Photo by Dino Perrucci
Last week, The Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach announced his directorial debut, a documentary on New Orleans’ musical goliath and icon Dr. John. Now, the estate of Dr. John is refuting those claims stating that they have not authorized the prospective project.
The estate made clear in a statement that Impact Artist Productions, who announced the project, “does not manage or speak for the Estate, which has its own team with, as Mac would say, ‘a gang and a half of legalizers.’” They also thanked Dr. John fans, “for their support and assures that the Estate will ‘Walk On Guilded Splinters’ to deliver new music and an officially authorized documentary, to be announced In The Right Place at the right time.”
In the initial announcement of the Untitled Dr. John Project Auerbach said, “I’m thrilled to be partnering with RadicalMedia and Impact Artist Productions to try my hand at directing a documentary feature for the first time and I’m honored to have the subject be my friend Dr. John. He was such a unique individual and a shining example of the great melting pot of American music. From his mysterious voodoo stage persona Dr. John to his real, humble self Mac Rebannack- the street poet, the family man, the junkie, the Grammy award winner and all that’s in between, this documentary will introduce the world to him in a way they haven’t seen him before. I’m still learning bits about him that I never knew, and I hope the movie provides a lens into the story of the life of Dr. John.”
Previously, Auerbach acted as the producer of Dr. John’s album Locked Down which was named number 15 on Rolling Stone’s list of the top 50 albums of 2012.
Dr. John died in June 2019 at the age of 77. The Night Tripper remains one of the most unique voices to ever come out of New Orleans, his style and character only overshadowed by his tremendous talent.
Dr. John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, and his final live performance was, appropriately, at the 2017 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.