Skip to comments.Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon
Posted on 04/19/2012 2:54:43 PM PDT by Elle Bee
May 26, 1940 ~ April 19, 2012
Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon. He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul.
Awesome choice. Thanks!
Levon Helm and The Band greatly influenced my life.
Thank you Levon-RIP
Imus and Levon were close friends. He was often on Don’s TV program performing live and he had songs on Imus’ two collections albums.
Right before news about Levon....whom my boy did know of largely due to TNTDODD
Eddie....a lock for any underrated guitarist list
I saw him play one night from 20 feet away...amazing
Helps when Dickie Betts is your childhood tutor and gives you Duane's Strat
Black tar...always thunders
I would otherwise have never been made aware of the travesty
Although it's an obscure little flick, his depiction of General Hood was simultaneously subdued, eloquent, powerful and absolutely mesmerizing. RIP Levon.
Loved that movie! Helm as General Hood was indeed haunting and powerful. Tommy Lee Jones was, as always, in top form.
RIP Mr Helm....looking forward to the tribute Drumbo!
Yet in what is now a storied pattern from the early days of the music business, camaraderie crumbled amid fame. Robbie Robertson, The Bands lead guitarist, joined with the bands management to persuade the others to sign away their individual publishing rights, which in todays era of multiplatform media are considered the pension plans of the music industry. They ensure artists later income when the songs receive renewed life in movies, television, and beyond.
In his autobiography This Wheels On Fire, Helm describes seeing a copy of the 1969 album The Band and noticing he was credited for writing only half of one song, with Mr. Robertson credited on all 12.
Someone had pencil-whipped us. It was an old tactic: divide and conquer, he writes.
Things got worse in 1978 when director Martin Scorsese, who collaborated with Robertson on the film The Last Waltz, reinforced what Helm said was a false narrative that Robertson was somehow the bands auteur.
The long-term damage had been done by the time Helm reunited with his bandmates minus Robertson in the 1980s. Despite their acclaimed musicianship, the group was relegated to the oldies circuit and money did not come steadily. Mr. Manuel hung himself in a hotel room while on tour in 1986. Helm pulled his body down and never fully recovered.
Mr. Danko died 12 years later, suffering various health complications. A month before Dankos death, I watched him play to a half-empty Chicago-area music room. While his signature voice remained angelic, he looked tired and seemingly not deserving of such meager surroundings considering the hugely influential body of work he created with The Band.
In his book, Helm blamed Robertson and his former business partners for Dankos condition. If Ricks money wasnt in their pockets, I dont think Rick would have died because Rick worked himself to death. He wasnt that old and he wasnt that sick. He just worked himself to death. And the reason Rick had to work all the time was because hed been [expletive] out of his money.
At Helms home, I noticed two lit candles on a shelf. Helm later told me they were in memory of Danko and Manuel.
We got some good spirits with us every day, he said.
In a statement Friday, Mr. Dylan called Helm "one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation."