Friday, April 20, 2012

RIP Levon Helm

What a sad day for music. Levon Helm, singer and drummer for the Band, died yesterday in NY of throat cancer. He was 71. 

"He passed away peacefully at 1:30 this afternoon surrounded by his friends and bandmates." Helms friend and bandmate Larry Campbell told Rolling Stone. "All his friends were there, and it seemed like Levon was waiting for them. Ten minutes after they left we sat there and he just faded away. He did it with dignity. It was even two days ago they thought it would happen within hours, but he held on. It seemed like he was Levon up to the end, doing it the way he wanted to do it. He loved us, we loved him". 

Now I have wrote numerous times on this blog the influence the Band has had on my life. I love their music, I love their songs, I love the way the band was. Songs like "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", "Up on Cripple Creek", "Rag Mama Rag", and "The Weight" remain on my all time favorites list. The stamp that Levon has left on this music industry is unmatched. I heard someone once say "no other drummer in music will make you cry like Levon". And that is true. His voice, his demeanor, the way he played and sang those tunes from behind a drum kit is just something that the world will miss. 

I will watch The Last Waltz at least once this weekend. 

Here is one of my favorites from one of his solo albums, that is pretty on point today. 
RIP Levon

"When I Go Away"

Early in the morning, when the church bells toll
The choir's gonna sing, and the hearse will roll
On down to the graveyard, where its cold and gray
And then the sun's gonna shine 
Through the shadows, when I go away

Don't want no sorrow, for this old orphan boy
I don't want no crying, only tears of joy
I'm gonna see my mother, gonna see my father
And I'll be bound for glory
In the morning, when I go away

I'll be lifted up to the clouds, on the wings of angels
There's only flesh and bones, in the ground
Where my troubles stay

See that storm over yonder
Its gonna rain all day
But then the sun's gonna shine
Through the shadows, when I go away

All my kin who love me, all my friends who care
Look beyond the dark clouds, we're gonna meet up there
When they lay me in the cold ground
Bow your heads and pray

And I'll be bound for glory, in the morning
When I go away"

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