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Reelin’ in the gear: Walter Becker’s guitars and amps go up for sale

Walter Becker of Steely Dan performs live
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson / Contributor / Getty)

The guitar and amp collection of Steely Dan’s Walter Becker is set to go under the hammer in October this year.

A wide array of electric and acoustic guitars from the likes of D’Angelico, Sadowsky, Gibson, Fender, Martin and more will be auctioned off by Julien’s Auctions on 18 and 19 October 2019.

Highlights include Becker’s #1 Sadowsky signature model, a 1928 Martin 00 acoustic, 1958 and ’59 P-Bass, plus a 1957 Duo-Sonic, as seen in the liner notes for the Dan’s seminal Aja album.

Read on for the skinny on each lot, and head over to Julien’s Auctions for more info on the sale.

93225-WALTER BECKER STAGE PLAYED SADOWSKY SIGNATURE MODEL #1

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

The original Walter Becker signature model Sadowsky guitar featuring a spalted maple top and ash body with a sunburst finish. The signature model later went into production while this example was played extensively on stage by Becker. The headstock bears the serial number 5065 and is also affixed with an adhesive label with the number "1." Accompanied by a hard shell case.

$10,000-$15,000

93226-WALTER BECKER STAGE PLAYED IAN ANDERSON STANDARD GUITAR

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

An Ian Anderson Standard electric guitar played extensively on stage by Walter Becker. The guitar is modeled after a Les Paul standard and features a maple top and mahogany body finished in a classic cherry sunburst. The interior of the control cavity is inscribed in pencil with "The Green Danalishi/ 6-1-11/ Ian Anderson" and the headstock is affixed with three adhesive labels: one is printed with "10's"; one is inscribed "ALP"; and one is printed with "1." Accompanied by a fitted road case.

$3,000-$5,000

93216-WALTER BECKER 1969/1970 GIBSON LES PAUL CUSTOM

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A late 1969/1970 Les Paul custom electric guitar with typical black finish and gold hardware. Featuring a neck volute and stamped to the headstock with serial number 910835, the headstock appears to be lacking a "Made in USA" stamp, potentiometers date to 1970. Accompanied by a potentially original hard shell case.

$2,000-$4,000

93217-WALTER BECKER STAGE PLAYED HAHN MODEL 229 GUITAR

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

This double cutaway strat-style guitar made by Hahn was a favorite of Walter Becker and was personally chosen show after show out of his extensive and rotating array of stage instruments. Finished in a distinctive green sparkle and fitted with a solid maple neck above three single coil pickups. The neck plate bears the serial number 110408 which is additionally hand-inscribed to the headstock in silver marker, the headstock has also been affixed with two adhesive labels, one printed with "11's" and the other inscribed with "HG." Accompanied by a fitted road case.

$8,000-$10,000

93223-WALTER BECKER 1961 FENDER STRATOCASTER

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A 1961 Fender Stratocaster electric guitar with double cutaway alder body finished in sunburst, maple neck and rosewood slab fret board. Serial number 61229 stamped to neck plate. Accompanied by a potentially original hard shell case. $10,000-$12,000

93222-WALTER BECKER 1952/1953 GIBSON SJ-200 CUSTOM

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A 1952 or 1953 Gibson JS-200 Custom jumbo sized flat top acoustic guitar with sunburst finish. Featuring a spruce top, maple body, floral decorated pickguard, and typical inlays to bridge and fingerboard. Paper label to inside with serial number A14099, neck block stamped with order number Z2999. Accompanied by a vintage fitted hard shell case.

$8,000-$10,000

93212-WALTER BECKER 1928 MARTIN 00-28 GUITAR

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A Martin 00 size flat top guitar with mahogany body and neck, a herringbone-banded spruce top inlaid with an unusual but likely original pickguard, ebony bridge and fret board with split diamond inlay. Serial number 35972 stamped to neck block. "C.F. MARTIN & Co./ NAVARETH.PA." stamped to backside of slotted peghead. Accompanied by the potentially original fitted hard shell case.

$8,000-$12,000

93214-WALTER BECKER BACON & DAY SENORITA S-6 GUITAR

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A fine example of the rare Senorita S.6 model guitar manufactured briefly in the mid 1930s by Bacon Banjo. The flat top acoustic guitar features a spruce top with inlaid pickguard, finished in a dark sunburst. The pearloid headstock face, like the inlays, features incised and painted decorations and is additionally set with rhinestones. The backside of the headstock is stamped with the serial number 1147 and the interior is affixed with a paper label for Bacon Banjo Co. Inc. of Groton Connecticut. Accompanied by the original faux alligator hard shell case.

$10,000-$15,000

93232-WALTER BECKER 1936 D'ANGELICO EXCEL GUITAR

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A fine early example of an Excel model archtop guitar handbuilt by luthier John D'Angelico. The spruce top and maple body with a sunburst finish, fitted with a Grover DeLuxe tailpiece, ebony bridge and fretboard. The headstock with delicate inlays, engraved Grover tuners, and a distinctive brass finial. Serial number 1154 (possibly 1164 or 1184) is stamped to the interior. Accompanied by a Lifton alligator hard shell case.

$10,000-$15,000

93213-WALTER BECKER 1955 GIBSON ES-5

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A Gibson ES-5 archtop electric guitar with natural finish maple body and spruce top. Paper label to interior bearing the serial number A 20227. Accompanied by a potentially original fitted hard shell case.

$8,000-$10,000

93215-WALTER BECKER 1959 GRETSCH TENNESSEAN SIGNED BY CHET ATKINS

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A Gretsch Chet Atkins signature model 6119 Tennessean hollowbody electric guitar. The maple body finished with Western Orange stain and fitted with a Bigsby tremolo. The pickguard is signed by Chet Atkins in white marker, inches away from the factory printed facsimile signature, paper label to interior bears the serial number 33989. Accompanied by a hard shell case.

$2,000-$3,000

93218-WALTER BECKER 1970 AMPEG DAN ARMSTRONG BASS

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

An Ampeg Dan Armstrong bass guitar with clear Lucite body. Serial number D554A. Accompanied by a road case.

$1,000-$2,000

93219-WALTER BECKER 1959 FENDER PRECISION BASS

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A 1959 Fender Precision Bass with an alder body finished in a dark sunburst, maple neck with rosewood slab fret board. Serial number 42645 to neck plate, potentiometers date to 1959. Accompanied by a vintage hard shell case.

$8,000-$10,000

93221-WALTER BECKER 1958 FENDER PRECISION BASS

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A 1958 Fender Precision Bass with alder body finished in a dark sunburst, gold-toned anodized aluminum pickguard, maple neck and fret board. Serial number 28649 to neck plate, there is a very faint and mostly illegible inscription to the pickguard beginning with "LERIC"..." Accompanied by a vintage hard shell case.

$8,000-$10,000

93220-WALTER BECKER 1965 FENDER JAZZ BASS

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A 1965 Fender Jazz Bass in its original, now yellowed Olympic White finish. Chrome bridge and pickup covers have been removed but are present and included. The neck plate is stamped with serial number L70151 and the neck is dated "7NOV65A." Accompanied by a potentially original hard shell case. $8,000-$10,000

93160-WALTER BECKER STAGE PLAYED JAMES TYLER CLASSIC

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A James Tyler Classic model solid body electric made for, and played often by Walter Becker. The Stratocaster inspired guitar is finished in a transparent deep wine red and fitted with three single coil pickups, Schaller tremolo, a locking nut and a maple neck with slab rosewood fretboard. The neck heel is inscribed in pencil with "Becker." Accompanied by a padded gig bag. $3,000-$5,000

93281-WALTER BECKER MESA/BOOGIE "KING TUBBY" SPEAKER CABINET

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A custom MESA/Boogie open back 2X12 speaker cabinet which featured prominently as part of Walter Becker's on-stage rig. Equipped with two Celestion Blue alnico 12-inch speakers, clad with textured green and red tolex and fronted by a grill cover printed with an image of the legendary producer King Tubby. The cabinet is housed witin a fitted road case which is stenciled with "STEELY DAN," "WALTER BECKER" and "WB-8."

$500-$700

93283-WALTER BECKER BOGNER ECSTACY 100B AMPLIFIER

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

An early Bogner Ecstacy 100B amplifier head. The three-channel, 100-watt, tube driven, hand-wired amp was a favorite of Walter Becker, along with its various successors. The white chassis and black face both have been marked with extensive setting guides in various colors. Inscribed with the serial number "/ Δ +" or 134. Accompanied by its original footswitch and housed within a fitted road case stenciled with "WALTER BECKER" and "G4."

$2,000-$3,000

93282-WALTER BECKER STAGE AND STUDIO USED CUSTOM SATELLITE AMPLIFIER

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A Satellite amplifier head made for and used extensively by Walter Becker. Powered by two KT66 tubes, two 12AX7A tubes and running through a 5AR4 rectifier. The faceplate features controls for volume, bass and treble. The chassis is stamped with the serial number WB001. Housed within a fitted road case stenciled with "WB-20."

$1,000-$2,000

93156-WALTER BECKER STAGE PLAYED GIBSON FLYING V HERITAGE KORINA GUITAR

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A Gibson Heritage Reissue of the 1958 Flying V finished in natural Korina, serial number C102, accompanied by a padded gig bag.

$2,000-$4,000

93488-WALTER BECKER 1957 FENDER DUO-SONIC FEATURED IN "AJA" LINER NOTES

Walter Becker guitars and amps from Julien's Auctions

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A 1957 Fender Duo-Sonic electric guitar which is being played by Walter Becker in a photograph used in the liner notes to the 1977 Steely Dan album "Aja." The original finish has been stripped and left natural, the guitar is also equipped with a maple neck and fretboard, anodized aluminum pickguard and later 6-saddle bridge. The neck plate is impressed with the serial number -20617. Accompanied by the original hardshell case and a copy of the album. 

$4,000-$6,000

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