Walter Becker of Steely Dan passed away last September, and now his memory is being honored as a part of the urban landscape in which he lived: The street he grew up on in New York City will be co-named “Walter Becker Way.” Becker grew up in the Forest Hills section of Queens, and the sign will be positioned on the corner of 112th Street and 72nd Drive. The street sign will be officially unveiled in late October.
Becker’s solo successes of 11 Tracks of Whack and Circus Money are as much a part of his legacy as his Steely Dan hits like “Reelin’ in the Years” and “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” and the Grammy-winning record Two Against Nature. But beyond the music, Becker is remembered for his sense of humor and appreciation of his fans. His fan’s love in return is seen even now, as they are the ones organizing the festivities for the street sign unveiling event. To be held Oct. 28 and presented by New York’s Classic Rock Q104.3, the unveiling will feature special guests and remembrances from Becker’s friends and colleagues, as well as special giveaways.
“Walter’s fans have decades of experience holding ‘Danfests’ throughout the country,” Delia, Becker’s widow, said in a statement, “and they always find innovative and eclectic ways of celebrating. It will undoubtedly be a fun and free gathering to honor and commemorate Walter as only they can!”
You can find a catalog of Becker’s music here. Becker’s appreciation for his fans has continued past his life, and in accordance with his wishes, his unreleased songs have been shared with his fans. Currently, his estate has made free, hi-fidelity downloads of these unreleased songs available here.
Revisit Paste’s remembrance of Becker here and archival audio from a 1974 Steely Dan show below.