If Donald Duck Dunn doesn’t ring a bell, apart from the Disney connection, maybe this will. Donald Duck Dunn was the legendary bass player who worked on Stax Records’ Memphis soul sound. Part of the Blues Brothers, bass player Donald Duck Dunn died in Tokyo, age 70.
Maybe his playing with the Blues Brothers or his gig with Stax Records’ Memphis made him famous, but Donald Duck Dunn became a bass player legend for many other reasons. Just take a look at the list of bands he performed recordings with: The Blues Brothers, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Guy Sebastian.
At age 70, Donald Duck Dunn died in Tokyo, while on tour. He truly is one of the most respected and popular session musicians. Fellow musician Steve Cropper was joining Donald Duck Dunn in the tour. He took the news about his death on Twitter: “Today I lost my best friend, the World has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live”.
Cropper and Dunn were very close friends. At one point, Dunn even said that he and Cropper are “like married people”. “I can look at him and know what he’ll order for dinner. When we play music together we both know where we’re going” said Dunn.
He had a hard time growing up in Memphis, given his father’s opposition towards his musical career. The truth is that during those days, the overall impression was that choosing a career in the music industry is a waste of time. “He thought I would become a drug addict and die. Most parents in those days thought music was a pastime, something you did as a hobby, not a profession” confessed Donald Duck Dunn.
Originally, Dunn tried on guitar, but felt he should play bass. “I decided there were plenty of guitar players. What was needed was a bass” said once the legendary bass player. It was soon after he took that decision that he self-taught on the bass and ended up playing with the Blues Brothers.
He even had an appearance in the “Blues Brothers” movie of 1980. “How could anybody not want to work with John and Dan? I was really kind of hesitant to do that show, but my wife talked me into it”.