Dr. John’s estate says forthcoming documentary by Dan Auerbach is unauthorised

The Black Keys frontman announced he would be making his directorial debut earlier this month with a documentary about the New Orleans legend

The estate of New Orleans legend Dr. John has issued a statement saying that an upcoming documentary on his life, directed by The Black Keys frontman Dan Orbach, is unauthorized.

  • Read more: Dr. John, 1941-2019 – A Guide to the Confused

Auerbach and Dr. John, who died in 2019, collaborated several times in the last decade of the latter’s life, with Auerbach producing and playing guitar on John’s Grammy Award-winning 2012 album Locked Down.

Earlier this month, Auerbach announced that he would be making his directorial debut with a documentary about the singer-songwriter, in partnership with Radical Media and Impact Artist Productions. But in a new statement, Dr. John’s estate declared that the project is not blessed.


“The Official Estate of Malcolm John Rebenack, Jr., p/k/a Dr. John, clarifies that the estate did not authorize the recently announced documentary on Dr. John’s life to be produced by Impact Artist Productions (and management) ) and radical media,” the statement reads.

“For clarity, Impact Artist Productions does not (and manage) manage or speak for the estate, which has its own team that is, as Mack would say, a gang and half legitimist. The estate thanks Mack’s fans for their support. And assures that the estate will ‘Walk on Gilded Splinters’ to deliver new music and officially authorized documentaries, which will be announced in the right place at the right time.

Announcing the project earlier this month, Auerbach said he was honored to direct the film, describing it as a “true America story.”

“[Dr. John] He was such a unique individual and a shining example of the great melting pot of American music,” he said.

From his mysterious voodoo stage persona Dr. John, to his real, humble self Mac Rebnack – street poet, family man, addict, Grammy Award winner and whatever in between, this documentary will introduce the world to him. The way he saw him never seen before.”

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