Real Life

Steely Dan secret wife

"My rock star marriage nearly killed me." On the radio, in a lift, at the supermarket, Juanna Fatouros can't escape painful memories of the rock 'n' roll love affair that almost destroyed her life. Steely Dan's music is everywhere. But Juanna's role with the legendary band — as girlfriend, muse, assistant and eventual wife of co-founder Walter Becker — has remained a secret until now. Juanna's name doesn't appear on websites devoted to the '70s rock icons. She isn't featured in official histories; nor does she rate a mention in the best-selling band biography Reelin' In The Years. Sitting at home in Melbourne, as Steely Dan tours Australia for the first time, Juanna feels like a forgotten woman. "There's something about being invisible that's horrible," the 54-year-old says wistfully. "It's like I didn't exist, didn't live those three years with Walter. And I was pretty hot back then! "All I've ever wanted is one line of acknowledgement; some thanks for what I did and for the music I inspired. I never wanted to go after Walter for money. The thing that makes me saddest is that we were friends, until he totally cut me off." Devastated by the ending of her marriage, Juanna turned to heroin to help dull her grief. It marked a descent into hell; one she feels eternally lucky to have escaped… For the full story see this week's Woman's Day (on-sale September 10)

read more from