Okay maybe I’m overreacting here, but this is becoming a self fulfilling prophecy. Since I’m being too lazy to write, partly due to working many late hours, it’s as if I’m waiting for bad news to happen. Today the news is the loss of Donald “Duck” Dunn. You may not know him by name, but you have heard him. His bass playing was on Stax records r & b songs in the ’60s like Soul Man. He was a session musician for Eric Clapton and lots of other artists in the ’70s. And he was a Blues Brother. He was in the movie, and on their albums, my favorite being Briefcase Full of Blues. It was a live album full of great tunes, reworked by this amazing collection of top musicians and fronted by of course John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd. Dan has a great intro where he says: “By the year 2006, the music known today as the Blues, will exist only in the classical records department of your local public library.”
Well it’s 2012 and just the other day I made an Orange whip reference to three 20 somethings drinking and it went right over their heads.
They had not seen the Blues Brothers movie! Shouldn’t that be a part of every young Americans upbringing? Nothing has come close to what this movie has done. Comedy, music, a 30 minute car chase and possibly hundreds of destroyed cop cars! Aside from the great musicians that made up the Blues Brothers themselves, think about the great American musicians that made cameos in this movie: Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, James Brown. The music is fun, there are endless quotable lines, and it’s still a watchable movie. Hell, it’s more than watchable, it makes me want to wear a dark suit with a pork pie hat and some ray bans. It’s fuckin’ cool.
Duck Dunn was the prototype for how a musician lives and dies. He spent his whole life making music, staying busy. He was in Japan playing 2 shows a day because he had been scheduled to be there last year when the tsunami hit, so these were make up dates. He was found dead in his hotel room at 70.
Once again, I saw him live too. Booker T and the MG’s, you know the guys that did Green Onions? That was Duck. Well anyway, they were the backing band for Neil Young in maybe 1993 and me and my good friend Jason, who happens to be a bass player, saw them, along with Pearl Jam and Blind Melon. You never know if it’s their last show or your last show, so you better go, go, go.