One of my favorite musicians ever died today at the age of 71. I happen to play two songs with him singing and playing today. I do that most days because they are on my gym tape.1
Levon was a member of The Band, but he was also in The Hawks (with Ronnie Hawkins) and worked on his own. The early proto-band was Dylan’s backing band. Levon is not the first member of The Band to die.
Here’s a couple of items to remember him by:
Turn your volume up. Here’s Levon playing the drums and singing. This is from the concert movie and album The Last Waltz, though it was not part of the concert:
and, unembedable but linked to, is the onstage performance from the Last Waltz of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”.
And heres’ “Ophelia”:
And finally, “Up on Cripple Creek”
Levon Helm, heading back to his big mama for the final time.
1I know, I know, it’s not a tape. Not even a Walkman.