Steely Dan singer Donald Fagen performs at the Perfect Vodka Amphitheater


Donald Fagen Reportedly Sues the Estate of Steely Dan Bandmate Walter Becker

November 22, 2017

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Steely Dan singer Donald Fagen is suing the estate of former bandmate Walter Becker in order to preserve and continue the music and name of the band.

The complaint—over the ownership of the band’s name—revolves around a buy/sell agreement from 1972 which was signed by the members of Steely Dan and reportedly ensured that if a band member quit or died, the surviving bandmates would buy his shares in the group.

Apparently before Becker’s passing, he and Fagen were the last two shareholders, but days after Becker died, Fagen received a letter from his estate claiming that the buy/sell agreement was of “no force or effect.” What’s more, the estate reportedly planned on giving Becker’s widow 50% ownership of the band. The complaint also claims that the band’s website has been controlled by the Becker estate with refusal to share access.

In addition, Fagen is reportedly suing Nigro, Karlin, Segal, Feldstein & Bolno (the band’s business-management firm) for withholding records.

Fagen is seeking around $1 million in damages and validation of the buy/sell agreement to make him the sole owner of the Steely Dan name.