googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: Levon Helm Of The Band

Levon Helm Of The Band

Last week Levon Helm of The Band died. The Band were a hugely influential band of the Sixties that Eric Clapton said inspired him to quit Cream after he heard their first album. I think what Clapton heard in The Band was the white man’s version of roots music. Clapton was a blues purist but he realized that the Blues came from rural black society and as a white Englishman he could only pretend but The Band’s music was reminiscent of rural white society of about the same time frame as the birth of the Blues.

Called ‘Old Timey Music’ or the current term, ‘Americana’, the folk music of the white poor of Appalachia of the late nineteenth Century / early Twentieth Century had the same feeling and attitude as that of the Southern black blues and a lot of both American and English musicians instantly felt a kinship to it. It was, of course, reinterpreted through the filter of Rock & Roll as was a lot of other musical styles such as Jazz (by the Zombies), Country (Flying Burrito Brothers) and Classical (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) and made into pop/rock hits while still maintaining an aire of authenticity in songs such as The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.

Elton John has said that The Band’s Music From Big Pink album inspired him to record his Tumbleweed Connection album and many young pop and folk artists of today site The Band as a major influence.

Levon Helm’s death from cancer means that three fifths of The Band are no longer available for a band reunion. Although their image was one of old fashion styles and mores, none seemed the typical Rock Star type, they are now perhaps the most decimated of the Sixties bands. If the sex, drugs and rock and roll don’t get you time eventually will. Rest in peace, Levon.

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