World renowned for his virtuoso playing style and intricate technique, the bassist Donald Dunn has died aged 70 earlier today. Perhaps best known for his enduring time with the legendary Booker T and the MGs, the tireless Dunn was in the midst of a tour when he was found dead in his Tokyo hotel, no cause of death has yet been given.
A spokeswoman for the Tokyo Blue Note, the last venue Dunn played, confirmed he died alone early Sunday. She had no further details although it is believed he died peacefully in his sleep.
As well as his work with the MGs, Dunn worked consistently with Stax records, for which the MGs were the house band, as well as being something of a session player. He had played with such greats as John Lennon, Neil Young, Otis Redding and Eric Clapton.
Dunn was born in Memphis on November 24, 1941, and started playing bass at the age of 16.He cited that the reason he chose to play bass rather than guitar as there were just too many guitarist around. He also cited growing up with guitar great Steve Cropper as a major influence in him picking up four rather than six strings, as he would not be able to compete with Cropper's talent. When he started what the world needed was a great bass player, with Donald Dunn the world got that and then some and now, sadly, the world has just lost him.