Walter Becker

Walter Becker was an American songwriter and guitarist, and in partnership with Donald Fagen, formed Steely Dan in 1971. While Fagen played keyboards and sang lead vocals, Becker played bass guitar and sang background vocals in addition to co-writing (with Fagen) all of Steely Dan's compositions. Later, during the recording of Pretzel Logic, Becker picked up the guitar and left the bass playing to Chuck Rainey. The band toured for several years initially but soon decided to work only in the studio changing musicians for each album. The two collaborators gained a reputation as studio perfectionists known for making copious takes - sometimes as many as forty of each track. This fastidious persistence and steadfastness resulted in nine meticulous albums.

After several personal setbacks for Becker, he and Fagen shelved their partnership in 1981. Soon after, he moved with his family to Hawaii, focused on health and sobriety and set about producing a number of albums for various artists including Michael Franks, Fra Lippo Lippi and Ricki Lee Jones on her 'Flying Cowboys' album (Gold by the RIAA in 1997).

Becker and Fegan reunited in 1986 to collaborate on several projects and in 1993 reconstituted Steely Dan and remained active and touring until Becker's death in September of 2017. 

In 2000 Becker and Fagen released four time Grammy award winning, Two Against Nature. It also won Album of the Year and was their first album collaboration in twenty years. A year later they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received honorary doctoral degrees from Berklee College of Music. Becker would also be  inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2008.

Becker would release two solo albums over his career, '11 Tracks of Whack' in 1994 and fourteen years later, 'Circus Money'.


Steely Dan Studio Albums

  • Can't Buy a Thrill (1972)
  • Countdown to Ecstasy (1973)
  • Pretzel Logic (1974)
  • Katy Lied (1975)
  • The Royal Scam (1976)
  • Aja (1977)
  • Gaucho (1980)
  • Two Against Nature (2000)
  • Everything Must Go (2003)

Steve (The Deacon) Hunter


Steve Hunter is an American guitarist and session player best known for his collaborations with Lou Reed and Alice Cooper.  His numerous contributions of talent, tone and style to the projects of other artists such as Peter Gabriel, Dr John, Jack Bruce, Tracy Chapman and Aerosmith are legion. 

He began his affinity with the guitar from the age of eight when he learned to play the lap steel and later moved onto the guitar while serving in the army. Starting with Mitch Ryder in 1971, he did an arrangement of Lou Reed's 'Rock and Roll' for Ryder's 'Detroit' album, which caught Reed's attention and moved him to engage Hunter and Bob Ezrin for his follow up to 'Transformer', 'Berlin'.  Bob Ezrin would later remark that Hunter's copious contributions to rock music have earned him the designation of "Guitar Hero".

Hunter is also known for playing legendary riffs such as Aerosmith's "Train Kept A Rollin'", the acoustic intro on Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" and he wrote the legendary intro interlude that made Lou Reed's live version of "Sweet Jane" a first gold record (the Rock 'N' Roll Animal live set).

Hunter taught at The Musicians Institute in Hollywood for two years as a private tutor. He credits the late great LA guitar teacher Ted Greene with renewing his interest in playing after a low period in the 80's. He took lessons with Ted for about four years.

Hunter has contributed to seven Alice Cooper albums, starting in 1973 with Billion Dollar Babies up to 2010 when he featured heavily on the new, ‘Welcome 2 My Nightmare'. He completed a World tour with Alice in 2011 but left at the end of that year to write and record his new solo album, 'The Manhattan Blues Project'. This was Hunter's fifth self produced solo album. It was released in April of 2013  and featured guests, Joe Satriani, Joe Perry, Johnny Depp, Marty Friedman, Michael Lee Firkins, Tony Levin, Phil Aaberg, Tommy Henriksen, 2Cellos and Jason Becker. 

In 2014 a live DVD/CD (Tone Poems Live) was released with Tony Levin (bass) Phil Aaberg (keyboard) and Alvino Bennett (drums) for a project funded and produced by Brian Brinkerhoff.

After the sad loss of his old boss, Lou Reed, in late 2013, Steve was featured in a documentary about Reed for a BBC4 Documentary by Chris Rodley called, 'Lou Reed Remembered'.

In 2015 after gathering the required evidence, Steve's wife Karen managed to get some long overdue performance royalties for Steve established with the UK based Society PPL for some classic solos that he had never been given credit for, including the opening solos on Aerosmith's 'Train Kept A Rollin' and six 'Billion Dollar Babies' tracks.

Hunter also works on music for licensing out to TV and Film as well as Chillout projects with Karen under the name 'Rue la Mer'. He recently released a solo album called, 'Before The Lights Go Out'.

Camilo Velandia

Born in Bogota, Colombia to a family of musicians, Camilo Velandia grew up with so much music inside that it inevitably had to pour out. With a natural musical talent, Camilo studied piano, violin, and guitar from the age of four. Upon graduating from high school and studying with some of the nation's well known players like Jonathan Kreisberg, Mitch Farber, and others, it wasn't very long until Camilo was playing music professionally four to five nights a week and recording sessions for local artists in South Florida along the side of many grammy winning producers and artists.

Soon after, Camilo was offered the opportunity to work with Three-time Grammy Winner and internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter Jon Secada. Camilo toured several countries with Jon and got to play for large audiences in the United States and South America, and Asia. Despite his young age,  he was offered the opportunity to join the top selling latin artist in history, Julio Iglesias, in his 40th anniversary world tour. With Julio, Camilo visited over 40 countries in nearly every corner of the world. He performed in stadiums and arenas for audiences of up to 250,000 people.

During his tour with Julio, Camilo had the pleasure of sharing the stage with international artists such as Alexander KoganAlexandre PiresPaula FernandesAntonis Remos,Sally YehLiel KoletSherina Munaf,  Caroline Campbell,  and many more.  Camilo continued to tour with Julio several years playing historic venues like Carnegie Hall in NYC, the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Royal Albert Hall in London, and many more. In late 2014, Camilo began touring with latin actor/artist Jencarlos Canela, traveling the US, Canada, and some of Europe.

Camilo was also the houseband guitar player for the latin hit TV ShowCHARYTIN Y FELIPE SHOW during its entire running time.  In the show, he had the opportunity to play with artists such as Gilberto Santarosa, Olga Tanon, Cabas, Fanny Lu, Charlie Zaa, and many more.  In 2015, he began touring with latin artist Diego Torres.   Camilo has also performed with Sofia ReyesTeedra Moses,  Daddy Yankee,MargerDudu Fisher, to contemporary christian artists like Marcos Yaroide,Ricardo Rodriguez, and Blest.  Camilo's recording credits include Frank QuinteroMarcos Yaroide,  Grupo TreoZondre & Unstoppable Praise, and many more along the side of grammy winning artists and producers.

Nitebob Czaykowski

Sound Engineer for over 44 years, over 40 years of global touring with music, trade shows, film shoots, TV. Guitar technician, production manager, Tour manager.

Nitebob is the road manager/production coordinator for Walter Becker and Donald Fagen at Steely Dan and has worked with Ace Frehley, Lez Zeppelin, Paul Rodgers, Ian Hunter, New York Dolls, Hanoi Rocks, Silvertide, Rich Robinson, Jesse Malin, Alana Davis, Zebrahead, Silver Ginger 5, Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, REM among others.

In His Own Words

"It’s an exceptional pickup. In the 40 plus years that I’ve been doing this, the voicing of the single coil style pickups is the best I’ve ever heard – and they don’t hum."

Carl Harvey

Photo courtesy Harding

Carl Harvey’s career in music spans over four decades, to the mid-1970s when he recorded with reggae immortals such as Jackie MittooKing Tubby and Prince Jammy, a decade which for Harvey culminated with Willi Williams’ international hit record Messenger Man and his own first solo album Ecstasy of Mankind, which since its first legitimate release on Makasound in 2005 has become a much sought-after collector’s item. Also during that time, Harvey joined Crack of Dawn, Canada’s seminal black funk band that has recently reunited for several special concerts. In 1980, Harvey joined the literal originators of the word reggae Toots & The Maytals. 33 years later, the Maytals remain one of the top touring reggae bands in the world. In just over half a century since the great Toots Hibbert founded the Maytals, they have released more than 30 albums and compilations; Harvey appears on more than 15 of these records including 2004’s Best Reggae Album Grammy Award-winning True Love. Toots & The Maytals have performed with the some of the world’s most popular artists including the Rolling StonesDave Matthews and Sheryl Crow; and headlined stages at major eclectic, jazz and reggae festivals worldwide such asGlastonburyBonnarooMontreal Jazz FestivalReggae on the RiverFuji Rock,Summerjam (Cologne, Germany) as well as hundreds of others along with the global A-list of clubs & theatres. Harvey’s 2005 solo album The Times also received wide-ranging critical acclaim.

Harvey’s body of work as an engineer and producer, and his overall contribution to the development of Canadian reggae & RB, is equally as impressive as his musical canon. Three-time Juno award winner (and 4-time nominee) Kim Richardson, Canada’s first international reggae supergroup MessenjahSway (he produced their Juno-nominated 1989 worldwide hit ‘Hands Up’), Ojiji (with his brother Rupert), Alexis Baro and Crack of Dawn head the long list of Canadian solo artists and bands whose success bear Harvey’s indelible stamp as a producer and creative contributor.

In His Own Words

"The guitar sounded awesome at the gig Saturday night. I found myself using less effects because I was able to pull so much nuance from the guitar I was afraid I would cover something up, however when I did use an effect it just jumped out! I'm really digging these pickups! I spent some time last night doing some AB comparisons with my other guitars and I must tell you, it was scary! There was a noticeable amount of detail missing when I went back to my stacked single coils, which I thought were really good and I was willing to make the slight tradeoff in tone loss for the absence of noise. However, the Zexcoils exhibit all the tone of a great single coil without the hum and inherent noise. I also noticed that I was able to obtain a great tone at a much lower volume as I was using an amp in my condo in the middle of the night. The stacked singles improved as I brought the volume up but at low volume they were lost! This presents quite the dilemma! I'm going to be compelled to switch out the pickups in at least a few more guitars! Lol  They are truly revolutionary. It's like taking a blanket off the sound (well maybe a veil, lol) when compared to other noise canceling pickups and there is none of that ice pick tininess associated with some true single coils.”

Elliott Randall


The Zexcoil Elliott Randall Sessions

Dr. Lawing recently had the opportunity to spend some time with Elliott at his home studio in London. In addition to cutting some demos, the Dr. conducted an extensive interview with Elliott covering his personal and professional music history as well as Elliott’s advice for guitarists and other musicians. Highlights include details on his work with Steely Dan and anecdotes from throughout his career including: Jimi Hendrix, The Band, Eddie Kramer and more.

This is Elliott Randall playing the opening bars of one of his most iconic guitar compositions on a Zexcoil Throaty Bucker.
Dr. Lawing sat down with Elliott Randall for an extensive interview. In this first episode, Elliott discusses his formative years on guitar and his early professional history including: The Druids of Stonehenge, Seatrain, Randall's Island and his first two solo albums and his early recording with Steely Dan.
In episode II of this series, Elliott elaborates on his career. While not as chronologically linear as Part I, there is a wealth of information in here to interest fans of not only guitar but rock music in general.

Elliott Randall’s illustrious career has encompassed a wide and varied cross-section of World Musical forms. These include: record production, composition, electronic research and development, lectures and teaching, and of course, a legendary contribution to popular guitar performance and recording.

His guitar solos on Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ In The Years” and “Fame” (the motion picture) have entered Rock history annals.

Elliott has recorded and performed with artists as diverse as The Doobie Brothers, Carly Simon, Seatrain, The Blues Brothers, Carl Wilson, Peter Wolf, Peter Frampton, James Galway, Richie Havens, The Rochester Philharmonic and The American Symphony Orchestra, among many others. In addition, he is a favorite of esteemed songwriters Jimmy Webb, George David Weiss, Don Covay and Laura Nyro. Other credits include: music consultant for NBC Saturday Night Live and Oliver Stone, and projects with producers Jerry Wexler, Joel Dorn, Steve Lillywhite, Eddie Kramer, David Kershenbaum, Bill Szymcziyk, Eumir Deodato, Bob Crewe, Andrew Loog Oldham, Elliot Scheiner and Gary Katz among many others.

In His Own Words

"Strat #1 has had its first hardware change since the late '70s. It's a Zexcoil Guitar Pickups SV5O in the middle position. And what an addition to the tonality of my fave solid body! One word : WOW. Totally new and different voice to my fave guitar. You rock. How can one really describe "compelling new tone due to increased frequency response?”… an additional sparkle --- not treble, but an airiness that's hard to put into words, the SV5O is absolutely outta this world. It has a character like no other (and I have quite a few pickups). Totally magical, sounds amazing … Great work, Scott!”


Johnny Oskam

Johnny Oskam first landed on the music scene in Southern California when he was invited to play on stage with Jonny Lang a month before his 20th birthday. This incredible honor began the snowball effect of what would become an avalanche of success in only two and a half year's time. Since then, Oskam and his extremely talented band have opened for artists such as Shawn Jones, Tab Benoit, Tower of Power, Lee DeWyze, Eric Burdon, Albert Lee and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Among these artists, Shawn Jones and Tab Benoit also have invited Johnny on stage to play a few songs. As time moves forward, Johnny Oskam and his band continue to gain attention from audiences and artists all over Southern California.



John Bendy

John Bendy

John Bendy was born in Brooklyn, New York October 5 1980. He started playing guitar at age 10. His first gig was a school talent show at age 12.

Since then there have been hundreds upon hundreds of gigs and late night jams. In his early twenties he was taken under the wing of blues masters Bill Perry and Popa Chubby. He has shared the stage with the Bendy Pastorius Group of which he was a founding member along with his brother Mike Bendy on bass and Julius Pastorius on the drums since 2007. He played guitar on Chrissie O'Dell's 2010 release 'If I had a dime' which charted extremely well on blues music charts around the nation.

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