Hope to see you soon,
God bless Levon Helm. As a young teen in the early 70s, my “holy trinity” was the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, and The Band. These three bands represent the best of Americana music. I was lucky enough to see The Band a few times before they split up in 1976 and quite a few times when they reformed without Robbie Robertson in the 80s. I even had the great honor of opening for them with my old band, The Volunteers in the early 80s. I got to meet them all and they were all a little strange but very friendly. I remember Levon making some obscure baseball metaphor that went right over me head! There was always something so soulful and right in both Levon’s drumming and his singing and he had that infectious smile and energy that came across in any theater or coliseum you happened to be in. I also was fortunate enough to see him play in a small bar on Long Island called My Father’s Place with a line-up called Levon Helm and the RCO All-stars, featuring Dr. John, Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, Fred Carter Jr., and the Howard Johnson Horns. God, they blew the roof off that joint!
My last recollection of seeing Levon was from side stage at the Gathering of the Vibes a couple of years ago. He wasn’t able to sing at the time, but his powerhouse drumming and warm, positive vibe were the heart and soul of that great set. It really broke my heart to hear of his passing yesterday. His music has meant so much to me over the years. I’m really going to miss him.