Atlanta Legend Donnie Mac RIP

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by stephent2, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    [​IMG]

    Donnie Mac (McCormick) was the original Bass Ass with a Heart of Gold. Donnie was the singer, songwriter and drummer for the amazing Eric Quincy Tate, a southern rock band signed to Capricorn Records in the day. Donnie transcended this earthly plane over the night, 1-11-09. In his day there wasn't a better drummer in the southeast. Donnie knew how he wanted to live and did so with gusto.

    Donnie was a great artist as well, sculpture, painting, any media. He was constantly creating and living the life. I have several of Donnies sculptures and paintings that i treasure.

    I was lucky enough to know and work Donnie in the last 10-12 years or so, played together and hung out. Playing with Donnie on stage was like driving with Mario Andretti, Donnie was a master his art and you knew you were in the best hands.

    Donnie's act was part kabuki theater, you couldn't take your eyes off of him when he was stage. He was amazingly physical, on a drum set, he'd have the high hat stand in his hand above his head, shaking it in time, the other hand would be smacking the snare and he'd be singing the song with a mic stand between his legs. Donnie also played chicken coop, a plywood box they used to use to take chickens in for processing, at the end of the night the stage would be full of splinters and saw dust, Donnie bled for his art and you knew it. The last year we played together Donnie'd be so winded he couldn't get off stage sometimes at break, this was after giving everything he had in him for a set of songs. I never heard a singer I believed more than Donnie,....

    One of Donnie's great songs "Have You No Shame?" is on Sean Costello's last CD with Donnie adding some vocals. Listen to the Wood Brothers "Postcards From Hell" on "Loaded", it's about our Donnie Mac. (Oliver changes drums to guitar for the song).

    Or Dig up some Eric Quincy Tate, they were a hell of a band, great songs,... Tony Joe White recalls “them boys played with abandonment”. They kicked ass in a major way.

    http://www.ericquincytate.com/

    Donnie is free now, his body finally failed him, how he kept that body of his going these last five years is a testament to his spirit and his amazing convictions.

    Love ya Donnie, take some rest Brother.

    me and Donnie,...

    [​IMG]
    and a Donnie cookie.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  2. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Capricorn Records promo picture, Donnie's on the right. hard to see but it reads, "Personal Managment: Phil Walden" in the lower right.
     

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  3. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sad news indeed. Saw him play with many acts over the years, did a few pickup gigs with him. Great musician, showman, thinker, humorist. Great guy, larger than life. He'll be missed.
     
  4. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Amen to that Tim. Donnie was sweet and kind too, something you wouldn't know by looking at him. It was a strong moon Saturday night / Sunday morning, it was the closest to the earth it'll come all year. Definitely a Donnie Mac moon.
     
  5. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    This was three years ago, Donnie was pretty sick then, but if you look and listen closely Donnie will show you his soul.

     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  6. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Please excuse the bump. Let me tell you a little more about Donnie. 1944-2009.

    He was a wild man and he was from Texas, thanks again Texas. I knew him in his "declining" years after his heart attacks. But even half dead Donnie had more fire in him than any other ten bad asses. Docs told him eight years ago he needed a heart and a pair of lungs and had six months or maybe five years, they didn't know, Donnie told them he'd take the five. He squeezed another three out of the deal.

    He'd be sick, go into the hospital and come out a week later looking twice as good, he did that five or six times. I remember he asked one doctor if he should quit smoking (!), the Doc said "why?".

    He was wild like an artist (that he was), he'd do anything to get your attention on stage and he'd slay you with his amazing songs and his all or nothing vocals. Every night, no matter how bad he felt,... while he was on stage he was king. Easily the most creative man I've known.

    We had a gig with Donnie and in the afternoon I get a call from his then girlfriend and she's saying Donnie pulled one of his back teeth out (been bothering him for a couple weeks I know, and he hates dentists) with a pliers, she tells me there's a lot of blood and a bit of jaw on the tooth,.... I hear Donnie in the background saying,.. "tell them if they can't find someone to call me back,....". He was a wild man.


    I'm hoping if you'all don't know about Donnie McCormick and Eric Quincy Tate, maybe you'll read this, maybe click the EQT link, listen to some tunes and maybe dig something.

    http://www.ericquincytate.com/
     
  7. furrfurrfurr

    furrfurrfurr Friend of Leo's

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    Nice clip, Stephen.

    RIP Donnie.
     
  8. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Stephen, I know you were pretty close to the guy, so my condolences to you.

    After reading your thread here, I forwarded the link to my old friend Paul, who's known Donnie for 40 years and is an Eric Quincy Tate freak to the core. He's a pro photographer and part time musician that has also gigged with Donnie. Although he knew that the man's health was failing, he was deeply saddened by the news. My friend Paul is a fairly lyrical guy (he loved your Mario Andretti analogy), and he's loyal to the bone with musicians and artists that he respects... he replied to me with heartfelt words that can only be described as a eulogy, along with loads of links that document the man's legacy and performances.
     
  9. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for the kind words Tim, I'm doing OK. Glad Donnie Mac is no longer in pain. Happy that he had his family and friends to care for him, I visited with Donnie a number of times while he was sick and couldn't leave the house. I sent a letter to Donnie last week, it was read to him. I was told I got a laugh from him and he looked up and smiled.

    We've had a hard year here in Atlanta, we've lost great musicians and friends. Makes you hold on to your friends and family in a new way for certain. We all were so lucky to know Donnie.

    Tim, If you feel you can share, please PM me with your friends thoughts.

    There will be a celebration of Donnie McCormicks life at Northside Tavern in Atlanta Tuesday evening the 20th. If anyone's inclined, please join us.

    http://www.northsidetavern.com/
     
  10. Brad Miller

    Brad Miller Tele-Afflicted

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    "Have You No Shame" Is one of my favorite songs of all time! I been watching his stuff on Youtube for awhile now. Really hate to hear that he has passed. Rest In Peace Donnie.....
     
  11. beach bob

    beach bob Friend of Leo's

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    Stephen, my sympathies for the loss of your friend Donnie. I hadn't heard of him, but it's obvious from the little bits posted here, that he was one of those larger than life guys. Sure wished I knew about him those few months I was hanging in Atlanta back in the 80s!

    RIP Donnie. It sure sounds like it's been a tough year for the ATL musical family. Here's to better days ...
     
  12. BritishBluesBoy

    BritishBluesBoy Former Member

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    Hey Stephen, Donnie sounds like he was one hell of a guy. We need men like him.

    All the best to you and all of Donnie's family and friends.
     
  13. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here's Donnie working on a painting in the doorway of his place May of '07..

    [​IMG]
     
  14. mistermullens

    mistermullens Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't really know what to say about Donnie. I didn't know him, I had only seen him in pics with Stephen, and to be honest, until today, I had never heard of EQT. I watched one video and it was hard to take my eyes off Donnie. To top it all off, the band was amazing, and I'm sorry I never got the chance to meet Donnie. That's pretty powerful stuff.

    Stephen, thanks for posting and introducing me to Donnie, and EQT.

    My thoughts go out to friends and family.
     
  15. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Very true, and well said.

    I'm sure my friend will be more than happy to oblige, but out of respect for him, I've asked his permission first. I'm sure you understand.

    I'll attend if I possibly can, and if I know my friend Paul, I doubt he'd want to be anywhere else on that night.
     
  16. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks Tim, I did receive an email this morning from Paul and I'll pass it on to Josh, (Donnie's son) so the family has it (as Paul requested).

    Very cool mistermullens, glad you enjoyed Donnie and EQT. Rhino has released their first album and some are still available through the EQT web site, "Vintage Vinyl" is one of my favs. Donnie's solo stuff is hard to find (but I have copies of it all).

    ya'll come on down next Tuesday to Northside if you can.
     
  17. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I received this from Tim's friend Paul Shoffner, what a wonderful tribute, many thanks to Paul for allowing me to repost and Tim for the connection. The Photography is by Paul Shoffner c 1998.
    ---------------------

    Donnie McCormick ended his earthly battle with longtime health problems last night, passing away peacefully. His legacy as a giant in Southern music is most assuredly and wholly his own, and as a human being, loved and held in the highest esteem and regard by everyone he met, that in itself an honorable accomplishment of no higher attainment by our two-legged kind.

    To witness him perform became an unforgettable event, as his "grintensity",
    skill and searing, soulful talent enveloped the space in a veil of that altered state that
    we know as the word "entertainment", but with Donnie at the helm, it became much more.

    Those fortunate enough to perform with him onstage will remember a true master
    who almost effortlessly elevated anything offered into a realm rarely attained, nor enjoyed more, as his passion, soul and love for the nuance of Southern music made it more of a tribal-like shamanic experience...an event of great substance and depth that sought and unfailingly found the heart of the tune, and made it into a sacrament drenched in Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Soul and Rock and Roll...and decidedly Donnie McCormick.

    This drummer's drummer, who co-founded Eric Quincy Tate, of the same multi-faceted sound as their contemporaries, the Allman Brothers, always performed in the moment, on the fly, sometimes using the most astounding items randomly within reach as percussive devices.

    Donnie's voice was the nectar of a thousand smoky midnights in dank bars and rooms full of admirers from Bikers to Debutantes, all subject to his almost maniacal grin while assuming the most varied of positions, high-hat and mic in hand and never missing a beat or line. NO one performed anywhere near like Donnie,nor with such a range of accoutrements, such as wooden chicken-coops festooned with all manner of earthly and exotic homage.

    Farewell, my friend of almost four decades, a parting made difficult for those who knew him well, as the size of Donnie's heart was exceeded only by the depth of his soul, and to find and know such a wizard of graciousness and virtue is a rare and precious gift.

    Paul Shoffner
     

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  18. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    You're quite welcome, Stephen. Nice turnout at Northside last night; Donnie surely had many friends and fans. Sorry I didn't get a chance to meet you, but as you know, the room was insanely crowded. I'll try to catch up with you at one of your regular gigs some time.
     
  19. DustyDave

    DustyDave Tele-Holic

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    Wow, I just watched a bunch of the videos. How lucky you guys in Atlanta were to have musicians like this. What a ball of fire Donnie was!
    Positive energy from here to all you guys that are grieving his loss.
     
  20. morroben

    morroben Friend of Leo's

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    Sorry to hear about your friend...sounds like he was a cool guy that had a positive effect on the people that knew him.
     
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