Tuesday, December 6, 2016

WKRLEM: Levon Rules......Robbie drools

Fans upset Robbie Robertson bashes former bandmate in book

New Post Page Six By Richard Johnson December 6, 2016

Fans of The Band are disappointed that Robbie Robertson diminishes his late bandmate Levon Helm in his new memoir, “Testimony.”
Helm — whose drumming and country-flavored vocals were featured in “The Weight,” “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” — died of cancer in 2012.
His widow Sandy and daughter, Amy, have kept mum, but family friend Barbara Jacobs told me that there is no reason Robertson had to quote Helm’s father using the N-word at his dinner table in Arkansas or to quote Levon sounding anti-Semitic,

In the mid-1960s, when they were playing backup for Bob Dylan, and folk purists were booing Dylan’s switch from acoustic to electric, Robertson quotes Helm, on page 196, as saying: “I don’t like this damn music. I don’t trust Albert Grossman and these people. And I don’t wanna be around Bob Dylan and all these New York [Jews] . . .” Robertson left the band in 1977, but Helm continued touring with the on-again, off-again group through 1999.
Robertson describes his deathbed visit to a comatose Helm at Sloan-Kettering, but Jacobs wonders why he came empty-handed: “At least he could have brought a box of assorted Danish and cookies, for the nurses’ station.”


Sixty Grit said...

I recently watched "Ain't In It For My Health", a movie about Levon Helm's last days. Powerful stuff. He had bad blood with Robertson going back decades, as near as I can tell, about writing credits for songs they did back in the 1960s.

I tend to side with Levon over Robertson, although I don't know whether that quote was accurate or not - that's not something I would say, but Levon was older and from farther south than I am, so who knows, maybe he did say that.

Clearly the whole lot of them enjoyed intoxicants of all sorts - even after being diagnosed with throat cancer Levon continued to smoke cigarettes and all kinds of things. As I said about Johnny Carson, I have a problem with people who throw their health away for what seems to me to be a stupid reason - smoking.

From my perspective I have to drive north to get to Danville, but The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down is still a song about a local story.

Amartel said...

Old rockers hashing out ancient disputes in their biographies. It's entertaining. The Stones have been doing this for years. To their credit, they didn't wait until the other guy DIED and couldn't fight back. Dayum! Not exactly a profile in courage there, Robbie. Also, I take the comments about Jews and his old man spouting off at the dinner table with a grain of salt, given the source, and as background; necessarily representative of actual beliefs.

Amartel said...

NOT necessarily representative

Trooper York said...

I am partial to Levon my own self.

Robbie always gave off that pajama boy vibe even before there was a pajama boy.

Although the "Storyville" Album is pretty good.

Sixty Grit said...

I am rewatching AIIFMH and there are some good stories in that movie.

A Brit, when talking about the 1960s used a phrase that would annoy Chip Ahoy no end - he said that among other things there was something called "Flaah paah".

Come to think of it, I find that annoying, too.