Watch the Zac Brown Band pay tribute to Steely Dan’s Walter Becker

Walter Becker at Coachella in 2015. Photo: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene

The Zac Brown Band was one of several artists who quickly paid tribute to Steely Dan’s Walter Becker over Labor Day weekend.

The quirky, erudite musician passed away Sunday at the age of 67 after an undisclosed illness.

That evening, Atlanta’s ZBB performed for nearly 30,000 fans at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pa., as part of its “Welcome Home” tour and used Steely Dan’s 1972 classic, “Reelin’ in the Years” as an intro to its own “Sweet Annie.”

While the musical tribute is brief and focuses on the song’s signature chorus and winding guitar riff, it’s clearly heartfelt.

Beck, another apparent Steely Dan fan, also paid homage during his set opening for U2 at Detroit’s Ford Field on Sunday. He sandwiched the funky guitar riff of “Josie” into the middle of his hit, “Where It’s At.”

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