Duck Dunn Dead: Peter Frampton, Flea + More React on Twitter
Dunn, born in Memphis in 1941, picked up the nickname Duck from his father. And while the elder Dunn clearly had a sense of humor, he didn’t want his son to become a musician. “He thought I would become a drug addict and die,” Duck said. “Most parents in those days thought music was a pastime, something you did as a hobby, not a profession.”
Regardless, Duck went on to become a member of Booker T. and the MGs, which served as the house band for Memphis’ iconic Stax Records. Just about every song produced during the studio’s heyday by singers like Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Sam and Dave, Albert King, Rufus Thomas and many others feature Dunn on bass.
“I would have liked to have been on the road more, but the record company wanted us in the studio. Man, we were recording almost a hit a day for a while there,” Dunn once said.
He later joined the Blues Brothers — he called it “the most fun band I’ve ever been in” — and delivered one of the most memorable lines in the group’s 1980 namesake movie: “We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline!”
Dunn was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Booker T. and the MGs in 1992, and in 2007, he received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.
Given that resume, it’s no wonder that his passing had an impact on the rock community, with several luminaries posting their thoughts on Twitter.
We’ll update this as other artists react.
So sad to hear of bass player Duck Dunn’s passing in Tokyo. He wrote the book on R&B bass playing. My thoughts are with his family. RIP
— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) May 13, 2012
Wow, duck Dunn passed.. What a deep pocket that dude had, so glad I got to see him play, beautiful bass player we’ll be listening to forever
— Flea (@flea333) May 13, 2012
Legendary Donald “Duck” Dunn, bassist and friend of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, passed away in Tokyo today. He will be dearly missed.”
— Tom Petty (@tompetty) May 13, 2012
RIP Donald “Duck” Dunn, inspirational and incredibly gifted bass player. Condolences to all who loved him youtube.com/watch?v=5fOkBt…
— The Rolling Stones (@RollingStones) May 13, 2012