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Steely Dan Start Life Without Walter Becker

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Weeks after the death of co-founder Walter Becker, surviving Steely Dan bandleader Donald Fagen has taken the group’s new lineup on the road.

Fagen led Steely Dan through their first show of the post-Becker era on Oct. 12, and as he told the Orillia Packet and Times, it’s definitely been a period of adjustment. “During the soundcheck, we used to consult on the set list every night,” he recalled. “And now, I feel really unprepared. I’m just trying to figure it out myself. I’ll ask some of the other players in the band, but he had a certain way of looking at it that I really miss.”

Creatively as well as personally, Fagen may struggle for some time to cope with the void left by the absence of his longtime partner, but he sounded a positive note when discussing the idea that after fighting his health woes for the past several years, Becker is at rest. “He was really hurting the last couple of years — especially the last year,” said Fagen. “But he soldiered on. All he wanted to do was play; that was his life. It’s great that he could do it.”

Steely Dan’s return to the road Oct. 12 in Tulsa featured a set list heavy with fan favorites — and made room for “Book of Liars,” a Becker song that Fagen has added to the show as a tribute. (“I think he sang it better than I do,” he insisted, “but I give it my best shot.”) Look over the songs from the Tulsa show below, and watch a “Book of Liars” performance above.

Steely Dan, Paradise Cove at River Spirit Casino, Tulsa, OK, 10/12/17
“Black Cow”
“Hey Nineteen”
“New Frontier”
“Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”
“Time Out of Mind”
“Book of Liars”
“Black Friday”
“Dirty Work”
“Home at Last”
“I Want To (Do Everything for You)”
“My Old School”
“Reelin’ in the Years”
“Kid Charlemagne”
“The Untouchables”

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