Fats Domino Returns to New Orleans Home

Fats Domino Returns to New Orleans Home
STEVE POPE/EPA/Landov

10/17/2005 AT 08:15 AM EDT

"Blueberry Hill" rock pioneer Fats Domino, who was missing for days after Hurricane Katrina, returned to his New Orleans home on Saturday to salvage some of his gold records – now covered in mud.

He also had a good laugh at the tributes worried fans had spray-painted on his house after assuming he had died in the storm.

"There was a big 'Rest in Peace' on my balcony on the other house," said the rock legend, 77, sporting a white captain's hat, gold chain and black galoshes, reports Reuters. "I'm still here, thank God. I'm alive and kicking."

Domino's house "did pretty good," considering the devastation of the surrounding Ninth Ward, he said, also revealing that two of his pianos in a bigger, adjoining house were ruined.

Domino, perhaps the most famous of Katrina's evacuees, had been in Texas with his family after the disaster and floods. They are now staying at a hotel in New Orleans, because he wants to be close to the neighborhood where he was born while it rebuilds.

"I don't know what to do, move somewhere else or something," Domino said. "But I like it down here."

Meanwhile, the clean up continues. Also found: some of Domino's jewelry, including a gold ring, in one of his houses. A picture of Domino with Elvis Presley was inside, but it was "too messed up, we couldn't salvage it," said Domino's son-in-law, Charles Brimmer.

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