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657809 Posts in 9259 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 50 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: Raise your glass to Levon Helm  (Read 1675 times)
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davy
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Posts: 24822


« on: Apr 18, 2012, 09:50:42 AM »



Quote
Dear Friends,

Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.

Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration... he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage...

We appreciate all the love and support and concern.
From his daughter Amy, and wife Sandy

http://theband.hiof.no/

Gettin' all choked up this morning. One of my favorites.


[Update: He passed away today, April 19, in Manhattan.]
« Last Edit: Apr 19, 2012, 08:08:40 PM by davy » Logged

The drummer IS the foundation, p3wn.
davy
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Posts: 24822


« Reply #1 on: Apr 18, 2012, 09:53:15 AM »

Billboard's write-up:

http://www.billboard.com/news/levon-helm-in-final-stages-of-cancer-1006790752.story#/news/levon-helm-in-final-stages-of-cancer-1006790752.story
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The drummer IS the foundation, p3wn.
davy
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Posts: 24822


« Reply #2 on: Apr 19, 2012, 08:07:44 PM »

The NY Times came through with a fantastic obituary (including drumtalk!): http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/20/arts/music/levon-helm-drummer-and-singer-dies-at-71.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&src=ig

Quote
Mr. Helm gave his drums a muffled, bottom-heavy sound that placed them in the foundation of the arrangements, and his tom-toms were tuned so that their pitch would bend downward as the tone faded. But his playing didn’t call attention to himself. Three bass-drum thumps at the beginning of one of the Band’s anthems, “The Weight,“ were all that he needed to establish the song’s gravity. His playing served the song. In “The Shape I’m In," he juxtaposed Memphis soul, New Orleans rumba and military tattoo. But though it was tersely responsive to the music, the drumming also had an improvisational feel.

In the Band, lead vocals changed from song to song and sometimes within songs, and harmonies were elaborately communal. But particularly when lyrics turned to myths and tall tales of the American South — like “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Ophelia” and “Rag Mama Rag” — the lead went to Mr. Helm, with his Arkansas twang and a voice that could sound desperate, ornery and amused at the same time.
« Last Edit: Apr 19, 2012, 08:36:38 PM by davy » Logged

The drummer IS the foundation, p3wn.
fishjim
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Posts: 1982


« Reply #3 on: Apr 19, 2012, 08:19:42 PM »

I never knew he was the father in Coalminer's Daughter!
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Thermofusion
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Posts: 10000


« Reply #4 on: Apr 19, 2012, 08:46:25 PM »

RIP! Always loved his voice and "Up On Cripple Creek" is one of my favorite songs ever.
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triple paisley minimum
davy
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Posts: 24822


« Reply #5 on: Apr 19, 2012, 08:57:41 PM »

One of my favorite songs too, even if it was only for the drumming (the fill at 3:00 is an excellent 2-second representation of his entire career, so much with so little). The fact that he was responsible for both the drumming and the lead vocal...just amazing.
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The drummer IS the foundation, p3wn.
Thermofusion
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Posts: 10000


« Reply #6 on: Apr 19, 2012, 09:04:20 PM »

Yeah his drumming is fantastic on that one! The song just gets groovier as it goes on. Big props also to Garth Hudson's alternating wah-wah clavi on the verses and bright singing organ on the choruses. Funky as hell.
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triple paisley minimum
davy
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Posts: 24822


« Reply #7 on: Apr 19, 2012, 09:20:15 PM »

Hudson's a master himself. He was the guest star-organist on my favorite album of 2010, Doug Paisley's Constant Companion, and to say "he's still got it" would be an insult. Exquisite playing.
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The drummer IS the foundation, p3wn.
coldforge
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Posts: 11924


« Reply #8 on: Apr 19, 2012, 09:47:13 PM »

Band practice didn't come through tonight, so I put on my headphones and jammed to Band tunes from Youtube for an hour and a half. Man.
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č l'era del terzo mondo.
The_Tourist
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Posts: 2951


« Reply #9 on: Apr 19, 2012, 10:52:59 PM »

gonna put the last waltz up on the living room projector tonight. will definitely play it at high volume as it requests.
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Babar
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Posts: 3305


« Reply #10 on: Apr 20, 2012, 05:53:22 AM »

As good an opportunity as any to finally check out Scorsese's The Last Waltz.
« Last Edit: Apr 20, 2012, 06:00:43 AM by Babar » Logged

Oh man, I'm gonna have cause to regret this post. I know it.
coldforge
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Posts: 11924


« Reply #11 on: Apr 20, 2012, 09:33:17 AM »

Man, I have to say—after looping both the album cuts and the Last Waltz versions of a lot of the tracks I was playing to last night, I strongly dislike the Last Waltz renditions. It's a fantastic movie, but part of what makes it great is how depressing so much of the music is.
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č l'era del terzo mondo.
davy
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Posts: 24822


« Reply #12 on: Apr 20, 2012, 10:46:46 AM »

My favorite part of that movie is Neil Diamond's cameo.
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The drummer IS the foundation, p3wn.
fishjim
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Posts: 1982


« Reply #13 on: Apr 20, 2012, 11:07:01 AM »

Gotta say, I agree with Helm about Robertson's showboating in Last Waltz.
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Just wandering the countryside clearing caves.
davy
Registered user

Posts: 24822


« Reply #14 on: Apr 20, 2012, 11:16:24 AM »

That's why Levon was everybody's favorite, though. He was the crucial member, songwriter or not, and he never acted like it. I guess somebody had to play the rockstar.
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The drummer IS the foundation, p3wn.
Thermofusion
Registered user

Posts: 10000


« Reply #15 on: Apr 20, 2012, 03:06:44 PM »

I think I've decided that "When I Paint My Masterpiece" is my favorite Levon Helm vocal performance.
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triple paisley minimum
monkeypants
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Posts: 694


« Reply #16 on: Apr 20, 2012, 09:07:18 PM »

So glad I got to see him a couple years ago.  I almost didn't go because the ticket price was a bit higher that what I'd usually pay for a show, but it was wholly wonderful and I'm so glad I didn't miss my chance.  Listening to "Music From Big Pink" right now (on vinyl.)
« Last Edit: Apr 20, 2012, 09:10:36 PM by monkeypants » Logged

shitcakes drizzled with mediocrity syrup
davy
Registered user

Posts: 24822


« Reply #17 on: Jun 01, 2012, 03:11:12 PM »

I'm geeking out on Megafaun today and was browsing through their website when I came upon this touching tribute to Levon Helm: 

Quote from: Joe Westurland
I could write a book about the influence this man has had on my life, and our life as a band. The unmistakable feel he placed in a groove, the subtle flourishes he pulled out of that dry snare drum, the earthy quality and raw power of his voice, his epic charisma as a performer; they’re all aspects of his music that have been transformed into goals within our own musical practice, and are simultaneously things he will be remembered for forever.  However, the influence of his character has been just as deep for us.   He set an example as a humble leader, and an endlessly appreciative member of a group of musical giants.  He also outwardly expressed an attitude that seemed unique to rock music: a shameless acceptance and appreciation for the traditions and generations that preceded him.


Though none of us ever had the chance to meet him or play music with him, we’ve absorbed so much of his character through countless interviews, concert videos, documentaries, books and his amazing autobiography.  He truly was the leader of The Band.  He expressed genuine care and appreciation for his fellow band mates, and viewed each one’s contributions as an equally vital part of the engine.  This is an attitude we have held close to our hearts over the last 6 years of this band, and made it our guiding light. 


Like many people of my generation, I was introduced to Levon Helm’s music by my parents at an age in which I wasn’t so concerned with measuring art by its cultural significance.  I was very much taken by the popular music of the 90s, which provided a divide typically longed for by every adolescent; a break from from my parents’ influence on my social and aesthetic interests.  The music of The Band was the opposite.  Embedded within their music, lyrics and album artwork were countless nods to tradition, history and a shameless display of ancestral awareness.  It was specifically Levon that shattered my family’s own generational wall with his performance of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” from the Last Waltz, as we were gathered in the living room for movie night. Its hard to put one’s finger on exactly what it was about Levon that made him able to reach over the generation gap and grab each of my siblings and I by the ear.  That’s simply the power this man possessed, and the gift he shared with the world.


Levon Helm was well beyond just being our favorite member of The Band, or our favorite singing drummer, or the first musician that ever planted the possibility of doing both in my mind.  He was, and continues to be, the most important American cultural icon.  He represented something that each member of my family was able to share together, at any given stage in life.  Whether he meant to or not, he gave us an understanding of who we were and where we’d come from, and reminded us of the importance of community, family and friendship.  May his music and his legacy continue to ripple through future generations for decades to come.  Thank you Levon.
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The drummer IS the foundation, p3wn.
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