All Quiet Now: Donald “Duck” Dunn

Bass guitarist Donald “Duck” Dunn, who played with Booker T and the MGs, has died in Tokyo aged 70. The MGs were the house band for Stax Records, and Dunn can be heard on songs such as Otis Redding’s Respect and Sam and Dave’s Hold On, I’m Comin’. He was in Japan for a series of concerts, and had played two shows on Saturday night. His friend and fellow musician Steve Cropper, who was on the same tour, said Dunn had died in his sleep. “Today I lost my best friend,” Cropper wrote on his Facebook page. “The World has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live”. Miho Harasawa, a spokeswoman for Tokyo Blue Note, the last venue Dunn played, confirmed he died alone early Sunday. She had no further details. Born in Memphis on November 24, 1941, Dunn started playing bass at the age of 16. “I tried the guitar but it had two strings too many,” he wrote on his website. “It was just too complicated, man! Plus, I grew up with Steve Cropper. There were so many good guitar players; another one wasn’t needed. What was needed was a bass.” His distinctive grooves underpinned dozens of hit records for the legendary Stax label – including Soul Man and Try A Little Tenderness. The MGs scored their own hit with Green Onions in 1962....

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