After the death of Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker in September, his longtime partner Donald Fagen asserted that he would go ahead with scheduled fall tour dates in Becker’s honor. At a tour stop Tuesday night in Buffalo, as Stereogum points out, Fagen performed “Book of Liars,” which appeared on Becker’s first solo album, 1994’s 11 Tracks of Whack. (Fagen produced the album.)
“He’s usually standing right here,” Fagen tells the crowd while pointing to his left, “and it’s weird for me.”
Fagen and Co. are scheduled to play in Orillia, Ontario, on Thursday night, and in an interview with the Orillia Packet & Times, he revealed that Becker had been struggling with his health for years before his death at age 67.
“Walter was pretty ill for, maybe, at least five years,” Fagen said. “He was dealing with some serious health problems, which he was valiantly fighting. But it caught up with him after a while… He was really hurting the last couple of years—especially the last year—but he soldiered on. All he wanted to do was play; that was his life. It’s great that he could do it.”
Watch “Book of Liars” below, and also check out this exclusive recording of what is probably the greatest Steely Dan show ever, from 1974.