Friday, May 18, 2012
Renowned bass guitarist “Duck” Dunn dies in Tokyo
"Duck Dunn walked into Huey's in Memphis and the Bluebirds were playing live. I asked him 'Are you who I think you are?'"
MARSHALL Donald "Duck" Dunn, songwriter and long-time bass player for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Booker T. and the MGs, died May 13, in Tokyo, at the age of 70. Dunn was also a studio musician for Stax studios and, in his long career, played with musicians as varied as Otis Redding, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rod Stewart and Neil Young.
I recently talked with Shreveport musician Bruce Flett, who commented on Dunn's passing for Piney Woods Live.
"Duck Dunn walked into Huey's in Memphis almost 25 years ago and the Bluebirds were playing live. I asked him 'Are you who I think you are?' 'I don't know, who do you think I am?' he replied. He sat in with the Bluebirds using my Fender bass, the one I still play regularly with Robin & the Bluebirds."
Dunn's band, The MarKeys, played the Bossier Strip during the very early sixties. Flett says that the one thing Duck always said he remembered about that time was driving through Louisiana on the way back to Memphis. "They thought someone [messed] their pants. They found out later it was only the paper mill in Springhill."
Duck was Eric Clapton's bass player about the time he sat in with the Bluebirds. Bruce heard him say, but could never get permission to use in a press release, "Eric ought to listen to more guitarists like Buddy Flett." Bruce notes that "this is used without permission, but -- he really said that."
Donald “Duck” Dunn final US performance
Only a couple of weeks before his death Dunn played his final U. S. performance at a benefit event in Marshall. His group included his life-long friend, guitarist Steve Cropper, plus Lester Snell and Steve Potts. Marshall's Jack Canson shot the included video of the group doing "Time is Tight."