Thread: The Band
View Single Post
Old 01-19-2019, 09:06 PM
jseth jseth is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oregon... "Heart of the Valley"...
Posts: 8,770

It is SO good to see the Band getting a lot of love on this site. I know I'm an "old guy", but I'm heartwarmed to think that there are those in this day and age who are hip enough to look back at what I used to describe as "my favorite American band" for some forty years; now I realize that all of 'em except Levon was Canadian!

I wouldn't describe them as any sort of "Beatles"-type band... they never gained much in the way of popularity, never were "stars"... heck, a high percentage of folks in the 60's and 70's didn't even know who they were. As good as the songs and performances were on "The Weight" and "Up On Cripple Creek", they aren't anywhere near the best stuff those guys did, in my opinion.

One reply mentioned that their music still sounds fresh today, yet, at the same time, it sounds old... my first thought was that the songs sounded "old" when they were brand-new! Wherever Robbie was getting his inspiration for those lyrics, he seemed to capture the essence of life in America in a certain period, and he captured it brilliantly!

I still remember seeing a picture of The Band, back in the 60's when I was still a teenager; in stark contrast to all the "pretty" rock stars with high tenor voices and very "hip" accoutrements, THESE guys looked like they'd come over to your house later that night and ROB you! They looked real, and they looked dangerous!

It was fun to read all about the in's and out's of the group in both Levon and Robbie's books, but it was a let-down in many ways... the two books taken together (even just Levon's book alone) brought to mind that old saying, "It takes two to tango". I'm sure there's a lot of truth in those books, and I'm equally sure that a lot of what's there is absolutely from distant perspectives with an obvious agenda to follow.

I was "almost" able to attend The Last Waltz, through a pass from the floor-mounted cameraperson, but it fell through at the last minute... I'm never a fan of going back into a live recording and "cleaning it up"; I'd much rather hear the actual performance for what it was. Oh well... better to have that all documented than not.

I still play out, whenever I find gigs that "work" for me, for what I play... and I don't do but one or two songs by The Beatles...

...but I still play a dozen tunes of The Band's... People should NEVER forget that group, even if they've never heard them before!
"Ollie told me,
about the fork in the road...
you can take to the left
or go straight to the right;
use your days and save your nights.
Careful where you step
and watch what you eat;
sleep with a light and you've got it beat..."

"When You Awake"
(Richard Manuel/J.R.Robertson/)
Reply With Quote