Levon Helm

April 20, 2012 at 8:39 PM | Posted in Music, The World of Yesterday | 2 Comments
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How do you live the rest of you life when, in your first major foray, you’ve shook the world? Jim Morrison couldn’t.

1968 - what a year!

When Music from Big Pink from The Band came out, we were stunned as we were with the Doors first album . The Beatles and Stones came to us in singles and we could, though enraptured, digest them. But not when Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm showed up. No, that album, unmatched, was a cataclysm.

The Band didn’t play much and I only saw them in their time as the Black Hawks and backing Dylan. Back in those days I saw everyone except the Beatles. My memory is a personal one. I remember being in the living room of a good friend of mine, Danny Gaffney, a friend who I’ve lost touch with, and arguing over which song was the greatest, The Weight, or my choice: I Shall be Released. I was right but what would I give to have a beer with him now as we did in the old days.

Levon Helm, as I’m sure you know, just died.


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  1. Sigh. My first real memories of real music started a year later with “Lay Lady Lay” and Abby Road. I narrowly missed the true wonder years.

  2. I Shall Be Released by The Band is a great favorite of mine. Listen to Helm’s drumming, little compact rolls. Simply beautiful.

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