Steely Dan cofounder Walter Becker will be posthumously honored on Oct. 28 when the street where he grew up in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. will be co-named Walter Becker Way. The street sign will be posted on the corner of 112th Street and 72nd Drive. A press release announcing the honor says, with signature Becker humor, “This represents the kind of street credibility that Becker truly would have appreciated!”
Becker, who with cofounder Donald Fagen was the only fulltime member of the long-running band, died in September after a battle with esophageal cancer. He and Fagen co-wrote and co-produced all of the band’s material from its inception in 1972. Since November, Becker’s widow, Delia, has been embroiled in a legal battle with Fagen over ownership of Steely Dan Inc.
The New York City Council bestows street co-naming honors on New York activists, cultural heroes, and community leaders whose contribution has a lasting impact on the city and the world; the frequently stolen sign for Joey Ramone Place, near the site of CBGB, the legendary punk club where the Ramones cut their teeth, is perhaps the best-known musical memorial. The motion to co-name “Walter Becker Way” was put forward by New York City Council Member Karen Koslowitz of the 29th District (Forest Hills) by way of a legislative bill, which was approved by a full council vote on June 28.
The unveiling will be accompanied by a ceremony that will include special guests, remembrances from Becker’s friends and colleagues, as well as giveaways, according to the announcement. The event will be presented by New York’s Classic Rock Q104.3, and all the day’s festivities will be planned and organized by Becker’s fans.
“Walter’s fans have decades of experience holding ‘Danfests’ throughout the country,” says Delia Becker, “and they always find innovative and eclectic ways of celebrating. It will undoubtedly be a fun and free gathering to honor and commemorate Walter as only they can!”
For more information, see http://walterbeckerway.com/.