Thursday, April 19, 2012
It is with great sadness that I report the death of Levon Helm, the drummer and main singer of the Band.
I saw The Band several times. I remember so well the first time- I had never in my life seen a group play with such force and precision. I was so mesmerized that I found my way down in front of the stage with a couple of hundred other people, when Bill Graham came crawling out from under the stage and, half crankily, half in amusement, chased us back to our seats. I had never seen Graham before, and that was almost as stunning as the music. People who missed the Band in their heyday missed one of the great rock experiences of all time.
I gave away my tickets to the Last Waltz to go to see the Meters. I know I got the better musical performance of the night, but I've always regretted it.
The band had already seen two members fall before today, and Levon Helm is the third. I guess this is just one more of the great experiences of past music that has now fallen into oblivion, along with Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles and so many more. When, oh, when will musicians of that stature start to appear to replace them?