Big 95 Music News: Steely Dan, Toto

STEELY DAN:  Cancer claimed Walter Becker's life

An "extremely aggressive form of esophageal cancer"  took the life of Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker on September 3rd.

Addressing her husband's fans, his widow Delia says, "For me personally, his death was a devastating blow, as I know it was for many of you. I am just beginning to emerge from its heartbreaking impact."

Becker was diagnosed with the disease in the spring and Delia says he underwent "an intense regimen of chemotherapy" as it "seemed to have come out of nowhere and had spread with terrifying speed." He died four months later in his New York City home "surrounded by his family, his music and a blustery rainstorm -- one of his favorite sounds -- blowing outside the window."

Delia says they weren't trying to hide his diagnosis. "It's important to me, as it was to Walter, that you all know he never intended to keep anyone in the dark about his condition. He just ran out of time much sooner than any of us thought possible.... The tsunami of tributes and remembrances that have followed Walter’s passing has been deeply moving. Even his 'Number 1 Fan' -- me -- would not have predicted anything close to the depth and breadth of public expressions from those whose lives were enriched by Walter -- by his talent, his kindness, and his skill at inspiring some wicked fun."

Becker was 67.

TOTO:  Band celebrates 40th anniversary with a new compilation (and 3 new songs)

We've finally gotten the details on the new songs on Toto's 40th anniversary compilation. 40 Trips Around the Sun. It will feature three previously unreleased recordings -- "Spanish Sea," "Alone" and "Struck by Lightning" -- alongside 14 of their best-known tunes.

While going through the Sony vaults, the band uncovered several unfinished songs that featured the late Jeffand Mike Porcaro, one of which is "Spanish Sea." Steve Luthaker says it's from the sessions for their fifth studio album, Isolation. The guys re-worked it, creating a new chorus alongside tracks cut during the '80s. Lukather explains, "Thanks to modern tech we were able to play once again with not only our 20-something selves but with our dear brothers Jeff and Mike Porcaro, reminding us just how deep their groove was. Bittersweet... Many stories, laughs and a few tears on this one."

Toto will begin the first leg of their worldwide 40 Trips Around the Sun tour in Helsinki, Finland on February 11th. It will be the band's most extensive run in years and is expected to hit the U.S. later in 2018. More dates will be announced soon.


Elton John, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and U2 are among the rock icons who’ll appear on Grammys Greatest Stories: A 60th Anniversary Special November 24th on CBS. 

Bonnie Tyler's 40 Years of It’s a Heartache tour will play Europe early next year. So far, there aren't any announced shows in the U.S. or Canada.

Tommy James will sign the Collectors Vinyl edition of his I Love Christmas album Saturday at the Barnes and Noble in Springfield, New Jersey.

Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross will host Sunday night's American Music Awards -- on which her mother Diana Ross will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

David Crosby‏ -- responding on Twitter to a fan complaining about his political views during a recent show -- says, “If you’re a Trump dummy and you don’t like progressives, don’t come to my show.”

Bon Jovi will be back on the road next year.

Former Small Faces, Faces and Who drummer Kenney Jones broke his left thumb slamming it in a car door recently.

Steve Van Zandt and his Disciples of Soul did a noontime performance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool on Tuesday. Paying tribute to The Beatles, who did approximately 150 shows there between 1961 and 1963, they played eight songs, including “Magical Mystery Tour,” “Boys,” “Good Morning, Good Morning,” “Got to Get You Into My Life” and “All You Need Is Love.”

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