That time Donald “Duck” Dunn told me that Eric Clapton was the best all-around guitarist he ever worked with

eric-clapton-live-aid-1

By Steve Newton

Bass players don’t get much more special than Donald “Duck” Dunn. As a session musician for Stax Records, Dunn brought the bottom end on scores of legendary tracks, including gems like Otis Redding’s “Respect”, Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin'”, and Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign”.

He was also the bassist in a little instrumental combo called Booker T and the MGs, whose “Green Onions” is one of the coolest tunes ever recorded.

When I got the chance to chat with Dunn–on June 4, 1985–he was touring in Eric Clapton’s band, so not surprisingly we talked about Slowhand a bit. Considering that Dunn had spent many years in the company of MGs guitar legend Steve Cropper, I was a little surprised when he told me that Clapton was the best all-around guitarist he ever worked with.

But not too surprised, I guess.

Have a listen:

 

Later on in the conversation I asked how Clapton–who’d been in rehab three years earlier–was doing in his personal life. Dunn seemed overjoyed with how much his guitar-hero buddy was enjoying life.

Have another listen:

 

To hear my full 1985 interview with “Duck” Dunn, become a patron of the Newt on Patreon for only $5 a month.

AUDIO INTERVIEWS POSTED ON MY PATREON PAGE SO FAR:
Donald “Duck” Dunn, 1985
Mark Farner of Grand Funk, 1991
Chris Robinson of Black Crowes, 1990
Jennifer Batten, 2002
Mike Fraser, 2014
Leo Kottke, 2002
Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, 2002
David Gogo, 1991
Booker T. Jones, 2016
Link Wray, 1997
James Reyne, 1988
Mike Rutherford of Genesis, 1983
Buddy Guy, 1991
Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers, 1990
Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers, 2016
Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1986
Lindsay Mitchell of Prism, 1988
Buddy Miles, 2001
Eddie Money, 1988
Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith, 1983
Gaye Delorme, 1990
Dave Murray of Iron Maiden, 1984
Graham Bonnet of Alcatrazz, 1984
Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, 2016
Doc Neeson of Angel City, 1985
Rik Emmett of Triumph, 1985
Sonny Landreth, 2016
Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders, 2016
Jeff Beck, 2001
Albert King, 1990
Johnny Ramone of the Ramones, 1992
Peter Frampton, 1987
Otis Rush, 1997
Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, 1989
Leslie West of Mountain, 2002
Steve Howe of Yes, 2017
Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, 1983
Uli Jon Roth, 2016
Poison Ivy of the Cramps, 1990
Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1985
Greg Lake of ELP, 1992
Robert Plant, 1993
Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson of AC/DC, 1983
Warren Zevon, 1992
Tal Wilkenfeld, 2016
Steve Clark of Def Leppard, 1988
Roy Buchanan, 1986
Gary Moore, 1984
Ronnie Montrose, 1994
Danny Gatton, 1993
Alex Lifeson of Rush, 1992
Ann Wilson of Heart, 1985
J.J. Cale, 1990
Yngwie Malmsteen, 2014
Chris Cornell, 2008
Long John Baldry, 1985
Allan Holdsworth, 1983
Kim Mitchell, 1984
Warren Haynes of Allman Brothers, 1994
Derek Trucks, 1998
Susan Tedeschi, 1998
Joe Satriani, 2018
B.B. King, 1984
Albert Collins, 1985
Ronnie James Dio, 1985
Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, 1984
Dick Dale, 2000
Greg Allman, 1998
Dickey Betts, 2001
…with hundreds more to come

 

One response to “That time Donald “Duck” Dunn told me that Eric Clapton was the best all-around guitarist he ever worked with

  1. Dunn went on to play for Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart. He was the featured bass player on the single ” Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around “, by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty, from Nicks’s debut solo album

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