Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) member and Steely Dan co-founder, Donald Fagen, is suing the estate of his late, longtime musical partner Walter Becker in order to maintain control of the group and its name.
In 1972 when the band was formed, they signed an agreement that, upon the death or departure of a Steely Dan band-member, the group would purchase that member’s shares. Since around 1975, the group had fundamentally been a duo of Becker and Fagen accompanied by session musicians.
A few days after Becker’s death, Fagen received notice that the 1972 buy/sell share agreement was “of no force or effect.” He demanded that Becker’s widow, Delia, be appointed director or officer of the group, meaning she was also entitled to 50% ownership.
Fagen is seeking a ruling to uphold the buy/sell agreement as well as to require Becker’s estate to sell his shares of the group, along with damages.