Slash, Tom Petty, Bill Wyman, and Booker T. Jones have all paid tribute to legendary bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn, who passed away yesterday in Tokyo at the age of 70.
Slash wrote in a tweet that Dunn “was one of the greatest side & session, blues, R&B, Soul bassists of all time”; Petty tweeted that the Stax Records mainstay “will be dearly missed”; and a message on Wyman’s website described how the ex-Rolling Stones member was “saddened to hear of his friend’s passing, and Bill and Donald both were in touch daily. Bill has known Donald since the 1970s, and had been emailing Donald the day before his death.”
Finally, Dunn’s longtime collaborator Booker T. Jones has published a lengthy tribute to the Booker T. and the MGs bassist on his website, in which he says that he “can’t imagine not being able to hear Duck laugh and curse.”
You can read the full statement below.
My good friend and bass player, Donald “Duck” Dunn has passed away this morning in Tokyo. He was in the company of good friends Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper. My daughter Cicely called to tell me the news. Steve said he died in his sleep.
I am struck deeply by Duck’s death, have just begun to shed tears over Levon Helm, Andrew Love, and Chris Ethridge. And I must here mention that we have also lost Skip Pitts — (guitar on “It’s Your Thing” and “Shaft”).
God is calling names in the music world. He gave us these treasures and now he is taking them back. Duck was too close to me for me to at this point realize the full implications of his passing. I’m just trying to pray for those who were closer to him — his wife June, and his son Mike, and his brothers and sister.
I can’t imagine not being able to hear Duck laugh and curse, but I’m thankful I got to spend time and make music with him. His intensity was incomparable. Everyone loved him. None more than Otis Redding.
Of all the “departures” of the past 30 days, this one is the hardest and most crushing for me. It was totally unexpected, and I’ve rarely had tears come so quickly. I’ve always believed that every closing door opens another, and this one will have some good effect too, somewhere down the line.
Thank you all for your prayers and condolences, and just know that Duck is somewhere smiling down on all of us saying, “Got Damn!!!”