessons began for Jeff at age seven, leading to a career as one of the most respected drummers of his time. At seventeen, Porcaro landed his first job, playing in Sonny & Cher’s touring band. By his twenties, he was playing with the likes of Steely Dan and Boz Scaggs. In 1977, Porcaro, Steve Lukather, and David Paich co-founded Grammy-winning rock band, Toto. Having sold some 30 million albums to date, they are considered to be one of the most successful mainstream rock bands of all time. Even with all that success, Porcaro had time to play on recordings by a who’s who of popular music, including Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits, Paul McCartney, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton and Paul Anka. On August 5, 1992, Porcaro suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 38. Some speculated that his death was caused by an alergic reaction to insecticide. The offiicial autopsy concluded that he died of a previously undiagnosed heart condition.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

The Essential Toto - Toto

Posted in Musician, Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Died On This Date (July 31, 2008) Lee Young / Jazz Drummer

Posted by themusicsover on July 31, 2010

Lee Young
March 7, 1914 – July 31, 2008

Lee Young was a respected jazz drummer, record producer, and A&R man who is credited for discovering Steely Dan.  He was also the younger brother of famed jazz saxophonist, Lester Young.  Throughout his career, he’s played with Billie Holiday, Fats Waller, Lionel Hampton, and Benny Goodman.  He was the drummer in the Nat King Cole Trio during the ’50s.  Lee Young passed away in his home at the age of 94.

Posted in Jazz, Musician, Producer, Record Label, Singer | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Died On This Date (July 31, 2008) Lee Young / Jazz Drummer