The River's Badge

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Levon


I will be the first to admit that I missed the whole "The Band" days.  I sincerely did.

I was semi-conscious of the song, "The Weight", which I always thought was called, "Take a Load Off Annie".

It should have been called that, but it wasn't, because the 1970's were more of an artistic era (in some regions), and song titles didn't necessarily reflect the actual hook of the song, which "take a load off Annie" did.  Kind of a mistake, in hindsight.

I do know (now) that The Band was somehow associated with Bob Dylan, and that's about all I know, frankly.  I could just make up stuff, but you would check my work and find out that I'm just bluffing my way through.

Oh, and I also know that they had a movie made about them, called The Last Waltz.  I saw something on PBS about that.

There are certain eras of music of which I know nothing.

In all honesty, the way I know Levon Helm is from his movies. 



I could quote you a bunch of lines from Coal Miner's Daughter, because I watched that movie about 2,954 times.

Levon Helm did a hell of a job, portraying Loretta's dad in that movie.

I also remember Levon from "The Right Stuff".



That's how I remember Levon Helm.

I also know that Elton John wrote a song called, "Levon":




"When I heard The Band’s Music from Big Pink, their music changed my life. And Levon was a big part of that band. Nigel Olson, my drummer, will tell you that every drummer that heard him was influenced by him. He was the greatest drummer and a wonderful singer and just a part of my life that was magical. They once flew down to see me in Philadelphia and I couldn’t believe it. They were one of the greatest bands of all time. They really changed the face of music when their records came out. I had no idea he was sick so I’m very dismayed and shocked that he died so quickly. But now my son [Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John] has his name.”

If you name your son after Levon, that carries a lot of weight (no pun intended).

Levon Helm seemed to me to be a good guy.

I trust the music historians to encapsulate his life, because I don't know a whole lot, other than his movie roles.

I think I do recognize, however, that he influenced a lot of artists.  And, to me, he was one of those iconic voices, and actors.

I may have missed the era, but I still (do) know this:

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