Sunday, April 22, 2012


I've been meaning to note what everyone already knows now for days, that Levon Helm has passed.

He seemed like a really decent man, though I didn't know him personally. I saw THE BAND, thanks to my old friend Willy ("Alameda Tom") as I remember it in 1969 in Virginia. And in my Hollywood years I ran into Robbie Robertson several times and he always was friendly and at ease with me in ways a lot of "stars" out there seemed to have a hard time being.

I have the feeling I maybe met Helm once at a party around the time he played Sissie Spacek's father in COALMINER'S DAUGHTER even though they were about the same age. He was the kind of guy you just had respect for instantly, music-wise, acting-wise, human-wise. He radiated a kind of quiet integrity and dignity not that common in the world of "rock" music, though The Band's music could never really be categorized.

It's almost too obvious to say he will be missed.

Here's two videos of Helm playing and singing with The Band, the first in 1969, the second '70.


Miles said...

That opening groove on Cripple Creek is about my favorite kind of music there is, and Levon sang while laying that beat down! Crazy.

May he rest in peace

Lally said...

I was thinking the same thing when I saw it.

Robert Berner said...

Yo, yeah that opening groove cooks. And it also sounds very reminiscent of a John Fogerty lick from Willi and the Poor Boys. Good stuff. And The Weight is still one of the best tunes from that era.
Bob B.