Donald Fagen has sued the estate of his late bandmate Walter Becker over the ownership of the Steely Dan name. "The Becker defendants will
Donald Fagen has sued the estate of his late bandmate Walter Becker over the ownership of the Steely Dan name. “The Becker defendants will continue to misappropriate Steely Dan’s website and otherwise inappropriately use the Steely Dan name”, the lawsuit reads. Essentially what that means is that in the event someone quit the band or died, Steely Dan as an entity purchases all of that members shares.
However, according to the lawsuit filed in the LA County Superior Court this week, shortly after Becker’s passing, legal reps for his estate wrote to Fagen insisting that the so called “buy/sell agreement” from 1972 is “of no force or effect”.
Apparently, Becker’s camp/estate is running the Steely Dan website and social media presences, which is also part of the conflict. In Fagen’s view, this move violates the 1972 agreement.
While Steely Dan has seen other singers come and go, Fagen and Becker “were always the two staples of the band”, the suit says.
In addition, Fagen is also suing the band’s management firm, Nigro, Karlin, Segal, Feldstein & Bolno claiming that they’ve been withholding records.
The lawsuit refutes this claim, and says Mr. Becker reaffirmed his commitment to the agreement in 2009.
As for NKSFB, the lawsuit further alleges that over the past few years Fagen has become aware of several “accounting errors by NKSFB, one of which involved millions of dollars, and another of which resulted in a lawsuit by a former member of the band”. By 1975 Steely Dan was effectively a duo, with Becker and Fagen accompanied by session musicians.
Fagen is seeking a ruling that will uphold the buy/sell agreement and require Becker’s estate to sell his shares to the group, along with damages.
In early September, Steely Dan’sWalter Beckerdied at the age of 67.