The late Steely Dan performer will be celebrated at Julien's in Hollywood this autumn
In Los Angeles this autumn, hundreds of guitars and amplifiers owned by the late Walter Becker will be going up for auction. Becker, who was the co-founder of Steely Dan died two years ago, leaving behind a collection of music and instruments that could be worth nearly half a million dollars, including original Fender precision basses and Gibson, Martin, D’Angelico and Sadowsky guitars. The auction house Julien’s will be putting on a celebratory weekend on October 18th and 19th with fans able to watch and bid online.
Darren Julien from the auction house said: “Walter Becker was legendary for his unique sound, curiosity, knowledge, and high audiophile standards… he took pleasure in experimenting musically to develop perfect sonic landscape that would best support his creative and musical intentions. This extensive and wide-ranging collection reflects all of these characteristics — and more — that helped make Walter Becker one of the most talented and respected all-around musicians and sonic connoisseurs of his generation."
The collection includes:
• an original signature model #1 Sadowsky guitar, which went into production while Becker played this prototype extensively on stage (estimate: $10,000-$15,000);
• a fine early example of an Excel model archtop guitar, hand built by luthier John D'Angelico, with a spruce top and maple body with a sunburst finish, fitted with a Grover DeLuxe tailpiece, ebony bridge and fretboard (estimate: $10,000-$15,000);
• a fine and rare Senorita S.6 model guitar manufactured briefly in the mid-1930s by Bacon Banjo (estimate: $10,000-$15,000);
• a double cutaway strat-style Hahn guitar that was one of Walter Becker’s favorite stage instruments, with a distinctive green sparkle and fitted with a solid maple neck above three single coil pickups (estimate: $8,000-$10,000);
• a 1961 Fender Stratocaster electric guitar with double cutaway alder body (estimate: $10,000-$12,000);
• a 1952 or 1953 Gibson JS-200 Custom jumbo sized flat top acoustic guitar with sunburst finish (estimate: $8,000-$10,000);
• a 1928 Martin 00 size flat top guitar with mahogany body and neck, a herringbone-banded spruce top inlaid with an unusual but likely original pickguard, ebony bridge and fret board with split diamond inlay (estimate: $8,000-$12,000);
• a 1955 Gibson ES-5 archtop electric guitar with natural finish maple body and spruce top (estimate: $8,000-$10,000);
• a 1958 and 1959 Fender Precision Bass (photo above left) (each estimated: $8,000-$10,000);
• a 1965 Fender Jazz Bass in its original, now yellowed Olympic White finish (estimate: $8,000-$10,000);
• a 1957 Fender Duo-Sonic electric guitar which is being played by Walter Becker in a photograph used in the liner notes to the 1977 Steely Dan album Aja (estimate: $4,000-$6,000);
• a James Tyler Classic model solid body electric made for, and played often by Becker (estimate: $3,000-$5,000);
• an extensively stage played Ian Anderson Standard electric guitar (estimate: $3,000-$5,000);
• an early Bogner Ecstacy 100B amplifier head which was a favorite of Becker’s, along with its various successors (estimate: $2,000-$3,000);
• a Satellite amplifier head made for and used extensively by Becker (estimate: $1,000-$2,000);
• and a custom MESA/Boogie open back 2X12 speaker cabinet which featured prominently as part of Becker's on-stage rig (estimate: $500-$700) and more.