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archive head spider 2012_May 2012_May_13_1

Another one bites the dust...

Donald "Duck" Dunn, who played bass with Booker T and the MGs, has died alone early this morning in Tokyo, where he was on tour. He was in Japan for a series of concerts, and had played two shows on Saturday night.
No further details have yet emerged. He was 70 years of age. 

The M.G.‘s were the house band for Stax Records, and Duck can be heard on songs such as Otis Redding's Respect and Sam and Dave's “Hold On, I'm Comin'.”

His friend and fellow musician Steve Cropper, who was on the same tour, said Duck had died in his sleep and added "Today I lost my best friend - the world has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live".

Born in Memphis on November 24, 1941, Duck started playing bass at the age of 16.: "I tried the guitar but it had two strings too many. 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 M.G.‘s scored their own hit with “Green Onions” in 1962.

"We were recording almost a hit a day for a while there," he said. "But I never knew how popular that music was until I came to England with Otis Redding in 1967." 

The tour also featured Sam and Dave, Eddie Floyd, and Arthur Conley, was attended by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, John Mayall, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townsend, and The Beatles, who sent limousines to pick up the Stax crew each night after the shows. The influence of the Stax house band on the sound of many U.K artistes is very evident.

The M.G.‘s later provided backing for the John Lennon solo track “Beef Jerky”, and Duck later worked with Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart and many more. He played himself in the 1980 film ‘The Blues Brothers‘, and its 2000 sequel.

The M.G.’s were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and Duck received a lifetime achievement Grammy award in 2007.

R.I.P, Duck - you were on the soundtrack since my teenage years….

It just goes to show how inportant it is to catch these legends whilst they're still out there performing - you'll never see their like again.....