Donald “Duck” Dunn, legendary bassist and a member of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Booker T. and the MGs and the Blues Brothers band, is dead at 70. According to a message posted to his website by fellow musician Steve Cropper, Dunn died in his sleep in Tokyo.
“Today I lost my best friend, the world has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live,” writes Cropper.
Dunn was in Japan for a series of shows and a spokeswoman for Tokyo Blue Note — the last venue he played — confirmed to USA Today that Dunn died early on Sunday (May 13).
In addition to his work with the Stax house band Booker T. and the MGs, Dunn played with scads of top shelf musicians, including Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart. He was given the nickname “Duck” as a child when he and his father were watching a “Donald Duck” cartoon. He began playing bass at 16, saying the guitar’s six strings were “too complicated” and the rest is history.