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Fri Apr 20, 2012, 01:53 PM

Bob Dylan and Bernie Taupin respond to Levon Helm's death

Bob Dylan, who recruited Levon Helm and The Hawks to be his backup players, turning them into The Band, responded Friday morning with a statement following Helm's passing:

"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."

The message was posted on Dylan's official web site.

Dylan brought Helm and his band to Woodstock around 1966 after the singer suffered a motorcycle accident in Ulster County. While recovering, Dylan and the newly christened The Band rehearsed songs that became "The Basement Tapes," while The Band developed material that became its debut album, "Music From Big Pink."

Dylan and The Band would hook up around 1974 for a run of albums and a tour, "Bob Dylan and The Band."


Bernie Taupin, Elton John's songwriter and the band who penned the tune "Levon" (named after Helm), wrote this remembrance on his website:

"The first time I heard Levon Helm's voice was in a small record shop on Berwick Street in Soho London sometime around 1969. What was it like? Paul on the road to Damascus!

"Oh, I guess I just want to say all these things about the earth and granite of his being, the raw Appalachian timber of his voice and the powerful sway of his backbeat. The throb of his tom-toms the first time I heard 'Tears Of Rage' and that wicked, knowing smile recounting tales of Carney barkers and backwater medicine shows. I'm thinking about him behind that economical kit, the way he hunched his shoulders and turned into the mike like a coiled spring when he sang.

"He was one of three great singers in The Band, three of the greatest singers in any band, and the last of those three to leave us. What other band under God's great Heaven gave us a trio of such eloquent and awesome sonic tools? Richard Manuel had an otherworldly voice, ethereal and legitimately spooky in the best way possible. Rick Danko, with whom I spent some questionably manic moments and cerebral hours and whom I loved dearly, sang like an unfettered young buck, all tremulous beauty and with poignant longing. Anyone doubting this just listen to his vocal on 'It Makes No Difference' from the 'The Last Waltz' soundtrack, one of the best live vocal performances I've ever heard."

Read more here:


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Reply Bob Dylan and Bernie Taupin respond to Levon Helm's death (Original post)
bathroommonkey76 Apr 2012 OP
On the Road Apr 2012 #1
HangOnKids Apr 2012 #2
kentuck Apr 2012 #3

Response to bathroommonkey76 (Original post)

Fri Apr 20, 2012, 05:01 PM

1. I Had Absolutely No Idea "Levon" Was Named After Levon Helm

It just seemed like too much of a stretch to think so. Can't really see a connection to the song other than just the name.

It's always a surprise to find fans of American roots music, so to speak, in England or the rest of Europe. But that music may even have a higher stature across the pond since it seems commonplace to many Americans but exotic and authentic to people overseas. (Look at Hugh Laurie's fascination with New Orleans.)

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Response to bathroommonkey76 (Original post)

Fri Apr 20, 2012, 05:03 PM

2. The World Is Less Today


Levon has sailed.

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Response to bathroommonkey76 (Original post)

Fri Apr 20, 2012, 05:08 PM

3. Thanks for this info and link....

Good to hear Dylan speak about him...

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