Levon Helm was one heckuva multi-tasker, he was the drummer AND vocalist for the seminal rock group, The Band. Yesterday, Levon died after a 14 year battle with throat cancer, he was 71.
The Band was responsible for hits such as “Up on Cripple Creek,” “The Shape I’m in,” “Ophelia,” and of course, Robbie Robertson written, “The Weight.”
Mark Lavon ”Levon” Helms and his distinctive tinny tenor, thankfully is forever immortalized in the 1978 Martin Scorsese documentary, “The Last Waltz,” a film that captured the Band’s final star-studded 1976 farewell concert (If you haven’t seen this movie, remedy that ASAP.)
Levon’s friend and sometime collaborator, Bob Dylan had the following to say in response to Helm’s Death:
“He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation. This is just so sad to talk about. I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him. We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I’m going to miss him, as I’m sure a whole lot of others will too.”
Rest In Peace, you beautiful man.
Here’s Levon singing his most famous Band hit, “The Weight,” during Scorcese’s “The Last Waltz.”
Personal Tidbit: The Band’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” is one of my favorite songs, ever. Matter of fact, I begin every swim by listening to it (and have done so for years.) 100% chance if you see me in the pool, I stretched and warmed up to this song.