I haven't posted in this space for quite some time but this seemed just as good as any time....RIP Levon
I was lucky enough to see Levon Helm perform numerous times over the years and even had the opportunity to interview him once at a Ramble. He was a true witness to rock history--one of the few people who was
around went folk went electric and still felt just as relevant when jam went indie--but he still thought of himself as a sideman. I’ll never forget the first time I saw him play in high school... before I even had my driver’s license: I went to see the Counting Crows play at SPAC, and the Wallflowers opened on their first tour (coincidentally it was also my first time in Saratoga Springs where I’d eventually go to school and truly learn to love rootsy music). At the end of this set, Jakob Dylan brought out Levon Helm to sing and play mandolin on a
Dylan song, which was also something of a rarity for the Wallflowers at that time. This was before Levon has been diagnosed with cancer and certainly before he launched one of the most successful comebacks in
recent rock history so I really didn’t know who he was—he just seemed to come down from the mountain and change the whole feel of the night, which feels like the perfect way to experience him for the first time.
I think that was also the first time my Dad and I really agreed on music. Levon was the last true resident of Woodstock…