Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Steely Dan: Donald Fagen sues Walter Becker’s estate

Steely Dan singer Donald Fagen is suing the estate of his late bandmate, Walter Becker, as a legal battle begins over control of the band and its brand in the aftermath of the guitarist’s passing on September 3 from esophageal cancer.

Rolling Stone reports the Fagen and Becker’s widow, Delia, are at odds over the status of a 1972 Buy/Sell agreement that stipulated that if a member of Steely Dan quit or died, the band would purchase all of that member's shares in the group.

Fagen reportedly received a letter from Becker’s estate four days after the guitarist’s death stating that the 1972 deal was “of no force or effect", that Delia be appointed a director or officer of Steely Dan, and that she was entitled to 50 percent ownership of the group.

"Fagen, acting on behalf of himself and on behalf of Steely Dan, as its sole remaining officer and director,” reads the suit, “hereby exercises the mandatory provision of the Buy/Sell Agreement requiring Steely Dan to purchase Becker's shares.".

The suit notes that in 2009, Becker "reaffirmed his commitment to the Buy/Sell Agreement and its validity" and that, by the 2010s, the pair were the "only remaining shareholders and signatories to the Buy/Sell Agreement."

Fagen is also suing Steely Dan's longtime business management firm Nigro, Karlin, Segal, Feldstein & Bolno, alleging the company has been withholding royalty statements and records regarding tour income.

With more than 40 million albums sold worldwide, Steely Dan were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

“I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band,” wrote Fagen in a heartfelt note following the loss of his longtime friend and bandmate.

See also:

Steely Dan: Walter Becker cause of death confirmed
Steely Dan: Donald Fagen cancels solo shows due to illness
Steely Dan announce first tour following death of Walter Becker
Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker dead at 67
Search Steely Dan at hennemusic