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05.07.09

 

In This Issue

- Steely Dan Live: Special Setlist Nights

- Circus Money T-Shirts Return

- 'Downtown Canon' Single + 2 Bonuses (Track + Tix)


Steely Dan Live: Special Setlist Nights

The "Left Bank Holiday" (Europe) and
"Rent Party '09" (U.S.) tours are shaping up nicely
over at steelydan.com

Also just announced there: Rent Party '09 will include
multi-night stands of special setlist shows
in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

You want yer Classic Album (Plus) Nights?
You want yer 'Takin' It To The Seats' Internet Request Nights?

Then visit and follow steelydan.com
for dates and details - including news about promotions,
packages, and more




Circus Money T-Shirts Return

Missed getting a Circus Money T-Shirt
at an '08 Steely Dan show?
You've got another chance over at
Sonic360, Circus Money's international distributor.
Warning: Don't wear one of these
if you're bothered by double-takes.

Sonic360's Becker site

 


'Downtown Canon' Single + 2 Bonuses (Track + Tix)

Speaking of Sonic360, they're releasing The Circus Money track Downtown Canon as a Radio Edit single in a few weeks. It will be available digitally outside US/Canada at all good digital stores June 15, and on international iTunes June 16

BONUS #1: The Downtown Canon single will be bundled -- digitally speaking -- with the bonus track Bob Is Not Your Uncle Anymore (Demo)

Becker elaborates on this:

Songwriters' demo of track Bob Is Not Your Uncle Anymore as recorded on Circus Money. MIDI sequence done on Becker's computer, plus vocal done at Larry Klein's recording studio in Los Angeles. Used as a point of departure by the musicians at the tracking date, and included here just for giggles, really, the latter day listener/musicologist is invited to draw his/her own conclusions as to what light, if any, this demo sheds on the music-making "process" of all concerned.


BONUS #2: Free pair of tix to any 2009 Steely Dan show goes to the first fan who correctly identifies the 70's reggae track Becker used for inspiration here. Hint: It's a record that makes you want to "tap" your feet.

"DA RULES":

Email your guess to email address in Newsletter.
[contest closed].

Sorry -- emails of unusual length, with any
graphics, enclosures or viruses attached, or email sent
to any other email address will not be considered

Until next time ...

Update: Three Newsletter Subscribers correctly identified Tapper Zukie: Man Ah Warrior in our demo-related contest. Each won a pair of tickets to their Steely Dan show of choice.

 
     

 
    ^top
 

1.01.09

 

A Newsletter Exclusive:
Free Track Download

 

In this issue, current subscribers were invited to download "Circus Money Hammerhead Remix".

If you were subscribed on Dec 31 but haven't gotten your Newsletter yet, check your Junk Mail Box!

"Circus Money Hammerhead Remix" is a Newsletter Exclusive. It doesn't appear on any Circus Money release.

Speaking of those releases -- it's getting tough to sort out all the Global Versions, Bonus Tracks, Extended Plays, Dubs, Remixes...etc

This Guide should help you keep them all straight:
CDs, EPs, Release Versions, Track Info, and Buy Links

 

Happy New Year!

 

 
     
       

 
    ^top
  7.10.08

 

CIRCUS MONEY is out and wandering free
amongst retailers in North America.

Our very own one-stop shop is
The Walter Becker Store, carrying
CIRCUS MONEY in Audio CD, MP3/256, and FLAC.
Downloads include pdf full packaging and lyrics.

 

**********************


International Release -- with BONUS

We're delighted to announce
the International release of CIRCUS MONEY
through Sonic360 this Monday, July 14!

(As with our Brethren and Sistern of 1789,
the date will find us "intoxicated with
liberty and enthusiasm.")

The International release includes the exclusive
B o N u S   T r A C k
'Dark Horse Dub', plus an additional
package insert.

Pre-order now through
the Sonic360 Store .

 

**********************

Speaking of More ....

So you probably figure: Now that
CIRCUS MONEY is out, it'll be another X years
before there's more from Becker and crew.

Such Old Paradigm thinking!

Look -- you never know anymore what happens
next, and when. So just keep this
Newsletter subscription active, OK?

 

**********************

Promo On Parade

The 'Press and Promo' page has been updated
with some recent press and promotional events,
including a lengthy interview in
Time Out New York, and guest DJ stints
on several Sirius radio shows.

Coming soon: new photos!

Circus Money Press and Promo Page

 

**********************

Becker Signature Model Guitar

Last time we reported that Becker and
master luthier Roger Sadowsky teamed up
to produce a Walter Becker Signature Model Guitar.

The beauty made its debut on the Steely Dan tour.
Find specs and pictures at Mr. Sadowsky's site

Sale proceeds will be donated to
The Jazz Foundation,
supporting musicians in need.

 

**********************

Think Fast! Steely Dan Tour

The summer shows are rolling strong and long.

Even the Circus Money Tee-shirts
are getting great reviews!

Think Fast, Steely Dan Tour

 

Until Next Time...

 

 
     
     

 
    ^top
 

5.23.08

Last Few Days to
Get CIRCUS MONEY Early
And a Full Track Now

::: Visit the Walter Becker Store
::: for the deal...

::: ... and tell a friend about it at
::: <link for subscribers only>

Thanks to all who have already pre-ordered.

**********************

Who Tube?

Some of you found a couple of online
audiovisual oddities in recent days, e.g.,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iowlpXE1YkI&fmt=6
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHyNzWHPVsA&fmt=6

Fair enough ... but do you mean to tell us
there's only *one* Circus Money monkey out there
with iMovie and a YouTube account?!

**********************

International Release

We're just a few days away from giving
a good hunk of our subscriber list some
hard information about the International
release and distribution of Circus Money
later this summer.

Check the C$ FAQ for this and other updates

<//outdated links deleted //>

**********************

Promo Pig-Out

Before too long, some press, interviews, and
articles re: Circus Money may start
appearing here and there.

We'll try to note some of the biggies
on our 'Press and Promo' page

**********************

....and now, back to rehearsals for the
"Think Fast, Steely Dan" Tour...

 

Until Next Time...

 
     
     

 
    ^top
 

5.14.08

= Get CIRCUS MONEY Early =

Teaming with Circus Money's superfine distributor,
Mailboat Records, we are pleased to extend this
First-on-the-Block offer to you, our faithful
Newsletter Subscribers:

:::
::: If you pre-order Circus Money
::: [Audio CD] [MP3 @256 kbps] [Lossless FLAC]
:::
::: through the new Walter Becker Store
:::
::: before May 26, you get:
:::
::: = Delivery of your order 5 days before Release Date
:::      and
::: = Immediate MP3 download of a Circus Money track
:::
:::
::: Check it out: The Walter Becker Store
:::

  **********************

Want To Share?

This offer was created for Subscribers, and
we're sending the Store link today just to you.

Eventually, perhaps, it may get around,
get posted, and go public.

But until then, only *you* can share this offer
with as many non-subscribed friends as you choose.

:::
::: Do it with your personalized
:::
::: Tell-a-Friend service at
::: <link only in Newsletter>
:::

**********************

Updates Aplenty

If you've visited
http://walterbecker.com
lately, you've noticed some updates;
audio clips (can video be far behind?),
press links, etc.

There will be more to come as we hurtle toward
official release, so do check in often.

**********************

"Think Fast, Steely Dan" Tour

About 36 summer dates are announced and on sale,
with the possibility of more to come.

Monitor
http://steelydan.com
for the latest.

     

 
    ^top
 

4.26.08

All Hail, Friends:

Some news for you today.

We have the results of, and our response to,
the Promo Poll of last month.
Thanks for voting!

Your suggestions had all the variety
and inventiveness one would expect
-- nay, demand -- from a group of
Beckerphiles.

Still, the overwhelmingly popular votes and
ideas were also the most traditional, namely:
announce the release date quickly; add info
about C$ to the website; and let you hear
some of it, sooner rather than later.

:::: As pertains to info, lots of it has been
and is still appearing on walterbecker.com,
particularly on the oft'-updated
Circus Money FAQ

:::: As pertains to letting you hear some of
Circus Money, the grapevine tells us that
whole track(s) may be streaming and/or
otherwise available... and sooner rather than
later. Check online this week for an update.

:::: But as pertains to the blessed NOW --
click here, already,
and look for the little red speaker!

You'll need Flash in your browser
(98% of you already have it),
and allow pop-up windows (for the player).
And the faster connection, the better --
of course.

This is the premiere of "Circus Money" clips online.
Clips range in length from 27 to 61 seconds,
were encoded at 192 kbps, and were selected/edited by Becker personally.
We hope you like.

A word on sound and web traffic --
We're using a sleek little player that quickly
delivers great audio without requiring special programs. However, high server traffic
(or slow connections) will definitely compromise
the listening experience.

So if you have a fast connection but the clips
still sound hitch-y, our server is probably getting
too many simultaneous requests.
Please be patient, and come back later;
These clips ain't going nowhere....

In summary --

= enjoy the sounds

= fill in some blanks on your Lyrics Madlibs

= keep an eye on the C$ FAQ for added info

= stay tuned for whatever happens next

 

In other exciting news, Becker and
master luthier Roger Sadowsky have teamed up
on a Walter Becker Signature Model Guitar!
Proceeds go to the Jazz Foundation.
Go to sadowsky.com for more info as it develops.

 

Oh yeah ... there's the "Think Fast, Steely Dan"
tour this summer too.
Dates are multiplying like bunnies.
Check steelydan.com for the latest.

 
     
  Circus Money | Walter Becker  
     

 
    ^top
 

3.17.08

Hello Again Friends!

At last, some news:
My sophomore solo CD is hurtling toward market,
and a release date for
CIRCUS MONEY
will be announced soon.

Indeed, just about the only thing standing between us and delivery of the little beauty is the perceived need (by some) to conjure up a little promo frenzy around its arrival — or at least as much of a froth as folk like us can manage any more.

Toward that end, may I direct you to this online location, where you will now find, from me, a note elaborating upon our acute marketing imperative and, for you, a chance to vote on our promotional direction.

And remember that our Newsletter Subscribers are first in line for any goodies we do work up — so now's the time to remind your buds to sign up and share the l-u-v.

Oh, and may I assume you've all heard about Live Steely Dan in '08 ? Three summer dates are already announced, with more on the way.

So perhaps I'll see you out on the road this summer ...but certainly I'll see you here again on walterbecker.com, where things should be heating up pretty good, pretty hot, and pretty soon.

toodles,
-wb

Circus Money | Walter Becker

 

 

       

 
 
^top
 

9.22.06

Hello My Friends!

not sure how many of you-all made it to our shows this summer but I know that those who could not would not or otherwise did not -- well, let's just say they missed out on a damn good thing.

fact is, I had so much fun that now, what with my superfine guitar rig set up in the middle of my living room here on e. 32nd st., it is only a matter of time before I am forced out by nyc police/fireman who are in league with my nefarious landlord, whom I will vilify at some length at a later time.

for now, let's just say that if my sound is a little too big for the room, it's the room that is at fault and not my 300+ watts of class A tubaliciousness or my approx. 220 square inches of vintage speakerage or my 160 pounds of alnico V magnets or my 22000 lines of flux or...

but I digress. The point is this: I'm back, tour was great, I'm finishing my record and, most importantly, there is new material now on the WB website for your edification and amusement. Flush and feeling frisky, I am now free to return to my art-for-art's-sake hobbyfarm, walterbecker.com, and all that it entails.

in closing may I offer these words of wisdom from my former spiritual advisor Lama Dudrup Golyakin, M.T.P., D.C., of Upcountry, Hawaii:

"don't waste money, don't make bad karma, if life give you lemon tree, then piss on it every day and take shower!"

-wb

 
       

 
      ^top
 

 

Issue #9
2.20.18

 

Hello friends:

It's so sad that our first Newsletter in ages comes
too late for Walter himself to write to you any longer.

But we can all still hear his inimitable voice.

So let's celebrate Walter's birthday - 2/20/18 - by enjoying that voice anew, as he gifts us a tune very few have ever heard!

This unreleased song in MP3 format along with a slideshow, Were You Close Today, (with Adam Rogers - guitar: Fima Ephron - bass: Ben Perowsky - drums: Dave Russell - Engineer) and a discussion forum for related chat, is up at  walterbeckermedia.com, Walter Becker Media, a location that, depending on how this try-out goes, may soon expand.

A few notes:

There is a copyright on this song, © 1997/2018 Zeon Music LLC, but you may share it freely: download it, burn it, email to friends. The operative word here is freely... If you see someone using it for $profit, notify us as the copyright holders, then please tear him
or her a new one without delay

You have to create an account -- two steps, email and password -- in order to post in the forum. (no account needed to hear the clip or read the comments) But you can remain anonymous if you like. Your default handle is the first part of the e-mail address you enter at sign-up, but you can edit it to whatever you want in your profile. Also, your email need not actually exist; choose the combination of privacy and notification settings that will give you the profile you want.

We will start by trying out a very light and rapid moderation. Anything goes for musical opinions and related ideas, broadly defined. What will not fly are off-topic posts, gratuitous nastiness, serious violations of privacy and basic good manners, ad hominem arguments, and the like. All moderation will be removed in the future if this trial shows everyone leaves the nasty stuff at home.

One early goal is that the discussion remain open and available to everyone, including people who don't have membership in closed groups, and those who don't want to spend half their day cycling through multiple discussion platforms. We'll have to rethink the whole scheme if a substantial amount of discussion becomes overly decentralized, or takes root at locations not available to everyone. We created a discussion forum on-site in order to provide a centralized, open alternative; we hope many or most of you will make use of it, and send us your feedback if it can be improved.

_____________________________

Humble thanks to the supernaturally generous cowboy who got this off the ground, First Lieutenant Atticus Matticus, Director Of Operations, Technology, Motivation, and All-Around Righteous Action. And thanks also in advance to Beckerphiles of goodwill who, we hope, will contribute to a joyful and tuneful expansion here. Please make sure your friends are signed up for the Walter Becker Newsletter as it will carry news of significant changes and adds, as will the Official Walter Becker Website
at walterbecker.com.

Happy birthday, Walter!


jeepers, we sure do miss you .....

Until Next Time...

 
       

 
      ^top
 

03.15.18

If you build it they will come

Very happy indeed that folks seem to enjoy Walter's first clip out of the gate ("Were You Close" ), and chatted away all neighborly like -- which is saying
something since we only gave you one thing to talk about for 10 days!

Greatly heartened, we now leap big.

=The site has ballooned, now hosting 4 categories, each with a few posts to get things started. We intend to contribute new, rare, or (hopefully) amusing clips or other media across all categories from time to time.
Don't be shy about dropping requests and questions in amongst the discussion: We Stoop to Conq ... um … er … I mean We Live to Serve.

= New FAQ, and our Privacy Policy is up

= The Downloads page now offers everything from 128 MP3s up to, in most cases, FLAC fidelity

= A new Walter Becker Media YouTube channel needs your clicks, so we will show up in searches before results page gazillion

= The top menu includes a Hey 19 Rap of the Week, from Matt & Jim's magnificent database of over 100 of WB's nightly routines

= Incredibly jealous of the "X of the week" idea, I'm going to drop a random WB quote here, there, and whenever. I won't hide 'em, but they won't have a precious little location throne either. Just sort of
scattered around-- kind of like our boy

= You guys know what Easter eggs are, right? They are fairly rare now, a holdover from the days when webmasters, who were rumored to be real human beings, and visitors, also said to be biological entities,
had a little interactive fun.Would Internet old-timers please enlighten their browsing brothers and sisters? You have to know what the thing is, before you can look fo one. That is all we have to say at this time

= Please get your friends to sign up for the Newsletter: Friends don't let friends hunt clueless. .. do they?

OK! OK! Alright Already!

Walter and Company did a song during the legendary Slims gig, which the band rehearsed (it's a rehearsal you will be hearing). But the tune never seemed to go anywhere else, and I've never seen it hopping around
with the other widely circulating Whack outtakes. So this may be a first time for most of you. (blush)

Presenting the semi-sad story of


Cinder Annie


...and the even sadder story of her "sweet man" (at least the way he sees things).

Please enter from our new front door. Oh come on, just this once... Indulge us.

You know all the rest.

Hope you enjoy

--------------------------------------

Continued thanks to all the usual suspects, but especially to you, oh ye whom he loved so well. .You showed up, you showed yourselves, and thus sparked the heart of the enterprise into beating.

 
       

 
      ^top
 

04. 01. 18

Happy Easter everybody.

This week we've prepped a double-whammy.
Any extra work on our end was mitigated by anticipating the pleasure some of you would feel at getting whacked twice, if you will.

Whammy One is a clip of a song many of you have
been hoping to hear for a long time:

It is a studio band rehearsal version,
basic track, no overdubs :-(, rough vocals :-( of

Three Sisters Shakin'

If you wish to go enjoy that, go ahead, there'll
be the usual download opportunities for downloads on our aptly named Downloads page…and it ain't goin' nowhere.

So come back here after, to get your
Whammy Two

Most of you have figured by now we've been
readying an Easter Egg hunt for you. Right you are.

We just have one egg for you to hunt for, but when you get to it, you'll see how that one egg really contains two goodies

Where to start the hunt? We'll tell you....

...after we ask a small favor: to not share the solution
with your friends or Facebook "friends" just yet,
we'd truly appreciate it. Most people will only get back to
their desks and email mid-week, and we want them
to have some fun too, and avoid spoilers.

The Hunt:

We can tell you that the first clue is somewhere under the material in the Walter Becker Media Forum:
Here; we'll send you to the start here....:
Happy hunting!
.....

 

....... Finished? Are we all back here together again, sated with the mighty Becker unbound, at least for the time being? If so, that makes us feel very good. Looking forward to the discussion on these. We will
make a thread for both.

Don't forget there may likely be things posted
between newsletters— we already have one in
mind (and from the CM era, too!) and such adds
will be announced on the Media HOME page.

Appreciation to those who subscribed to our
Walter Becker Media YouTube channel :
we can always use your clicks, likes, and subscribes.
Thanks!

Continued thanks to all the usual suspects, which means Matt (he is sort of suspect, isn't he?) but especially to you, oh ye whom he loved so well, Water's friends and fans.

Until Next Time...

 
       
       

 
      ^top
 

05. 29. 18

a special post...

Story at the end of this Newsletter

Audio quality: YouTube vs Downloads

Most of you have probably discovered that the audio on a YouTube video associated with media posted on walterbeckrmedia.com is considerably worse than that offered on our Downloads page on the same media site. Yes, it's true -- gasp -- YouTube does F^&*k-MESS WITH audio: the max volume goes down, distortions happen at lower volumes, and overall quality drops a notch or two, at least (it also juk-i-fies video and stills). We're learning more and more about how to go around these limitations.

But in the meantime, keep in mind that the files offered on the Downloads page do not go though YouTube. Instead, the links on the Downloads page go directly to "clean files" hosted by our server, and offer you pretty faithful copies of the sound files we created. Bottom line: if you want the best sounding files, do not download from youTube, or from the audio attached to the video at the top of a wbmedia page (that's just a copy of the YouTube version). Instead, go to the Downloads page and get your tracks from there.

Compilations?

Lots of you now writing in to vote for a compilation of these tracks: the best sounding versions of the music (we'e done virtually no audio manipulation to date but know they can be improved upon): maybe some commentary by a few of the musicians or other relevant people: a few pictures, etc. Personally, we have no doubt that at least one compilation will come from this music. But patience, lasses and laddies: when it comes to material, we've barely gotten started!

Volunteers...

We'll call on you soon. Some may be able to help us compile info. Others have expressed interest in writing "long-form" pieces for the website.

...for a special event

...and some of you will take part in a special event in the WB world. Before we can announce the event we have to wait on th action of an official body -- no lie--which should be coming in a few weeks. But we can say it's an event in the Northeast, sometime around the last week of September, and will be almost entirely shaped by fans, for the enoyment of fans. More soon.

Plan B Downloads

This release we don't have the nice Download interface of other offerings. For a few weeks at least, we'll just be offering simple links to 2 fidelities of the song. Nothin' fancy, but it gets the job done.

Only One Season

(vebose version of this story on the post page)

It's like this: I wrote him a birthday haiku. He wrote me a song. It's good enough that we thought of posting it on online.

Today, though, I hoard his gifts. I once urged him to share it with everyone; now, I don't want to share it with anyone.

But I know how good it is. And now that I feel among friends here at at wbmedia, friends who hold WB's talent in esteem and his memory with affection, I'm happy to present you, fellow WB freaks, the World Premiere of Walter Becker's

Only One Season

--------------------------------

All praise and thanks go to Matt Kerns, who does
virtually everything here, which is why, when he
shockingly decided to have a life and vaction with his family, this place knocks down to Plan Bs and work-arounds.

And continued thanks to you, for listening.
For appreciating. For remembering.

Official Walter Becker Website is at
walterbecker.com.

Until Next Time...

 
       
       

 
      ^top
 

07.10.18

Walter Becker Receives Street Co-Naming Honor
New York Musician's Queens Roots Remembered

Street Co-Naming Honor: The New York City Council bestows
street co-naming honors on New York activists, cultural heroes,
and community leaders who's contribution has a lasting impact
on the city, the country, and the world. City council member
Hon. Karen Koslowitz of the 29th District (Queens) recommended
Becker by way of a legislative bill, which was approved by a
full council vote on June 28.

Becker was a native of Forest Hills, Queens, growing up
at 112-20 72 Drive. "Walter Becker Way" will join the street signs
at 112th and 72nd Drive

Unveiling — Oct 28: The date for the street sign ceremony is
Sunday Oct. 28, 2018. Since this event is for the enjoyment of
the fans, with a priority on fostering a fun and free gathering to
honor and celebrate Becker as only his fans can, the Becker
family has opted to give the fanbase complete control over the
planning and organization of the day's festivities. These fans
have decades of experience holding "Dan-Fests" throughout
the country, and always find creative and surprising ways of
celebrating the day. Those plans are in the works as we speak,
and more details of their machinations will appear soon.

Check walterbeckerway.com for details, updates, news, and info.

"Old and Improved"

Facing deadlines for the exciting news above, we've pushed back
the post of the eary ('91) " Mystery Track" for a week. But we've got
two treats that are just as good.

We're all familiar with the crusty "11 Tracks of Whack Outtakes" that
have been banging around the interwebs for a couple of decades.
Sure, they're neat sounding tunes--- what we can hear of them,
at least.

It sounds like the versions out there are some advanced generation
of an old cassette. We found the first generation cassette. Add some
nifty modern digitization tools, a tweak or two from superfan Dan Belcher, and
NOW we've got something to hear!

We're starting with Sanpaku and Ghost of Hipness Past.

We'll get to the others eventually. But in the meantime,
please to enjoy
the creamy goodness of these tunes sounding quite a bit more like
God and Becker made 'em

 

A Connection

"I am a daughter to a father with wings and a guitar."
Sayan describes the connection between father and daughter.

 
       

 
      ^top
 

08.09.18

Walter Becker ... Plagiarist?

This song is something of a mystery,
perhaps resolved only by the preponderance of opinion.

Dave Russell says this one "didn't make it past
11TOW demo sequence", yet Walter continued
on to add vocals and electric guitar.

He may have taken it that far, despite knowing
it wouldn't be on Whack, because it may
have been part of something else; a dare, or a
challenge, or to make a particular point. Make sure to
read the full story (and register your impression)
on our thread at

She Was Good

==============================

Newsletter Restraint

You may have noticed that not every post of
new media gets a Newsletter announcing it;
we don't want to spam you out with issues
at every turn, and Walter long ago decided
he wanted his newsletter to be "informative...
and infrequent". If a new clip is all we've got,
we may not send a Newsletter just for it.

We will, however, always flag it on
the home page. So you may want to check out
the site from time to time for additions
you may have missed. For instance, have you
gone to Uncle Waltie's Story Time yet?

But the real reason to visit, IMHO, is the great
posts in the Discussion threads. Not much
back and forth, and that's somewhat surprising;
I must have assumed that Becker fans might be a
touch argumentative :-). But I think it's clear that
everyone is simply trying to keep it civil and
positive. That's a rare achievement on the internet
of today!

In any case, cantankerous or kumbaya, please drop into
the threads and add your voice.

==============================

Audio Manipulation (long)
D-Mod and Matt

Over here at Walter Becker Media, we often consider just
how far afield to take a file before presentation. We'd like to
stick to releasing tracks in their native state. In fact, our policy
and practice so far is that we try not to substantively alter audio
except to make an otherwise unlistenable track listenable, to boost
volume on what is barely audible, or to try to correct for media
damage like a scratch or stretch.

Our rationale is that this is where Walter stopped with the file,
and although it is obvious he would have improved it were he
to continue work on it, and perfected it prior to release, we can't
know and therefore can't do what he would have done...so we don't.

Now obviously, if these were bound for a commercial release,
audio engineers would be all over these things like white on rice,
stripping in tracks, dropping in from different versions, using
tools and tricks we can't even imagine exist. But that's not
where we are. We've made it clear we will be dealing in scratch
vocals, demos, working versions, tracks otherwise at various stages
of complete. And for better or worse, we have chosen to present these
as the "official" versions of Walter Becker Media, the purpose and
charter of which is not to maximize these tracks, but to present them
as Walter left them, and as we found them. Walter asked I share
some of his unfinished starts; he didn't say anything about finishing
them.*

A part of us -- the irrational part! -- wishes that was perfectly
copacetic for 100% of you; doesn't the whole world feel that what
we've presented is "enough"? Ah, were it only so! But we know
that once a file is released, a few of you might not be able to sleep
unless it sounds more like you want it to sound. And we understand;
back in the day, when Walter was spending countless hours
holed up in a studio, fidgeting with controller board levels and
Dolby gear and Magneplanar speakers and whatnot, he never
would have presumed to direct the gentle listener on how to
curve the band equalizer on their home hi-fi, if the vinyl product
in-hand sounded to them like nails on a chalkboard. Sound is
incredibly subjective. Moreover, we all differ in what we want
or need to extract from these humble, skinny orphans.

So while we wouldn't presume to stop anyone from
cleaning up a track so as to sound acceptable to them,
it does present some odd issues to those of us who are
supposed to be protecting the exclusivity of an Estate-released
collection.

But really, upon further thought, perhaps the only issue is one of
the semi-porous boundaries found around musical territory in
this day of easy and instant audio manipulation. If we want to
curate a collection of material in its found state, and you feel
there is some value in such a collection, then how can we
preserve that collection qua The Walter Becker Media Project,
without letting personal manipulations or alt versions swamping
or obscuring it?

We think it simply comes down to being circumspect in how
you share your changes -- if you wish to share them at all --
avoiding wherever possible wide and indiscriminate posting
of your version on open platforms like Youtube or
Facebook, where a simple search on a song title by any newbie
would increase the number of amazingly similar versions
in the search result.

Recently, one of Walter's fans made noticeable sonic improvements
to one of our releases. We could not object to this, although we
recognized some "dangers" in widespread publicized alterations,
and needed to work out what we could present as our "policy" or
preferences in this matter. This fan was considerate in asking how
we would like to handle it -- and patient as we worked out an answer.
He didn't intend to change the track, just maximize the sonic
experience, and he shared the outcome discreetly i.e., only with those
he knew were likely to be interested.

So that is our "policy" on sonically enhanced or alt versions:
We fully understand that some amount of fan modification/sonic
improvement is to be expected, especially from the admittedly
audiophile audience that Walter accumulated (and appreciated)
throughout his career. So fix it up the way you like it. If you're
convinced a splash of grenadine in the proverbial cocktail
will greatly improve the experience, we won't (and wouldn't) argue.

But if you wish to share it with others, please notify them of your
version via relatively private channels, like email or posting on a
closed or specialty group which doesn't get a lot of random public
traffic (share it, in other words, with "those of my kind"), using a
link to your dropbox or google drive or whatever, include a clear
indication that this is a fan edit and not the "official release"--
perhaps even using a title like: "She Was Good (fan audio
alteration)" -- and provide a link to the actual copywritten real deal
whenever possible. Anyone coming upon this file will have
no problem distinguishing it from what is presented here.

It may seem slightly trivial to you, but things look different
from each side of the "provide/consume" fence. The ability to
maintain Walter Becker Media as the sole repository of official and
copywritten audio releases of found and incomplete tracks is vitally
important -- to The Estate, anyway, and, we imagine -- in one of
our grandiose moods -- important perhaps to history as well.
Thanks for your help, it means a lot.

* There's more to say here about possibilities for furthering
a specific song by a trusted musical colleague. And more to say
about the "super-fan box set" of demos and found tracks that
some of you have envisioned, which may well include audio
cleanups that we ask you for. But -- some other time;
I don't feel inspired just now to talk about new material.
Some people can be vicious, and I need time to "forget" their
latest uninformed b.s.

==============================

Don't Be Nuked

We automatically unsubscribe email addresses that bounce
3 consecutive times. This keeps our list zombie-free.
At any given time, I look at the long list of addresses that
are going to be eliminated if they bounce one more
time....and I just hope these really are people who "aren't
there" any more. If you've abandoned an email address, but want
to stay subscribed, please change your address -- and stay with us.
==============================

Becker Block Party
-Matt

Hey, before we go, we want to personally invite each of you
to the Becker street naming coming up on October 28. It's an off night
in Fagen's string of Beacon shows, so we know some of you
will be in town. Come a day early or stay a day late and hit this
100% Fan-Built celebration. It's exciting to see Walter and his
fans honored, and we know that is how he would have seen it.

We appreciate all of you, and everything your efforts meant
to Walter and his music. He certainly appreciated that support.
And we appreciate your support of us. We are, among
other things, preserving (and spreading, we hope) a hint of the
depth and breadth of Walter's staggering creativity -- just him --
unattached, alone, even undeveloped. It means an awful lot.
Thank you.

If you have a service you'd like to offer the festivities, you can
contact organizers at <defunct email>

 

 
       

 
      ^top
 

09.14.18

Pardon our Blurt

... but "It's a real occasion", and thought you may want
to know right away.

At long last, after decades of nothing but fuzzy concert footage
and buzzy, echoing sound, we've finally posted
a proper version of

Our Lawn

...a fantastic unreleased song from the 11 Tracks of Whack era.

Finally, a legendary tune is birthed into the open air.

enjoy!!

 
       
       

 
  10.28.18   ^top
  It's On!  
 

The weather will cooperate:
No rain forecast for event day
Current outlook is Cloudy, High 54F, Winds at 5-10 mph

WHERE: Corner of 112th Street and 72nd Drive
Forest Hills, NY 11375

WHEN: Sunday, October 28 (12NOON – 1PM)

WHAT: Beckerphiles will gather in the Forest Hills
section of Queens -- the neighborhood where Becker
grew up -- for a fan-organized celebration of the naming of a street in his honor, as a sign proclaiming "Walter Becker Way" will be officially unveiled...just across the street from WB's old brick and mortar home

Jim Kerr of New York's Classic Rock Q104.3 will serve as Master of Ceremonies & the station will stream the event on Facebook Live. The event's keynote speaker will be Becker's childhood friend, screenwriter Howard A. Rodman. An hour of Becker-centric trivia contests and giveaways, lightly sprinkled with a few reminiscences.
The event will feature some fantastic prizes and
giveaways from Walter's life. Attendees will also get
a party favor produced especially for them on this occasion, and a Becker/Klein demo will be premiered. The name of the demo? "This Is My Building". Fo Weal.

And a dollar isn't too much to pay, is it, for a
Becker item that sold out almost as soon as it appeared? Especially if that dollar goes to The Jazz Foundation to support musicians in need? So put on your wighat, think 'layers' against the cooler temps, and hook up with 'those of your kind' to celebrate Our Man in the Walter Becker Way.

Check walterbeckerway.com for any late-breaking
updates. This website will remain active after Sunday,
housing things like fan and press reports, videos
shown during the hour, and any other post-event
materials as may present themselves.

Alert: This event has garnered a rather startling
amount of media interest, many representatives of which have threatened to attend.

Bring 'em on;
Becker fellows and fillies know how to represent!

 

 
  12.21.18 ^top
 

Happy Hollandaise Everyone!
(h/t Digby)

Welcome to your penultimate WB Newsletter of 2018.
It covers 2 new rarities, 1 contest, your standard PSA appeal,
and a review of systems, so to speak.

In a few weeks, the very last Newsletter of 2018 will
arrive, containing some WB-Net reflections on
the year past and the one ahead.

And Old Friends may recall our historical fondness for
dropping a little something extra in New Years'
Newsletters. [ sorry - not a track] So keep an eye on the international
dateline, just before half of us turn back into
bumpk..er, ah, pumpkins.

This Is My Building

This demo is a rare exception for our otherwise vociferously
hi-fi Walter Becker Media site. In fact, it may well be the
worst sounding thing you'll ever hear there. It is a very rough
demo of a song written for Circus Money (2008) by Becker
and Larry Klein.

It was first released exclusively on a USB Drive given away
during the dedication of "Walter Becker Way" on Oct 28,
across the street from Walter's childhood home in Queens.
Its thematic resonance with the occasion was undeniable.
We hope you agree that sonic shortcomings aside, it
was worth presenting to mark the occasion -- and is worth
sharing with you all now.

This Is My Building

Caption Contest

Some people hate holidays, some people love 'em.
But most of us usually enjoy some goofy pictures of WB...
and we can say with authority that most of you enjoy
flexing Witty and Clever for your Becker Brethren and
Sistren. So for your holiday amusement... a Caption Contest!
We expect New Yorker quality stuff.

This was to be part of the Walter Becker Way festivities,
but there was just not enough time, what with all that
world-class Becker Trivia zooming around like a psychotic
frisbee on speed, and a line at the Circus Money T-Shirt
table that eventually sent a thousand smackers to
The Jazz Foundation

In the present case, we're going to run this contest
off of walterbecker.com, because we don't want to forget
that this, after all, is Walter's Official flagship website, the
one he started and shaped, to which he contributed some
great writing and gags, and that will continue as the major
hub of WB 'net activity, come what may.

And should you find yourself clicking around some of
those older links of his around the holidays (you'll find most
of them off the news page), you might be inspired to raise a
glass to friends and fun and lots of superfine music.
That's what we're gonna do, anyway.

Now get to that Caption Contest
and send us some great submissions.


A New Rarity

Gene
Page
Door
Somebody's
Upside
Deal
Downtown --

These were some of the names you'd find inked on CD
labels and tape canisters during the recording of Circus
Money. Long-standing practice, starting with SD sides.
Every song — from its music charts to tape on the mixing
board — had some abbreviated name by which it was strictly known.

But hold on — what's this —other names, on other labels;
Unfamiliar names. Songs that didn't make the CD. Ouch!
Building: Mayor: Mouse: Lucky: Lucy: Danger: and more.

Perhaps oddest of all, you spy one called Couchies.

Couchies?

We posted the demo for Couchies way back in April.

When you superimpose a melody on certain tracks, their
character can change rather dramatically, because the
melody isn't particularly resonant with the harmonic or
rhythmic structure of the track itself. We feel this is true
as Couchies became Couchriders In The Sky.
What do you think?

Enjoy some of our favorite players along with Walter's
scratch vocal of…..

Couchriders in the Sky

See the text posted with this track for more on the
song name, issues of technological manipulation,
and some hard choices we may all be facing in the
months ahead.

(And as always, thanks to Uber-mensch Larry Klein,
the most bestest colleague and friend our boy could
even dare hope for.)

Do Your Bit for Herstory

We know you'll be on vacation and all…busy with
family and ball games and the traditional satanic rituals,
blah blah blah... but we really hope you continue to post
lots on the discussion boards of Walter Becker Media
and, as the young people used to say, just keep on truckin

Because you -- your comments, perceptions, expertise,
sentiments, sensibilities, oddities, tastes, your tangents
and fever dreams, your humor and hilarities (and for these
last, we are thinking in particular of some world-class belly
laughs that came out of the "Hints" thread of the now-classic
Night Of The Missing Easter Egg -- all these, from you, are
very much a part of the context, story, and history that we wish
to see and preserve here; one could argue they're equally
(or uniquely) illuminating of WB's public "voice" and creative
presence as are the tuneful fragments themselves.
... by the company they keep ...

Remember, some hapless high school student may
someday be assigned a holographic cloud report on this
Walter Becker Way guy….so let's make sure we show her all
she needs to know to "get" it; not just The Music, but us; who
were these people? what in the world were they thinking?
(or smoking?) Why was this music so for them? Why were they
so out of step, in step, ahead and out of their time and mind... ?

So let's make it easier for that unwoke future scholar to
grock all that too, and about our special bond
with an "indelibly cool, impossibly droll, triumphantly cryptic,
unimaginably hip" (h/t Howard Rodman) mid-century artist ...
and with one another.

Current State of the Neckerverse

That's the Walter Becker Net Universe, of course.

Oh, that's terrible.

Beckerverse is nice, but it needs some
"net". or Web. WaltWeb; too pedestrian, too small.
Brainstorming here: three syllables probably scan the best.
Should it go big, as in cosmos? Or tiny, as in the padded
room at Bellevue? I guess we got our next contest ;-}

In any case, let's review:

Walter Becker Official Website
(walterbecker.com)

This is Walter Becker's official website, launched by
Becker in 2006. Material posted before Walter's death
include Becker's memos, letters, Newsletters and gags,
news updates and events, exhaustive information and visuals
on Circus Money (2008) -- along with several very amusing
"audience participation" aspects to the release -- and The
Official Newsletter sign-up and Archive of past issues.
Since Walter's death, the site has posted a slideshow (with
more stills and video to come), amazing essays by W's pride
and joy Sayan Becker, a contest, new Newsletter issues, and
some new front page pictures. This website will remain active
and central as the Official Website of all things Becker, will be
updated with new material, and remain the location for new
sign-ups and past issues of The Official WB Newsletter.

Walter Becker Media
(walterbeckermedia.com)

Walter died in September of 2017. Early in 2018, The Walter
Becker Estate launched Walter Becker Media, a site designed
to house some of Becker's unreleased tracks, demos, live
cuts, and other rarities, as well as an FAQ, discussion boards,
photos, material related to Becker's officially released recordings,
and free, high-quality downloads of site material. The ever-amazing
Matt Kerns came on board to do all the heavy lifting ... and brought
along most of the fellowship, friendship, and fun as well.

Since its launch, Walter Becker Media has posted over 18 tracks
in MP3 and FLAC (lossless) audio formats, many with accompanying
videos or slideshows, and virtually all with accompanying (con)text.
These tracks have ranged from simple sequencer and vocal demos
— the earliest, most stripped-down version of a song in the process
of being written — to songs that have been tracked by Becker's
recording band but never completed. Several are "rehearsal tapes",
which are Becker's band practicing for recording or performing.

The main purpose of this website is to honor Becker's wish that
some subset of his unreleased or WorkInProgress material become
available after his death. Arguably, its effect has been to illustrate
his talent and, to the surprise of some, the apparently bottomless
creativity of his musical endeavors; interesting things can happen
when a "silent partner" is heard more clearly.

Another important component of the website is the
discussion boards. Originally developed to provide Beckerphiles
an open, anonymous (if desired) troll-free site for discussion and
interaction, it has developed into a space where people can share
their musical enthusiasms and knowledge for the betterment of fellow
posters, with much good-will interaction between all involved.

Walter Becker Media YouTube Channel

Launched along with Walter Becker Media, it mirrors
material posted there. Note: The audio quality of posts both
on YouTube and on our discussion threads are frankly inferior
to the high quality Downloads we've made available to you
on the site. The YouTubes and posts are perfectly fine for
computer or desktop listening, we believe. But if you're headed
for the headphones or the big macker system, go for a Download
in good MP3 or FLAC

Walter Becker Way
(walterbeckerway.com)

This is the website for The Street Naming event for
Walter Becker Way in Queens, New York, on October 298, 2018.
Contains Press Releases for the event, promotional photographs
and graphics for press and promotion, long and short-form
Becker biographies, and discographies. This web location also
houses post-event materials such as texts of all the speechifyin',
Howard Rodman's Keynote Address, "greeting" videos from friends
and colleagues, follow-up givaways— and will house any other
post-event material as may present itself.

Steelydan.com V 1.0 Archive
(sdarchive.com)

It was 1996 "when lo Walter begat steelydan.com" (M. Kerns).
Becker spearheaded its content for most of its life, rejecting a parade
of "New Media" dolts offered up by the record companies, instead
recruiting more simpatico help wherever he could find it. Eventually
he convinced his tuneful partner in Art Crimes that this could be
a cool little playpen in which they could have some fun and sling
some shit around. And that's what they did, to fantastic effect, for
quite some time.

Noted in its day by fans, reviewers, and the music press for its
non-corporate feel,the participation of the principles, the high
quality satire , and extended gambits,
such as trying to bribe the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame judges
with a case of honey mustard --- and then putting their
statuettes up for auction on SDEbay once obtained ---Becker was
frequently as proud of this site and the online SD community of
which it became a part as he was a randomguitar lick or a line of
lyrics. To him, sd.com was a substantive, creative enterprise.

Upon Becker's death, the administration of the official SD website
passed into other hands. But the entire original SD website from
its launch in March of 1996 until Becker's death in 2017 has been
archived at the "Steely Dan Internet Archive"

Never visited Newbie? You won't believe any site could have
been so eclectic, ad-libbed, and nutz. Old-timer? All hail the
Founding Mothers And Fathers of a utterly unique online aesthetic
that could only have come from the creative melding of WB, DF,
and their fans.

 

Hey 19 Digital Archive
(dandom.com/hey19/)

Fantastic fan-sourced collection of Becker's "infamous interludes"
that graced (?) the performance of Hey Nineteen during live
Steely Dan shows. The searchable, cross-categorized database
contains every recording of Becker's "raps rants and raves" that
could be found from 2007 up to his final show at Greenwich, CT in
May of 2017... and new shows continue to be discovered and added
to the collection! Hosted on Jim McKay's venerable fan site, the archive
was put together and is maintained by -- who else -- Matt Kerns. For
years, fans have daydreamed about hearing a bunch of those deeply
weird shards of lexical lunacy. Now thanks to Matt, we have The Box Set!
The collection is comprised of both video and audio files,
all available for embedding or download.

Until Next Time, Pumpkins....

     

 
 

01.01.19

 

^top
 

New Years Greetings Everyone!

 

This issue we offered a few New Years Nuggets for our faithful Newsletter subscribers, in addition to our personal reveiw of 2018 in the Walter Becker Webworld Dynasty

We closed with a solicitation of your ideas for what you'd like to see from us in 2019:

------------------------

Back to the Future

X So what's next for us in 2019? Is is there no place to go but Up?

Y Alternately, as Franz K liked to suggest:
"There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe ...
but not for us
."
?

X Let's not go there for now. I don't know about you, but I don't
think I could cram another quark of sincere emotion onto these
pages, today.

Y You're probably right. So we know what to do, right?

X Indeed: we ask our faithful readers to show us the way.

YLet's open up a thread . Hell, let them do a little work
for their champagne tonight!

X Well, we already have some ideas...

Y Prose. Walter's prose. He always planned to post some..
Not the usual brilliant web gags and Dirt Blogs and the like: but his
honest-to-god short stories, poems, and...

X ...pardon me -- did you say poems?

Y Well lets skip right over that for now. Back to stories: The
first he had prepared to post was that great story about the litte ancient
lunch-cart in the middle of the busiest city in the world....

X Oh yes, that's a good one. So some WB prose, for sure

Y speaking of writing ... have you noticed that many of our
visitors are pretty great writers themselves? Remember way back
when we talked about soliciting some long-form pieces ...

X ..wherein they could write about...

Y ... anything at all. Or we could play Editor, and suggest some
"assignments", Like ...

X .... "Life Under the TechnoDawg", or...

Y .. "My Brush with Steely Don and Walt", or...

X..maybe we should leave the topics up to the interested scribes
themselves.

Y. Fan Fiction?

X Are you Knucking Futz? Getouttahere....

Y Very well. But do you think they'd bite? Or do you think we
have on our hands the dread "shut up and post the tunes" syndrome?
Who asked them if they wanted to sing for their tuneful suppers?

X Half of them are probably tone-deaf anyway.

Y But that's neither here nor there. We should just ask them

X I guess; they've surprised us before.

Y Speaking (again: still) of writing; how many of them know, do you think,
that their very own First Lieutenant Atticus Matticus has, at this
very moment, a freaking book in the hands of a prospective publisher?

X Anxiety-alert. May we move on?

Y- Very well. How about more pictures? Home movies? Pics are always good

X - Backstage Stories?

Y Groan...

X They ca...uh, what was that?

Y Never mind. How about one of Walter's favorite indoor sports:
World-class Spite-Work.

X World-class Spite-Work? Is that a tag-team, or a relay perhaps?

Y Some notebook contents? -- some good stuff there...

X- W's photographic masterpieces?

Y- lists, those great end-of-lyrics-file brainstorming,
the "Songs That Belong"...various other arcana...

X - Do the term "shut up and post the tunes" ring a bell?

Y- Ah the tunes. Yes. Well, there's more of those, of course,

X and then there's the demos, great tunes, and the full file
beautiful kick-ass lyrics to go with. But we have...

Y - none of them put together. What then?

X well this is tricky, now we'd be talking about actually
creating ...

Y - ..stripping together something that Walter never ...
Would we be able to do that? Should we? or is that...

X .. or is that...

Y -another can of worms...?

X - ... a bridge too far...?

Y ...

X ...

X I'm plum out too. No gas in the car.

Y Running on fumes over here. It might be time to just
open up that thread and see what the tide brings in....

X- Didn't Walter and Larry write some tunes for other artists?

Y- Yes! And some of them still being actively pitched by
the hardest working man in this Business Called Show.

X - well then...

Y. But Larry's a professional. He's a family to feed.
I don't think we could ensnare him into recording songs
they never finished on the basis of t- shirt sales alone...

X ....

Y ...

X ... I have a headache

Y Oy. Me too. Hand me over that Nyquil, will you?

X- I guess we're done. Will you...wait; you plan to toast
the New Year with Nyquil?

Y For now. Two birds, one bottle...

X I hear ya.

But hey, Matt?

Yeah D?

Happy New Year, my friend

....and to all our friends, here's to many more ...

 
  ^top
 
 
 

03/15/19

 

Meet Lucy D

Well, actually, meet WB meeting Lucy D. Again.

We hear his rap, and it is strong.

We'd help him out if we could but......

we couldn't even tone down his teeth-rattling
snare sound, alas.

"Lucy D" is the type of tune he was spooling out
pretty much right along. For songs like these, he
often composed the melody and lyrics on the fly,
as he free-sang along with his looping "track" (you
can tell from a "flub" that he was lamenting about
Chelsea D for a while). A song like this could
fall together with head-spinning speed.

He never went any further with this tune, leaving
Lucy D to wait in the low-hope holding room along
with a little crowd of other spontaneous one-take
characters: spurned lovers, careless hearts, treacherous
party-girls, post-apocalyptic wanderers …and the
occasional earnest poet.

Lucy D

 

Walter's Tale for Valentine's Day...

... was posted under the radar, unheralded
by a Newsletter. If you missed it, here's the
story about a lunch wagon in an ancient city,
and a pair of intimate strangers.

This Is It?

We'll be posting some more of Walter's
stories and prose as we go.

Site Changes

Our web host has recently souped up
their speed; you may see a noticeable
improvement in loading and download times.

But the new feature winner is a search
engine! And not a moment too soon; we've
long go exceeded a threshold in the volume
of words pecked out on these pages
(we do wish, however, that a greater volume
of those words came from you and not us...)

Anyway, you'll see a search icon at
the top of all Forum pages. Now you can
find that weird post you've always meant
to follow up on.

Captions Closed

Although we'll leave the pictures up, new
entries for the Caption Contest are closed.
Judging will commence soon!

Underpromise, Overdeliver

That's been one of our instincts,
and it's worked out pretty well, in the main.

Still, there are times when we can't resist
telling you that some really cool stuff
is in the hopper... if for no other reason that
we're as impatient to see it posted as you are.
But we will serve no wine (whine?) before its
time, so to speak, and want to iron all the wrinkles
before we hang 'em up on the rack. Soon,
bretheren and sistren, soon.

Thought of the Month

The small man
Builds cages
For everyone
He
Knows.
While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys
    all night long
For the
Beautiful
Rowdy
Prisoners

- Hafez

 

^top
  04.07.19  
     
 

An Anniversary

Hard Core Beckerphiles know the date:
April 7, 1995.

So that makes it 24 years today since

Adam Rogers (Guitar)
Fima Ephron (Bass)
Ben Perowsky (Drums)
John Beasley (Keyboards) and
Bob Sheppard (Sax)
joined Walter for the first and only live gig of his "new music" from
the 11 Tracks of Whack era at Slim's in San Francisco.

For roughly 23 of those years, it was presumed that no record
of the evening existed. But The Fates smiled upon us and Lo,
in amongst the stacks and stacks or DATs and cassettes we
found a great-sounding recording by Dave Russell, engineer
extraordinaire -- still in good condition and sounding great!

To mark the date, we've dropped a cut from
that rainy San Francisco evening on the Downloads Page
only. Eventually we'll post it in the usual manner; this was
he quickest way for us to share in the middle of our already
overbooked lives...if you can even call them that... .

Speaking of you Newsletter Subscribers, whom we
value and thank with all of our little black hearts, the last
couple of tracks were posted without Newsletter notice --
just a link flagging new material on our front page.

So you might want to visit now, to make sure you've heard all about
Lucy D, and shuddered at another Becker dispatch from
that Danger Zone of (almost) no return.


Apropos of Nothing (and everything)

Was doing some research earlier -- on 3M machines, it so happens -- that happened to lead me to the classic Hall Of Fame thread -- Countdown to Infamy -- on the steelydan.com archive site. I must have read or sampled this thread dozens of times since its publication and well knew why it was a classic.

Or so I thought. People I swear that reading through the whole thing -- opening every entry, following every link -- produced more chuckles, spit-takes, and belly laughs than I remember having in all the years since publication put together. You think you remember why it was so funny, and so good --- but you don't. If you give yourself 30 minutes, you'll see all you've forgotten. Many of us often bemoan that Becker didn't write, he was so talented. Well, he did write, and this short story is among his finest work.

Today I really needed lifting up, I really needed something to lighten something that was pinning me down...and I found it. That's why I'm pestering you all with this personal review; there may be some of you out there that could use this kind of lift as well.

Carry on.

 
     

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  05/27/19  
 

In This Issue:

= Don't Let Us Go Down
= Help Wanted For The Next Cut
= Pre-Order Howard Rodman's New One
= What Did You Miss?
= New Slideshows (Matt)
= On The Horizon

Don't Let Us Go Down

Walter's notebooks contain, among many other jewels, his "got some things,
need some things" lists; song titles in his stable that were worthy, in his mind,
of further work, perhaps ultimately to appear on an album. The list
was always shifting as new titles appeared and old ones dropped away.

This song was on his list early, and for a long time. I'd never heard it before --
didn't know it existed -- until the notebooks sent me looking for it. It comes
from a different side of Walter as a writer, and is one of a group
of songs -- moving, earnest -- I was surprised to find he had written.
I don't mind telling you I ached a little when I first heard it. Still do a little.

It's got amazing changes.
Not a hint of the smart-ass cynic.
Hell, it's downright poetic -- dare I say...beautiful, even.

And I think its pretty great. But what do you think?

Don't Let Us Go Down (1991)

Help Wanted - Get The Next One Out

We have a serious bottleneck here at WBM. We've got some
cool tracks ready to go. But the visuals, the movies, the
slideshows... gotta tell you …sometimes, like
now, we just don't have it in us.

Can you to help out?
Here's a chance for the collaboration(s) we've always hoped
to have with you.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to make a visual
track — video or slideshow — for …drumroll please…..

Girlfriend, with Live Band
(Rogers, Ephron, Perowsky, Parks, Bease, WB)

We need it to be:
= an m4v 7:00 in length (we can convert from X to m4v)
= absent type, with no sound.
= lightweight, simple, quick n' dirty

Several of you have requested this music and yes, we found it,
and Bob's yer uncle. .. if only we can get a visual done. Use
the thread we've started
where the 1 or 2 or (-6) of you who are
interested can quickly decide which one of you will give it a go
(don't worry, if this works out, there'll be plenty of unpaid exploitable
labor jobs to go around). And we'll post a couple of WB pics you can
use if you like.

But please … shake a tail feather. The sooner we get a visual we
can use, the quicker we can post GF w/ Band, *plus* a cool companion
cut we have in mind! We'll monitor the thread for the lucky (talented,
heroic, wunnerful, generouos, valient) volunteer and get in touch.

Pre-Order Rodman's New One

You remember Howard; Becker's childhood friend and the wonderfully
eloquent and soulful keynote speaker at the Walter Becker Way
dedication? (His keynote address is reprinted here). There's still a
few more days to pre-order Howard Rodman's book The Great Eastern!

Advance praise for this thing is so good it's almost scary.
Just two among dozens of blurbs:

A historical phantasmagoria and ripping adventure.
Like twelve of your favorite movies at once,
in full Sensurround.

—Jonathan Lethem.

Howard Rodman's powers of invention, connective synthesis,
and grim humor are matched only by his literary ventriloquism
and psychological insight…A ready-made binge-read!

—Steven Soderbergh.

You can read lots more about it here. But can we tell you a secret
we've learned from our own forays into The Marketplace?

Quoting Howard himself: Pre-orders are vital.

They drive book reviews, tell booksellers how much to stock, determine
whether a book makes best-seller lists (pre-orders are counted as
first-week sales). And of course: a book that lands on the Amazon
Top 100 garners far more attention from readers and the media alike.

Pre-orders are the single best way of supporting an author, and of helping
a book find its place in the world.

This is the god's honest truth. It was your
preorders that landed Two Against Nature at #6 on its release day!

So if you think you might read The Great Eastern eventually, you've got
a few days left to pre-order it (release is June 4).
Let's help give Howard's ship a mighty launch! Thanks.

The proprietors would like to say this may be the
only commercial tout to appear on walterbeckermedia.com. Howard
was a great friend to Walter, and Walter would want us to do no less.

What Did You Miss?

If you regularly browse over to Walter Becker Media, you didn't miss a thing,
since new material is always flagged on the front page.

But if you rely on this Newsletter for notice, you probably missed

Much Has Been Done (1990)
Part Max Headroom, part Laurie Anderson, part just a guy playing with some
new home deck effects -- resulting in a trance loop that earns the introduction
"And now for something completely different".

And don't forget the two tracks
that were covered lightly a few months ago:


Danger Zone (1993): It's time to roll them bones.


Cinder Annie Live at Slims (1995): I never call, I never send flowers.

There have also been some great discussion posts on half a dozen
threads. Tip: Keep up with the new b-board action using
My Account > Settings > Forum Notifications.

New Slideshows (Matt)
Slideshow Index is Here

Back when I first discovered Steely Dan, the full scope of my
knowledge of Walter Becker as a human was captured in two
pictures. The first was the photo of him playing a 1957 Duo Sonic
in the Aja liner notes, and the second was that famous Anton Corbijn
photo from the Amsterdam Hotel in 1976, with Walter long and dark
and lean, hands tucked into his pockets, mysterious and vaguely
menacing as he provides the image's negative space.

A web search for Walter Becker now would leave the curious searcher
with a decidedly different image in mind. The vast majority of images of
Walter on the internet now are concert shots, taken at one of the hundreds
of Steely Dan shows between 1993 and 2017. There is Walter under the
bright stage lights, guitar in hand, and concentration evident on his face.
One word that I see used often to describe Walter in the "Post Steely Dan
breakup" years is professorial, and it isn't hard to imagine him in elbow
patched tweeds walking across a campus somewhere rather than with
his guitar and black shirt on stage.

An era of ever-present cameras and decades of public touring has
changed the image one might call to mind when thinking of Walter Becker,
but this doesn't provide a truer picture of the man. Just as two images in
the mid to late 70s couldn't possibly capture the totality of a life lived, no
number of concert shots can capture the essence of just how much Walter
seemed to thoroughly relish life. The images that are on this Low/High
Country Slideshow go a long way to showing us a different and more real
Walter. Taken over the course of two trips to some of Walter favorite
European haunts, we see in some of these images the curiosity, the humor,
and the joy that were just as much a part of the make up of this man as
were the mysterious cool of those black and white 70s shots or the stage
light glare and vibrant color of the touring guitar god.

In chronicling the history of the man, we've also compiled the visual
history of "this web thing" as it applies to Mr. Becker's presence on
the interwebs. More than just a walk down memory lane, it's a look
at the ways that Walter visualized himself online, and the ways we've
chosen to do so in commemoration.

So I hope you enjoy these slideshows and this slightly lifted veil
as much as I did. Even now, it's so nice to get to know him.

Matt

On The Horizon?

= Can this really be all that we came together for?
= Another Big Becker autumn date?
= Do Signets mate for life?
= Are all our chump-change sins forgiven?
= Did you get a good price for my guitar?
= Is there a remedy here worth digging for?
and
= Want in on a good deal later on? Subscribe!


Until Next Time....

 
     

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07/09/19

 

 
 

He Wants You (Out)  (1997)

Another one of Becker's infamous "Love Songs". Anyone woman at
all familiar with his Whack work and demos would think long and hard before sweetly
trilling "write me a love song, dahling!" -- knowing she was as likely to get
one of these than an Almost Gothic or a Paging Audrey. That musical bouquet
of his was always as likely to conceal a shiv than sweet-nothings.

This tune was one of three demos Walter sent me on a DAT in late 1997 
(ever-thoughtful, he bundled it with a portable "Walkman"-type DAT player.
Sort of like Voyager. I was impressed). I asked him: "so these are rejects
from Whack?" to which he replied nah,  just a few things he'd been working
on lately. By this time he was  deep into writing for Two Against Nature with
Fagen, so it took me a couple of beats to realize that after his Whack work,
he and his Opcode had apparently just kept on trucking along. 

He must have liked this one, must have been keeping it on his "potentially
active" list, since he was still occasionally listening to it few years later... 

...as he was one afternoon in late '99 while displaying his ASCAP award for
"Rap Song of the Year". Go to our post on walterbeckermedia (scroll down to the second video on the page) for proof of this amusing cooccurrence.  

 

PS: His vocals on these three '97 demos were uncommonly lackluster,
to put it kindly.  One of them, in fact -- a tune called The Love You Ax -- 
will remain forever sealed, falling into the rare category of the demo vocal 
he would never allow out of the box. It's a nice tune though; perhaps one day
'll post an instrumental of its solo and outro, for a sense of its feel. I just have 
to guess first  if that would make more of you pissed or pleased.
 


Walter Becker: SD's Spirit Animal?  

A mere two days after Walter’s passing, writer Dennis Cook, publishing in
the music site Dirty Impound, bid Goodbye to Steely Dan's Spirit Animal. Most
people missed this one at the time. If you're one, go read it now;  Deeply and
fiercely cherished, 
Walter is, he says. Thank you Mr. Cook; he was, and is. 
 

 

Big Announcement Coming Next Week

Well, big to us, anyway. Watch for it.

Why You Should Keep Your Subscription Current 

On an UNrelated but also significant  matter, we will be hectoring everyone
all summer to keep their WB subscription in good order, which means:

  • if you were going to unsubscribe, you might want to wait....a little bit .
  • Make sure you're still getting the newsletter at a current email you
    have access to (can email from). Sign up again if you've lost email access.
  • Tell anyone you care about, or forward your Newsletter, to sign up for
    their own subscription at the   Walter Becker Newsletter Page

 

You will  thank us. You will thank yourself. They will thank you. Everybody will be
thanking everybody  else-- it'll be a regular thank-tank in here. 

Mark our words.....A valid individual subscription attached to a valid email that you
have access to will become a sort of ...ticket, you might say, to something you just
may want very much to get in on.
 

 

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07/15/09

 

 
  Announcing: Property from the Estate of Walter Becker
October 18 and 19, 2019 | Beverly Hills, CA @ Julien's Auctions

 
 

Known for his sublime and immediately identifiable guitar tone, his intimate knowledge of the tools of studio and stage, and his unique, impeccable ear, Becker is heralded as one of the most potent forces in popular music of the last 50 years.

“Julien’s Auctions is thrilled to offer this exceptional collection of musical instruments and gear owned and cherished by Walter Becker, the co-founder and creative genius of one of the most acclaimed and visionary bands of all time, Steely Dan, and a solo artist of uncommon uniqueness and creativity,” said Darren Julien, CEO/President of Julien’s Auctions 

"Walter Becker was legendary for his unique tone, his curiosity, his knowledge, his high audiophile standards, and the pleasure he took in experimenting to create just the right sonic landscape that would best support his creative and musical intentions. This fine and wide-ranging collection reflects all of these characteristics —  and more — that helped make Walter Becker one of the most talented and respected all-around musicians and sonic connoisseurs of his generation."

But More, Much More Than This ...
I Did It Myyyy Waaaay 
(W. Becker, in a letter)

Yes, my dear kiddles, it was bound to happen. And so “it” has, at last.

If this event interests you, your first visit should be to Julien’s Auctions , my carefully-considered choice to handle Walter’s much beloved babies and to usher them into what we all earnestly hope are new loving and musical homes. Do your old D-Mod a solid — would you? —  and send up a little wish for just that outcome

That’s what Walter wanted, of course. And I like to think his legacy deserves no less.

The Julien’s Auctions folks have been truly spectacular, and I’ve been blown away by their knowledge, the care they are taking with this inventory, and what appears to me to be a truly above-and-beyond effort to do this one up right! They value Walter Becker, his work, and his legacy ... in addition to his stuff! Wonderful! 

And their hard-cover catalog, let me tell you, just might be the definitive historical record of a rather extraordinary collection. 

Their site dedicated to The Becker Auction will be updating with details and news -- such as today's Rolling Stone piece on the auction -- and all you need to know to view the live auction online or even bid remotely, if you're so moved. 

I strongly urge you to sign up for their newsletters and alerts! No way will we  keep up with all the happenings and must-knows;  So, please sign up with them if you're interested in following along.

Your second visit, however, should be to our splash page at walterbeckermedia, then onward to my post about the auction for -- a surprise to no one --  a few personal observations.

And of course since that’s a post on wbmedia, response and discussion will be open to all of you---and  much hoped-for and welcome to boot. 

So don't be a stranger.

(... oh and hey, you know, I just today heard someone mention a modest Beckerfest might descend on Beverly Hills in October;  Julien's will have a Public  Exibition  of some of  Walter's gear the week preceding the auction. Plus, our favorite west-coast hang, nearby Santa MONKina, is beautiful that time of year. Just sayin'...).

Over and out for now. 


Why You Should Keep Your Newsletter Subscription Current 

On an UNrelated but also significant  matter, we will be hectoring everyone all summer to keep their WB subscription in good order, which means:

  • if you were going to unsubscribe, you might want to wait....a little bit .
  • Make sure you're still getting the newsletter at a current email you have access to (can email from). Sign up again if you've lost email access.
  • Tell anyone you care about, or to whom you forward  your Newsletter, to sign up for their own subscription at the   Walter Becker Newsletter Page

You will  thank us. You will thank yourself. They will thank you. Everybody will be thanking everybody  else-- it'll be a regular thank-tank in here.

Mark our words.....A valid individual subscription attached to a valid email that you have access to will become a sort of ...ticket, you might say, to something you just may want very much to get in on.

 

^top
 

09/23/19

 

 
 

Walter Becker Online Auction Preview 
Online previews are now up for Property from the Estate of Walter Becker Auction,
October 18 and 19, 2019 | Beverly Hills, CA @ Julien's Auctions

All auction items are now online and open for pre-auction bidding at: 
https://www.julienslive.com/m/view-auctions/catalog/id/312

The printed catalog is also online in flip-book format at:
https://www.juliensauctions.com/auctions/2019/Walter_Becker/Walter_Becker_Flipping_Book/

Julien's Summary Post with links to all relevant pages at:
https://juliensauctions.com/auctions/2019/Walter_Becker/Walter_Becker_Subscriber.html

Contact Julien's Auctions:
http://www.juliensauctions.com/contact-us

 


Walter Becker Online Auction Preview 
 

Thanks to the help and hard work of a lot of people and the very impressive Julien’s production team, Walter Becker's collection of instruments, amps, and recording gear is now ready for its close-up. 

And quite a close-up it is; the flip-through version of the printed catalog is especially nifty, and includes thumbnail formats, zooms, print, download, and annotation features. It's probably the best way to take in the collection in browse-friendly style.

If you're interested in the bidding format, on the other hand, head over to the pre-auction bidding list. Julien's has also put their Newsletter online, containing every auction-relevant link  along with a couple of dozen Spotlight items and other helpful information -- including links to their app -- all in one convenient location.  

We'll have more to say about the collection in the coming weeks, along with some ideas I have for those of you who would really like to shelter a genuine piece of Walter's collection but don't have collectors' money to splash around. The place for these ideas -- and experienced bidders will hopefully contribute their own -- will be over at the Walter Becker Media Site, in the discussion thread dedicated to the auction.


Bidding Information

Julien's summary of all auction-related links will tell you all you need to know about following the action online when October 18 comes around. 

But if you think you may be interested in bidding, here are a few pointers. And if your only online auction experience is with eBay, you'll definitely want to pay special attention and plan ahead. 


Terms and Conditions: Mandatory Reading 

Everything you will need to know before, during, and after the auction is described and defined in Julien's Terms and Conditions. They can be found:

1) In PDF and downloadable format here (with Registration Form)

2) At the end (pg 589) of the flip-through online catalog

3) With the download Bidder Registration Form 


Four Ways to Bid 

There are four ways to bid in this sale during the auction dates and times on Oct 18 and Oct 19. (For a detailed description of these methods see Terms And Conditions.)

1) Bid through Julien's Auctions Online Live in Real Time at JuliensLive.com

2) Bid over the telephone through an auction house representative

3) Submit a bid in person

4) Enter Absentee bids. Absentee bid forms are printed in the back of each catalog, at the bottom of Page 1 of the Bidder Registration Form, and are also available by calling Julien's Auctions or online at www. juliensauctions.com

In addition, bids can be entered during the pre-auction stage which is going on now, up until the live auction date of Oct 18. Registration at JuliensLive.com is required. 


All Types of Bidding Requires Registration(s)  

First-time bidders: See Registration: Section 2b of Terms and Conditions for the required approval procedure 

In Person, Phone, and Absentee Bids: Download and Submit the Bidder Registration Form

Online: Register to bid online at JuliensLive.com 
 

Know the Full Cost of Your Bid  

Carefully review Winning Bids: Section 4 of the Terms and Conditions for information on the Buyers Premiums, Service Fees, and taxes that are added to your winning bid amount (The "Hammer Price") for the total cost of your winning bid. Section 4e, Lot Retrieval, also describes Pick-up and Shipping terms and conditions


Plan Ahead  

All first-time bidders should  review Registration: Section 2b of Terms and Conditions -- and complete that procedure well in advance of the auction date. See the Bidder Registration Form  for items relevant to In-Person Bidding,  Phone Bidding, and Absentee Bids, and register for Online Bidding at JuliensLive.com.  If you plan on bidding online, I strongly recommend  you take into account the vagaries of internet connections; you should be very confident in the speed and regularity of your internet connection when logging a bid "in time" is a matter of seconds.  Visit the thread dedicated to the auction at the Walter Becker Media Site, where I hope we can start a discussion on various bidding strategies and options. 

 

Julien's is Ready to Help    

Before during and after, Julien's is available for all your questions. They will help you register for your preferred bidding method if you need a hand, get you set up with live-auction phone support if desired,  and generally make sure that bidders and observers know and get what they need. Also note that Julien's will provide Condition Reports -- Section 7d of Terms and Conditions -- for any auction item upon request; from the Bidding List format, select the photo or title of an item and then click the Request Condition Report link at the Description section. 

By phone or email, they are ready to help.
Contact Julien's Auctions

 

Auction Exhibition Week (Auction Preview!) in Beverly Hills

From Monday October 14 to Friday October 18 there will be a Public Exhibition of auction items, free to the public, 11am - 6pm. I learned with some excitement last week from Darren Julien, President and CEO, that "the majority of the auction will be on display" and that Julien's personnel will be present to answer questions and to supervise requests for visitor tests. In other words, this week will be a true blue, full-blown Auction Preview, where you can inspect the items before auction. This Exhibition, and the live auction itself, will take place at 257 N. Canyon Drive in Beverly Hills. 
 


What Clip Did You Miss?     

If you regularly browse over to Walter Becker Media, you didn't miss a thing, since new material is always flagged on the front page. But if you rely on this Newsletter for notice, you probably missed:

Book of Liars: Surprise Piano VersionThis extremely early rundown of Book of Liars by The 11TOW band is interesting on several counts, not the least of which is the peek it affords  into the studio process. The recorded version on 11TOW has long inspired speculation a’plenty about that rather unique keyboard solo. Here, on one of the earliest rundowns, we hear what might be its etiology -- and learn the die on this solo was cast early on. 

 

Hey 19 Raps Goes Dark   

Some of you have asked why the website indexing Walter’s Hey 19 Raps has gone offline. Here's all I know: A take-down demand came from Donald Fagen’s lawyers, identifying audio and/or video of Walter’s raps as unauthorized and demanding their immediate and permanent removal. 

Almost two years ago,  I wished aloud that such a collection existed and, when Matt Kerns created one as a labor of love — with generous help from many of you — I gratefully promoted and linked to it. Since that was the extent of my involvement with the site,  details will have to come directly from Matt Kerns, who is solely responsible for the site’s construction and maintenance  (Jim McKay’s only involvement was limited to having donated webspace to Matt for that purpose). 

At this time I have nothing to say publicly about this action, except to observe its obvious effect: A large chunk of Walter Becker has been disappeared from online, apparently forever. Of course I am disturbed by the implications of this fact.  

 

RIP John "JR" Robbins

Sad news. 

John “JR Robbins has passed away. JR was the Front of House sound engineer for many Steely Dan tours.  He worked for a very wide variety of artists and in all types of venues. He was great at his job and was well-liked by all. Those are the known facts. Less known was how he almost single-handedly salvaged a Steely Dan touring season thanks to his kindness and professionalism.  I was lucky to have watched him work during countless SD shows from my perch at the soundboard. JR was also very funny. He passed at an obscenely young age. Sympathies to his family and loved ones.

You Should Keep Your Newsletter Subscription Current 

  • If you were going to unsubscribe, you might want to wait....a little bit..
  • Make sure you're still getting the newsletter at a current email you have access to (can email from). Sign up again if you've lost email access.
  • Tell anyone you care about, or to whom you forward  your Newsletter, to sign up for their own subscription at the   Walter Becker Newsletter Page

You will  thank us. You will thank yourself. They will thank you. The air will be thick with thanks. 

Why all the fuss? Because a valid individual subscription attached to a valid email that you have access to will become a sort of ...ticket, you might say, to something you may want to get in on.

 

^top
 

Issue #26
Date: 11/18/19
Subject: Becker Online Auction II: Another Whack, Anyone?

The Becker Online-Only Auction is Live!

Lots begin closing at 11a.m. PST on Dec. 9th, 2019 
Go to the Online-Only Auction Now


Complete Auction Information

Go to the Online-Only Auction Now

 

Want To Take Another Whack?

"Damn it, Becker...
I wish I knew how to quit you!"


This is a Julien's Online-Only Auction of items for which there wasn't room or time to include in the October Live Auction.

It's a bite-size collection with some fine guitars, well-loved amps, sweet microphones, recording and stereo components...and more. It will offer a different auction experience as well, more like eBay -- with Lot bidding ending according to the clock, not the hammer.  Bound to be less frenetic. 


Effects Boxes 

Once again there's an impressive number of effects pedals and boxes on offer. We had been told there was a demand for these and the October auction certainly bore that out. If they didn't tend toward the pricey side, the graphics fan in me would arrange and display pedal-boards just for their aesthetic...and apparently I'm not alone in my non-functional appreciation;  the ever-perspicacious  William Gibson, upon seeing the Becker Catalog, characterized the Effects Box collection as an "Otaku deep-dive!". Indeed. 

 

"Table-Top" Components

As with the cataloged items of October's Live Auction, use-notes are included for many items here as well. But  looking at the collection now, I see that our comments under-document Walter's use of many Lots (speaker cabinets that come in a road case labeled Japan, for instance, at the very least traveled with the tour gear). 

But the real "intimacy" of this collection is that the recording and audio components didn't come from a storage locker, or even from the back of any closet. Instead, until recently the recording gear was hooked up as part of Walter's home studio -- either relocated from Hyperbolic Sound or acquired for the home location --  and the stereo components were part of a system that was set-up and in use somewhere on a Becker property  (with plenty of backup and swap-in speakers, of course!).

So go to the Online-Only Auction catalog and take a look, already...


A Few Procedural Notes

= Each auction requires its own Registration. So even if you registered for the October auction, you have to register for this one if you want to bid in it. Full information and forms are here 

= Make sure to review the supplemental Terms and Conditions for this Auction, which is under the Terms and Conditions tab in the solo view of each item.

Complete Auction Information

Go to the Online-Only Auction Now


 Raison D'être

We haven’t forgotten why we exist. “New” Becker music is on the way.



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Reminder To Bid! The Becker Online Auction
Closes This  Monday, December 9th starting at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

KOUNTDOWN KLOCK

Issue #27
Date: 12/6/2019
Subject: WAR baby..HUH--good god y'all-- what is it GOOD for?

Official Walter Becker Website:  walterbecker.com
Rarities, Discussion, and Downloads:  walterbeckermedia.com
Complete WeB Directory:   walter becker webworld dynasty


War Baby (c. 1994)

Always liked this one. The DAT(s) presented a few sonic challenges -- so what else is new? --  main among them the very wide volume range Walter uses here.  But that makes sense, given the lyrics, which are almost delivered with the dynamics of natural speech. And we can tell he's singing close to the mic -- close, where one might also be for any real-life version of this "talk". 

It all suggests to me that he was feeling it, that the song wasn't just an inventive tale conjured by a great storyteller.   But who knows? I sure don't, 'cause happily, he didn't have this conversation with me :-)

But oh, I do love hearing the broad richness of his voice again.

So sure, a few artifacts… but we think it sounds respectable enough, and you get to hear another sweet "throwaway" tune from our talented and much-missed boy.

And hey --- I think that bass line -- seemingy spooling out more complex versions of the changes on keys-- is worth the price of admission alone.

War Baby 
W. Becker, c 1994. 
 


Apology: Sorry we've been so preoccupied with all the auction action, but now with all that almost behind us (finalbidding begins and ends this Monday!),  we hope to turn out more tunes, as our sanity and stamina allow. Thanks to all for your patience during our season of high and fast commerce, roller-coaster style. (I only threw up twice! Matt got Nystagmus.)



... And about those auctions  

From Julien's (and us): 

Reminder To Bid: "Property From the Estate of Walter Becker Online Only Auction"
Closes Monday, December 9th starting at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

COUNTDOWN CLOCK

 

Here are the Becker Auction offerings, along with the current bids. 

You can keep up with Julien's Auctions on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram


Shhhhhh....You know...this may be unwise or illegal or something, or of questionable morality (well, we already knew about that one). But people got some amazing steals in October -- and I was happy about  that! Happy that dealers were not obcenely jacking up prices beyond the reach of many fans. But I could tell that some items had not been researched very much if at all. This made me worry that some humble fan out there --- maybe even one of you!---was missing out on an exact something they wanted... but just didn't know it for lack of information or research. 

So now here, at the very end, I want to at least do two (hyypothetical) Subscribers a soild, and share some information they may find worthwhile. I'm thinking about the Subscribers out there who are in the market for some quality (and compact) speakers...but who may not have researched all the speakers in the auction, the large number of which does make things pretty confusing, I agree! So here's my dime drop:  Devore Fidelity speakers are da bomb, and the multiple informative reviews on their site say exactly what I (and WB) would say about them. We've owned and admired every critter in their Primate series.  In fact, I've kept back 2 pair of  the Gibbon 3XLs  for myself.

Lookit,  I'm not giving away any privileged information here.  And I promise I'm not trying to sqeeze a couple hundred bucks more from somebody! (besides, proceeds go to the kids' Trusts anyway). And I certainly don't want anybody to pay more than current retail..(3.5K?!). I still want you to get a deal! But I can't help but picture a couple of our Subscribers who might  miss out on a wanted good thing for a random bad reason. That would be a  shame.

To my Julien family: Can you please forgive me? Either for writing this tout---or maybe for not writing one  for more items? lol ? In any case and as always,  I am at your mercy



... And about those auctions ... and YOU

We may have more to say about the whole auction experience later on. But frankly, there's been so many great postings on Walter Becker Media, so many fantastic and generous stories, that you're really saying it all, and then some.  

Take for instance the "Calling All Auction Survivors" thread, only one of several auction-related threads (there's a search box at the top right of every page, if you want to find the others) where folks tell tales of the wins, the misses, great edge-of-your-seat  stories of wins and loss and wins again, surprise or unintentional top bids, errant button-pressing and internet Golums...   It's really a great thread -- which I hope continues to grow -- because it is convincing me that my highest hopes for these instruments have not been misplaced.

Then, the even-mostest-bestest part: when the instrument arrives, folks tell us all about it. They take pictures. They post audio. They share the experience.  I've been delighted and proud to hear many posters comment on a great tone, or an interesting modification, or a good disposition, or different personalities on different pickups... it seems many of you are finding that even the  humble no-name can feel great, and may well have been modified... or at least set up carefully and well.

This is no accident.  If Walter bought a guitar -- that is, if he selected it from somewhere after playing everything else in the place for hours-- you can bet he saw and heard something in it. Almost immediately, he and his current tech would bring the new acquisition into the workroom and think about what improvements may be needed, or what modification(s) Walter thought he would like to try next. 

It wasn't paid for and then shelved. It was paid for and then fussed over, at least for a while.

...and as for his amps.......oy, don't get me started. In many ways, they were his true pride and joy. 

So one could say my loss is your gain; all the hours he was playing around with his sound toys downtown, while I languished uptown consoling myself with mounds of pasta,  he was in fact training up a very large and fit army of magnificent musical soldiers. 

And now I couldn't be any happier about that!
 


Why You Should Keep Your Subscription Current 

Here it is again, we are hectoring everyone
to keep their WB subscription in good order at least into 2020, which means:

  • if you were going to unsubscribe, you might want to wait....a little bit .
  • Make sure you're still getting the newsletter at a current email you
    have access to (can email from). Sign up again if you've lost email access.
  • Tell anyone you care about, or forward your Newsletter, to sign up for
    their own subscription at the   Walter Becker Newsletter Page

in other words, make sure you have a valid individual subscription attached to a valid email that you have access to, and can email from.

Apropos of nothing in particular,
a little elf told us a holiday season is just around the corner

      Until Next Time....


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Date: January 9-10, 2020  
Issue # 28
Subject: A Special Bonus For Subscribers


Special New Year's Bonus For Subscribers

Happy Hollandaise Everyone! 
(h/t Digby) 

...and a Happy 2020(!) to all our loyal Walter Becker Newsletter Subscribers! 

Around this time of year, we like to send you a token of appreciation for your continued interest in the life and work of one Walter C.  Becker. Your connection to and shared enjoyment of WB's work has never been more important in keeping that work, and his legacy, alive.

For otherwise it's been a year of erasures:The Auction disbursed The Becker Collection far and wide, and we watched it's dissolution in person or online; DF interpreted his new solo rights to extend retroactively, declaring  performances of the other half of SD as "unauthorized"(!), instantly dissappearing a significant chunk of the Pure Becker from the internet;  These are WB work performances, as close to a "solo turn" as anything on an SD stage could possibly be. And the performer, as a co-equal half of SD, approved them for online (as long as it was just his/raps over a repeating vamp, and not performance of the song by the band) Moving on to oher 'losses', studio spaces have been dismantled and emptied out, new locks on the doors and new tenants in the space; and get this: some online databases have removed all the SD albums from Walter Becker’s discography

... and so Walter’s footprint in the world continues to shrink... 

If that shrinking is avoid or slowed, if Walter's work and memory persists across time, it will be because of you. Plain and simple.  Ain't nobody else working to preserve his memory or legacy (or even his presence) but you. We are very grateful.

So we're excited about what we have been able to pull together for you this year!  The bonus is an exclusive  2.5-day sneak-listen to a special audio track, never heard publicly, and being the first to learn of an  exciting related addition to the WB historical record.

=Instructions for how to hear sneak-listen plays went here=

What Are We Listening To? 

Have you ever looked at the credits of 11 Tracks of Whack -- the Recorded at line? it reads  "Hyperbolic Sound USA, and Signet Sound, Los Angeles CA.” 

Hyperbolic, we know. It’s Walter's studio in Maui, where he cut the tracks with the Lost Tribe-based group… resulting in all the rehearsals and rundowns that we’ve heard so far — and virtually all the live playing on the album. 

So what about this Signet Sound? What's that all about?

If you begin to wonder if the place even really exists, I can tell you that Walter did in fact do some recording at Signet Sound in LA,  but none of it was heard on 11 Tracks of Whack.  In fact, the very first tracking sessions —  no overdubs, unfinished —  for 11TOW were recorded in LA, at Signet Sound, during the spring of 1992. And I can tell you that not a note of this LA work appeared on the record, and that nothing from those sessions was ever heard by the public... until today. By you, exclusively, until we post it widely on site. 

We trust you will find this knowledge an intriguing and perhaps illuminating (or confusing!) piece of the puzzle that is 11TOW.  At the very least, it will broaden our understanding of some of the choices Walter made, now knowing that he started with a very traditional audio process, but abandoned that approach relatively quickly in favor of the primitive and “elementary” sound of the final product. 

Like many of us have known all along, Walter made choices.

There’s much more to say about this and about other aspects of our multi-tracks discovery, and we suspect that the discussion on WB Media will be interesting and rich. In the meantime please join us in having your heads blown by WB in LA 

Love In The Fourth (AKA Lies I Can Believe)

Signet Sessions

 

Carry on.

      Until Next Time....

 


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a few more Issues to archive. Hope to catch up
soon

 

 

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