Top 76 Walter Becker Quotes of 2020

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“The protagonist in ‘Deacon Blues’ is a triple-L loser – an L-L-L Loser. It’s not so much about a guy who achieves his dream but about a broken dream of a broken man living a broken life.”

― Walter Becker

“We are constantly competing with the monsters from the id.”

― Walter Becker

“’Deacon Blues’ was special for me. It’s the only time I remember mixing a record all day and, when the mix was done, feeling like I wanted to hear it over and over again. It was the comprehensive sound of the thing: the song itself, its character, the way the instruments sounded, and the way Tom Scott’s tight horn arrangement fit in.”

― Walter Becker

“Our career had a sort of funny shape.”

― Walter Becker

“I think what television and video games do is reminiscent of drug addiction. There’s a measure of reinforcement and a behavioural loop.”

― Walter Becker

“It was the ‘Gaucho’ album that finished us off. We had pursued an idea beyond the point where it was practical. That album took about two years, and we were working on it all of that time – all these endless tracking sessions involving different musicians. It took forever, and it was a very painful process.”

― Walter Becker

“From a linguistic point of view, you can’t really take much objection to the notion that a show is a show is a show.”

― Walter Becker

“It’s interesting how some songs really lend themselves to performance in a big public venue and performance by a band and so on, and so they’re even more successful in that context than they were on the record.”

― Walter Becker

“My primary influences were the best jazz players from the 50’s and 60’s and later some of the pop people from the same time period along with the better of the well known blues musicians.”

― Walter Becker

“Rock music is being systematically merged with fashion.”

― Walter Becker

“Some places you play in America, it’s like ‘On the Waterfront.’”

― Walter Becker

“When you start to work with someone, there’s a negotiation that takes place involving what’s going to happen when you have a difference of opinion. Most attempts at collaboration never survive the negotiation. Merely being agreeable is not enough.”

― Walter Becker

“Most of the time when people say something sounds like Steely Dan, and I listen to it, it doesn’t. And I’m not even sure what they’re talking about.”

― Walter Becker

“That’s sort of what we wanted to do: conquer from the margins, sort of find our place in the middle based on the fact that we were creatures of the margin and of alienation.”

― Walter Becker

“We opened for the Kinks, the Beach Boys, the Guess Who, Chuck Berry, Sha Na Na. We opened for Cheech and Chong – I opened for Cheech, and Don opened for Chong.”

― Walter Becker

“I listen to a mixture of old jazz, contemporary, pop, some world beat stuff and various odds and ends.”

― Walter Becker

“I’m a self-taught musician aside from what I’ve been able to pick up from other players.”

― Walter Becker

“There was a film called ‘FM,’ and we were asked to do the title song. And I said, ‘Does it have to have any specific words?’ And they said, ‘No, it just has to be about FM radio.’ It took a day or two to write.”

― Walter Becker

“It seemed like the more complex the music we were playing, the less able we were to guarantee its consistency.”

― Walter Becker

“’8 Miles to Pancake Day’ is a reconciliation of the classic space-time dilemma.”

― Walter Becker

“You have a kid, and it’s like, ‘He’s gotta go to college! Gotta have some clothes!’”

― Walter Becker

“Cynicism, I contend, is the wailing of someone who believes that things are, or should be, or could be, much, much better than they are.”

― Walter Becker

“I have a feeling there were many, many successful rock duos that just didn’t get attention. That’s the fault of the rock press. They are always playing up controversy, scandal, aggravation, and irritation.”

― Walter Becker

“I always look for the weirdest note to land on. I felt that that was the least I could do for the great musical traditions which I’ve spawned.”

― Walter Becker

“If there’s a strange way to do something, I would certainly like to know about it. I feel that I owe that to my public.”

― Walter Becker

“All our wives are experimental psychologists.”

― Walter Becker

“We have been fortunate enough to do something that has always been out of the mainstream and yet have an audience for what we do.”

― Walter Becker

“There are some things that I write that I know are personal in a way, or the gag is so obscure that it’s just for me, and there’s other things that could basically be for anybody or be anything, at least until the lyrics start to get written.”

― Walter Becker

“I can never believe how much time and energy and money and talent and everything else is being poured into horrible ideas.”

― Walter Becker

“I learned a lot from the various artists I produced. Either you see them doing something that you do want to do it, or you see them doing something the way you don’t want to do it.”

― Walter Becker

“Singing, for me, means singing as loud as I can.”

― Walter Becker

“I think the audience for Limp Bizkit is probably not going to be particularly interested in what we’re doing. I don’t think they’ll find much that satisfies them in what we do.”

― Walter Becker

“With any relationship that goes on and is productive over a long period, there have to be some sort of interlocking qualities in those personalities that make it possible to survive.”

― Walter Becker

“’Gaucho’ was a struggle for us for a lot of reasons, and in the end, we just sort of survived it.”

― Walter Becker

“People are really exercised about one particular thing, and that is themselves. They will bore you endlessly with their broken hearts.”

― Walter Becker

“If any artist abuses his audience as a means to any end, noble or ignoble, he better have a damn good reason for it.”

― Walter Becker

“It’s great fun to play with a really good band.”

― Walter Becker

“I thought Twitter was a joke. I really thought it was a gag. I thought it was like National Lampoon or the Onion.”

― Walter Becker

“I’m glad we turned into a big-time touring band later in life. In fact, it’s almost like we planned it out that way.”

― Walter Becker

“In the ’70s… there were rock players, and there were jazz players.”

― Walter Becker

“What gets people into trouble with records now is that they want to build something up without substantial musical ideas. Without that as a foundation, you can add all the layers of sound you want – it’s still going to sound like a mess.”

― Walter Becker

“I love guys like Charlie Parker.”

― Walter Becker

“We fly to the town in the little private airplane, and then we have to get in cars and drive to the hotel and then drive to the gig. So, I want to do a tour where the performances will actually be at the small airports.”

― Walter Becker

“Given a choice between Charlie Mingus and Eric Dolphy or Joe Strummer and Lou Reed, there was no choice. I like Reed and Strummer, but it’s kiddie music.”

― Walter Becker

“What about that Dave Brubeck live album, with a version of ‘Like Someone in Love’ on it, and long sax solos by Paul Desmond? That’s what got me hooked on jazz.”

― Walter Becker

“If you’re playing in a room that holds 15,000 people, it’s just a question of how bad the room acoustics are and in what way they’re bad.”

― Walter Becker

“Let’s face it, us ’60s folks had pretty high expectations.”

― Walter Becker

“You can’t always count on the devices, attitudes, and conceits that stood you in good stead in 1972 or 1973, or 1978-79, to still have the same impact all these years later.”

― Walter Becker

“We try to write things that work on a variety of levels at the same time: A sleek exterior with a turbulent lyric.”

― Walter Becker

“I think every time, before we do an album, we have a discussion where we sort of consider the idea of doing something radically different.”

― Walter Becker

“I think that there’s the self-imposed pressure to come up with something that’s good. For guys like us, that’s much more important than any external pressure could really be.”

― Walter Becker

“We’ve been allowed to operate unmolested on the fringes of the music scene, really. That’s where we enjoy it most.”

― Walter Becker

“I’m not interested in a rock/jazz fusion.”

― Walter Becker

“We play rock & roll, but we swing when we play. We want that ongoing flow, that lightness, that forward rush of jazz.”

― Walter Becker

“I learned music from a book on piano theory. I was only interested in knowing about chords. From that, and from the ‘Harvard Dictionary of Music,’ I learned everything I wanted to know.”

― Walter Becker

“Originally, we had a band known as Steely Dan. As we moved away from the band, we got whoever was appropriate for specific tunes. In a lot of cases, we gravitated toward jazz players who had more sophisticated harmonic concepts.”

― Walter Becker

“It’s a mystery to me why everybody doesn’t love jazz. I’ve never been able to figure that out.”

― Walter Becker

“I guess actually playing on the records and touring is a great forced practice regimen for me. And you learn a lot playing with people.”

― Walter Becker

“The more of what our music does violates the premise of its format that it’s presented in, the better. So, hearing our music in the supermarket, a Muzak version, is great.”

― Walter Becker

“It’s good – it’s great when somebody who is 20 years younger than you comes up and says, ‘Wow, we just got turned on to you guys, and you’re really great,’ or something like that. I like that.”

― Walter Becker

“I don’t think that the Grammys are in any way a just way of grading music.”

― Walter Becker

“It wouldn’t bother me at all not to play on my own album.”

― Walter Becker

“I spent a couple of years not doing any music or anything, just here in Hawaii trying to get healthy and adjust to the new regimen I was setting up for myself.”

― Walter Becker

“The perfect day for me is waking up and having a cup of tea with my kids before I drive them to school; Then, I go into the studio and try and write some music for three or four hours and give up about noon.”

― Walter Becker

“With ‘Aja,’ there was a sort of happy conjunction between our tastes and the backgrounds and styles of studio musicians at the time.”

― Walter Becker

“Most of our songs are about relationships.”

― Walter Becker

“There’s a great freedom in writing by yourself. You can write anything you want.”

― Walter Becker

“When you’re collaborating with somebody, there has to be a spirit of cooperation. There are a lot of times when you just can’t persuade someone to write a certain type of song, either musically or lyrically.”

― Walter Becker

“There was a time in my life when one aspect of my lifestyle called for watching a lot of television.”

― Walter Becker

“When the first album came out and I heard ‘Do It Again’ on the radio, that was the greatest thing that had ever happened. After that, it was all downhill.”

― Walter Becker

“If it feels like we’re re-creating something rather than creating something, we don’t do it.”

― Walter Becker

“ABC had all these schlocky, bubblegum acts, and we had to come up with suitable material for them. In which we were amazingly unsuccessful.”

― Walter Becker

“I think we’re right up there with Herman’s Hermits and the other greats. Maybe somewhere between Herman’s Hermits and the Gershwins.”

― Walter Becker

“In the ’70s, my playing was completely untutored, but it sounded good to me, and I tried to find ways to make those very simple things work in more ambitious contexts.”

― Walter Becker

“I don’t particularly like L.A.”

― Walter Becker

“Going out and looking for managers is like going out and looking for rattlesnakes.”

― Walter Becker
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