Late Steely Dan musician to have Forest Hills street sign named in his honor

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Walter Carl Becker, co-founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted band Steely Dan, will be honored with a street sign ceremony unveiling in Forest Hills Oct. 28. The “Walter Becker Way” street sign will be installed at the corner of his childhood home at 112th Street and 72nd Drive, according to Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills).

Becker, born Feb. 20, 1950, was an American musician, songwriter, guitarist, bassist and record producer. He died of esophageal cancer at his home in Manhattan on Sept. 3, 2017.

The City Council bestows street co-naming honors on New York activists, cultural heroes, and community leaders whose contribution has a lasting impact on the city, the country, and the world. Koslowitz sponsored Becker by way of a legislation bill, which was approved by a full Council vote last week.

In 1971, Walter Becker and his partner in music, Donald Fagen, formed the jazz-rock band Steely Dan, producing music that was highly regarded by critics and fellow musicians alike. His partnership with Fagen turned out music that sustained a devoted audience for over 40 years, and his solo output enjoyed great critical success.

Steely Dan sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and helped define the sound track of the 1970s with hits such as “Reelin’ in the Years,” “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” “F.M., Peg,” “Hey Nineteen,” “Deacon Blues,” and “Babylon Sisters,” culled from their seven platinum albums issued between 1972 and 1980.

In 2000, they released Album of the Year Grammy winner “Two Against Nature” and followed up with their acclaimed “Everything Must Go” in 2003. They received the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Founder’s Award in 2000 and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4526.

Posted 12:00 am, July 11, 2018
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