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.

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1I know, I know, it’s not a tape. Not even a Walkman.

Comments

  1. #1 podunkmo
    April 19, 2012

    Sadly Levon is not the first. Rick Danko and Richard Manuel are gone well before Levon. They are all missed by me.

  2. #2 podunkmo
    April 19, 2012

    Sorry, I just re-read your post and you wrote “…is not the first to die.” Major fail on my part. Thanks for your blog and sentiments.

    Rag Momma Rag.

  3. #3 Eric the Leaf
    April 19, 2012

    I remember in high school thinking Music From Big Pink was just about the most incredible album I’d ever heard. Then the second album came out and here were these guys looking like they’d dropped in from the 19th Century and the music took me places I wanted to be. Then there was Stage Fright and I thought, really? Daniel and the Sacred Harp? What exactly IS that music? How do they do that? I saw The Band many times and Levon Helm in New Orleans. RIP Levon Helm.