Levon Helm remembers The Last Waltz
Here’s a little insight on what went down between Robbie Robertson and Levon leading up to The Last Waltz and what transpired on that historic night in 1976. Click here to read his take from 1994.
SOME TIME in September 1976 we got word that Robbie Robertson and our management wanted to put it away. Robbie had had enough, and they decided to kill The Band and go out with a bang. I thought it might be a joke, but Robertson was dead serious. In fact, they had a plan. Robbie wanted us to play a farewell show in San Francisco, where it all started for us, around Thanksgiving. He wanted everyone we’d played with along the way – from Ronnie Hawkins to Bob Dylan – to perform, but without their own musicians. We would be the back-up band for our guests. They were already lining people up: Muddy Waters, Paul Butterfield, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Ringo, Eric Clapton, Allen Toussaint. It was gonna be the concert of the century, maybe the show to end the whole so-called rock era. That’s what they told me, anyway. (more…)