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The Band Guestbook, December 1999

Below are the entries in the Band guestbook from December 13 1999.

Rick Danko died on the morning of December 10.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 23:59:27 CET 1999 from (

E. Martinstadter

From: Philadelphia

My deepest sympathies to all Rick Danko's family and friends. I was greatly saddened. His music meant so much to me. He won't be forgotten.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 23:53:31 CET 1999 from (

steve thomas

From: Philadelphia, PA

You're the best, Rick. I'm trying not to be sad. st ps.—A note to Rick's friend, whom we sat with at the front table at the Tin Angel in Philly Nov. 6. If you're reading this, please email me. I am sorry for your loss. But thanks for waving us into the RV to meet Rick. I'll never forget it.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 23:49:45 CET 1999 from (

Bobby Matulina

From: Boston

Missing Rick and that good ol' music.Have many fond memories from the foxboro show ( have signed c.d.) to a personalized drawing on a cocktail napkin from Rick.I just turned the big 50 and can't believe I'll never hear that voice again. I guess they needed a bass player that could carry the high harmonies. Peace and love Bobby

Posted on Mon Dec 13 23:41:56 CET 1999 from (

J Ryan

From: Troy, NY

Sad to hear of Ricks passing. My deepest sympathy to the family. Woodstock is loosing one that makes Woodstock Woodstock. Jay

Posted on Mon Dec 13 23:41:16 CET 1999 from (


From: NYC

Gonna Miss You Rick!!! i'm glad i had the honors of seeing him perform intimately twice, and got to meet him once. my heart goes out to all of us fans. the single most greatest musical inspiration on me was the BAND. i'll always have that...................

Posted on Mon Dec 13 23:38:22 CET 1999 from (

Dave Demsey

From: Oakmont PA. U.S.A.

This is the greatest rock group of all times Rick your music will never be forgotten

Posted on Mon Dec 13 23:28:08 CET 1999 from (

Joseph Lyle

From: Baldwin, NY

So sad to here of Rick Danko's passing. The music of THE BAND has always been very special to me. It is unique and timeless. May God's Love shine on Rick and may his family find strength in knowing he was loved by so many.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 22:58:51 CET 1999 from (

Franz van Dijk

From: The Netherlands

30 years ago I cried when I heard him sing: now I'm crying for the second time. rick what I would give to hear you play right alongside with Richard Manuel, Jimmy, Janis, Jim and all the others

Posted on Mon Dec 13 22:55:27 CET 1999 from (

john mcclusky

From: birmingham

Saddened to hear about Rick, guys. Regards to you all. I'll always remember taking Rick to Wal-Mart in Fayetteville (Tyson's birthday) for him to find some cheap reading glasses; we laughed about turning fifty. We'll miss him. PS: RB, call me.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 23:11:54 CET 1999 from (

Martin Brandt

From: San Jose

A world without Rick Danko is that much less sweet and beautiful.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 22:54:42 CET 1999 from (

Mike Bodayle

From: Franklin, TN

Spent the weekend celebrating the music of Rick Danko. The great memories of seeing him with the Band and solo will be with me forever. It's hard to accept the fact that I'll never get to see him perform again. His family will be in my prayers! Hope he and Richard Manual are having a good time together!

Posted on Mon Dec 13 22:49:17 CET 1999 from (


From: ny

Posted on Mon Dec 13 22:31:14 CET 1999 from (

Dan Ubick

From: Los Angeles,CA

My friend Bryan told me yesterday about the passing of Rick Danko...what a loss. Being a bit of a music snob, I was completely blown away the first time I heard "Songs From Big Pink" and "the Band". Never has a group made me so completely happy that music exists. Real soul music. Of course Rick Danko had a profound part of that soul. His voice, his songwriting and of course, his bass playing. One never needs to hear the bass again after hearing the funky simplicity of "King Harvest", "the Shape I'm In" or "Life is A Carnival', the melodic restraint on "Tears Of Rage" or "When You Awake". Today I cried for a man I never met. Your music is a part of me always...thank you Rick.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 22:29:02 CET 1999 from (


From: Kansas

I want to extend my condolences to Mr. Danko's family. I am truly saddened by the news of his death. It is still a shock to me and I keep expecting to hear that the reports of his death were a mistake. A piece of American music has also died. Thank god that his memory and amazing talents will live on through his beautiful music. I'll listen to "Big Pink" when I get home tonight, and I won't be surprised if the tears flow. God bless you, Rick Danko.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 22:18:19 CET 1999 from (

wally brooker

From: toronto

I offer my condolences to the immediate family, close friends and bandmates of Rick Danko. I am deeply saddened by his loss. It seems the sound of his voice has been with me forever. There was something spine-tingling about it. It could make you laugh or cry. It could make your hair stand on end. I first heard him on a Levon & the Hawks 45 in my basement in Toronto's east end. Was it '64? "The Stones That I Throw" and "He Don't Love You". His work with The Band and Bob Dylan ensures his place among the immortals of American popular music. He was moving, funny, sad, awkward, earthy, sympathetic and thoughtful. Despite the accolades he received, however, he remained a a most under-rated singer and bassist. Perhaps this was because he played in a band with several other great singers and a marvellous collective approach to making music. I loved his falsetto. I loved the ache in his voice, his joyous, hard-working stage presence and especially his interviews in "The Last Waltz" and Dylan's "30th Anniversary Concert". Rick had a whole lotta talent and a whole lotta soul! God bless him!

Posted on Mon Dec 13 22:03:38 CET 1999 from (

james angelo

From: michigan

One of my favorite bands & very underrated.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 21:57:01 CET 1999 from (



Iam very sad to hear the news of Rick,s death. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. I always caught their concerts in England and will remember the last time when Rick and john martyn sang together. A GREAT LOSS.It was good to see that the Independent newspaper gave a good obitury to Rick.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 21:46:33 CET 1999 from (

Tom Stone

From: Memphis

My son Wilson and I are saddened by the passing of Rick Danko. His work was truly multi-generational for us. We would like to encourage his bandmates to keep it in the road; We need their music. Thank you.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 21:45:03 CET 1999 from (

Roland Meijers

From: the Netherlands

Thanks for all the hours of listening to your music with so much pleasure.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 21:38:02 CET 1999 from (

Mary Averill

From: Iowa

I've been a fan since Big Pink. Finally got to see The Band (without RR) in 1994. I got to deliver their pizza to them on the bus. Got autographs on a hat that is one of my prized possessions. Gonna miss Rick Danko. His singing was always from the heart.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 21:28:48 CET 1999 from (

Marshall Bowden

From: Chicago, IL

I am writing to share my feelings about the loss of Rick Danko. Rick was a man with a unique and wonderful voice and seemingly a very big heart. I had only recently begun to discover some of his post-Band music. My girlfriend is a very big fan of The Band and as I got deeper into their music along with her, I found myself drawn to Rick's voice and to some of the songs that were associated with his voice, like "Stage Fright" and "It Makes No Difference."

I had the good fortune to see Rick at a benefit here in Chicago last spring. Though I was a little saddened because he didn't look all that healthy, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing him sing "Book Faded Brown" from the latest Band album as well as "It Makes No Difference". Even though the Band and Rick have never really gotten their due from the mainstream rock press as well as a lot of rock fans, I know their music will continue to inspire those who can tell genuine expressions of self from the crap that usually populates the radio and other media in most decades.

Rest easy, Rick, and Godspeed.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 21:16:21 CET 1999 from (

Alexandra Boucher

From: Fairfield, Connecticut

I started my Saturday morning off with breakfast but ended it with tears. I didn't find out till Saturday that we had lost a god, on Friday. Mr. Danko touched so many,his music and his presence will never be forgotten. Thank you.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 21:12:47 CET 1999 from (

mike dillon

From: Pittsburgh

By Mike Dillon
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Note: I'm a journalism professor and freelance writer. I wrote this when I heard that Rick Danko died and shopped it around to a couple of big papers, but no one thought he was a big enough icon to deserve much commentary. I just shook my head; is that ever not the point of Danko, or of the Band. So, I thought I would post it here:


Before moving to Pittsburgh last year, I lived in Saugerties, New York, just down the road a country mile from Woodstock. Friends who came to visit always made us trek over to the land of trendy boutiques, lost souls with flowers in their hair, and over-priced beer.

They thought maybe old Bobby Dylan might sidle up to the bar, introduce himself - "you can call me Zimmy" - and rasp out a tune or two.

Woodstock, however, is the epitome of Highway 61, where reality is illusory, image is everything, and everything is for sale. Tourists nonchalantly ask their waitress, "Where was the concert?" If they've behaved and tipped well, the waitress wearily repeats a well-worn mantra: "Actually, the concert was held in Bethel, New York - that's about 75 miles from here." And, if they have not behaved or been somewhat less than generous with the gratuity, the waitress smiles sweetly and says, "First you drive out to the end of town, and then you take the second dirt road on the left..."

Some of those lost souls may still be out there, driving through the primeval Catskill Mountains.

The Woodstock the tourists seek does not exist; in fact, it never did. There have been three Woodstock concerts and not one of them was held in Woodstock. Old-timers blanche at the thought that their century-old arts community is a rock-n-roll Mecca. It's a wealthy town and likely spends more money on one-way bus tickets for too-late flower children who come to flop on the village green than poorer neighbors spend on garbage collection. Real Woodstockers wouldn't be caught dead on Tinker Street at high season.

Woodstock is a community, however. Artists, actors and singers live in the fine houses that cling to the bluffs over the village, and when the tourists leave they reclaim their home. Where else does the local Little League benefit feature a performance by Levon Helm?

Tucked back in a dark hollow about two miles from my home set what I've always considered to be the Graceland of the North - a modest pink ranch house where The Band made it's first record - "Music from Big Pink" - in 1967. My favorite running route took me past Big Pink, and I could almost hear the music every time I jogged by, my pace quickening to the imagined rhythm.

My guess is that tonight those raucous echoes are silent. Rick Danko, a founding member of The Band whose heartbreaking voice and fretless bass drove some of the group's finest songs, died in his sleep Friday just a few miles away from the cradle of all that great music. The Band rose to fame backing Dylan when he went electric and then struck out on its own. "Music from Big Pink" was hailed as a revelation.

At a time when music was all about rebellion and brave new worlds, The Band's music was grounded in family, community, tradition. Band members wore neither frills nor costumes, and when it came time to cut a record they didn't need studio musicians to bail them out, as many big acts of the day did. Danko, Helm Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson were each masters of at least three instruments.

I was too young to appreciate the band in its heyday. But in 1977, after I saw "The Last Waltz," a documentary of the group's recent farewell concert, I went out and got my hands on every Band album I could find. Among other things, they saved me from disco.

But I found other reasons to love the music. Robbie Robertson's lyrics were both rough-hewn and literate; he wrote the way people really talked. And the Band's songscape was alive with history; it's strange to think that in the age of Aquarius, the group's biggest hit - "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" - was about the Civil War.

Sadly, the members of the band were not immune to their times. Egos, booze and drugs diluted the power of the music after their second or third album and it was probably for the best that they faded away. The group re-formed a few years later without Robertson and Manuel - who committed suicide in 1986 - and made some formidable music, but the glory days were over.

Like the friends who would later visit, soon after I moved to New York I trekked to Woodstock thinking I might step back into time, only to discover the town's signature moment had happened somewhere else. I shook my head in pity at the 17-year-old would-be hippies stoned asleep on the village green and sighed at the endless SAABS and BMWs - "Save the Earth" bumper stickers displayed without irony above chrome exhaust pipes.

And then one day as I ran through West Saugerties, I scooted down a forest path and beheld Big Pink. (Yep. Big Pink isn't actually in Woodstock either). The Band had decamped long ago, of course, and the house was empty. I stopped dead and the music enveloped me: Robbie Robertson's understated guitar riffs, Levon Helm's hillbilly howl, Garth Hudson's supernatural organ arias, Richard Manuel's sad falsetto - and Rick Danko's whisky voice begging his love, "Don't leave me alone in the twilight, 'cause twilight is the loneliest time of day . . ."

Danko was well-known in Woodstock. By all accounts he was a good guy. But he never really made it out of the sixties - there were a lot of busts for drunk driving and drug possession. His friends in the Band were always there to help and they played frequent dates up and down the Hudson River in small bars that were 30 years and a million miles from the big arenas they once had head-lined.

I lived in the Hudson Valley for five years and told myself a hundred times, I've got to go see those guys before they get too old to play or die. But I never made it. Too busy with work and kids. Out of the habit of haunting bars.

The greatest legacy of Big Pink was a series of alcohol-fueled jam sessions that the Band and Bob Dylan held in the concrete basement there. A bootleg legend for years, a recording of "The Basement Tapes" was finally released a few years back. Many critics consider it to be the best and purest music made during the 'sixties.

And tonight, when I heard of Danko's death and realized that I have forever missed my chance to see the Band, one of Dylan's lyrics from that joyous bash rang in my head: "Lost time is not found again."

Posted on Mon Dec 13 20:57:07 CET 1999 from (

Tim Carbone

From: Shawnee, Pa.
Home page

I had the great privilege of playing music with Rick this past year and I shall never forget it. I believe Rick could sing the phone book and make it sound good. I can't believe I'll never hear that voice again. I shall never forget working with you and laughing with you.We'll miss you! I was just listening to "New Mexicoe" from "Rick Danko" and your words were prophetic..."I don't think I could tell you when, I'll be coming back this way again. I've been putting it off too long. Now I must be moving on...." Good luck Rick and wait for me "Across the Great Divide."

Posted on Mon Dec 13 20:54:35 CET 1999 from (

arthur seldner

i will miss rick. he was married to my sister grace. the band is my all time favorite band. art

Posted on Mon Dec 13 20:25:30 CET 1999 from (

Chris Siesky

From: Wadsworth Ohio USA

I always admired Ricks approachable personality. We talked to Rick and the rest of the band following a show in Cleveland 15 years ago. It was a cold winter night in Cleveland and Rick said " Hey were staying down the road at the Holiday Inn, come down for a drink." How many people in his situation would make that offer, we had never met him before! We had a great time that night, talking about his children in Malibu. I will never forget how unpretentious he was. He will be missed!

Posted on Mon Dec 13 20:22:36 CET 1999 from (

Deb Castellucci

From: Connecticut

He will never be forgotten. Deepest sympathy from Jeff Helfeld, Gus and Deb Castellucci. We will always be fans. We'll miss you Rick :(

Posted on Mon Dec 13 19:49:38 CET 1999 from (

Michael Frisbie

From: San Francisco

Though gone too soon, Rick Danko left behind so much: so many memories, performances preserved, some recorded, some a transient spark, saved only in our individual recollection.I always admired Rick Danko's ability to help create a musical whole grater than the parts while at the same time projecting his own unique vocal and instrumental style. I saw The Band live a couple of times--on tour with Bob Dylan and at the Last Waltz--and saw Rick Danko and Richard Manuel perform as a duo at a small San Francisco club, where his innocent exurberance and musical talent shone in equal measure. Another fallen angel joins the choir.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 19:46:59 CET 1999 from (

Debby Kleinberg

It was a privilege to host The Band at the Music Hall in Tarrytown 3 years ago today (I know the date because it was my daughter's 3rd birthday, and to be her first concert, but unfortunately she had the flu, and I told her "next time.") and we had looked forward to having them again. I'm sorry that will never come to pass now. Rick was a sweet, generous man with a beautiful soul reflected in his voice. He will be missed very much. I tell my daughter he is floating in the clouds with Jerry. Farewell sweet prince, and thank you for all the beauty you brought to my life and all those you touched!

Posted on Mon Dec 13 19:40:27 CET 1999 from (

Shirley Gibson

From: San Diego

My heart hurt on Dec. 10 to read the news that we lost another member of THE BAND. I had the priviledge to meet the boys and work with them on 'The Last Waltz' and to this day I think of them fondly and smile to remember the talent they shared and the joy they brought to all the fans. My special memories keep them in my heart.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 19:39:53 CET 1999 from (

Michael B. Bruneio

From: Easton, Pennsylvania, USA

I write this note to express my deep shock and sadness over the loss of Rick Danko. My heartfelt condolences go to his family, the Band, and those who knew and loved him. I had the pleasure to meet and speak to Rick and Levon when The Band came to Allentown, PA., for a rare concert back in 1995. Both Rick and Levon were very nice to me and I consider it a highlight of my life to have met them. As a bass player and occasional drummer, I was profoundly influenced by their work. I still cannot adequately express how shocked I am at Rick's passing. My prayers are with him and all of you.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 19:39:32 CET 1999 from (

a. kavanagh

From: montreal

Rick you will be sorely missed. We love you. My husband and I saw the Band play in 1995 in Peterbourgh Ontario and it was without a doubt one of the most memorable shows we've ever seen.. words can never adequately describe what music gives you so I won't even try. But you all must know that Rick's singing and playing was heavenly. Love to you and thanks for all the wonderful songs and memories. ak

Posted on Mon Dec 13 19:32:04 CET 1999 from (


From: Cape Town, South Africa

I consider myself fortunate to have had the pleasure of losing myself in Rick Danko's music, I am saddened though by the fact that I only had that privelege for a mere three weeks. He touched my soul in "It makes no difference" and I will never be the same. The love and memories expressed by everyone here, each unique in their own way, is a tribute to his astounding talent. My condolences and thoughts and prayers are with everyone who feels the loss and lastly but most importantly to his family and loved ones, may the memories always be sweet.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 19:25:14 CET 1999 from (

Lisa Manuel

The late Richard Manuel's family would just like to send our condolences to the remaining Band members. As Richard was my uncle, I, along with the rest of my family, had the great opportunity to meet and get to know Rick. He was a fantastic musician as well as a fantastic human being. We will all miss you Rick. Please say hi to Uncle Richard from me and my family.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 19:20:43 CET 1999 from (


Rick Danko of The Band dies

It's been hard to find any decent articles on Danko. Most newspapers just reprint the AP story. Here's one I found at the Chicago Sun Times which is at least a bit different with some personal references.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 19:14:59 CET 1999 from (

Jason Wilson

From: Cincinnati, Ohio

I'm sorry to hear about Rick and that he was a good bass player and will certainly be missed and that his recordings with the will definantly will be used in the years to come.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 19:03:21 CET 1999 from (

Larry Partridge

From: Blayney,Ontario,Canada

Sorry to hear about Rick.I spent my youth with Rick and his family, as they were neighbours to our tobacco farm. He had a talent, that was only matched by his supreme self-confidence.He told us, we would see him on Ed Sullivan, before he was a teenager.Forget the crap about drugs, this was a man who called his family once a week and never forgot a friend. Always modest about his talent, he lived to help others. As for Mr. Hawkins, you told him he wasen't a singer in Port Dover when you hired him, I guess you should read these tributes about a man who achieved fame dispite you. Rest in peace.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 19:01:07 CET 1999 from (


From: a gray and rainy place (the sky is crying)

Rolling Stone article on Rick's passing features some nice comments from John Simon. You can read it by clicking here.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 18:46:58 CET 1999 from (

David Powell

From: Georgia

My deepest condolences go out to Rick's family and friends. I was profoundly saddened by the news of his passing, but the outpouring of rememberances and feelings posted here in the guestbook has truly lifted my spirits.

Many of us were not fortunate enough to have known Rick personally but through his music he touched us deeply just the same. With each note he played, with each word he sang, and in the energy of his performances, he unselfishly shared a little bit of his soul. I treasure the music he made and, for me, Rick's soul, his presence will live on in his recordings.

Thanks Rick for sharing your gifts. In your music your spirit soars just like a bird.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 18:45:43 CET 1999 from (


i just had to do or say something. rick, you will be missed. your voice will forever ring out in my heart. i always looked foward to you coming to town. it was always a special night out for my wife and i. i picked up and learned the guitar because of you. maybe now you can give some of that heavenly wisdom and musical understanding you were so blessed with. i can't wait to finish work and head home and try that guitar again. as a tribute to you i'll try a little harder and a little longer. thanks for the memories and god bless your family and friends.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 18:43:25 CET 1999 from (

Dan Styklunas

From: Boston

I was shocked to hear the news last Friday, then disillusioned when I found next to nothing on the web about it. I'm at least relieved to see this site, with so many sincere responses that prove Rick has not been forgotten -- far from it. I'll be thinking of you often, Rick.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 18:42:14 CET 1999 from (

Tom Kailbourn

From: New York State

Can't believe it. Bon voyage, Rick, and thanks for your gifts of music. "Just notify my next of kin."

Posted on Mon Dec 13 18:22:33 CET 1999 from (

Kevin Lescroart

From: Montrose, Colorado & Platte Clove, NY

My heartfelt condolences to the Danko family for their loss. The universality of Rick's music is evident in reading the other emails sent from around the globe. His music quite obviously "Made a Difference" in lots of lives. I used to kid Rick about OJ when I would see him in Bearsville driving his white Bronco around. I last saw him covering Woodstock 94 with the Big Pink review, to me they were and always will be the highlight of the show. God Bless Kevin L

Posted on Mon Dec 13 18:21:30 CET 1999 from (


From: Cold Spring, NY

I played It Makes No Difference after hearing this sad news, and was once again so moved by Rick Danko's incredible voice. What a contribution this man made to our world and our lives. My condolences to his family - I understand he lost a son 10 years ago, and I hope they are now reunited in peace.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 18:15:02 CET 1999 from (

Paul Bontje

From: Toronto

I was totally shocked and saddened when I learned of Rick Danko's death in Woodstock. He will be sadly missed by his family, freinds and fans, However, his music will live forever. Rest in Peace, Rick. You've now been released to join Richard in Rock 'n Roll heaven.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 18:03:24 CET 1999 from (

Alex Hoffman

Too soon gone. I was stunned to hear the news. My condolences to Rick's family and friends, to the rest of the Band, etc. May his spirit live on, and here's hoping he and Richard are up there "Across the Great Divide", putting together a helluva band.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 17:58:58 CET 1999 from (

Misty "mid" McKinney

From: Kentucky

I want to offer my deepest condolences to the family of Rick and to members of The Band. It is very heartwarming to see that so many people were touched by Rick and his music. I had the pleasure of meeting Rick on November 30th of this year. He was truly an outstanding man, both on stage and off. A real gentleman. We are all greatly saddened by his passing, but we have been immensly blessed. To have someone and their beautiful voice touch our souls and warm our hearts like he did is a once in a lifetime thing. He will live forever in his music and in all of our beautiful memories. God Bless his family, friends and fans. "may your heart always be joyful, may your song always be sung and may you stay Forever young" his song will live on... god bless from misty

Posted on Mon Dec 13 17:50:23 CET 1999 from (

Gerard York

Thanks for the great music, Rick, and rest in peace! I'm grateful to God I got to see you perform again with the guys in 1994 and 1996! Say Hello to Richard for all of us! Gerry York

Posted on Mon Dec 13 17:32:49 CET 1999 from (

Lars Blomkvist

In memory of Rick Danko Thanks for all the great musical moments. Your voice will never die. Tears from The RAGGES Band Sweden/Lars Blomkvist

Posted on Mon Dec 13 17:28:06 CET 1999 from (

Ed Escobar

From: San Francisco

It saddens me to hear of the passing of Rick Danko. I was privileged to see the Band at the Last Waltz. One of many highlights was Rick singing 'It Make's No Difference'. Just a little over a week ago I heard that song and thought what a great tear-jerker it was. I downloaded it from this very site. I saw a friend of mine that night and told him I was going to learn it for him to sing as it was one of his favorites. He asked "Rick Danko, isn't he dead?" I said no, he was going to be with us for a long time to come. I guess I was wrong, but in a sense I was right. The music he made with the Band and solo will live on as long as there are musicians and fans to remember. God bless you Ricky.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 17:25:33 CET 1999 from (

Pete Brennan

I couldn't believe it when I heard Rick had died. I'm sure Rick is in a better place. I just can't believe that we'll never again be able to see him perform. He was so great, with the Band, and with other projects he was involved with. I feel like I've lost a close friend. I want to send all my sympathy and support to Rick's family and the Band community. Thank You Rick, you brought so much joy and wonder into my life. I'll never forget you. Pete

Posted on Mon Dec 13 17:19:47 CET 1999 from (


From: East TN

Just found out this morning of the very sad news. Couldn't believe it, didn't want to. Rick, you were way too young to pass this life, its hard to let go. You and The Band have influenced me more than any other group or musician. When asked who my favorite group was I proudly exclaimed "THE BAND" whenever asked. Thank you for making me a better musician and performer, when I would lose my focus all I had to do was listen to some Band before the gig and it did the trick. It will be hard to sing those tunes without getting choked up and with a tear in my eye.I will miss you.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 17:14:27 CET 1999 from (

Riley Walker

From: NC

Most of the people around me have no idea who Rick Danko is and that is why I am so thankful for this guestbook.I thank you all for your wonderful tributes which have helped me get through these past couple of days. In my mind Rick Danko and The Band hold a special place is music history and it seems that those who loved Rick were passionate in their admiration for his talent. I think Levon said it best when he called Rick a dam musical sponge. If there was a drop of music in somthing he would squeeze out every bit of it. It was Rick who made me want to pick up the guitar again and play their songs and strive to do them justice. These past days I have been sporting the hat Rick signed for me. It say's "keep rocking Riley". Thanks for the music Rick.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 17:07:11 CET 1999 from (

Jim Smith

When I heard that Rick had passed away,I felt as though I had lost a personal friend. Practically no musical groups have ever affected me like The Band. There is a special place in my heart for these guys, and I felt the same sense of profound loss when Richard died. If you are in a position to communicate my deepest sympathies and condolences to Rick's family and to the other members of The Band, please do. Tell them, I've been a fan for thirty years and I remain faithful. Thank God, the music lives on.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 17:05:59 CET 1999 from (


From: Upstate New York

If anyone would like to send cards or donations for a widows fund, please send them to Elizabeth Danko P.O. Box 434 Bearsville, NY 12409. We will personally reply to all cards received. Thank you.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 17:12:14 CET 1999 from (




Posted on Mon Dec 13 17:02:30 CET 1999 from (


From: East TN

Just found out this morning of the very sad news. Couldn't believe it, didn't want to. Rick, you were way too young to pass this life, its hard to let go. You and The Band have influenced me more than any other group or musician. When asked who my favorite group was I proudly exclaimed "THE BAND" whenever asked. Thank you for making me a better musisian and performer, when I would lose my focus all I had to do was listen to some Band before the gig and it did the trick. It will be hard to sing those tunes without getting choked up and with a tear in my eye.I will miss you.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 16:58:17 CET 1999 from (

paul body

From: los angeles
Home page

I met Rick Danko about five years ago at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. I was waiting outside of their bus to get autographs when he came out and I asked him for his. We started talking and he asked if I had a ticket for the show and I said no. So not only did I get Levon's and Rick's autograph but a ticket to the show. it was a great show and as they were doing "It Makes No Difference", Rick spotted me in the audience and he and Levon waved at me. Old Rick Danko had the sweetest sound. The Unfaithful Servant has been called back.

Peace......Little Paul B

Posted on Mon Dec 13 16:51:20 CET 1999 from (

Shawn Menard

From: Amherst, Massachusetts

First of all my deepest sympathies on the passing of Rick Danko. The Band is trully one of the best bands ever to take the stage. Even though I'm only 24, they are a true musical inspiration.

Peace, Love, and Music Shawn Menard

Posted on Mon Dec 13 16:56:26 CET 1999 from (


From: South Africa

When I heard Rick singing "It makes no difference" I heard one of the great singing voices ever and I heard and felt someone who understood about loss and pain in the exact same way that I did. Rick, thanks for coming into my life and sharing that all with me... I will remember you forever and ever. Steve

Posted on Mon Dec 13 16:56:32 CET 1999 from (

Eibhlin Flynn and Jennifer Golub

Rick, You "sang directly to our souls". We endured our teenage years with dreams of you. We know you are being rewarded in the next life for what you were denied in this one. Thank you for giving us your music and so much more. Jennifer and Eibhlin, New York City and Boston

Posted on Mon Dec 13 16:51:08 CET 1999 from (

Frank Cipriano

From: California

My heart has ached ever since I heard the news of Rick's passing. If ever there were angels' voices singing, they had to be Rick Danko, as well as Richard Manuel. It was 1970 or 1971 when I first heard The Band at the Philadelphia Spectrum. What an impact. I've never been so moved. I appreciate the tributes of all the previous posts. I guess I'm not that good at it, but I do know now that there is one less good thing in this world and "like a scar, the hurt will always show."

Posted on Mon Dec 13 16:43:08 CET 1999 from (


From: St. Augustine, Fl

Such a handsome man, such a talented musician, such a GREAT spirit! It truly is raining in my heart, the grief is so large. Thank God you have all come here to share it. And thank God we can still hear his amazing voice.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 16:35:22 CET 1999 from (

Stan Dunbar

From: Cincinnati

I've had "Stage Fright" on in my car for the past 2 weeks, listening to it over and over. Every other day I hit "Driftin' Away" on the jukebox on my computer and the song plays in my brain the rest of the day. So sad on this rainy day. My wife waived a napkin of song requests (Atlantic City) when we got to the front of the stage in Cincinnati in '94 and Rick accepted it. So joyful. At the end of the show the roadie gave us a copy of the playlist. My favorite group. Dear Rick, thanks for all the emotional connectivity with the music and words. I'm sad to see you go. My sympathy to family and friends. Stan Dunbar

Posted on Mon Dec 13 16:29:26 CET 1999 from (

Greg Johnston

From: Bernalillo, New Mexico

I was upset to read the news of Rick's death in the Albuquerque yesterday. I was lucky enough to see the original Band three times. But I think my favorite Rick Danko performance was about 1980 when he toured with the Danko/Butterfield Band. They played outside, after dark, on a golf course in Socorro, New Mexico. Of course Stage Fright and It Makes No Difference were high points. But the best moment was when Paul and Rick leaned in the the mike together and let fly an incredible Mystery Train. They performed as if they were brothers and blasted that tune into the New Mexico evening air. At least now these two are reunited in what must be an incredible jam session. Rick, you were one of the great treasures in Rock 'n' Roll. I'm glad to have been touched by your soulful voice. Greg Johnston

Posted on Mon Dec 13 16:25:28 CET 1999 from (

Gerry Watts

From: Cape Cod
Home page

Deepest condolences to Rick's family & friends. I met Rick on 7/11/98. I had a question for him about something on his Homespun Bass video. He didn't just tell me the answer. He showed me! He was so nice to me, my wife...such a sweet guy. The most beautiful voice I've ever heard. I hope Robbie & Levon can patch things up - life is too darn short guys. Make peace before it's too late = please! I'll miss you like crazy Rick.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 16:07:09 CET 1999 from (

Gary Miller

From: Chester NY

When I saw the article on the cover of the newspaper, all I could say was Oh My God. From the first time I heard "It makes no difference", my heart was touched by the way this man sang with such deep feeling. The music has continued to be great for decades. I remember hearing about the new Band Albums and the Danko/Fjeld/Andrsen albums, and always being so excited to hear them - and never being disappointed. Seeing so many great live club shows these past 10 years in and around upstate NY. It just seems almost impossible that from now on, every time I listen to that voice, that the light and soul behind them have left us. My deepest sympathies to his wife, Elizabeth, children, and family. Too soon gone, Too soon gone. Very truly yours, Gary Miller

Posted on Mon Dec 13 16:06:17 CET 1999 from (

Joe Boris

From: One-Eyed Jack
Home page

We will miss you Rick. You were definitely an inspiration for us all. An icon among Musicians. You worked a hard field of musical endeavors and turned them into achievements kings would be honored to be known for. May the spirits that guide you into the next world be gracious, caring and of course have a great sense of humor. One-Eyed Jack will forever incorporate what you have left behind in our music and our children's music as well.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 16:01:58 CET 1999 from (

Sonya DeMonner

From: Michigan

It's so good to see others who cared enough to write something here. The Band's music and Rick's voice especially will always be my favorite--an early and long lasting influence in my musical taste. I was lucky enought to see then in Detroit in the mid 1990's. Rick, Levon and Garth signed my copy of Jericho. What an honor. Rick, another truly too soon gone.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 15:35:35 CET 1999 from (


From: Austin, Texas

Thanks for the memories.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 15:22:30 CET 1999 from (

Philip Defenbach

We loss the bass player from the greatest Rock and Roll band in the Western Hemisphere. Shad

Posted on Mon Dec 13 15:16:07 CET 1999 from (

Dave Cardoza

From: Acushnet, MA

Just received the news... deepest heartfelt condolences to the Danko Family and all his friends. I myself feel priviledged to have shared a part of the journey with the man and his accomplishments. As a bass player and singer, he was an incredible influence in my life, and as such will always be remembered. Goodbye Rick, meet you at the end of the tune.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 15:05:03 CET 1999 from (

Alan Cohl

From: Israel (originally from NY)

"Wait a minute Chester I'm a peaceful man . . . " will always ring out to all with Rick's ever-present smile. Condolences to all that love the music, play on.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 15:04:17 CET 1999 from (

Shari Lowenthal

My condolences to the Danko family. I was so incredibly sad and sorry to hear the news. Rick, you'll live on in your music and I know I'll never stop playing it.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 14:30:50 CET 1999 from (


From: England

Just picked up the obituary section of one of the English newspapers and read the tragic news!!! His epitaph, and it is one that will be applied to all of them, is that their music touched me and others like me. Nobody else has come close.

Musically, I found where I wanted to be when I heard the Band and have struggled to move on. In my eyes and ears they are still the greatest, although sometimes I wish more people knew about them so that I wouldn't get so many blank looks when I eulogise!!! At other times, the fact that the memories have dimmed for those who are not fans, is wonderful - loving the Band is like being in on a great secret!!!!

Posted on Mon Dec 13 14:50:32 CET 1999 from (

Mike Willys

From: Australia

My deepest condolences to the Danko family. My family and I were saddened deeply by the news of Rick's passing away. Rick brought a lot of joy into the world and to a lot of people. May he stay in our memories forever. "This world was lucky Just to see him born".

Posted on Mon Dec 13 14:45:45 CET 1999 from (


From: Belgium

Thank you for the music, Rick. Keep hearing "It makes no difference" in my head. My condolences to the family and friends

Posted on Mon Dec 13 14:42:14 CET 1999 from (

Tom Beck

From: Langhorne, Pennsylvania

My wife called me from her school this morning to tell me the bad news. While the news of the death of so many of the great rock legends has left me with a feeling of shock, sadness and tremendous loss, this was the first time I can honestly say that I cried. It may sound trite, but Rick was someone that you really felt like you got to know personally through his music. To me, he poured out his heart and soul in every song that I ever heard him sing. I could barely listen to "Too Soon Gone," while he was alive, without choking up. I can't even think about it now. My heart goes out to the Band, their families and everyone else close to them. Rick's high regard for the love between family and friends was an important theme in so much of his music so I'm sure that the Band community is going through a very tough time right now, especially in this holiday season. All I can say is thank-you Rick for the way your work has touched my life. I'll never forget you and I'll be looking for you in the procession, my good man!

Posted on Mon Dec 13 14:10:47 CET 1999 from (


From: Norway

Sleep tight favourite Band member.....both of them are gone...I was shocked when my uncle called me and told me the news....the sad news....I coul not believe it...He was only 56....I think he is too soon gone...I was sooo sad this you wrote: The music is still alive....His voice lifts me high, above the sky...Rick......We will miss you!

Posted on Mon Dec 13 14:07:44 CET 1999 from (

Ann McEntee & Michael Jass

From: Quebec, Canada

So heartwarming to read all the lovely comments on this page. My sincerest condolences to the Danko family, may you find strength in family and friends.

Rick you are one of a kind, a humanitarian with a voice of sincerity and life experience that reaches deep down into one's soul. You have taught us well. Thank you so much for all you have kindly graced us with, you hold a very special place in my heart. This world was lucky you were born. May God bless and keep you always. You live on and on.

Your Irish friends,
Ann & Michael.

"Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf, Ring them bells for all of us who are left,
Ring them bells for the chosen few
Who will judge the many when the game is through.
Ring them bells, for the time that flies,
For the child that cries
When innocence dies.

Ring them bells St. Catherine
From the top of the room,
Ring them from the fortress
For the lilies that bloom.
Oh the lines are long
And the fighting is strong,
And they're breaking down the distance
Between right and wrong."
-Mr. Bob Dylan-

Posted on Mon Dec 13 14:04:01 CET 1999 from (

Mikael Jurgell

From: Kalmar, Sweden

Farewell Rick.

Thank`s for all unforgettable moments.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 14:05:48 CET 1999 from (

Frode Jenssen

From: Norwegian living in London

Rick Danko means a lot to me! Being a key member in one of my all-time favourite bands would automatically mean something close to a sainthood in my book , however, Rick Danko was even more than that. Hell, I have written songs based on bass licks that would be categorised as Danko rip-offs. Watching 'The Last Walz' I find that in addition to being a blinding force of joy, enthusiasm and skill, he was also something very close to the definition of cool. A quality that, as far as I'm concerned, can only be achieved by intelligent, relaxed individuals with both feet planted firmly on the ground. On more than one occation, my mate Chris, when we have been drinking in some horrible club, has said stuff like, "Rick Danko wouldn't hang out in here." To me that's pretty cool. May he forever remain a great source of inspiration and role-model to any musician and person with the right idea of how to spend their life.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 14:01:41 CET 1999 from (

Tor Halvorsen

My deepest respect for the man and the music. You will be remembered as one of the greatest.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 13:40:01 CET 1999 from (

Dave Trageser

From: Orchard Park, NY

Surprised and saddened to hear of Rick Danko's intimely death. They were my favorite band- saw them in a small hall in Berkeley in '70. I lived in Montana the next decade, nad thus never saw them again live; but I sure wore out an 8-track of The Band while sucking a few brews on my way to and from fishing spots. Their music went great with Big Sky country! My condolances to Rick's friends and family.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 13:30:45 CET 1999 from (


From: Japan

I was junior high school boy, when I first touched wonderful music from Big Pink. Since then, their music never leave me. Thank you Rick. I 'll be with you forever. K.S from far east country

Posted on Mon Dec 13 13:21:49 CET 1999 from (

al dalladino

From: florida

A voice of his generation, Rick will be missed. I saw him with my wife in Florida a few years ago. Seeing him sing Blind Willie McTell is a treat I will never forget. We were right next to the stage, and when I extended my hand, Rick extended his to meet mine. He was a big man, with a fearful grip. He nearly crushed my hand. I guess we were yelling a bit too loud for "Stagefright".

Posted on Mon Dec 13 12:25:08 CET 1999 from (

James Murray

From: Sydney , Australia

'Long Black Veil', 'Unfaithful Servant', 'Stagefright', 'A Change is Gonna Come', 'It Makes No Difference', 'Book Faded Brown', 'Bound By Love', 'If I Should Fail', 'High Cotton', 'When You Awake', 'Twilight'... the songs will always be with us but what a pity their singer has gone. For all the pleasure they have brought me, thank you Rick and good bye.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 11:48:40 CET 1999 from (


From: Norway

Sad to hear about Rick. I`ve meet him in Oslo once. A very good man with a lot of energy. Sends my regards to all og his friends and family. His music will never die.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 11:43:25 CET 1999 from (

Ronald Gibbs

From: Houston, Tx/

I have loved your music since 1975 when I was introduced to it. I enjoyed meeting and talking for 5 minutes in the Memphis,Tn. airport to Levon Helm in October of 1998.My wife and I saw the Band at Rockefeller's in Houston in 1996 and it was the greatest thing I ever saw in a club (and we've seen some of the very best there,including B.B.King,Go Ahead with Grateful Dead members,Stephen Stills,Roy Buchanan,Stevie Ray Vaughan,Leon Russell,Johnny and Edgar Winter,KoKo Taylor,John Lee Hooker,etc. Thanks for all the memories and wonderful music. And God bless and rest your soul,brother Rick. Love, Sandy and Ron Gibbs

Posted on Mon Dec 13 11:14:22 CET 1999 from (

Stefaan Margory

From: Belgium

Monday morning, Ostend Belgium, just read it in the paper now... Now I know why it's been raining for days. Rick, I had the change to see you solo in Bruges, a few miles from here, in the early 90's. Didn't go because I was in bed with the flu. One thing is for sure, I feel a lot worse now than then. Goodbye Rick, and thanks for opening my eyes and ears in the late 60's.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 10:08:33 CET 1999 from (

Mark Warnock

From: Goulburn Australia

Sad to hear about Rick. He was the Band member I most wanted to meet. Say hello to Richard for us.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 09:24:41 CET 1999 from (

David Lineage

From: Adelaide, Australia

Last year, I recorded off television the "Classic Albums" special on The Band's eponymous album. For some reason, I still haven't bought the album, but I've watched this one hour dissection of it many times. Now I've got it on, and I can't stop the tears. How can someone so far from me mean so much to me? I don't know much about Rick or The Band, but they seemed to be so organic. And so Rick's death seems like such a loss. I don't know. I don't understand these feelings. But they're real. I'm sorry to hear about things, Rick. I hope things are good where you are now.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 09:14:17 CET 1999 from (

Jens Magnus

From: Norway

I hear you've left us soon in the morning. What did you do the lady, now she's gonna have to send you away? Goodbye to that country home, so long to a buddy I have known, farewell to my other side... and many thanks, Rick

Posted on Mon Dec 13 08:58:58 CET 1999 from (

Andrew Klewan

Well, hearing of the passing of Rick Danko is sad, to say the least. I had the opportunity to meet him once, in the briefest of moments, at the old Lone Star Cafe on 13th Street and 5th Avenue, NYC. He and Levon were coming off stage and on their way up the stairs, and I merely said "Hello" or "yeah man," something like that, to Rick. He patted me on the back, big smile, thanked me for coming. Nice man. To be able to say that about someone in this day and age, and someone in the music business, is a rare thing. But, he was, simple as that, a nice man. And need I say, bassist extraordinaire. Check out his part on Bob Dylan's "Never Say Goodbye." What a loss. That voice. Hopefully he's seeing all his old friends and his son. God bless you Rick Danko.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 08:47:56 CET 1999 from (


From: South Africa

It seems so incredible to me that one of my top ten people in the whole world has passed on. Rick Danko, I love your voice, I copy your bass lines, I listen to you every day. Even though you never achieved the recognition you deserve, you did so much with your life and that is all we can ever hope to do. While I live at the other end of the world, from logging onto this Website I figured that Rick was always active. Admirable for a man that had achieved so much. From the words and lyrics of Jubilation it seems that the Band had achieved peace and equalibriam.
Goodbye Rick,I love you.
Heaven is a better place now.
Garth, Robbie and Levon get it together.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 08:06:36 CET 1999 from (


goodbye for now, my love. i hope you realized, and know that i'd have been there with you if i could...

Posted on Mon Dec 13 08:08:22 CET 1999 from (

John Van Horn

From: Link Wrays Raymen
Home page

Sorry to hear of Ricks death. Hope all is well with his family. John Van Horn.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 07:13:50 CET 1999 from (


From: tuxedo new york


Posted on Mon Dec 13 07:05:32 CET 1999 from (

Buffalo Rhythm & Blues Project

From: Buffalo NY

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Danko family and THE BAND and their extended families.....Rick will surely be missed. Today a sad page is added to a Book that's faded brown....perhaps Rick is with Stan now getting more bass riffs............ Gary and Patti Lee

Posted on Mon Dec 13 07:04:35 CET 1999 from (



I was so said when I read the Dallas Morning News about the passing away of Rick Danko. My first experience with the Band was when I stationed oversees in Japan. The movie I saw was a classic, The Last Waltz. It was truly one of the best rock shows that I have ever seen. I send my condolences to the family and friends of Rick Danlo.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 07:04:30 CET 1999 from (

Justin Maxwell

From: Cape Elizabeth, ME
Home page

I had just gotten back to our room after playing a blues festival on Saturday night when, while flipping through the cable channels, I learned that the man who had first inspired me to pick up the bass had passed on. You changed my life, Rick. God bless you.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 06:53:42 CET 1999 from (

Brice Perrin

From: Lake Charles, Louisiana

you're too soon gone, too soon gone. my prayers and thoughts are with rick's family. levon, this south louisiana heart is with you and garth as well. we've lost a great musician and humanitarian, you have lost a family member, and a friend. i have never met any of ya'll, but i think of ya'll as cousins! let music be your healer, for your music has been mine. your songs have helped me out of one of the darkest periods of my life, addiction. know that rick is in heaven making music once again with our old cousin richard. both in harmony, bringing smiles to god and the angels. i feel empty, yet whole in knowing rick will live in song and heart. the hearts of everyone he touched, personally, and from afar. may godbless and keep you always-----Brice Perrin

Posted on Mon Dec 13 06:48:13 CET 1999 from (

Michael Kerschbaum

From: Seattle

I would like to add my condolences along with all the others that have been sent the past several days. Ever since I first heard the news of Rick's passing on Friday, I just can't stop thinking of him and how much the Band's music has meant to me over the years. I've been back to this guestbook three or four times now, and each time I am moved to tears. I recall a quote of Rick's on one of the Band's videos (I think it was on the making of the album "The Band"). He said "We're not here to change the world, we're only here to help the neighborhood". From the many comments I have read, I would have to say that Rick Danko changed peoples lives far beyond the boundaries of the neighborhood.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 05:42:58 CET 1999 from (

Trudy Zimmerman

From: Penn Valley Ca

To the Rick Danko Family, I've been a fan of Rick Danko for many years. He was my favorite rock star for te rock star for all these years. I was especially honored and thrilled when I attended one of the Band concerts at the Reno Hilton in May of 1996. He dedicated a song to me and kissed both of my hands at the edge of the stage when the show finished . I'm very sorry for his unexpected death. You have my deep est sympathy during this time of sorrow. Love, Trudy Zimmerman

Posted on Mon Dec 13 05:39:29 CET 1999 from (

Ron Shankland

From: Wittenberg,Wisconsin

Ricky:-< "For All Creation!" Those harmonies with Richard and Butter must sound sweet up there... Ps Condolences and fond memories of my old friends Missy and Lauren-prayers and love xoxo

Posted on Mon Dec 13 05:36:17 CET 1999 from (


From: miami fl

My wife and I were watching some stupid show on VH1 that involved some momentary celebrities voting on who they believed to be the Greatest Male Singer of All Time. After ridiculing the choices of these nitwits (Wayne NEWTON???) Debbie of course asked me who I thought it should be. I hate questions like that. Everyone knows you can't compare totally different genres, etc etc. But then I thought about it a little, if you just forget about technique, culture, and all the other layers of crap, and just get down to what you might call the 'goosebump factor', there were only a few that really came to mind. The ones you would NEVER change the radio station on in the middle of a song.

Rick Danko was on my list that night. A few days later I heard the news driving home from work.

Thank you, Rick, for the goosebumps. We'll miss you.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 05:33:02 CET 1999 from (


From: Spring Lake, NJ

My sister told me on Saturday evening that Rick had passed on, and I thought she was kidding. I've been listening to the Band for many years now, and they seemed immortal. When I found out that she wasn't kidding, I went and listened to "Unfaithful Servant". And as soon and Rick said "Goodbye to that country home, so long to ladies I have loved..." I was gone. It sounded like Rick was crying too. I then thought about all of the soul and heart and depth and meaning that he put into every song he ever sang...I read on this site that he didn't even know what Dylan was talking about in "Tears of Rage", yet the dolefulness in his voice can and does move me to tears every time. ("I Shall Be Released" will now forever move me in a different way than it ever has.) I'm very upset that I never had the opportunity to see the Band live, which is mainly because I'm too young, but from the Last Waltz (which I've almost memorized now) Rick looked like such a good, fun, and REAL person, and I am truly experiencing a great loss. It's strange to think that some one I have never met can mean so much to me. Goodbye, Rick, and good luck. You have been released.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 05:12:49 CET 1999 from (

Jim Hafner

From: North Carolina

Like the other people who have added to the guest book, Rick was and always will be one of my favorite musicians. My deepest sympathy to his familiy and friends. Thank you for all the great music you left behind. Just a few weeks ago, we lost another one of the greats - Doug Sahm. Its quite ironic that Doug appeared on Rick's solo album.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 04:52:36 CET 1999 from (

Bill Megalos

From: LA, CA and NY, NY

Danko's Dead and I just can't stop crying.

I heard the news on the radio early this morning and then went out for a run. I was sad. I thought about Danko and how much I liked him and that it was a pity, that he hadn't really had such a great time these past twenty years, but I was all right. Then I came home, searched the web for news, found the vaguest of articles, saying he'd died in his bed and celebrated his 56th birthday yesterday and then the Last Waltz version of "It Makes No Difference" came on the radio and now I can't stop crying.

Rick Danko was my favorite member of the Band, one of my favorite bands of all time. I've never heard bass playing like that before or since, but it was his voice that killed me. I know that Richard Manual had a purer, higher, more emotional voice, an older and wiser voice. I appreciate Levon's voice for what it is, the best vehicle for Robbie Robertson's historic songs- he had the swagger, the weight, the attitude to tell our past, public stories. Between them they sang the lion's share of The Band's songs. But Danko had the sweetness, the heldback quality that got through to me. The quaver that you heard as early as on the first time he sang "If you take Jack, my dog" and "Wait a minute, Chester" and that just got stronger, sweeter and more impossibly personal through the years. What a perfect mate to those other great voices. What joys has rock and roll provided us greater than those three singing together?

Where do I start? So many moments that shot through my heart over many years. I have gotten a tingle every time I hear him deliver "He gets to sing just like a bird", especially after he added, "coo coo coo coo coo coo coo."

Or how he sang "Unfaithful Servanfirst heard this Marvin Gaye song via Rick singing it, either with the Band or at his solo shows. As in so many similar cases, I expected the original Motown to blow away the later white cover. Not so this time. Danko owned that song. I wish I had a copy of every time and way I heard him sing it. Unfortunately, the "official" version from Watkins Glen is one of the weaker ones.

The deaths that affect us are the ones that make us think of our own imminent deaths, of what we'll leave behind. More painful are the ones where the dead one is too young and has more to give. Worst are the ones where you can feel the pain and loss in that lifetime. I'll never forget Rick singing "Rolling Round Heaven" (if that's the name of the song) after his son died a few years ago. The loss of the Band, the loss of Richard, the knowledge that Danko was one of the greatest musicians and band members ever, but not a leader and not a writer, knowing that he would never have songs as great as Robbie Robertson's to sing and play again (forget that Robertson would never write songs as good as those he wrote with and for his old Bandmates)- I'm remembering and thinking of all this today as I write this. I'm glad that Rick had the last decade with Eric Anderson and Jonas Fjeld, glad that he was able to have that community and that he could BELONG again and I'm grateful for that music.

So, I remember that crazy grin, the way he was so happy to see you, the way he'd pat his head, the way he would sit and hold a guitar, that amazing bubbling bass, the crazy liberties he took with melodies, phrasing and inflection in the later years, as he played some of the same songs for the thousandth time, discovering new things in them, amusing himself and us (You can get an idea of this by listening to "Twilight" on the second Danko/Fjeld/Anderson record, but he was even more out there in live performance.) I remember him at the Bottom Line, with his biggest post-Band group, right after his Arista album came out and his rocking, thrilling version of "Christmas Must be Tonight." Who knew that song could be so good? I remember Danko & Levon acoustic at Gerde's Folk City in a "make-up" show after Dylan had sabotaged their show at the Lone Star a week earlier-every moment a delight. Mostly, I remember that voice, I remember how it got through to me when nothing else did, when he nailed me first time and every time with-

"Well, I love you so much
That it's all I can do,
Just to keep myself from telling you
That I've never felt so alone, before."

Goodbye and thanks.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 04:40:29 CET 1999 from (

Jim L.

From: Portsmouth, VA

Thank you Rick. I will treasure your music forever. Thanks for giving me your autograph a couple of years ago. Too soon gone.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 04:32:43 CET 1999 from (

Fast Eddie Windsor

From: Muskogee Oklahoma

To the family of Rick, and especially to Levon, my deepest sympathy for your loss. I knew 40 years ago how special all you guys were. Levon, I am glad to hear the red gretsch drums are still making music, brother. The circle will remain prayers are with you. Alan Dismukes, and Paul Briggs in Muskogee, also send their sypathy to you Levon as well. Stay strong, and on the good.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 04:29:42 CET 1999 from (

Colleen Martin-Fabius

From: Tamworth Ontartio Canada

I saw the Band twice,in Toronto and at the Stratford Theatre, always deeply moving and excellant musicions. But one of my all time favourite concerts was with Rick Danko at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, with 2 other guys,[Collin Linden was one] just amazing. He invited the audience to sing along so I got to sing my favourite "it Makes No Difference" with my hero, and he was so close I could tell the chording too. He took the time to make contact. Much missed

Posted on Mon Dec 13 04:27:17 CET 1999 from (

Whirlwind Dreamer

From: Maryland

"Lay a flower in the snow..." Goodbye, Rick. I'm 12 and I'll miss you.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 04:25:24 CET 1999 from (

Hank Beukema

From: Nyack,NY

I also had lost an 18 year old son,as Rick had.He was very compassionate and understood my pain and resulting troubles with alcohol.When I told him that Makes No Difference was how I felt after my son died,he did it twice in one set.I got really used to seeing him at least twice a year;always late,yes,but always worth the wait.Have you noticed that Christmas Must Be Tonight with Rick singing is about as good as it gets?...Goodbye,big buddy,it's a long,lonely hall without you.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 04:24:34 CET 1999 from (

Rick Leighton

Home page

Thank You Rick, you will always be a true inspiration to me and all that have witnessed or heard.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 04:05:07 CET 1999 from (


From: willowick, oh, usa

Goodbye, Rick.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 03:53:44 CET 1999 from (

Chris Golden

From: Marietta Georgia

I saw Rick's concert at Atlanta's "Variety Playhouse" 10 September 1993. He did good work that night, and his manner was, as ever, warm and out-going. He invited the crowd to join him singing "The Weight, " and we didn't completely obliterate the melody. He assured us we "could sing harmony with him anytime." After the show, I waited for him out in the parking lot, and even though he had to be in Birmingham in a few hours, he graciously took the time to talk music with me and sign my copies of "Big Pink" and "Stage Fright" to my two daughters. Same thing happened when the Band played Atlanta in 1994. An hour before the start and Rick's hanging out in the venue parking lot shooting the breeze with a dozen of us. He signed my copy of "Jericho" and everyone else's copies of "Moondog," "Northern Lights," whatever. He was a good-natured, kind-hearted man, wasn't he? My family extends sincere sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the Danko family. He and they are in our thoughts and daily prayers. Adieu, Rick. Too soon gone, yes, but never to be forgotten. If anyone wants to share some Danko stories or just reminisce, I'd like to hear from you. Sincerely, Chris

Posted on Mon Dec 13 03:51:47 CET 1999 from (


From: Paris, France

What can be said? I feel so sad and empty. It seems like my brother and best friend died. I saw him in concert several times, and his music, his voice, and his mean bass, made me feel happy. He was always happy to play. Just a guenuine great musician and person. It will be hard to fill the hole in my heart.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 03:48:10 CET 1999 from (

James Odom

No long message. Just "Thank you Rick". You'll be missed but not forgotten.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 03:34:43 CET 1999 from (

Rich C.

God Bless you Rick. Looking from afar Rick seemed such a nice and gentle soul. A guy that would always be the life of the party. But more importantly Rick was an amazing musician from when the music really mattered. He quit school to join a rock n' roll band at 14 and never looked back. What a story! Your music will always live on Rick Danko.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 03:20:33 CET 1999 from (

David O'Brien

From: Hobart, Australia

Ricks death has really hit me hard and I've noticed that it's not just because he was such a personable figure or a great singer but because it seems like whenever a Rick Danko or a Richard Manuel or a Doug Sahm dies it feels like we're running out of people who were around when things were good. Back before Dylan's intervention, before J.F.K.'s death, when there were traditions and good times and humility and faith, all the things which The Band have grown to embody. And that's what Rick's death has ultimately come to show me, that the Band have been gone for twenty-two years and since then they have become a family, a real tradition. Listen to Paul Burlinson's Train Kept a-Rollin' with Rick and everyone else. Richard knew the Band were dead. The Band's greatest achievement is what it has done in the past twenty years, growing to become not a band that was The Band but a myriad of bands all part of the family. An old time tradition in an age of pure self consciousness. Rest in Peace Rick Danko. Rest in Peace The Band.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 03:20:36 CET 1999 from (

Danny Lopez

From: iowa

God Bless to Rick's family, and thanks to Mr. Danko, for always smiling. "If I thought it would do any good, I'd stand on the rock where Moses stood ..." .

What follows is the official obituary from the New York Times on the web:

December 12, 1999

Rick Danko, 56, a Groundbreaker With the Band


Rick Danko, a singer and bass player in The Band, revered as one of the most important rock acts of the 1960s and '70s for its work with Bob Dylan and its first albums as a group, died Dec. 10 at his home in Marbletown, N.Y. He was 56.

The cause was unknown, said Dr. Walter Dobushak, the Ulster County medical examiner. He said an autopsy was planned.

Danko, who was born in Ontario, left high school at 14 to pursue a career in rock 'n' roll.

His break came when he was hired three years later by Ronnie Hawkins, a rockabilly pioneer with a ferocious stage show, to replace the bassist in his backing band, the Hawks.

Danko met Levon Helm, the senior member of the Hawks and, like Hawkins, a native of Arkansas, along with three Canadian musicians, Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson and Richard Manuel.

They left Hawkins in 1963 to tour on their own, mining the roots of American music under group names like Levon and the Hawks, the Crackers and the Canadian Squires.

After performing on recording sessions for the blues guitarist and singer John Hammond Jr., the group was introduced to Bob Dylan by Hammond, whose father had signed Dylan to his first recording contract.

In 1965 and 1966, the Band toured with Dylan as he was making his transition from acoustic folk to electric music, enduring boos and catcalls from folk purists who disapproved of Dylan's emerging style.

After Dylan was injured in a motorcycle accident, they spent seven months making music with him in the house known as "Big Pink," which Danko and two other Band members had rented near Woodstock, N.Y.

Some of the 100-plus songs they recorded there became part of one of rock music's most legendary bootlegs, known as "Great White Wonder" for its plain packaging. The material, in modified form, was officially released years later on Columbia as "The Basement Tapes."

After these recordings, the Band emerged with its first two albums, "Music From Big Pink" and "The Band," which rank among rock's seminal recordings. The Band reached into the heart of American music and came out with ready-made classics like "The Weight" and "Up on Cripple Creek."

The group reunited with Dylan in the mid-1970s, documenting its tours with the live album "Before the Flood" before breaking up in 1976 with a blowout Thanksgiving concert at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. In addition to performances by Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Van Morrison, the concert featured a reunion with Hawkins. The concert was documented in a film by Martin Scorsese, "The Last Waltz," and a three-record set.

While a member of the Band, Danko appeared on albums by Todd Rundgren ("Runt"), Neil Young ("On the Beach") and Clapton ("No Reason to Cry"). After leaving, he recorded a series of solo albums, the first of which was "Rick Danko."

The Band, which was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame five years ago, has had several reunions. During a tour in 1986, Manuel hanged himself during a stop in Florida. In 1997, Danko was arrested for receiving a package of heroin mailed to him in Japan. He was convicted and received a two-and-a-half-year suspended sentence.

This year, Danko appeared on albums by the Indigo Girls and Mark Fromm. He also released his first solo album in 10 years, "Live on Breeze Hill," profits from which were donated to Greenpeace. He had been on tour this month, and was at home resting and conducting interviews to promote the new album.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 03:06:58 CET 1999 from (

john neil munro

so sad to hear about rick - he was a real star.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 03:02:22 CET 1999 from (

Gino D.

From: NYC

All of them seem to leave us too early...but Rick Danko like Richard Manuel before him, somehow this hurts a little more. Just a haunting voice that brought me so much joy and wishes and prayers to his family. Thanks Rick for all the tunes and good times...It Makes No Difference, you'll always be here.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 02:43:07 CET 1999 from (

Marc Miller

From: Mill Valley, CA

Thanks Rick for “just wanting to help the neighborhood.” You certainly created one big cozy neighborhood. God bless and keep you always. With heartfelt sympathy to Rick's family, friends and fans, Marc

Posted on Mon Dec 13 02:39:45 CET 1999 from (

Sean Schafron

From: Pittsburgh, PA USA

I was surfing the web and listening to Rick Danko's new cd when I read the terrible news. My condolences go out to his family and friends. Danko was a great musician and he will be missed. I saw The Band perform in Clearwater Florida in I think 1986, not long before Richard's death. They were very excellent and Rick was a very nice man. Rest in peace.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 02:37:47 CET 1999 from (


From: Boston, Mass.

One of the greatest voices of all time. He always seemed like he enjoyed performing. I only saw him once, about a year ago at a small venue in Massachusetts. One of the best things I ever did. He sounded great, and seemed like a genuine guy. Lived up to my very high expectations.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 02:32:00 CET 1999 from (


From: now Kingston - previous Toronto

My sincerest sympathies to Rick Danko's family It's so sad to loose someone so young -- All fans I'm sure will miss him -- friends like myself will too - fondly remembered - Joyce Levon - my sympathies to you as well and to Garth say hello sometime when you're around - if you ever read these messages -- Joyce (no knees Joyce??? - your statement, not mine!!chuckle!!)

Posted on Mon Dec 13 02:28:44 CET 1999 from (


From: Westchester NY


Posted on Mon Dec 13 02:18:16 CET 1999 from (

Sarah Gillett

From: Toronto

A few years ago I saw Rick Danko play here in Toronto at the Horseshoe Tavern. I happened to strike up a conversation with a fellow audience member who turned out to be Rick's cousin. He took me backstage after the show and introduced me to Rick. He was very sweet - and what a thrill to meet the man behind that haunting voice. I'll never forget it. I can't believe he's gone.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 02:13:25 CET 1999 from (

Paul Schoninger

From: Lexington, KY

I saw Rick Tuesday, Nov. 30 at a little club here in Lexington. Rick put on just a wonderful show. My thoughts are with his wife and family. May God look out for you.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 02:05:31 CET 1999 from (

John C

From: Cumberland Gap, Tennessee

My roomate in college had an 8 track of the album with "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." We played the devil out of that tape. I bought the video of the "Last Waltz" and have watched it a hundred times trying to relive that moment in history. I finally got to see "The Band" in Knoxville, Tennessee around 1996 and could not believe the energy and level of peformance the boys gave that night. I was thrilled they were coming back to Knoxville, one of their first stops on their 1997 tour. Got a ticket, not finding another Band fan to travel with me to the 50 miles to K-town, I took off to the Tennessee Theatre.

When I arrived there was no crowd, no cars, nothing. I parked in front of the theatre after rechecking my ticket to make sure the date and location were correct. They were correct but where was The Band? I got out and found a 50 year old hippie in the ticket booth. "What happened?" I asked. "Where is The Band?" "Rick got busted, man, in Japan you can get a refund, man." I laughed hysterically. Rick got busted in Japan. So I went back to my van, put "The Last Waltz" tape in and went to a little Mexican restaurant and had a fine meal. Since then I would check this sight regularly hoping the boys would return to Knoxville hoping to experience that feeling again of that first concert. I have the memory of that 1996 concert for the rest of my life and I'm thankful for that. Another part of the sixties just left us. Thanks for the muse you left us.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 01:58:35 CET 1999 from (

Chip Hughes

From: San Antonio

I've been nourished, heartened, musically educated and inspired by The Band for thirty years. Listening to them has grown to feel like a family connection. When Richard Manuel died, it felt like losing someone known and closely loved. It seems even more so with Rick Danko's passing. It feels like the loss of a beautiful companion, who in a mysterious way has been an actual pal, with whom it feels I've played and sung, whose playing and singing always meant vulnerability, humor, decency, charm, sweetness & generosity. Many, many people are grieving for this man whom they never met directly, all around the world. He will continue to open my heart.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 01:55:31 CET 1999 from (

T. Slocum

From: Malibu

Rick Danko was One of a Kind.. I'll never forget, all the great music and contributions, he made to the North American and global Music culture..I'll never forget Rick & Gene Clark from the Byrds, pickin and playing in my house, and writing a real great song called "America".Rick was a good soul.A Musicians Musician! My sympathies go out to his family, Elizabeth, and his brother Terry/.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 01:51:19 CET 1999 from (

Lou DeRobertis

From: Old Forge, PA

The music of Rick and his BANDmates have given me more enjoyment than virtually anything in my life except my family. I grew up listening to your music, and now my children have. Although only ages 13, 11 and 9, they know the words to virtually all your songs, right through Jubilation. In fact, a CD of it was in my car stereo on this sad morning. On our way to church, we said a prayer for Ricki with "High Cotton" playing. The Band's music is timeless, as will be memories of Rick. God bless, with sympathy to his loved ones.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 01:45:44 CET 1999 from (

red stuthers

From: illinois

just want to say thank you rick for all the years of outstanding music. you and richard keep the music going till we all catch up with you, the music never dies and neither will your influence on it.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 01:23:51 CET 1999 from (


From: Sweden

Thanks Rick for magical moments! My first encounter with you was "The Last Waltz" and ever since I have loved your voice and your songs. I love your solo album too and the album you made with Andersen & Fjeld. Your voice in "Blue River" is so touching! As they say, God wanted a singer in his band, so he took the best one from us.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 01:09:44 CET 1999 from (

simon hawking

From: Melbourne, Australia

In memory of, & dedication to, Rick Danko. An integral part of history's greatest ever musical outfit. Rick's sound & voice should live forever. Now reunited with Richard to start it all over again. I wish I was there to hear that.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 00:58:53 CET 1999 from (

John Donabie

From: Scarborough

It's taken me a couple of days to write this post. I would like to send my deepest sympathies to Ricky's wife and children. Also to Terry, Rick's brother. I'm so sorry Terry. To Levon as well....hang in there my friend. Listened to "It Makes no Difference" today. It was very hard to get through it. From the family, John, Ala, Jimi and Samantha Donabie.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 00:38:54 CET 1999 from (

Mike Nomad

From: Moonbeam, Ont.

Lasting impression of Rick: A smiling, smirking, cocky young bassman goofing around on stage with an equally smirking, smiling young Robbie Robertson, both cocks of the walk if there ever were any. Time and place: Early '60s, Brass Rail Tavern, London, Ont. Thnx, Rick, and good-bye.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 00:34:00 CET 1999 from (

Groan Alone

Home page

Rick, a true individual, my sympathy to your loved ones. Who knows, maybe when we get to the top we'll start all over again. Peace.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 00:32:55 CET 1999 from (

The Lube

From: CT

You are right 'Lil. No words, just tears. My tribute on Fraiday last involved wearing my old Band tee shirt and telling everyone I knew that they had lost an old friend, even if they had never met him. Most looked at me like I was crazy, but some understood-- some had not heard the news and grieved as we are. The response on this page is overwheling, and I feel as if i am mourning with my community.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 00:32:49 CET 1999 from (

Will E

From: Windsor, Ontario, CANADA

Rick Danko - a great musician, a wonderful person, and a proud Canadian. We will miss you very much Rick.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 00:30:48 CET 1999 from (

Greg K.

From: St. Paul, MN

I discovered The Band in the fall of 1969, when the second album was released. I was a confused college freshman in Ithaca, NY, dreadfully homesick for northern Minnesota and baffled by the mordant criticism of the United States that filled the public and private discourse all around me. As one Rolling Stone reviewer said at the time, the music was "organic Americana"; it gave us assurance that our nation was not evil at its heart, and reconnected us to what our country was really about. My imagination linked the rolling rhythms of "The Weight" with the rolling hills of upstate New York, from the tip of Cayuga Lake off to Woodstock where the members of The Band were. I saw them in Syracuse in 1971 and in St. Louis with Dylan in 1974. Then the Last Waltz seemed to cap a time of my life and an era of music, and I ceased to follow what the members were doing. It was one of the joys of my middle years to discover in the fall of 1993 that they'd reunited, and released a new album: hey, hey, my, my, it really *will* never die. Seeing them twice at small venues in Minneapolis after that, back, alive, and kicking, was wonderful. It's hard to envision the current aggregation without Rick, but it also was hard to envision The Band after 1976; the soul conquers loss with time, Levon, Garth, and newer comrades, and the song goes on. Godspeed, Rick, and sing with the angels--the pain and the joy in your music are forever now, transcendent.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 00:30:56 CET 1999 from (

Paul Godfrey

From: London, Ontario Canada

With deepest respect and much love for all the music and special memories. To Terry and the Danko family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Levon, Shannon, Julia and Paul Godfrey.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 00:21:21 CET 1999 from (

Jason Walker

From: Sydney, Australia

I can't believe Rick Danko is dead. I'm sitting here at work, reading some of the guestbook signees and crying for a man who I did not know but whose voice carried with it the pain of rejection, loss, hurt and heartache. If there was a sweeter singer ever to be heard, God kept that voice to himself. Thank you Rick for a wonderful musical legacy. Your voice will be missed. I'll be listening to It Makes No Difference and When You Awake when I get home from work. God bless his family and friends. Love to all the Band from an Australian fan.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 00:22:55 CET 1999 from (



Posted on Mon Dec 13 00:20:13 CET 1999 from (

Adriano Tedde

From: Italy

"See the man with the stage fright Just standing up there to give it all his might" To a great one. Farewell Rick. Thanks for all you gave us.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 00:10:57 CET 1999 from (

Jim M.

From: Massapequa , N.Y.

Been listening all day. I was right, You & Your Friends are great. Thanks & R.I.P./// P.S. I truly hope " LIFE WAS A CARNIVAL " for YOU.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 00:08:44 CET 1999 from (

Harry Warman

From: Boulder Co.

What a great talent to be lost. Rick gave the Band its funk. I will truly miss his sound.

Posted on Mon Dec 13 00:06:42 CET 1999 from (

Kevin A. Koch

From: Pa

i heard about Rick Danko this weekend when i was visiting some friends up state. i am 22 years old and have only been listening to them since i was 17, but i feel like i have been a fan of The Band for years now. The Band is one of the best rock groups ever. their music got me through a real bad time in my life. the night i found out i went to see my friends band play. the did The Weight as a tribute to Rick. i just want to say thank you Rick, thank you for all the music and all the memories. where ever you may be . . .long may you run. your pal Kev

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