Thread: The Band
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:37 PM
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raysachs raysachs is offline
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In the summer of 1975, I was living in a tent in the middle of nowhere, West Virginia, helping my brother build a cabin on a 15 acre piece of land he owned. I was 16, he was 28, and he’d always been a hero to me before that summer. We’re really close to this day, but by the end of that summer, I couldn’t stand him. He also had almost no musical taste that I could relate to. We had one little portable cassette player and a bunch of his tapes that I found basically unlistenable. The exception was one tape with the first CSN album on one side and The Band, by The Band on the other. No Stones, no Hendrix, no Clapton, just CSN and the Band.

I wore that tape out that summer. I already liked CSN well enough going into that summer, but I came out of it madly in love with the music of the Band, a love affair that continues to this day. A year and a half later they played their last concert at Winterland (go find the movie, The Last Waltz), a show I almost managed to be at. They made absolutely timeless American music, kind or rockin, kind of funky, kind of hillbilly. Brilliantly written, performed, recorded, their first two albums are among the greatest albums of the rock era. Music From Big Pink was the first, The Band was the second. They made a few good ones after that, but none that ever came close to those first two IMHO. Three of the five of them are gone now - I missed them in their original configuration, but I saw each of them in various arrangements over the years. All of them were great players, three of them were great singers too. Well worth going back and spending some time with...

My brother and I still have almost no musical taste in common, but I’ll always be grateful to him for turning me onto The Band. That cabin is still there, somewhat added onto over the years - we’ve had some great large family Thanksgivings there over the years...

-Ray
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