Levon Helm, RIP


Levon Helm—drummer, mandolinist, and frequent singer for the Band—has passed away of cancer at age 71. This was probably his most famous performance…

…or maybe this was…

…but he sang a lot of other great songs as well. Here's a small selection:

The America in these records, writes Charles Pierce, was "the America of the tall tale, the underground history, the renegade, buccaneer country that belongs to all of us. Levon Helm told those stories….He was the true Voice of America, as far as I'm concerned."

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  1. This is classic:
    The only member of the group born in the United States, drummer Levon Helm comes from West Helena, Arkansas, the home of blues harp player Sonny Boy Williamson. “I used to listen to him a lot when I was a kid,” he recalls, “but I think my influences are more general than specific.” Like the other members of the band, Levon had his own rock group in high school. “It was called The Jungle Bush Beaters if you can believe it, but it was a good group.” Richard Manuel is his favorite drummer and Levon doesn’t listen to records. “It gets like TV,” he remarks. “I once watched TV for six whole months. Didn’t do anything else. That’s what happens when you spend your time listening. You end up not playing and that’s all I really want to do.”

    Read more:…..z1sWJPk2UO

  2. I never got to see him sing, but I did get to see him play drums a handful of times in the early ’00s. He was great. Got to meet him after the show once and I have to assume he was one of the nicest rock stars ever, I think he’s the only one I’ve ever talked to. Sad to see him go. I’d add “When I Paint my Masterpiece” to the list of his songs worth checking out.

  3. Love Dylan, but to be honest, I’ve always felt The Band was extremely overrated due to their association. Their heralded “Music from the Big Pink” does nothing for me, maybe like the Allman Brothers with slightly better songwriting. To each his own I guess…R.I.P.

  4. Condolences to his loved ones.

    He will certainly be missed.

  5. Love the song “When I paint my masterpiece”.

  6. The Band might sneak into my top 1000 list, emphasis on “might”, but would easily top my “most overrated” list, emphasis on “easily”.

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