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Wednesday
Nov222017

Donald Fagen suing estate of late band mate, Walter Becker, over control of Steely Dan

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Donald Fagen is suing the estate of his late Steely Dan partner, Walter Becker, over control of the band's future, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

At issue is a 1972 agreement signed by the original band members when Steely Dan was incorporated. 

The Hollywood Reporter cites Fagen's complaint, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, which says that in 1972 the group members signed an agreement, which provides that when a band member quits or dies, Steely Dan purchases all of that member's shares of the band.

The complaint alleges that by the 2010, only Becker and Fagen remained as signatories to the agreement.  But, the suit claims, four days after Becker's death in September, Becker's estate sent a letter to Fagen saying the agreement was no longer in effect.

The complaint also alleges that the estate sought 50 percent ownership of the band and the appointment of Becker's widow as an officer of the corporation.

The complaint also claims that Becker's estate controls the Steely Dan websites and refuses to relinquish or even share control.

Fagen is seeking a judgment declaring that the original agreement is valid and that he is the sole owner of Steely Dan.  He's also seeking more than $1 million in damages.  In addition, Fagen is suing the band's business management firm alleging that the company has withheld business records.

“This lawsuit is about a contract, the enforcement of that contract and the continuity of Steely Dan,” Fagen's attorney, Louis "Skip" Miller, told The Hollywood Reporter. “We think the contract is very clear on its face and we hope this lawsuit is resolved expeditiously.”

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