NEW ORLEANS – Visiting his home for the first time since he was rescued from rising floodwaters in a boat, Fats Domino (search) found his piano overturned among mud and debris and his house in ruins.
Despite the destruction, the 77-year-old legendary musician found a few bright spots during last week's tour, arranged by WWL-TV: (search) a favorite shirt that survived unblemished and a bust that made it through the storm unbroken.
Those were the exceptions. His electric keyboard sat against a wall covered in dried mud, mildew and mold, and his white grand piano was overturned, broken and stained with the filth that flowed into the Lower Ninth Ward (search) along with the floodwaters.
The water reached well over 8 feet, brushing the bottoms of chandeliers inside the home, WWL-TV reported.
Domino's fate was not publicly known for several days after the Hurricane Katrina-spawned floods hit the low-lying neighborhood. He was rescued in a boat along with other family members from an upper-floor balcony.
The side of the balcony was spray-painted with a premature farewell when it was feared Domino had not survived. "R.I.P. Fats. You will be missed."
Domino's house was a mansion of pink, yellow and lavender decorated with such touches as his "Cadillac couch," resembling the rear of a 1950s car. The room was left in shambles.