Bass guitarist dies in Tokyo aged 70

Bassist Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn, who played with Booker T. & the M.G.’s, has died in Tokyo aged 70.

The M.G.’s were the house band for STAX records and Dunn can be heard on a number of tracks including Otis Redding‘s ‘Respect’ and Albert King’s ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’.

The bassist had been in the Japanese city to play a series of concerts as part of a STAX show, featuring Steve Cropper and Eddie Floyd, and had played two gigs on Saturday night. Cropper posted on his Facebook page that Dunn had died in his sleep this morning (May 13).

He wrote:

Today I lost my best friend, the world has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live. Duck Dunn died in his sleep Sunday morning in Tokyo Japan after finishing 2 shows at the Blue Note Night Club.

Born in Memphis on November 24, 1941, Dunn was given his nickname by his father as the two watched a Donald Duck cartoon on TV. He began playing the bass guitar when he was 16 and joined Booker T. & the M.G.’s in 1962.

Later on in his career, Dunn performed with Neil Young, Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart. He played himself in the original 1980 The Blues Brothers movie, and its sequel Blues Brother 2000

Booker T. & the M.G.’s were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and Dunn received a lifetime achievement Grammy award in 2007.