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The Band Guestbook, December 1999

Below are the entries in the Band guestbook from December 14-22, 1999.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 23:14:22 CET 1999 from (

Peter Viney

During this tragic week, it’s been so good to see so many wonderful memories and tributes to Rick here on the guestbook. I’ve been here looking every day, but somehow posting anything except tributes seems wrong at this time. Here’s hoping a lot of you stick around and come back to visit in the future. There’s still the legacy of thirty years of music to discuss, as well as music for the future with material from Rick’s recent sessions to be released hopefully, and let’s not forget whatever solo projects we might see from Levon, Garth and Robbie. Not forgetting Jim and the Gurus, Randy, Richard Bell and Aaron Hurwitz. In the words of Van M. - “When the healing has begun …”

Posted on Wed Dec 22 23:03:06 CET 1999 from (

mike jacobs

From: Omaha, Nebraska

When I heard Rick Danko died it hit hit me pretty hard. His was one of those voices that gave me goose bumps when I listened to him. He was a great musician too. The world has lost a real legendary figure.I only wish I would have had the chance to see him play live. Rest in peace Rick. We will never forget you.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 22:46:16 CET 1999 from (

Mr. Al Bundy

From: 60 degrees and pickin up speed

Re: Dr. Pepper; Oh I don't know??? Ya kinda gotta watch thos e Peppers. Mr. Danko stated once that he was going to help him get the "Gerble" outta his throat or something along that line. Doc, Rick said "Ican help you with that problem". Now we'll never know.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 21:33:58 CET 1999 from (

Ray Martini

From: Toronto

I am honoured to have shaken Rick's hand after a show in London, Ontario and he was in great spirits and his voice was outstanding. He was gracious and warm as he listened to me babble on about how great I thought the show was. I am going to watch the Last Waltz again tonight for the first time in around 10 years. I'm sure it will strike me as an even greater masterpiece given the recent passing of Rick.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 20:45:58 CET 1999 from (

john rockwood

From: toledo,ohio

rick was on my car player this cold december morning,he sang"," don't leave me in the twilight".it just punched a hole in my prayers go out for his familey and many heart"s did this man touch?

Posted on Wed Dec 22 19:46:29 CET 1999 from (

deb mcmanman

From: Eugene/Springfield, Oregon
Home page

Just an observation on "Observation's" observation: The internet has given many here, and on other sites, a rare opportunity to live life WITH other people and connect WITH them. I'm sure we all have lives we go on with, and this guestbook is just a small part of our individual lives. As a member of an extended global family that is forming here, I feel very fortunate to be able to express what music, and certain musicians as are in The Band, has meant to me. Through the magic of the printed word, even poet Walt Whitman has joined us with his words (the poem "The Power of Music" can be viewed at: http://www. and certainly begins to explain the power that music and the performers can bestow on us, the listeners). Another thing this guestbook has meant to me personally: being able to deal with the grief process (I have experienced 5 deaths of varying sorts in 1999 alone) in a positive and benficial way. So, here's to having a life and celebrating with others who do also! Put on your music, go do your dance, live your life, and come back and visit here as often as you can, people! All of your words and feelings are welcome to me. Thanks to Jan who has graciously set up this guestbook, for it is obviously enabling many people to vent/cry/express/toast/salute/etc. their feelings, and that is ultimately healthy (with the exception of the false ones who use other's names as a cover; like the one who masquearaded as Dr. Pepper). Oh, I hear "It Makes No Difference" on the CD player. Gotta go; live my life...

Posted on Wed Dec 22 19:41:27 CET 1999 from (


From: Cincinnati

This is the first time I could comment on the death of our friend Rick. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times. We lost a great one, but I feel blessed to have meet him and seen him play. He is missed in Cincinnati

Posted on Wed Dec 22 18:15:25 CET 1999 from (


From: Dutchess County

I also know Dr. Pepper to be an honest and honorable person.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 17:24:06 CET 1999 from (

Martin Levin

From: Toronto

I met Rick Danko just once, but had extended phone conversations with him while preparing an article on Richard Manuel. He was generous with his time and memories, warm and insightful. I had always felt connected to his music; then I felt connected to the man. He did make a difference. R.I.P. Rick.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 16:53:11 CET 1999 from (


From: Harwood, Ontario

Just a short note sending out thanks to Rick Danko for all the great tunes, and condolences to all of his family and friends.When we heard the news we pulled out the albums and had our own little tribute to Rick.His music lives on!!!

Posted on Wed Dec 22 16:43:50 CET 1999 from (

David Powell

From: Georgia

"I want you to know that while we watched / You discovered no one would be true / And I myself was among the ones who thought / It was just a childish thing to do."

Posted on Wed Dec 22 16:32:16 CET 1999 from (


From: Oregon

MattK: Very well said, as usual. Especially at this time, you'd think people would lighten up. Life's too short.

Lil: Glad to have you back...

Personally, I'm pleased to have so many "new" people posting their repects to the Danko extended family. He sure touched a lot of us, didn't he?

Any fans in Portland who would like to get together sometime after the holidays to raise a glass to Rick, e-mail me and maybe we can meet at one the local watering holes.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 15:58:44 CET 1999 from (

Bashful Bill

From: Minoa,N.Y.

I was afraid it was too good to last. Nastiness has raised its ugly head. For the record: I know Dr. Pepper, and have for almost 30 years. He was a friend of Rick's and is truly grieving. He is pretty upset over being misrepresented in Jan's GB. Other than pointing out that it wasn't he who made that post, there is not much he can do, except continue his grieving along with many others. Having said that-to quote Rodney King several years ago-"Can't we all just get along?" There are problems enough in the world, and the loss of Rick is too fresh for people to be getting nasty around here. This may sound nieve and touchy-feely, but think about it-would Rick want people acting foolish and petty or would he want something constructive going on. And consider that some of his family or friends may be checking in here. We know that his neice was and very possibly still is. And lastly, I don't think that Jan created this place for nastiness, and we are his guests here, literally. So please, if you want conflict in your life, take it elsewhere.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 15:44:32 CET 1999 from (


From: knee deep in the holiday

Heading out of town tonight, and will be away until the new year.

I wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a very happy holiday (whatever you celebrate, if anything) and a prosperous and joyous New Year.



Posted on Wed Dec 22 15:29:33 CET 1999 from (


Bluesymama - Just an FYI, as noted, Dick Pepper, aka Dr. Pepper did NOT actually do that post. Somehow, someone is spoofing him and posting under his name. Whoever the unamed coward is, it's not the gb regular we all know as Dr. Pepper. Doesn't absolve whoever wrote that post for attacking you, but WHO it really is continues to be a mystery.

Observation - speaking for myself, as a GB regular, I have a life. The community of friends here share a common interest and passion for these musicians. Such passions are what make life rich. Criticizing others "for not having a life" is inevitably the act of someone who's own life needs some re-evaluation.

Can we keep it civil?


Posted on Wed Dec 22 14:49:01 CET 1999 from (

Phil H.

Rick, The greatest scene in any music film has to be Danko singing Stage Fright in The Last waltz with the one spotlight on him and the camera view from behind the stage, what a poignant tribiute to a man who loved music. The Band was a big part of my life, and now with Richie and Rick both gone, I'll always remember their music and how it made the world a better place. To all the members of the Band, my heartfelt condolences and to all the family within the Band.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 14:33:04 CET 1999 from (

[guest photo]


From: Smiling
Home page

Hi, This makes a great gift for the Holidays, it grows on you, trust me!

Posted on Wed Dec 22 14:09:52 CET 1999 from (


From: the top of the ladder!!!!!

BTW...I never tried to dispute any effort to help Rick's family now,in their time of need, or when he was in Japan. In fact, not that I owe you any explanation, but, my ladder climbing friend (and husband) played a MAJOR role in his release, you ignorant fool. Perhaps the reason for your petty jealousy is that Rick, Levon and Richard all respected my husband and knew him to be a loyal and trusted friend. Go back under your rock or come out and admit who you really are. I guess your ladder is crumbling now that Rick has passed on. Let's see??? Hmmm...who elses shirt tails can ya ride now. Certainly not Levon's,LOLOL He's hip to all of you weirdo's.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 11:56:41 CET 1999 from (

wendy wasserman

From: New York

Great news! Garth will be playing a New Years Eve gig along with Blondie Chaplin and Anton Fig at The Angel Orensanz Arts Center in New York City.I know,that I will be going.They have a website with information.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 11:45:07 CET 1999 from (

Sue Dobinson

From: Oxfordshire, England

Came late to the party, Saw TLW in 83 - Asked my man to buy me Big Pink the next day. He forgot! I went out in a thunderstorm with 30mins to go before the shops closed - Got it! Hooked for ever. Musically the guys were just the best. How 5 talants like that ended up in the same band is beyond me and each one gave something special. Rick was a wonderful singer whose voice touched me and could make me cry - or feel joyous! A sad loss.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 11:13:38 CET 1999 from (


From: South Africa

I would like to thank Jan for the fabulous Band Website. Not only can I plug into news and information about my favourite group of all time, but if it wasn't for the site, I doubt if I would have even heard about Rick's untimely passing here in the southern tip of Africa. The site is brilliantly constructed, diverse, up to date, intelligent and a place I visit daily. Thanks Jan

Posted on Wed Dec 22 08:16:54 CET 1999 from (


From: NY

Dick Pepper, you are a real dick weed.I take offense to your petty posts, which happen to be nothing but lies. You are one sick individual and I have no time to entertain your BS. I am not Rick's sister, never claimed to be, but I've known him for over 20 years and yes my family has always been there in time of need. Got a problem with that??? Take some prozac. Some of us are still grieving for the loss of a dear old friend. Why don't you come out from under that rock and admit to who you really are? Hiding behind someone else's screenname shows what a coward you really are. Bluesymama aka: mamalisa

Posted on Wed Dec 22 06:50:24 CET 1999 from (

Beth Radtke

From: Chicago suburbs

I'm in the middle of watching Rick's Bass Techniques video and how lucky we are to have the technology to still have him "here". Yes, it hurts, but it's wonderful to spend an hour with him being to cute and so.... Rick. My favorite line? "Happy to be here in your living room with you. I knew it would someday come to this." What a great spirit he is..... I love you Rick. Love, Beth

Posted on Wed Dec 22 05:33:24 CET 1999 from (


I was saddened to hear of Ricks sudden passing, As I know some of his Family & have seen him perform solo on several occasions. The Last Waltz made a great impression on me as a musician, as I was 13 when I first saw it premiere at the Ziegfield Theatre in N.Y.C. Our Lord needed another great bass player with a great voice to join the party...Thanks Rick for the great music throughout the years. God Bless you & Richard Manuel...MusicPaz!!! G.Campo

Posted on Wed Dec 22 03:56:31 CET 1999 from (


Mr.John D: maybe it's because all those people have a life. They pay their respects and go on with their existence. Perhaps they choose not to live their life constantly through someone else's.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 02:43:35 CET 1999 from (

Alexandra Fortier

From: Canada

I've been reading many of the posts in this guestbook and am very touched by what people are saying. Rick did make a big impact on people with his talent. I watched "The Last Waltz" a while back and it did leave a positive impression on me. Thanks for all the music you made and the lives you have touched Rick.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 02:43:08 CET 1999 from (

[guest photo]


From: Getting Better.
Home page

I only wish there were a computer to the skies! Ricks computer most likly would have crashed by now,,, due to an over log of e-mail! Jan, I don't know what your computer set-up is,,,but it must be a dandy!

Posted on Wed Dec 22 02:35:49 CET 1999 from (

Ted Haycraft

From: Evansville,IN

In regards to Kat Sermat's query, there is no DVD release of TLW......yet! I'm thinking there's going to be one eventually and thinking it may be remastered with extra goodies (i.e. deleted footage, remastered sound, etc.). The reason I think this might happen was in the press material sent out for Robbie's Disney TV Special, it mentioned that he was working on a special re-release of TLW for the video/laser disc market (I'll try and dig it up and double-check exactly what it stated). A special DVD release only seems natural for this great film and it apparently there would be all sorts of stuff to pack a supplemental section with. So far as what's out on DVD of The Band I believe it's the following: the already mentioned R. Robertson Retropective, the Classic Album episode on the Brown Album and the recent New Orleans concert (which was released on laser disc). A DVD release of Dylan's DON'T LOOK BACK will be out next month with extra stuff, now if only EAT THE DOCUMENT (both versions) would come out on DVD!!! Man, it was really strange that I happen to be playing TLW for some of my family members over Thanksgiving and pointing out who was who to them and then passing on making the trip over to Lexington, KY to see Rick in concert. I can personally exclaim on how nice and gracious a man he was, not to mention he had such a vibrant, fun spirit! He and Levon provided me one of the highlights of my little life, let alone all of the music from them and the rest of the guys. Again, so much thanks to Jan for this site and the GB where we can all share with each other our love and sorrow..............

Posted on Wed Dec 22 01:57:21 CET 1999 from (

Diamond Lil

It occurs to me that I was not able to come near this guestbook for nearly a week after Rick's death, and now I feel tremendous comfort in just being here again. It's still so hard to listen to that beautiful voice that's been stilled, and the tears are still coming down...but I find myself waiting for that light at the end of a very dark tunnel. I know it'll be there...and it's name is Rick...and the warmth that was him will shine inside all of us forever. A very rare and special gift he leaves us with. Very few others have touched so many....

Posted on Wed Dec 22 01:38:05 CET 1999 from (


From: Baltimore

The first time I saw The Band was on Dylan's 1974 comeback tour. Although I was familiar with The Band's music, and loved it, I really came to see Dylan. The strongest memory I took away from that concert, however, was Rick Danko's amazing bass playing. Thanks, Rick, for several concerts, many records, and that beautiful voice.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 01:21:41 CET 1999 from (


From: Hawaii

Im so sorry to hear Rick has passed on to the Great Gig In The Sky, only because we dont get to hear any of his new stuff from there. Im the singer in a band that does a lot of your songs in tribute, and Im going to have trouble not choking from now on. All hail to an absolutely irreplaceable Icon to those who listened, and continue to love the music. Aloha, and save journey to him, and the family he left behind to carry on. "The Claytones" will be doing a tribute for him somewhere, I just have to organize it. Thanks, Rick.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 00:55:02 CET 1999 from (

Adela V. Calbillo

From: Houston, TX

It has been so wonderful and therapeutic to return to this guestbook over and over again. When I heard the news last week, I couldn't even watch any Band videos or listen to any music. All I could do and wanted to do was get on the horn and call people, people who knew Rick like I did. The only reason I wasn't in Bearsville last week was because on the very day of Rick's memorial, I was in the snow-covered mountains of New Mexico, burying my boyfriend's grandmother. Still, Rick was never far from my mind, especially as I saw all the many flattened deer on the side of the road on the long drive from Houston to New Mexico. And I couldn't help but smile and think of Rick the deerslayer himself: "Lotta good venison here"!!! It was nice today to read the new Time magazine and see that Rick is mentioned. Thank you all for posting your beautiful words; it has been a great help for me and others who loved Rick like I do.

Posted on Wed Dec 22 00:02:18 CET 1999 from (

John D

This is just an observation. I find it amazing, after reading these pages the last few years to find hundreds of people who have never posted; because of the death of Rick. I hope these "new" people will stick around. I'm sorry it took a death to bring these folks out.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 23:21:24 CET 1999 from (

Lloyd Jones Jr.

From: Black Irish Band./.Winters Wages
Home page

Sorry to hear about Rick..listened to some of the Band's music last Week..He will be missed. Best Regards Lloyd Jones Jr.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 22:53:45 CET 1999 from (


From: CT

I have not posted since the sad news, but I want to thank everyone for all the kind and heartfelt words. It really makes it better to know other people feel the same.

Mattk and Diamond Lil: Your posts were especially meaningful, for the service was very moving. Robbie did a marvelous job, and I know Rick would have been pleased. I always told people that Rick would be the one who gets the Band back together(before Richard died), and, in a way, I was right, for it's nice to think all five members were there at that service. Thanks again.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 22:37:18 CET 1999 from (

Ms. Sugar

Thanks, Rick, for the inspiration. Thanks for singing "It Makes No Difference," and "Sip The Wine." Miss your music forever.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 22:32:20 CET 1999 from (

laura Holt

From: Austin, TX

I am very happy that there is a place where Band fans from all over can express themselves. This is a hard time for all who loved Rick Danko. I'm glad to find that there are so many people out there that feel the same as I do. In my experience it has been hard to find people who truely appreciate the music that "the Band" created. Either they have "no clue" or they sort of know them by "The Weight" or by Bob Dylan. I'm always thinking that it's a shame because in addition to such a classic song as "The Weight" there are so many more classics songs that came from "The Band" that people just don't know. I love to educate them when they let me!!

Posted on Tue Dec 21 19:33:23 CET 1999 from (

Ann Steer

From: Montreal

I am fortunate to have met Rick and the other memeers of The Band on their first reunion tour - when they went across Canada - sometime during the eighty's. Originally, we went to their concert - outdoors in Gatineu Park near Ottawa- We fell in love with the music and followed them from city to city. We stayed at the same hotel in Edmonton and sat around talking with them after teh performance. It was great! What superb musicians! What fine people! Most of all, though, it was the music that kept us coming back. What wonderful music they made!

Posted on Tue Dec 21 18:30:17 CET 1999 from (


From: L.A.

Rick was a special artist and a unique individual. Generous to a fault and in his artistry, always pushed the envelope. May you rest in peace, Rick.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 17:59:41 CET 1999 from (

Mark Plotkin

From: Monticello, New York

August 14, 1969 was the day I came home from Vietnam. What timing! "Big Pink" kept me going in the jungles. Your music kept me sane back home. Rick's singing always made me smile. I went to Bethel the other day and placed a Rose on the Woodstock Monument in memory of Rick. Thanks guys. Thanks Rick. Mark Plotkin/ Monticello, N.Y.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 17:31:36 CET 1999 from (


From: London UK

So so sorry to hear of Rick's death. The Band has meant so much to me since Big Pink..Just wonderful, heartbreaking music. My wife saw them with Bob Dylan at the Royal Albert Hall in London. So long Rick and thanks for everything.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 17:12:12 CET 1999 from (

Bobby Heller

From: Goldsboro, NC

When I was in highschool in the mid 80's my friend in jazz band died. The last thing he said to me was, "Bob, make sure that you watch The Last Waltz tomorrow night on TV." I did and it blew me away. Thank you Rick and all of The Band. Rick, say hi to Eric for me, he used to play pretty good saxophone.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 16:14:47 CET 1999 from (

Bashful Bill

From: Minoa,N.Y.

Stanlry Landau-the same thing happened to me a few days ago, the movie I saw was American Beauty, an uplifting flick with a timely message that should be appreciated by all of us at this time. I can't recommend it enough! It reminds me of a similair experience several years ago. A few months after we lost Jerry Garcia I saw the movie Smoke{another great story with a beautiful message for us all}. Thhe last scene rather abruptly switched to the credits with a JGB song blasting over the speakers and there was not a dry eye in my seat. It turns out it was a cover of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes written by Jerome Kern. Kern was a musical hero of Jerry's father and he named his son after him. I wonder how many Rick,s will be brought into the world named after their parents hero? Anyway, I strongly urge everyone to check out both of these movies.They are truly comforting.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 15:58:17 CET 1999 from (

Frank Dracman

From: lic

I get a daily mailer from (where I bought white mansions and Jesse James for a nice price) and they have about 4 artists (mostly people I never heard of) give their top ten. MUSIC FROM BIG PINK made the bee gees list of the top 10 of the century (the bee gees -Im not claiming to be a fan BUT-they started out with some nice acoustic stuff like "Massachusetts". We'll blame cd now for thinking big pink was by Pink Floyd.

Top 10 Of The Century:

1. The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds
2. The Beatles, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
3. Elvis Presley, Heartbreak Hotel and Jailhouse Rock
4. Frank Sinatra
5. Michael Jackson, Thriller
6. Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced?
7. Pink Floyd, Music From Big Pink
8. Everly Brothers
9. Pasty Cline
10. Rod Stewart, Every Picture Tells A Story

Posted on Tue Dec 21 15:50:59 CET 1999 from (

Jim Dickson

From: Laggan Locks, Invergarry

Rick Danko was one of my life's reference points, as was Grosvenor Washington who died recently too. My adult life seems to be overwritten on a black vinyl diary. Sad, innit?

Posted on Tue Dec 21 15:22:52 CET 1999 from (

Kat Sermat

From: Montreal

Does anyone know if the Last Waltz is available on DVD, and if so, where I could buy it via the Internet (US or Canadian sites)? I've made several inquiries at my local music shops, none of which stocked it or could find it in their special-order catalogues. Thanks all.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 14:59:01 CET 1999 from (

Keith Kuar

From: Singapore

The Band. First heard them when I saw The Last Waltz. I was about 15 then. More interested in the Bee Gees than anyone else. Then I became smarter. Started listening to good music. My first love, and still is, is Jackson Browne. Naturally progressed to the ultimate singer/songwriter - Bob Dylan. And then, there was The Band. You don't get many good bands coming over to Singapore. I regretted not being smart enough to enjoy The Last Waltz when I first saw it at 15. I spent 3 years looking for the movie and when I finally found it on Laser Disc I spent almost everyday for the next 2 weeks watching it. I love every minute of that concert. But it is Rick Danko and Richard Manuel whom I really grew to like. They were the most child like of the five. They really looked like they still enjoyed what they were doing, eventhough it was supposed to be their farewell concert. My favorite songs - It Makes No Difference & Stagefright. Rick & Richard - Thank you. I still have both of you on disc and I thank God for that. This is written after a bottle of wine and it has not been re-read. Please excuse any errors.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 06:24:15 CET 1999 from (

Don Bradey

From: Vancouver, B. C.

I've been a great Band fan ever since I first heard Old Rocking Chair back in 1970.Loved everything they ever did...Felt the huge loss of a great talent when Richard died and feel that same shock and loss at the passing of Rick Danko...My heart goes out to the family..hopefully you can find some comfort in knowing of the millions of fans that he touched over a colorful and storied life. I've watched countless documentaries done on them and read everthing I could ever get my hands on about these marvelously gifted and never duplicated musicians. The fact that two geat members of this incredible collection of musicians have left us is truly a monumental loss for us all.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 05:45:23 CET 1999 from (


From: Germany / Hamburg
Home page

Hallo Rick, falls dich meine Zeilen Irgendwo im Universum noch erreichen,Goodbye machs gut.Gruß Wolle

Posted on Tue Dec 21 04:57:19 CET 1999 from (

[guest photo]


From: Getting 'Better.
Home page

Band (John) Thoughts:

Your post was verying moving to me, I enjoyed it for its realizism.

Its nice to see ours friends (and that means all of you) are posting again! As I do understand,,,that in the mist of things, we all feel as ONE when we are all back again, its a good thing too!

'Lil,,,as always,Thanks for being here again, my heart melted the same time yours did when Rick's candle went out. I know all of ours did, but its good to grieve, with someone there...

Posted on Tue Dec 21 04:17:01 CET 1999 from (

Diamond Lil

MattK: As someone who was at the service for Rick, and who has mentioned in the past that I am _not_ a fan of Robbie's solo work, I want to applaud you for your post. There is no doubt in my mind that Robbie's words came from his heart..and I don't think there was anyone in that room who wasn't moved to tears by his very beautiful words. I felt his pain as his voice cracked... and know he was truly talking to Rick as someone he loved and cared about so very much. And as you said, it was also my impression as I listened that he was thanking Rick for giving life to the words that he wrote. There was no grandstanding...just honest emotion. He chose to sit anonymously in the crowd, and when he was asked to go onstage and join some of the others in "I Shall Be Released", he quietly and graciously declined. A real class act.

In light of what's happened, I think it's time that everyone stopped trying to read more into things that just aren't there. We've lost so much..please..let's just hold onto the music and the warmth that it gives us all. In the big picture, nothing else really matters. Thanks.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 03:56:39 CET 1999 from (


Posted on Tue Dec 21 02:40:55 CET 1999 from (


From: PA

I do not think it can be stated any better then Mattk's comments regarding RR's letter to Rick.

Peter V., please check in. Would love to see you do a write up on This Wheel's on Fire and New Mexico.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 02:21:33 CET 1999 from (


I played at DJ for my firehouse xmas party Saturday evening. I warned my friends of my intentions for the night and made it my little tribute to Rick. Started the evening off with "Christmas Must Be Tonight" and every other song featured Rick and/or The Band or Danko Fjeld and Anderson. Everyone to my suprise put up with me the entire party. Started at 7:00pm and kept it up into the early morning hours. My only problem was decidng on the songs to play. A very uplifting evening, and it was for you Rick, thanks. Felt like everybody was in my living room.....The entries in this guestbbok continue to leave me speechless.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 01:48:01 CET 1999 from (

Johnny Walker

Just thought I'd let everyone know that it seems Elliot Landy has updated his site. Probably regarding the upcoming book he's going to release with photos of Dylan and the Band. There's some great shots:

Posted on Tue Dec 21 01:28:57 CET 1999 from (

Stanley Landau

From: Toronto

Yesterday afternoon I saw a movie. Before the movie was a trailer for a new movie starring Wynona Rider. All of a sudden, in the middle of the trailer, they started playing the Weight (Big Pink version). Man, hearing that just then, in full stereophonic sound just blew me away.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 00:45:29 CET 1999 from (

Joshua Boyd

From: Lowell, MA

Rick- What's it like to see Richard again, to be together, reliving the old, sepia-toned quality of the music? Although at times you sounded like Kermit the frog, you also knocked me down with the sincerity of your voice on songs like "Unfaithful Servant," "Twilight" and "Lovin' you Is Sweeter Than Ever" on Watkins Glen. Your bass playing was right where it needed to be in the music - that's saying more than it sounds. Thank you, Rick, Thank you. I'll miss you.

Posted on Tue Dec 21 00:45:18 CET 1999 from (

jack s.

From: pa.

rick danko's contributions to music are innumerable and the empathy in his voice is richard and stan,rick is indeed 'too soon gone'.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 23:58:53 CET 1999 from (


From: Holland
Home page

This is really really sad news. On my homepage, I am in the process of publishing my top 10 rock artists, on which The Band are n° 7. After I'd put up a short story about The Band there today, I checked your homepage, only to find out Rick is no longer there. As a tribute, you may like to check out my little impression of life in Big Pink: - Ruard

Posted on Mon Dec 20 23:34:04 CET 1999 from (


Sorry, Dr. Pepper, I missed your caveat there. Whoever it was, they were mimicing a point a few others had made. So we'll leave it as food for thought to whomever is out there spoofing.


Posted on Mon Dec 20 23:06:19 CET 1999 from (


From: Charlottesville, Virginia (USA)

How appropriate for Wordsworth and The Band to be linked by David Powell!! If what Ricky and the boys have given to us lasts as long as what Wordsworth wrote (and I, for one, believe that will be the case), then, in coming to know and and love the work of The Band and its members, we've truly been in the presence of some magnificent artists and chroniclers these past 32 years. Some other Wordsworth words have been comforting to me since receiving the sad news 10 days ago. Perhaps they'll comfort you, too. I believe they're from Ode on Intimations of Immortality: Though nothing can bring back the hour...Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower...We grieve not but, rather, find...Strength in what remains behind. Amen to that. Godspeed, Ricky.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 22:37:57 CET 1999 from (

Dr. Pepper

One more time.....that WAS NOT me that posted the negative message last night. Someone did some homework to make it look as such. Dick Pepper

Posted on Mon Dec 20 22:37:12 CET 1999 from (


From: England

GOD BLESS YOU RICK From all the world

Posted on Mon Dec 20 22:13:38 CET 1999 from (

Karsten Bak

From: Denmark

Sorry to hear that Rick is dead. The world's finest Rock N' Roll band (in heaven) has found a new bass player. May you stay forever young, Rick. God bless you.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 22:03:51 CET 1999 from (

Susan L. Jepson

From: California

I feel so bad at this loss. I watched THE LAST WALTZ many times and thought of what joy this band has brought to my listening life. I miss THE BAND terribly and now I will miss them even more. All of the members were so instrumental to people of my age and time. I wish I could carry the weight for Rick and still have him with us. I'll miss him very much. May God Bless him.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 21:20:36 CET 1999 from (

John Duffy

From: Baltimore, MD

Haven't checked in for a while, was wondering if anyone was sharing their thoughts on the memorial service. I had just started a new job and was tempted to bail and make the trip with a good friend, but we decided againts it.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 20:59:45 CET 1999 from (


From: Lowell

Commenting on the Robbie Robertson "controversy": In my opinion, I don't think Robbie was being self-congratulatory. When he said, "I believed every word you said" about Rick singing Robbie's lyrics, he was paying Rick the highest of compliments. Robbie may have written the words, but Rick brought them to LIFE. Without Rick, they were just words on a piece of paper. Rick's soul gave them a deeper meaning, and Robbie understands and appreciates that. Rick made the songs great. That's why we're still grieving his loss. It makes no difference who wrote what, because the music's all that matters. Robbie, thanks for the words. Rick, thanks for the magic. Peace.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 20:53:46 CET 1999 from (

Jeff Bogle

From: Malvern, PA

I missed an opportunity to see Rick and The Garth Hudson Band at the Tin Angel in Philly on November 14th. I figured i would catch 'em next time around. I am 23 and never got a chance to see The Band play. I feel like i just missed my one and only chance to come close. Farewell Rick, and thank you- Jeff

Posted on Mon Dec 20 20:30:42 CET 1999 from (

Band Thought

From: New York

I made the 2 1/2 hour trip up to Woodstock from Long Island yesterday in order to pay my respects to the memory of Rick Danko. The venue was the Joyous Lake on a quiet Sunday evening along route 212 in the heart of town. It was to be Rick's 5th appearance at what has become an annual Christmas benefit for a local women's shelter. The air outside was cold and damp, but the feeling inside the club was warm and yet definitely a bit solemn. There were numerous musicians who came and went during the night, and it seemed as if everyone knew each other - the Woodstock community being the tight-knit group that it is.

One of the first to perform was the Cromatix guitarist's son, I believe his name was Joe Eppard. He did a tune called "It's In The Blood," not the double R song, but his own rendition of inheriting the gift. And he has. You will see him around, hopefully as a fixture with Aaron and Levon's band. If not, he's got the stuff to go it alone.

It was good to see Aaron, Marie and rest of the Cromatix band perform a few songs, one which seemed to be a tribute to Rick (references to the final curtain). Following that song, there was a video tribute to Rick of which the first half was shown. The club became quiet as Rick the showman took over. There was some great extended footage of The Weight performance at the original Woodstock (Rick looked so damn young), the reformed Band on tour in Japan, Last Waltz footage and what appeared to be a benefit performance of I Shall Be Released that included Allen Ginsburg. The entire video ran for, I believe, about 45 minutes (the second half was shown later in the evening).

Rick's friends Vince Martin and John Sebastian took the stage after the video, with Vince recounting some very funny Dick Clark AB stories and John playing the harp drawn right out of his harmonica belt (gunslinger style - he's a professional, don't try this at home). John also performed Darlin' Be Home Soon with just guitar - and the night continued...

I left the club feeling like the timing of all this has some type of greater meaning. The century is coming to a close and an important fixture in the Woodstock era is now gone. I grew up admiring the Woodstock life, the mountain setting, the fresh air, the different pace. In many ways it seems frozen in time. And in so may ways, that's a good thing. My own life has taken me in a different direction - like many here, the corporate city life. Different pace, different environment. Through all of what has transpired in the past week, I have re-kindled some of that Woodstock life, the one that Rick embodied, the one that gives, the one that shares, the one that can make a difference in the quality of life "in the neighborhood." The one that we can sometimes forget about as the pace of life shifts forward.

Ricks' passing is significant now as one century ends and another begins. I felt it very strongly as I walked out onto the quiet main street in Woodstock last night. His spirit of community and his spirit of giving back is a big part of his legacy, and the timing of his death should serve as a reminder that that spirit should be kept alive by all those here as we enter the next century. John

Posted on Mon Dec 20 20:30:21 CET 1999 from (

Christopher Wing

From: Milwaukee, WI
Home page

Sad that Rick's gone... we've lost a lot of great ones over the last 10 years, I remember the first time I really LISTENED to The Band, and realized how amazing they actually were, going past the radio standards of "Cripple Creek" and "The Weight." "Stage Fright" just wouldn't have been the same without Rick's seemingly shakey and scarred voice, singing about the life he knew so well. He will be missed, but his contributions will be remembered for a long time to come.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 20:18:31 CET 1999 from (

deb mcmanman

From: Eugene/Springfield, Oregon
Home page

Well, here I am again. After not being able to sign on to the guestbook for over two days, I finally was able to download, and I'm reading more incredible entries. It just came to me: Rick inadvertantly gave us all a wonderful Christmas gift. (I have more than a bit of trouble with the commercialism of this holiday season, when every where you turn there is a constant barrage of advertising practically demanding us consumers to spend, spend, spend, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, and so on...) This is Rick's gift: because he left this earth at this time, we who are left here are sharing and exchanging our feelings regarding a special human being who touched thousands of people with his life's work. What a great gift! And, one that can be shared for eternity! I think this might be the true meaning of Christmas we are all able to experience right here. Thank you, Rick Danko, for this very timely gift. Although you have sadly left us, your soul continues to touch and inspire many. God speed.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 19:30:41 CET 1999 from (


From: Wrong Island , N.Y.

Ten daze gone. It's been a rough 1999 for so many. Just heard Grover Washington Jr. died @ the age of 56 suddenly. "Wow," the great wizard wanted a real heavenly jam session for her holiday season. Rick is 'free' . Having known him and the hand life dealt him I know he was ready to be set free. The music lives on forever. Thank you Rick for that. As well as the rain , meeting the webmaster , Robbie Robertson , Garth it was a pleasure to finally meet Maude. 'hi'. e-mail me now on your new p.c. happy holidaze all.......To Elizabeth and the immediate my prayers are for your continued strength. Truly sorry for your sudden loss. I lost my dad and my husband this year. Time does heal. Peace..and if by chance we don't meet again in this world , in the next one I'll be by the cheese and crackers.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 19:26:32 CET 1999 from (

Gail Thomas

From: Atlanta

I had the pleasure of seeing The Band back in May, 1984 at the Moonshadow here in Atlanta. When the band stopped playing, Rick jumped off the stage and kissed me. I don't know why he did it, but I was thrilled. I'll never forget that night as long as I live.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 19:03:34 CET 1999 from (

Jonathan Katz

From: Columbia, MD

Mattk - Well said. This is my first post since Rick's passing though I've visited here often. I haven't wanted to post anything because I felt my own words would not do the feelings of loss any justice. However, I would hope that in this time of sadness, we [at least the fans] could get beyond this past acrimony on writing credits, and on to other things. Only the principals were there. I can't give them advice, and sadly only three of them are still with us. Its up to them to sort it out for themselves. We who have not even been witness, cannot be judge and jury. I'm done.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 18:54:47 CET 1999 from (

David Powell

From: Georgia

With sadness I report that we lost another great Canadian musician today. The legendary country singer Hank Snow passed away early this morning at his home near Nashville.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 18:42:43 CET 1999 from (


From: another rainy day in dc

I've not said much on this issue out of respect for Rick and keeping the focus on remembering the joy we all get from his music and the loss we all feel with his death. However, after a couple of passing comments, most recently by Mr. Pepper, I'm feeling a need to make a point:

As some have pointed out, I'm also quite relieved that RR came to the service and spoke so elequently about Rick. As most regulars know, the fact that Robbie chose or was unable (illness) to come to Richard's service has been a long-standing sore point for many. With RR in attendance, I was hoping some of this feud crap would die away, but alas...

Unlike Pepper, I was not at the service, so maybe I'm missing the subtleties in RR's comments, but the exact quote from the service that was published was:

"Does anyone realize what an amazing sound your voice makes? I do because I wrote a lot of the words you sang."

So, I'm left wondering why some keep reading that as, Mr. Pepper indicates, "I wrote all the songs and I'm glad Rick sang some of them."

To me, and again, I was not there, admittedly, it brings up this feeling that RR will never be able to make some folks happy. Robbie did write **a lot** of the songs that Rick sang, regardless of the controversy. By my reading, Robbie did not inject the feud here, but as he did at the the HOF induction, thanked the other members for singing the songs he DID write (though we can debate all day, to no avail which he did and which he did not and the meaning of "writing songs").

It would appear that by some folks, Robbie should pretty much never reference having written anything for the Band at all. For me, I reference one of Rick's last interviews, where he essentially said that the songwriting rights issue was no big deal to him, and he felt fortunate to have been given the gift of these songs and these other musicians (in and out of the Band) to record them with.

I think we all, and maybe most importantly Levon himself, could learn a lot from these words from Rick, spoken only a few short days before his death:

"There are other issues related to songwriting, in disputes you've had with Robbie Robertson over sharing credit for much of the Band's repertoire.
I don't have a problem with any of it, you know? I'm a very thankful person. Whatever publishing I've shared with people, whatever songwriting credits I've shared and whatever payments I've gotten, I'm thankful. I could have ended up having to get a real job. I'm thankful for what the Band has represented and what the Band has done. I'm not gonna sit here and tear the Band apart."

Rick was a wise man, and I think we should all learn from him on this point. I for one am tired of "tearing the Band apart" over things that were said or not said in private 25 years ago. Perhaps the best eulogy we could all give Rick is to finally let this come to rest, enjoy the music, repspect these musicians, and pray/hope that Rick's generous nature shows us all a better way to react.



Posted on Mon Dec 20 17:54:26 CET 1999 from (


From: Charlottesville, Va
Home page

Losing Rick made me feel like I lost someone I used to be close to. The Band was a seminal influence on me and eleventy million other musicians.
We play in Central Va., mostly in Charlottesville. Come down and see us if you've a mind, and help us celebrate Rick's life the only way possible, through music. Rick's death didn't really sink in till last Tuesday. I don't think I'll ever understand people passing, I just get used to it....

Posted on Mon Dec 20 17:15:36 CET 1999 from (

Don Raccoon

From: charlottesville,va

As I was heading out to buy the family xmas tree I heard the sad news on a quick cbs blurb. I did a mournful U-turn and lost the spirit. Rick MADE The WEIGHT come alive with the CRAZY CHESTER verse and put excitement and feeling into many of the best BAND tunes and dozen performances I witnessed between 5/68(Fillmore East) and 8/72. Long live R.D.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 16:57:16 CET 1999 from (

David Powell

From: Georgia

Several days ago I posted a few stanzas excerpted from the William Wordsworth poem "Power Of Music". This poem, written in 1806, for me is one of the best descriptions of the beautiful power of music that I've ever read. I've always felt that Rick, Richard, Levon, Garth and Robbie are modern day throw backs to the ancient minstrels who wandered across the land, sharing with us the power of their music. This music knows no boundaries of time or place, as the multitude of recent postings in the guestbook from people of all ages, from all over the world, will attest. Thanks again Jan for all your hard work in providing this space for us to bask in the warmth of this power.

For those who may be interested, the complete version of the "Power Of Music" by Wordsworth can be found on-line at:

Posted on Mon Dec 20 16:10:27 CET 1999 from (

Dr. Pepper

Someone has been taking some notes apparently and posted something using my name and email address. The "Dick Pepper post" was not from me. A sick and bizarre thing to do at a sad time. DP

Posted on Mon Dec 20 15:40:46 CET 1999 from (

Rusty Hartley

Rick Danko. Thank you for many fond memories at the Lone Star Cafe and Roadhouse in NYC and many hours of listening to your familiar voice. I will really miss your carefree attitude towards life, your smile on stage and your music. Godspeed to you! Rusty Hartley

Posted on Mon Dec 20 15:26:55 CET 1999 from (

john taby

From: shamokin pennsylvania

Since the late 60's till the late 90's,from watkins glenn to a roadhouse called the arizona in delaware,i have been blessed by a man and a band.Rick was so good at what he did,and The Band so good,kids did not know how good,what did we know at 17? Now at 47 i know...and cry knowing. Always his music has surrounded me,especialy during dificult times of life,a comfort. Good times too,a celibration. All i want to say is thank you Rick,thank you God, for his life and gift,and i am sorry to all his family and closest friends who will miss him so much more. May you find peace in knowing how much he was and is loved.Our memories will keep him,in our hearts harmonies will sing us to sleep.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 13:21:13 CET 1999 from (

Diamond Lil

This morning, for the first time, I've been sitting here really making the attempt to try and read the incredibly emotional and touching posts since Rick's death...hard to do through tears...but the outpouring of love and emotion just takes my breath away. The reality of this whole thing is taking a bit of time to understand and accept, and the comfort in these pages just grabs me and won't let me go.

Here in upstate New York, it rained...everyday...from the day Rick died, right through the memorial service. All the tears...of loss and anger and love. And then, the sun...shining it's warmth came through...letting us all know that Rick's journey is through, and he's alright and at peace. Those of us left behind still cry for him, and in time, this pain will soften and the warmth and the love that was Rick will stay with all of the people who's hearts and lives he touched.

I think back on Richard's memorial service, and something that someone said to all of us that day back in March of 1986. "The end of something, somehow, becomes the beginning of something else...and for me, personally, those words have proven to be true. My life this past week has been touched by some warm and wonderful people, which almost feels like a gift from Rick, and I think I realize now that this man who gave so much of himself to all of us, will contiue to give us so much more, through his music and through the memory of the man that he was. And for that, I thank him.

Don't think of him as gone away, his journey's just begun

Life holds so many facets, this earth is only one

Just think of him as resting, from the sorrows and the tears

In a place of warmth and comfort, where there are no days or years

Think how he must be wishing, that we could know today

How nothing but our sadness, can really pass away

And think of him as living, in the hearts of those he touched

For nothing loved is ever lost, and he was loved so much...."

Apologies for the long post, but the emotions are overwhelming and the words just somehow all came out. I wish peace of mind to all of you who are hurting, and send my love to someone very special who made this time a little easier just by being here for the past week with a reassuring smile, with tears and with laughter, and with warmth and comfort.

The beautiful card handed out at Rick's memorial read simply " On the day Rick Danko was born, the angels sang. Rick sang harmony". And he always will sing that harmony, in all the lives he touched. I love you Rick.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 09:33:04 CET 1999 from (

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland Tx

Lots of these posts on Rick Danko's passing have been really touching(more evidence of how much we were changed by The Band(as if we needed it)) and the loss of Rick is only starting to sink in. It was be nice if some of the better obits from the music press got posted in the room. Robert Loyd had one in the LA Weekly, but it wasn't too good. I wish all the room regs the best, most peaceful Christmas ever. Take care.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 08:41:24 CET 1999 from (

a fan in Greece

From: Athens

I'm a teacher in Greece and the past ten days at school have been very difficult, with all the Christmas celebrations, two Christmas concerts and all the cheer. I pasted a picture of Rick on the front of my agenda and the kids were asking me all week "Miss, who's that?". I was happy to introduce him to teenagers in Greece. It helped me feel less sad. My posting was one of the first ones on December 10th (thousands of postings ago) and I'm still coming back to this gb several times a day. I'm glad you're all still here too. Funny how I've started noticing little things though, for example, I had never noticed before that "The Weight" on the vidio is a different version than the one on the Last Waltz album. So much for my powers of observation! I prefer the film version, wish I had that on CD. Special thanks to for putting Rick on their front page. Love to all here, especially the family.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 06:04:01 CET 1999 from (

Just Wonderin'

From: Regretsville

I learned something these past two weeks. Last year we were going to go to New Orleans for Levon's Cafe opening. Didn't do it. Thought we'd go at Easter. Then the Cafe closed down. "Ahh well" we thought "we'll still be able to catch Rick, Levon and the boys elsewhere". Obviously the time never came. Moral of the story: Don't put of till tommorrow that which is important to do today. Hard lesson to learn.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 05:57:54 CET 1999 from (

Katrin Sermat

From: Montreal, Quebec

Rick’s death has affected me far more deeply than I ever could have imagined. Never had the pleasure of meeting the man, regrettably saw him live only once, with Dylan, from a high-altitude seat in Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens, in 1974. It was so smoky I could barely make out the musicians on stage, but there was no doubt as to the incredible vitality and integrity of the music they were making.

To all of the GB contributors who were lucky enough to shake his hand, play music together, have him as a neighbour and count him a friend, my heartfelt thanks for sharing your thoughts, feelings and wonderful Rick stories. I have come here often since December 10, and your words have both moved me to tears and brought me some solace. For nearly 30 years, I have loved his beautiful voice, so genuine and utterly free of artifice, and his intelligent, effortless bass playing. I will miss him terribly. My heart goes out to his wife and children, his brothers and their families, Levon, Garth, and the large circle of musical friends he’s left behind.

Last night, my 12-yr-old son and I watched the Last Waltz (his first time). When it was over, he said to me, “I really understand now why you’ve been crying this week.”

“Broken hearts don’t mend,

Tear-stained eyes again, Never ever see what your future might have been.”


Below is an article written by James Porteous of Toronto, from his site El Rancho de Weblo

In Passing: Rick Danko

Richard Manuel, Jaime Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and Rick Danko. The Band released many excellent albums (many more than most pundits generally admit) but for me it was their second one that remains one of the most endearing, passionate and creative accomplishments to emerge from that rather odd, self-obsessed generation. At a time when most groups were drooling over 64 tracks, The Band retreated to a house to record their album, using not technology, but 'nature' to mold their sound. (The backing vocals on Jawbone, for example, were recorded in the bathroom simply because they liked the sound they achieved there!)

"When everyone else was going psychedelic," Danko's brother Terry reports in The Toronto Star, "he went back to his roots, to what we used to listen to and sing when we were kids in Simcoe." The resulting album, featuring Across the Great Divide, Rag Mama Rag, When You Awake, Unfaithful Servant and King Harvest (to name but a few) remains as vibrant today as it was in 1969; and as vibrant as it will be 30 years hence. And isn't that how we once defined art?

Mr. Danko added more to the soul and music of The Band -and they in turn added more to our musical heritage- than most people fully comprehend. He was a wonderful musician and singer and was, by all accounts, a generous and gracious man with a huge heart and a great capacity for living and loving life. And of course there was the music. There was always the music. An obituary in the Toronto Star says that Danko sang on more than 90 albums by dozens of artists, released five solo albums, wrote dozens of songs recorded by other artists and even acted in the movie The Man Outside.

In recent years Rick and the surviving members of the original Band have been accused of riding on the coat-tails of past glories, but surely such commentary is missing the point. The music of The Band has endured this long and shall continue, I think, because of the way it so clearly incorporates the roots of various cultures. It is an ageless music. And a legacy is just that -a legacy- and the fact that it exists at all is reward enough, both for the creators and the listeners. And make no mistake that Danko et al. were all co-creators in this impressive body of work. As in most things in life, its creation was a happy coincidence, a meeting of multiple creative minds that simply cannot be replicated at will. That is as it should be.

The final irony, of course, is that in recent months Rick Danko had been hard at work, having just released a solo album, writing new songs, planning a tour and generally doing what he did best: Making music.

``Rick ... had an innocence about him that was very genuine, and very endearing," his publicist is quoted as saying. "I think that's why so many people loved him."

That is why he was so loved and will be so missed.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 05:45:48 CET 1999 from (

Daniel Enlow

From: Kentucky

I belatedly share my condolences to all Rick Danko fans. I saw him perform just ten days before his death in Lexington. He seemed to be genuinely happy to be on stage that night even though he played to a small audience. I will always remember receiving one of his last autographs after the show, and how he went out of his way to shake my hand, as I had a case of "stage fright". The warmth he generated proved he never thought of himself as being above anyone else. Self-importance was not a part of Rick Danko. For that I will remember him for, and be grateful for. Sincerely, Dan

Posted on Mon Dec 20 05:18:19 CET 1999 from (

Dick Pepper

I have had a tough time dealing with this no more Rick thing. I have lost a chunk of my youth. Where is Rick playing next? I had a habit of running into him when I went out of town...Florida...NJ...Boston...Philly...etc., etc. I had the chance to celebrate Rick’s 52nd or 53rd birthday with Rick and Levon somewhere in Florida between St. Pete’s and Jacksonville in a Holiday Inn. I asked Rick how old he was and he said, “Well that depends on a few’s kind of a funny story”. I laughed and said, “most people can give a direct answer about how old they are but, you, Rick, always have a story”. We both laughed. Rick was born in his family’s home in Simcoe, Ontario on December 29 and Rick said his dad took a long time to get down to report the birth and wound up making it look like Rick was older than he was. Now this meant that Rick could get his driver’s license a year sooner and quit school a little earlier and go to work for the butcher which allowed him to make a lot of money and buy a great sports car before Rompin Ronnie came around. (He told me what kind of car but I don’t remember). Rick found this to be a good thing. You know getting the license and the quitting school thing. The memorial in Bearsville was VERY NICE...... and I think if Robbie didnt show up people would have said that he didnt show up for Richard’s or Rick’s funeral and...... ..........but he did show up and “took the stage” (so give him credit for that) and said some nice things in a brief way in his Hollywood manner and HAD TO SAY ....I Wrote most of the Words that Rick sang and he made me believe them to be true (in so many words). Why bring up that issue at a memorial service? That was personal and its a monetary thing that matters right now to a widow and her son! It was great to see Levon and his band and Richard “B-3” Bell pounding away later on in the night at Joyous Lake with all the crazies. I am glad to see that people are directing their attention to helping Elizabeth and Justin out. Send donations to: Justin Grafton - Po Box 434 - Bearsville, New York 12409 USA And if someone named “bluesymama” claims to be Rick’s sister and tries to dispute this effort to help Rick’s family like she did in the past while Rick was in Japan (or her ladder climbing friend)....tell ‘em to go fuck themselves! Just like Ricky would have and did! Rick you will be missed!

Posted on Mon Dec 20 04:45:54 CET 1999 from (


From: N.Z.

Finally I can bring myself to write something.

Suprisingly there has been quite a few articles in the local papers here about Rick's passing - some were a little inaccurate in places. It just goes to show how highly regarded the man and The Band are .

I first heard Rick when TLW was released and he became the major influence on my bass playing years. I even managed to get a Gibson Ripper almost like the one he played in TLW. Some one once described Rick as The Band's Ringo Starr (The Band's every man).He will be truely missed.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 04:05:48 CET 1999 from (


From: ocean city maryland

I used to live in Woodstock and I knew Rick and I remembered him as a really interesting and fun person. He was very talented,charming and fun. I went to school with his son Eli. I pray for Rick and his family. I hope he is in a better place now.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 02:31:01 CET 1999 from (

vander coelho moura

From: Brazil

rick was one of great bass players and the music world loose a great man. RIP Vander Coelho Moura São Paulo - Brazil

Posted on Mon Dec 20 02:31:06 CET 1999 from (

Kevin Gilbertson

From: NE PA.

Rick - PEACE

Here's one of the better obit's on Rick. At least they got his birthday right. I apologize if it's already been posted here.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 01:54:56 CET 1999 from (


Thanks carmen. I found the picture of The Band on the porch right where you said it was. That's the one, but I seem to remember that it was packaged around the outside of the album jacket not an inner sleeve addition.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 01:14:45 CET 1999 from (


From: Down South In New South Wales

Sundog...I know what youre saying but still in a state of mourning and disbelief, posting anything apart from tributes to Rick seems trivial and unimportant ...this will take some time.........

Posted on Mon Dec 20 00:34:33 CET 1999 from (


From: pa

to Dan Blood: Check Here (Normann Seeff portrait) in the discography section under the stage freight album. You will find what you are looking for. (i do not know how to hyper text, but it will not take you long)

D Lil, I feel the same way as sundog. There are some GB regulars who I look forward to seeing here and you are one of them.

Posted on Mon Dec 20 00:10:44 CET 1999 from (


From: Getting Better.

'Lil, I know you've been hurt (maybe more than most) but you have to "keep on keeping on", and I know Rick would want ALL OF US to do the same, so please visit us here as much as possible, miss'n Rick is bad enough, I miss you, and everyone else, so darn it, lets get the cookie cutter a cut'n!

Posted on Sun Dec 19 23:27:50 CET 1999 from (

Diamond Lil

So many emotions...a beautiful memorial service for Rick...the ups and downs of trying to get back into everyday life. Not easy.

The posts that I've read are so touching, hopefully soon I'll be able to find the strength to read them all. Love to Elizabeth, Justin, Lisa....strength to all of you as well.

Thanks to all of you who made this time just a bit easier for me, and special thanks to Jan...for being here.

Posted on Sun Dec 19 23:27:02 CET 1999 from (

Dan Blood

From: CA

I thought I'd share part of letter a friend wrote. By the way, this friend and I attended The Last Waltz together:


Man, this hit me harder than I expected. Rick Danko -56, not that much older than we are, part of all those memories. I guess this means the end of the Band for me in ways that Richard's death never did: Rick's plaintive singing and percussive bass embodied the intensity, the vulnerability and the sincerity that was the Band. I guess that music affected me more deeply than I knew.

Well said, friend...

Lately, I have been glued to Jan's web sight, thinking about 'all those memories', about Rick's life. I've viewed all the videos I have of The Band and of course listened to their music. While in the Pictures section of this site , I was looking for one album cover photo/drawing in particular, but could not find it anywhere.

Does anyone remember a sepia colored poster that wrapped 3/4th around the original Stage Fright album? It was a rustic porch setting somewhere, and all the boys were kinda lying around. Garth was in an overstuffed chair? I've long since lost it. Jan, I don't find it anywhere on your site here. Do you know about it?

Posted on Sun Dec 19 23:22:16 CET 1999 from (

Charlie Young

From: Down in Old Virginny

Just a few weeks ago I bought "Rick Danko in Concert" and "Live at Breeze Hill" from Woodstock Records. Both are worth owning. The former is bare-bones but moving. The newer disc has an extra depth thanks to the layers of horn textures added by Tom Malone and friends as well as the incredible Garth Hudson. Thank God Thomas Edison invented the recording process a century ago! And thank JAN for this wonderful site!!

Posted on Sun Dec 19 23:16:55 CET 1999 from (

[guest photo]


From: Getting better.
Home page

Where do we go from here? Where is all the guestbook regulars at? This picture of Rick was borrowed from The Woodstock Records web site, please visit the guestbook there too!

Posted on Sun Dec 19 22:38:02 CET 1999 from (

Lisa Corkery

From: Ottawa

OK, I've seen Bob and Neil and Arlo and I decided I had one more show to see before I can say I've done it all... Which will now never happen. I was devastated to hear the news about Rick, who has been one of my heroes for a while now. I tell everyone I see that Rick is one of the bigest musical influences to ever come out of Canada, a true legend. Blessings and condolances to his family and friends.

Posted on Sun Dec 19 22:28:46 CET 1999 from (


From: St. Louis, Missouri

There is a person who posted here wanting to save all the guestbook pages in a zip file to read them later. If they have Windows 98 you can save them easily by going to the page you want, click on FILE at the upper left corner of your screen, and click SAVE AS, and save it wherever you can find it, I use MY DOCUMENTS. There might be an easier way, but this works. Rick will be missed.

Posted on Sun Dec 19 21:35:02 CET 1999 from (


From: Woodstock Records
Home page


In lieu of flowers,those wishing to send donations to Rick's family can send a check to:

Justin Grafton - Po Box 434 - Bearsville, New York 12409 USA

If you need any further information, please e-mail :

Thank You and God Bless You All -

Warmest Regards - Tom - Woodstock Records

Posted on Sun Dec 19 19:54:33 CET 1999 from (

Kevin Rafferty

From: Melbourne, Australia

Thanks for everything, Rick...see you there someday...

Posted on Sun Dec 19 19:28:52 CET 1999 from (


Thanks to everyone at the memorial and all you other people that I've had the pleasure of meeting on this trip. The hospitality, warmth and friendship is overwhelming. I am going back to Norway a little less sad than I was when I stumbled out of the plane at JFK on Monday, nearly broke and a little sick now, but rich on memories that will last a lifetime.

Posted on Sun Dec 19 19:05:00 CET 1999 from (


From: Vancouver

To The Danko Family ,Your in my prayers.To everyone who's posted here,you reaffirmed my faith in the giving nature of the Human spirit.Rick made great music[let's not bring nationality into it,music doesn't recognize borders]and we are the better for having heard it.Would you all do me a favour and give your kids a hug tonight and as hard as it's going to be have a happy holiday. I'll miss you Rick.Peace Doug

Posted on Sun Dec 19 18:20:17 CET 1999 from (

Jim and Sue Webster

From: Blandford MA

Look out Cleveland......We will miss you.

Posted on Sun Dec 19 17:39:11 CET 1999 from (

Burns McArthur

From: Florida
Home page

Like many others, my life took a direction I never anticipated due to the musical influences of Bob Dylan and The Band. Rick Danko's voice jumped out at me the first time I heard it in the 60's on Music From Big Pink. That album was a joyous celebration. Although I never knew the man, I will miss the voice of Rick Danko.

Posted on Sun Dec 19 17:11:15 CET 1999 from (

Elfie Polzin

From: St.Jacobs,Ontario,Canada

Bob Dylan and The Band have been my favorite musicians since I was a young teenager. I was very moved by Richard's death which occured just a few months after I saw the boys in Stratford Ontario. I was very fortunate to see you all again at Lulu's in Kitchener just a few years ago. Seeing Levon from just a few feet away was so awesome. Watching Rick and Garth was incredible. I've never felt like ,what they call a groupie (??) but it's great to be excited about something you truely enjoy and The Band is one of those things to me. Rick will be missed by those of you who knew him personally. I will miss The Band. I grieve for his friends. My regards to his family and to Garth and Levon. You boys were the best . Best wishes . Elfie.

Posted on Sun Dec 19 15:34:58 CET 1999 from (

Hans van der Linden

From: Holland (The Netherlands)

I just bought the new album Jubilation a month ago (I`ve got al the albums)and I`m shocked he died, but he will live on in his music. Thank you Rick. I`ll miss you Hans

Posted on Sun Dec 19 15:08:40 CET 1999 from (


From: South Wales UK

Stil can't believe it over a week later! Just heard the beautifull version of 'Difference' again this guy was so talented, he's up there with the very best and it appears that much of this world doesn't know? Anyway good bye Rick i'll be thinking about you for as long as I live. THANKYOU FOR EVERYTHING.

Posted on Sun Dec 19 15:01:35 CET 1999 from (

Peter J Markalunas

From: New Jersey

I could not believe it when I heard the news of his passing. His voice was such a big part of The Band's sound. When I got the news, I had to listen to his voice so I looked for The Last Waltz album. It happened to already be sitting on my turntable. I listened to "It Makes No Difference" and it brought tears to my eyes.

Posted on Sun Dec 19 14:11:53 CET 1999 from (

Peter Verhoeven

From: Nieuw Lekkerland, Holland

Great loss - we all will miss Rick. I am shocked !

Posted on Sun Dec 19 13:41:40 CET 1999 from (

Rick Kenworthy

From: Toronto

TO ELIZABETH/JAN/LEVON&the boys: I truly hope all is gettin' a tad better, day by day. It's been a week now since I heard the news and posted a personal recollection and I must say to everyone this Guestbook has been a 'Rock of Ages' - though, damn if I don't get lumpy throat affliction still, with each new post. A coupla three things or so . . . . . First, to LEVON & All: Don't for a minute listen to any of the "this is truly the end" crap - the life you've all chosen is to play and play and play, whatever, no matter, wherever, with whoever cuts it (and graciously some who don't quite) and I, for one will keep listenin and dancin' 'til my time comes . . . I know you'll always miss your running pardner, but I know Rick would be the first to tell us all that there are tons of great players around . . . and from reading the GB this week, there's tons of young fans, too! So take heart and keep giving us that joyful noise (and teach the young'ens their licks). TO JAN: I've visited this site weekly or so for about two years, never once bothered by any pesky "Buy this" or "Click here" shit - and now the work that has gone into this GB - God bless you . . . if there is anything we, as fans, can do to help, just ask . . . And ELIZABETH: Thank you for sharing Rick with us, lo these many years . . . it has struck me this week that we have maybe acted a bit too much like fans and forgotten the personal grief you and family (love that Danielle - she's got a whole lotta heart!) have had to endure. My prayers will be with you throughout this Yuletide. Lastly, Rick still touches us, from the gent (Dave Z?) who's stressed at work and his wife's expecting, to the latest posting (Beth), who has found through this the courage to phone an old friend and repair bridges. Like the writer (sorry, can't find the posting to get your name)who felt "like a chicken-shit" for not heading down to Bearsville, I was the same . . . Toronto's not that far, but I was covering at work for two guys who've put in a hard year helping me and wanted to start Xmas early. So I cut out a photo of Rick from the Toronto Sun, him jiggin' and playing bass, and taped it to my desktop and wrote "WWRDD" on it . . . Corny, I know, but it helped me make sense of why I stayed at work - to help out those who'd covered me all year . . . but at 2:00 PM, I played "TOO SOON GONE" over the warehouse PA (Got into a little shit, but just enough to make it that much more fun!) One last suggestion: EVERYONE, all of us, go out and buy every CD of Rick's you can, buy extra for gifts, give copies to all those folks who said "which band?" all week to you when you were about to cry like a baby while driving forklift on overtime coz you started humming IMDN (OK, maybe that's TOO personal) . . . Rick will be missed, but take comfort in knowing we have an angel with a heart the size of Ontario watching over us all. - Peace - Rick in Toronto "Dileas gu Brath"

Posted on Sun Dec 19 11:02:34 CET 1999 from (

Maddie Smith

From: ny

I have heard unconfirmed rumers that Garth will be playing with Blondie Chaplin and Anton Fig on New Year's Eve in NYC. I hope that this is true. Does anyone know if this is true and if so, where??!

Posted on Sun Dec 19 06:50:39 CET 1999 from (

Beth Radtke

From: Chicago suburbs

Oh dear, sweet, beautiful Rick. This has been so hard. I feel so sad and blue and then I'll smile about something you did or sang. I got into the Band about 1990, after discovering that Robbie had been in a band before his solo career (ah, ignorance!). What a great discovery process it was to buy any Band cd I could find and watch the Last Waltz over and over again.

I love Robbie, but the more I watched, the more Rick struck me as this adorable, smiling presence. I have a fax that I sent to my friend back then, with a photo of the Band, wishing that we could party with these two men.

Back in 1992, my life was just awful. I was 25 and my father had been dying a slow, horrible death for 5 years at that point (it would claim him in December of 1992), so my time didn't have many highlights. For my 25th birthday, a friend was taking me for somewhere as a surprise. I didn't know what a control freak I was until I discovered not knowing where I was going was killing me. There were three of us, my friend Elaine, Laura and myself. We walked into a bar and there, on a blackboard, was written: "Tonight, Rick Danko." I said, very loudly, three times, "Rick Danko?!"

The girl at the door smiled and the bouncer said, "He's very nice too. He'll probably talk to you if you want." I've been going back in my mind, trying to remember every detail of that night, but it's hard. I do remember shaking when he took the stage. Sure, he wasn't quite as he had been, but who is? The smile was there and he was so enthusiastic. At one point, he did this little dance that stilll makes me smile when I think of it now. After the show, Laura got us to the backstage area to talk to him. I don't remember what I said, other than some rambling fan quotes and how it was my birthday surprise, otherwise I would have his solo album for him to sign. He said, "Why don't you have a seat?" I sat next to him on a couch, with my friends to my right (hey, he was MY hero). People came in and he signed things for everyone and joked, "Have you met my wives?"

We were able to spend hours with him and I would give anything for another hug. I kept asking him when "Blue River" would be out, and he gave my his address book to give my name to him so he could send me one. My last name starts with R, and I was tempted to look for Robertson in there, but didn't.... At one point, I told him, "You know, you're so goofy. I don't mean that in a bad way, but you're so cute." He told me of a friend who had given him a wood carving with the word Goofy on it, so apparently, I wasn't the first one to feel that way. I wish now we had stayed forever. I don't know when we left, but I'm cursing myself for not staying all night. Maybe I had to work the next day (I think so), but it seems so useless now.

I wish I had a time machine. I wish it was two weeks ago tonight, when he played a half an hour from my house, but I DIDN'T KNOW! I would have gone. I keep trying not to kill myself over it; maybe it was meant to be. Maybe it wouldn't have been as perfect as the first time, when I'm sure I told him everything that he meant to me. But did I? Was I able to convey to him what his beautiful voice did to me? I think I did..... He seemed to really enjoy the time together. I'm crying again now. I wish it was a year from now so it wouldn't hurt so bad...... Oh Rick, I really miss you. You were so wonderful and so special.

One last thing; my friend Laura and I stopped speaking this year. This last week, I've missed her because I need someone to remind me of things we said to you; things that have slipped my mind these past seven years. I need someone to mourn with (although these posts are so comforting to me -- thanks for sharing). I was so moved by everyone's love for you too. It made me realize that your kindness has brought us together, and that in your honor, I needed to be as open as you were to complete strangers, that you instantly made feel like your friends. I called her yesterday, and we're meeting tomorrow night. We've been friends for 25 years, and because of you, that friendship will hopefully resume. Once again, still, you're giving. God bless you, you sweet, incredible man. I love you and would give anything for one more moment with you....... Love, Beth

Posted on Sun Dec 19 04:17:40 CET 1999 from (

Blind Willie McTell

I would be great if someone could capture our thoughts about Rick over the past eight days, and WinZip them up in a Word file, we could download and read again when we felt the need.

Thanks again Rick!

Posted on Sun Dec 19 03:04:09 CET 1999 from (


From: St. Louis, MO

This is the second post I a have left since the departure of Danko. A couple of comments..... Good American music is so precious and pure..and I think Danko made a nice contribution to it..I confess on this Saturday night with my wife working and I overseeing our 3 kids to being a little high (quite rare) and on my 4th frosty millenium budweiser (common place - bad habit) thinking that I am 37 years old and how many great american musicians I have seen in person that have come and gone.....Albert King, Jerry Garcia, Richard Manuel, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Frank Zappa, Albert Collins, Paul Butterfield, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Steve Goodman, Junior Wells, Rick Danko......What a legacy how exciting that many people......including most likely the people on this board have been touched and inspired by american music.....spread the word folks......keep the faith...peace on earth

Posted on Sun Dec 19 02:49:21 CET 1999 from (

Jeffrey A. Wasserman

From: expatriot living in Norway
Home page

Heard the news last Saturday, fell out of my seat and wept the loss, you’ve passed on Rick (from this reality anyway).The first place I came was to this guestbook and made my entry in it. I knew you’ld all be here - Seems we’re all here for each other .... and that’s in away something Rick embodied. He knew "for who he was here" - his Family, his immediate family and "us", this extended magic music family. And he knew (and if he didn’t, he knows now) that all of us were there for him too. He remained accessable (through his entire career) and on top of that was genuine to everyone he met and genuinely gave his heart to those he loved and liked and basically to most everything he did. Musically, Rick gave his unmistakeable from-the-heart signature to every instrument he touched. There are no other set of vocal chords connected to the same kind of heart anywhere on the planet, his bass playing was his, and his alone, as was his bass oriented guitar style. Damn, even his absolutely out of tune, raunchy fiddle playing bore his signature. I had the pleasure of fiddling along side him - in Haugesund, a fishing town on the west coast of Norway - one late summer midnight sun night in 1994 - together with Levon on mandolin and the "Four Men and a Dog" gang (the night Rick and Aaron met the group). Ok, we were all flying and it was clear he hadn’t picked up a fiddle in years ... but, still the guy played it so honestly and so damn rhymically, smilin’ that smile.... infecting every face in the room. I had the opportunity and pleasure to spend 10 days on the road with The Band as their Scandinavian tour manager - June 1994. That trip will forever stand out as one of the highlights in my life, and I had the opportunity to hang with Rick after that tour on his many trips to Oslo. At the URL mentioned above is a song called "Throwing Rocks at the Moon". One late night Rick upon hearing an early rough version of it, Rick began adding his ideas .... he never got to hear it finished (the 2nd verse is are idea and images) .... Damn, I’m gonna miss you.

Posted on Sun Dec 19 01:46:19 CET 1999 from (

Gary Weeks

From: Fayetteville, Ar.

Rick Danko will be missed. He was like family here. My condolences to the family. My deepest sympathy to Levon. My good friend Vernon Tarver, as well as everyone here who loves Levon, Rick and all the rest, sends their deepest regrets.

Posted on Sun Dec 19 01:42:50 CET 1999 from (

robby morgen

From: netherlands

I'm one of the oldys,and I'm crying
My friend and brother did go
Still remember the talk's we had
about "stealing balonie"
Got our ass kicked many times
But we got to survive
Hai rick ,in time we will meet

Posted on Sun Dec 19 01:31:31 CET 1999 from (

Brent Chappelle

From: Austin

Rick Danko inspired me to play the bass. So many guitarists think of it as a secondary instrument, but Rick brought it to the front and showed how powerful it could be. And his vocals always moved me, and I'll hum his music till the end. Adios Amigo!

Posted on Sun Dec 19 00:32:18 CET 1999 from (

michelle wise

From: JP

My greatest daily challenge is to respect these gifts of breathe and life. I fear the vulnerability that comes from open & honest discourse and touch. It is easier to be hard and smart and take big-loud footsteps than to walk quietly without announcement and fall down alone. I look around and ask: who can tear off the outer layer & be seen inside-out? Can it be done? Going once. Going twice.... And then a friend reminded me of Rick's vocal on ITMND and I remembered.... the onion peeled made me cry. He reached me. Thank you Rick. hi-niswa vita'ki'ni (we shall live again)

Posted on Sun Dec 19 00:12:14 CET 1999 from (


From: Lowell, MA (The City Of Soul)
Home page

As I write this, it's Saturday evening. I would like to propose a toast to the great Rick Danko. Break out a bottle of your favorite wine, and sip it gratefully with those you love. I have spent the last week mourning Rick's death, but it's important to also celebrate his LIFE. Cheers, to the great Rick Danko. God blessed us. I feel privileged that part of my life overlapped with Rick's, and for that I am thankful. I have attached a link to a wonderful version of "It Makes No Difference" for anybody that hasn't heard it yet. It's truly precious. To hear it, click on the homepage. Thank you, Rick. God rest your tremendous soul.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 23:48:50 CET 1999 from (


From: Mansfield, MA

What can I say that hasn't been posted already? I was deeply saddened to hear we had lost Rick Danko. I had the pleasure of meeting Rick twice, once in Plymouth MA in 1998 and then more recently this past June in Providence, RI. When my girlfriend Lisa and I were waiting for the show to start in Providence, we saw Rick hanging out, sitting alone in the audience having a smoke. i approached Rick cautiously, wishing to respect his privacy if he wanted to be left alone. He looked up at me and we made eye contact, he smiled and I said, "Hi, Rick, I'm Jon. I met you last year in Plymouth. It's really great to see you again!" to which Rick replied "It's great to be seen!". I then spent about 15 minutes just shooting the breeze with Rick, we talked about the recent sale of Big Pink, my dog who I had with me (it was an outdoor show) and his dogs back home. he also spoke of his new upcoming album, which he was very proud of. I asked him if he'd be playing "Sip The Wine" that night as it's one of my favorites. "No", Rick said,"But I just rerecorded it in the studio for the new album, and we nailed it in the first take!" Although I can't claim a personal friendship with the man, he certainly was a gracious person. He was kind enough to hang out on two seperate occasions and just chat.Not every musician will do that. "it makes no difference" was a signature Danko tune, and it seems fitting that Rick himself made a great difference to those whose lives he touched. I regret that I won't be seeing him again to have another little chat. My condolences to Rick's friends and family. May Rick Danko Rest In Peace. May his music live forever.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 23:42:16 CET 1999 from (


From: Liverpool England

I never met Rick Danko but his music continues to move me everyday, thank you Rick.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 23:34:54 CET 1999 from (

Michael Thompson

If Rick Danko had only sung one song, "It Makes No Difference" would have cemented his reputation for me. One of the saddest, lonliest songs I've ever heard, right up there with Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I could Cry". Robbie wrote the song, but I can't imagine anyone else being able to give voice to those words but Rick Danko. He was part of an amazing story with The Band, and it saddened me to see how time was so cruel to both he and Richard Manuel. I hope they're both at peace. They're certainly both missed.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 23:15:50 CET 1999 from (

Svein Egil Nordli

From: Norway

Thank you Rick for all your wonderful songs, and for our meeting in Norway (Jessheim) In 1992-93 . I will newer forget us playing “Long Black Weil “ together. Svein Egil Nordli

Posted on Sat Dec 18 22:25:14 CET 1999 from (

Carlos Fuentes Davison.

From: México City.

To Rick Danko: A SIMPLE PATH: The fruit of silence is PRAYER. The fruit of prayer is FAITH. The fruit of faith is LOVE. The fruit of love is PEACE. MOTHER TERESA. My prayers go to you & your Family.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 20:48:13 CET 1999 from (

Per Ryolf

From: Denmark

Too soon gone! I was so sad to hear Rick Danko had passed away. He will be missed by us all. I had the opportunity to see Rick live in my home town, Aarhus, Denmark twice. Once as a solo artist and once with the Band. Both concerts were terriffic and both showcased Rick as a unique singer. I have not had the chance to get Live From Beeeze Hill but it will be high on my wish list for new CDs. If Ricks singing on that is as good as on the Jubilation CD i have something to look forward to.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 20:11:32 CET 1999 from (

[guest photo]


Home page

*Bob Dylan*, did music with Rick, I'm honoring Rick with a Dylan tune;

"While riding on a train going west; I fell asleep for to take my rest; I dreamed a dream that made me sad; concerning myself, and a first few friends I had.

A many a time I stared to that room; where my friends and I spent many an afternoon; will be together, weathered by many a storm; laughing and singing till the early hours of the morning.

A many a year has past and gone, and many a gamble has been lost, and won.

And many a road taken by many a first friend, and each one I've never seen again.

And we thought we could sit FOREVER in fun, and are chances really were a million to one.

I wish, I wish, I wish in vein that we could sit simily in that room (The Cubby Bear) again.

Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat; I'd give it ALL gladly, if are lives could be just like that...

Posted on Sat Dec 18 19:40:19 CET 1999 from (

Lenni Lobel

From: New York

I was so saddened when I heard the news of Rick's death. I watch The Last Waltz every Thanksgiving, and Rick's rendition of It Makes No Difference and Stagefright always makes the hair on my neck stand straight out. He (along with Richard Manuel shortly before his death, Levon Helm and Garth Hudson) would frequently perform small clubs in downtown NYC, and I recall once wandering into the back room (where I wasn't really allowed) and came upon Rick and others hanging out before the show. He welcomed me in (even remembered me by name the next time I did the same thing a few weeks later) and autographed my Last Waltz LP cover with "Lenni - Live Long and Prosper". He will always have a special place in my memory.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 17:16:13 CET 1999 from (



God bless you Rick.When you sang Whispering Pines in 1970, It became a constant melody in my head.I hope you you have gone to join Richard. Listening to The Bands music gave me the ultimate pleasure,inspired me to write better songs myself.You have left legacy of performancies unrivalled. God bless you Rick

Posted on Sat Dec 18 16:44:51 CET 1999 from (

Tom Kotenberg

From: Madison, Wisconsin
Home page

It's been a somber week for me since Ricks passing. What has helped the most is listening to his music and watching the vidios I have of The Band and Rick. Also, rmembering how genuinly kind he was when I met him at the Cubby Bear. When he signed my Big Pink Album 'Tom live long! Rick Danko', he pointed out some people and relatives of his on the inside photo. I think he was really glad to see the Album cause he took some time with it. That will always stay with me in my mind. I've gotten other autographs from various people but most were in haste. Just goes to show what a kind person Rick was. Well, I know I'll always remember that when I listen to his music. Thanks Rick,for giving me that time with you. It ment alot!

Posted on Sat Dec 18 16:04:43 CET 1999 from (


It has been over 20 years and the beauty ,truthfulness, and sense of joy keep the music so fresh and timeless. To Rick, thanks for improving my neighborhood.May you find peace.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 08:05:03 CET 1999 from (

David Bell

From: Los Angeles

I'll always remember that scene from the Last Waltz, when Rick Danko is sitting around in the recording studio with Martin Scorcesi, and you can just tell the whole "farewell" thing wasn't Rick's idea. I always liked Rick Danko the best of all the guys in the band. I guess it was the way he sang: It Makes No Difference, Stagefright ... . Anyway, I was really sad to hear he left us. My heart goes out to his family and friends. We all loved him and we'll miss him a lot.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 07:44:15 CET 1999 from (

Brother Michael

From: Portland, Oregon

I didn't know Rick as a member of a well-respected group. I was too young. Growing up in the 70's near Woodstock, The Rick Danko I knew was a generous and talented local musician. Often playing for great causes. Thanks Rick, for caring about your neighbors, near and far. You'll be missed.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 06:21:36 CET 1999 from (

Bonnie Stengel

From: L.I. , New York

Ricks passing was truly an emotional event for my husband and I. We saw Rick perform locally just about 2 yrs ago, and very frequently noticed he played in and around town. I am so sorry we didn't get to hear his beautiful voice, and watch him bounce around on stage, playing amazingly as he always had before for a last time. May God keep you in his embrace.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 06:14:00 CET 1999 from (


From: Paramus Nj & Decatur Ny

Before you have to leave this place, be sure you make a positive contribution. Make a difference in someones life. My grandfather told me that many years ago. I wonder if he ever talked to Rick ?

Posted on Sat Dec 18 04:28:19 CET 1999 from (

Howard Lebowitz

From: Saratoga Springs NY

From Watkins Glen in 1973 to Caffe Lena in Saratoga to MassMoca in North Adams Mass. to the Van Dyck in Schenectady NY,Rick will always be one of my favorite musicians of all time. "It makes no difference" still sends chills down my spine. My heart goes out to Rick's family and friends. Rest in Peace.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 02:35:01 CET 1999 from (

Mitt Stampler

From: Laurel, Maryland
Home page

Mr. Benjamin, well said--I'm sitting here listening to the song "Rocking Chair." If only we had some musicians who could sing tunes like "It Makes No Difference" or "Long Black Veil" with the level of sincerity that Rick Danko brought to the music. I'm a writer in my twenties and feel the same way...But, hey, let's learn from Rick and his legacy. This gives us something to strive for in our work--that level of honesty and integrity. Dave Z.--Congratulations! Many blessings...Thanks for sharing this wonderful news. Reminds us that there's always tomorrow :) Peace and light...

Posted on Sat Dec 18 02:27:46 CET 1999 from (

Chris Chausse

Thanks for invitin' us in Rick. It was our pleasure.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 02:25:14 CET 1999 from (

Chris Chausse

Simply put: Thanks Rick, I'm gonna remember you.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 02:14:01 CET 1999 from (

erik benjiman

From: new york city

as a singer/songwriter in my mid twenties, i unfortunately feel that my particular generation has a lot to learn about sincerity,compassion,and talent.rick danko and the boys had all of these things. and ever since i discovered my dads vinyl copy of the levon helm allstars,it threw me into full on band madness!! i'll never recover. anyway, i feel like i've lost someone close. it's good to know there was beauty there,and that the memory is still and forever in our hearts and ears. bless you rick........................

Posted on Sat Dec 18 02:01:58 CET 1999 from (

Tears of Rage in Texas.... Alan....

From: Austin, Texas

To hear of the passing of Rick Danko greatly depresses me. I am extremely sad that another of the great voices of The Band has sang his last note, and I am sitting here, typing with tears streaming down my face... Rick was always one of my favorite singers. At the tender age of 22, and just about 15 minutes ago, I heard the news. I hope that the Band continues to make music; it will never be the same without Ricky's voice, but I hope that Levon and Garth carry on without him. My prayers and hopes are with Elizabeth Danko, and Levon and Garth. God Bless ya, Ricky, and thank you for many, many years of joy that the Band, and your voice has brought me. Alan

Posted on Sat Dec 18 00:20:43 CET 1999 from (

Tomas Sivertsson

From: Sweden
Home page

Hello from sweden. I feel very sorry to hear about the death of Mr Danko. I think a have nearly everything they made on vinyl, and I especially remember the album "The last waltz" from 1978. I saw the film two times and are now sitting and looking at the album with a big portion of nostalgia. -78 a was 21 years old and my biggest interest (except from girls and highdjumping) was music. Cahoots, Music from big pink, Northern lights southern cross(Ophelia) etc. I was a little special because I didn`t follow the top lists, I only try to find good music. And Mr Rick Danko with friends(Robbie, Garth, Richard, Levon, and maybe Robert Z) have given me fantastic moments in my life. Unfortually Rick is the second to leave, but i think this two together now have a good time together. Now they have a chance to tell each other what realy happend without any journalist listening. Thankyou Mr Danko.

Posted on Sat Dec 18 00:06:38 CET 1999 from (

Anthony Frazer

From: Sydney, Australia

Dave Z. - A beautiful post. As one life goes, another one is growing.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 23:25:37 CET 1999 from (

Keith Reams

From: San Francisco

I'm a fairly new "Band" fan, however, their music has become one of the centerpieces of my collection. I'm very saddened to hear of the passing of Rick Danko. From my knowledge (of 19 years), I feel he is one of the most soulful and original aritsts of his time. His-and "The Band's"-music has transcended time, as well as race and will continue to serve right for generations to come. Rest in peace and harmony-----

Keith Reams -Moraga, CA

Posted on Fri Dec 17 23:22:48 CET 1999 from (

Mike Nomad

From: Moonbeam, Ont.

What should one make of the fact, if anything, that Robbie was the one who delivered the eulogy at Rick's memorial, and that Levon and Garth appeared to have played a lesser role? Just wondering.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 20:23:05 CET 1999 from (

Carol Sariego

From: NJ

What a loss! I was absolutely stunned.Thank you for the great music and menories.You will be missed.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 20:04:24 CET 1999 from (


From: Oregon

Dear Guestbook Family --

It has done my heart good this past week reading how much Rick meant to everyone. There have been so many memories shared. A few weeks ago I encouraged folks to post how they first came to hear the Band. The last week has given me way more than I ever bargained for. I sure never thought Rick would leave us so soon.

There have been lots of references to “the sun not shining anymore.” I’m sure Rick and the others felt the same way for a while when Richard passed, but they kept on doing what they did best – providing some of the best music we have ever heard. I heard Rick sing the old Carter family song. “Keep on the Sunny Side” one time -- I think that’s what he would want us to do. He enjoyed life. He had a genuine love of music and people. Let’s enjoy the legacy that Rick Danko left us. The day will come again when you will be driving alone in the country, and “The Weight” will be playing on the radio. “Crazy Chester followed me, and he caught me in the fog…” -- you’ll smile and say, “Man, that guy sure was somethin’ else!” Thanks to all who have posted here this last week.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 19:44:51 CET 1999 from (

Band Thought

From: New York

Joyous Lake is at 42 Mill Hill Road, the number is (914) 679-0367. There may be a video tribute to Rick and the evening is set to kick-off at around 8 PM on Sunday. I am making my plans now to head on up to pay my respects.

Hope to see some of you there. John S

Posted on Fri Dec 17 19:05:48 CET 1999 from (


From: Paramus, NJ & Decatur, NY

Well, one week has past. I still feel very blue. Been playing his music all week, every chance I get. I found a set of pictures my friend took at one of Rick's shows at The Turning Pt. in Piermont NY. from 1994. What incredible fun I had at all of his concerts.... I am going to try to attend the benefit show at Joyous Lake in Woodstock. Anyone know how to get to this location, or a phone # would be helpful. Again, thank you for putting up with all my posts. It is very comforting....

Posted on Fri Dec 17 18:46:50 CET 1999 from (

Don Cooper

From: Jamaica, NY now in Oneonta, NY
Home page

I was first exposed to The Band by my brother John. Then, in 1974, I saw an interview with Eric Clapton in Rolling Stone. Eric said that The Band had changed his whole attitude about music, and caused him to form Derek and the Dominoes. So I came to this music via the Beatles and Cream. I then explored Orleans, John Sebastian, and many of the great talents who have passed through Woodstock over the years. Rick was truly one of a handful of influential artists of this century. We will miss him. Our condolences to his family and friends. Don and Cynda

Posted on Fri Dec 17 18:22:30 CET 1999 from (

Tom and Marianne Izzo

From: ct

The wife and I still can't bring ourselfs to talk about it yet. For some reason I don't understand we can't listen to Rick's music yet either. Weird. It's been a week and my eyes fill with tears as I type this. Going to see Leon Redbone at the Towne Cryer sat. The wife''s afraid we'll break down there cause that's the last place we saw Rick and we got that beautiful picture of her and Rick we posted.(Remember the great duck incedent?) Seems so long ago (was it Aug?) We're still going to the Joyous Lake sun. as we planned anyway. Hope to get to blow some harp again like last year but it's gonna be hard without Rick there. I'm postive he'll be there in spirit. See you guys sun. Peace To You Rick and Your Kin. Love Tom and Marianne Izzo

Posted on Fri Dec 17 17:42:13 CET 1999 from (


From: the Nordic countries

A great deal of the Swedish population start their mornings by watching the TV4 Morning News Magazine. Today the group ELDKVARN (see Related artists on this great site) was singing live in the studio. They have toured for 30 years and lived the life of the working musicians. Their song was a tribute to an (anonymous) rock artist they met first time for 30 years ago, who made them go HEAD UP HIGH, who continued his life as a musician, maybe tired and physically broken, but HEAD UP HIGH to the end.

To the gb friends: thank you for the posts during this week - from the concerts, from the articles in the newspapers, from the ceremony. Soon I'll be on my way - for a month or so. Take care of yourself and your love ones in the time of Christmas. May the next year bring you joy and happiness.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 16:55:19 CET 1999 from (

John W. Snyder

From: Chicago

To Whom Ever it Concerns, I stumbled upon this site by accident, but I've often said everything happens for a reason. I am a huge "Band" fan, always have been, always will be. I'm saddened by learning of Rick Dankos' passing. The one and only time I ever had the privalage to see "The Band" was in Newport News, Virginia back in the late 80's. Unfortunatley Robbie Robertson wasn't with them as well as Richard. Something I will never understand is when the members introduced themselves Rick Danko and Levon Helm swapped identities??? I was probably one of the few people who caught it. Some of the members may not be with us anymore, but in my humble opinion their music will live forever!!!!!

Posted on Fri Dec 17 16:15:20 CET 1999 from (


From: Cold Spring, NY

That Robert Lloyd LA weekly piece is really moving, with a lovely photograph as well.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 14:53:03 CET 1999 from (


From: Madison, Wisconsin, *AMERICA'S TWILIGHTLANDANKO*.
Home page

I've read every post since Rick left us here, and now it seems his friends are now sharing their thoughts on Ricks memorial. I like to say thanks, cuz I couldn't be there, and now my mind is dreaming of what it must have been like that day. All your posts make this possible, and this Band site, my hats off to *JAN*. My mom says that when a friend dies, people first feel like denile, then she says people fall into depression, and then a state of anger, because of loss. Lord knows I personally went through all of these, just like when my Dad died. These posts here have helped me get through a hard week from last Friday,,,,THANKS.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 14:51:51 CET 1999 from (

walter van brakel

From: the netherlands

Couldn't believe it! I read it in the newspaper this morning. I was absolutely stunned. I had the idea I lost a friend, who was part of the muscical family I lived with the last 30 years. His music was my support in sad but also in happy days. My condoleances go to his family, his friends and the other members of the band. What a loss! Loved his work on the last band album Jubilation. Loved his work with the band throughout the years. Hope he will be happy above, playing together with Richard. Thank you for the music Rick. We'll miss you. If God is still alive I hope to meet you one day.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 14:29:45 CET 1999 from (

Colin MacKinnon

From: Scotland

Rick and The Band's music is the only rock that has stayed with me since I first heard Big Pink at the age of 16. He was a wonderful bass player and became a first-rate singer- perhaps his harmonising with Levon and Richard was the most irreplaceable and original part of the Band. I became a rock musician to try to emulate them and take on their fight against mediocrity and rampant commercialism. Highlights for me from Rick include his bass on 'Yazoo Street Scandal', his singing on 'The Unfaithful Servant' and the Last Waltz version of 'It Makes No Difference'. The memories will linger on but the good old times, they're all gone.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 14:15:56 CET 1999 from (

Bob Reichers

From: Cape Cod Mass

A voice like an angel that could break your of the most innovative bass players who ever picked up the instrument, a musician of the highest caliber. An underrated songwriter ( check his work with Bobby Charles ). His albums with Eric Anderson and Jonas Fjeld are really beautiful and are among my absolute favorites.He could take a song and put a spin on it like no other. I'm so sorry to see you go Rick.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 12:03:34 CET 1999 from (

Rudy Veirman

From: Brussels, Belgium

Now that Mr. Danko has gone to meet his old buddy Richard somewhere, this is probably the end of the Band as an outfit performing live (also considering Levon Helm's apparent voice problems). How can I possibly describe my affection for the music of Mr. Danko and the Band. As I grew older I began to look through the glamour and glitter of the rockindustry and the unreality of some of its so called musicians and stars. Finally I got fed up with rockmusic in general and gradually became a passionate jazzlover. One by one, all my oldtime rockidols fell - only Dylan, Morrison and few others survived (at times). The Band however always kept a place right on the top of my shelves, alongside the likes of Ellington, Parker, Coltrane and Monk. And that's where they belong. To me, it's quite obvious why. No other rockband came close to the way they sang, played and mastered their instruments. No one ever will. (In fact I've never considered them as a mere rockband) There's something in the interaction between the music and the voices - ah those voices - that got to me the very first time I heard one of their records. I don't know, it's hard to explain that emotional "thing" that grabs hold of my senses each time I hear them play. Needless to say that their stage act or public image never got in the way of the musical sincerity that rang through in their work. Indeed, "music ain't no theatre". I've provoked some lively discussions in my time by saying this but I'll boldly repeat it here : maybe, just maybe, in fifty years from now the Rolling Stones will be remembered for their rebellion in the early days and their invention of the rock 'n' roll circus later on; the Beatles for their immense popularity and everlasting hitrecords and the Band for the sheer quality of their music, unequalled in the history of popular (rock)music. I wouldn't object to that. Thanks a million Mr. Danko. May you rest in peace.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 10:24:48 CET 1999 from (

Linda Sprang

I just saw what happened.I just cant believe it.While writing this I am crying. Its a tragedy and a big loss for all of us. You will always be loved Rick.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 10:05:16 CET 1999 from (

Jamie Dyer

From: Charlottesville, Va
Home page

The Band is/was like nothing else. Godspeed, Rick. Your music helped inspire me to play mine.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 08:24:18 CET 1999 from (

George Gawartin

From: Los Angeles

It's so moving to realize how many lives Rick touched through his sincerity, compassion, and artistry.

Here's a nice memorial from Robert Lloyd in the LA Weekly:

Posted on Fri Dec 17 08:17:46 CET 1999 from (

Ray Mead

From: Fayette, Ohio living in Sierra Vista Arizona

The band was one of the true phenomena of the last three decades. I've always enjoyed their music and was saddened by the recent death of Rick Danko. These were some of the pied pipers of my generation and the passing of Rick Danko ane the earlier death of Richard Manuel leaves an unfillable void in the the music of our era.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 07:57:40 CET 1999 from (

Steve Foresman

From: Indiana

If you get a chance....have a listen to Blue River off the D.F.A. album. Just heartbreaking.... "Don't wanna stray too far" he strains on "stray"....gets me everytime. I Love Rick Danko! Steve Foresman

Posted on Fri Dec 17 06:27:03 CET 1999 from (

Joseph Reilly

Fare the well Rick.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 05:28:23 CET 1999 from (

Miles Langham

From: N.W. Arkansas

I got a phone call on the 10th from a friend I don't hear from very often. He called to let me know Rick died. He didn't want me to hear it from someone if I was at a bar playing. I think he knew it would break me up. It did! We talked for a few minutes more. He apologized for calling and breaking the bad news. He had heard it on NPR. Like I said he figured I would want to know. I watched the NEWS that night expecting to see some kind of memorium. The network I watched (really can't remember the one) did not mention Ricks death. I am so sad. "Too soon gone, too soon gone" Miles

Posted on Fri Dec 17 05:25:53 CET 1999 from (

Dave Z

From: Greiving in Chaska, MN

Haven't checked in for a while after expressing my sympathies... been too sad... world ain't been quite right in MN either... without snow, the pond out back has frozen clear through, and the geese still lingering around just keep flying down... then hit that ice, and slide clear across...

Anyway, decided to check back in... and was glad to read all the nice stories people are sharing about Rick's big heart... As a faraway fan, I never even met the man... never realized more than the music until recently... It's lifted my spirits... I don't have such a story to share... and wasn't even going to post again for a while... cause the GB seems like hallowed ground... didn't want to trespass... I was even driving home a couple of nights ago at 1:30 am after a long stressful workday... cruising about 80 mph listening to the Band... hurting my ears... and as an overweight guy myself... noticing lately any little chest pain real or imagined... and then rehashing angry scenarios of some recent co-worker politics... when all of a sudden I swore I saw a timberwolf loping along the side of the road... I slowed to about 20 mph but couldn't focus... and realized I wouldn't know a wolf if I saw it anyway... got scared and moved on...

I decided to post because my wife just gave me some news she's been holding off on telling me because I've been wacked out by work stress... and Rick's death... I'm still sad... and I still gotta go back to work tonight... but on or about August 10, regardless of what the sex is... I think Ricky is a good name for a new baby...

Posted on Fri Dec 17 04:43:45 CET 1999 from (

The Last Waltz

When I was 18 years old (1978), I was stationed at a U.S. Naval base in Japan. The announcement that The Last Waltz would play for 3 weeks at the base theater was exciting for me as I was totally enveloped in the music of Bob Dylan at that time (most of the players featured in the film were not familiar to me then).. Anyway, off I go to the show, and, oh boy, what is this?!.. The universe I must say, was never the same again. From that day forth, each night I did not have duty aboard ship, I walked the mile and a half to the base theater to see the film again.. and again.. and again (I must have seen the The Last Waltz 15 times in 21 days, I lived in it, one of the great periods of my life.. I've since learned to play the guitar and piano..I've since written 100 songs..I've since told a friend that when I die, I want to go to the Winterland that Thanksgiving evening (just drop me off and leave me)).. I still actually think its the greatest of all Martin's films (even from the standpoint of cinematography, lighting, content and editing; I've always regarded the film as a modern American masterpiece; wholly underappreciated).. so thank you Martin, Rob, Levon, Ronnie Hawkins, the great Bob Dylan, and the rest.. Think about this: The Last Waltz (I'm guessing that during the struggle to get the film made it would probably have been easy to blow off the whole project), turns out to be the great enduring document of The Band.. and of that time; The Band captured IN THEIR PRIME; IN THEIR GREAT JOYOUS YOUTH.. thank God for film.. and thank God for the arts.. as for Rick Danko?.. probably just the beginning of the beginning.. of the end of the beginning..

Posted on Fri Dec 17 04:30:18 CET 1999 from (


From: Germany / Hamburg
Home page

Lieber Rick, Du warst der Beste Bassplayer der Welt,ich werde Dich sehr vermissen.Ich hoffe das The Band einen Würdigen Nachfolger für Dich finden .Danke für die schöne Musik. Goodbye Rick. Wolfgang

Posted on Fri Dec 17 03:13:18 CET 1999 from (


From: Germany

Never cared so much about the death of a musician; Not even when Miles Davis died. Got no Internet then. It feels so good to share the sorrow in this guestbook - I read it daily since last week.

I grew up with The Band, even if I was only fifteen then and the Last Waltz was 5 years before. I was directly introduced into the magical mystery of music. Rick`s voice and Robbie`s songwriting were the key to it. And all the combinations of The Band: Ricks & Richards harmonies; Robbies guitar licks, Garth keyboards and horns, Richards R `n´ R piano combined with Levons "down to the earth" singing and his straight beats. And Ricks bass: you could never tell where excactly he would hit that special note. I think his 77-solo album is the only Band-spirited album after Islands/Last Waltz with the exception of Jubilee maybe.

And I have to admit, though I know Robbie is not that popular here, that most of his solo albums sound like a future direction where they all could have gone together. That`s why Robertson and Helm divorced: Levon wanted to hang on to his old rock `n´ roll shoes, Robbie wanted to polish them, setting a brilliant point with the Last Waltz and head out for something new - with the Band. I guess Rick, Richard and Garth would have followed - but Levon wouldn`t and Robbie can`t be stopped in his ideas. They needed each other: 10 years before Robbies first album; no Rick Danko solo studio album after his 77-debut; no Richard, no Garth; and Levon, well he was working hard, but solo he just did not have the spirit of the band - Rick had, always, even when he was not at his best.

Better stop my analysis here - it is just a way to express the sadness to have lost one of my closest relations; long time brother, beloved inspiration, unforgettable influence, there s a part of the world I would never have known without Rick, Richard, Robbie, Garth and Levon.

I hope the 2 heavenly guests send some inspiration to the rest of the band, maybe they should join Robbies Band for the Rick Danko Tribute album (Robbie singing, Levon on mandoline, Garth on accordeon, Dylan rhythm- or bassguitar...-just a proposition). Thank you so much for the guestbook - that made the incredible easier to believe and live with it.

My heart with Rick and Richard My best wishes to the rest of The Band....keep on keeping on but not on the road - in the studio !!!

Posted on Fri Dec 17 02:48:57 CET 1999 from (

Stanley Landau

From: Toronto

My last post quoting the same article as Blind Willie seems to have gone astray in Cyberspace. Anyway, I wanted to say that I really feel Robbie's words were the nicest I've heard yet about Rick. I think he spoke from the heart.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 02:40:53 CET 1999 from (

Stanley Landau

From: Toronto

This is from Greg Quill’s article today in the Toronto Star (quoting Robbie):

“ ‘Last night, when I got back to Woodstock, I felt inspired to write a note to Rick,’ he said. ‘Hey, Rick, got a minute…?’

The crowd and Danko’s family laughed approvingly in recognition of the bassist’s only conversational gambit.

‘Where did you go? I heard you went way over the other side of the hill, way up past Lake Erie, past Simcoe and the Six Nations, and I heard you ain’t coming back…

‘All I can see now is your light shining through the magical moments we had together, becoming The Hawks together, becoming The Band together, becoming men together. Old friend, I miss your hand, your rhythm your laugh, your soul, the light in your eye, your joyous energy…and your big, warm heart.

‘I’m honoured to have played music with you and Garth and Levon and Richard, honoured to have crossed your path’”

I don’t think anyone could have said it better.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 02:39:58 CET 1999 from (

Blind Willie McTell

From: Toronto

From today's Toronto Star

RICK DANKO: 1943-1999

Woodstock generation pays tribute

Mourners honour art and memory of star of The Band

By Greg Quill

BEARSVILLE, N.Y. - They stand like ghosts in the grey Catskill mist, mute and bewildered witnesses to the passing of one they had claimed as their own more than three decades ago.

These are the aging children of the Woodstock generation, most of them still denizens of that once idyllic garden of art, music and free thought, grizzled and dull?eyed now, hanging on to their fringed leather vests, their crushed velvet skirts, feathered Stetsons and sandals, still clinging to the fading dream in the cold, wet woods and in the black stone mountains around this beaten little village.

About 500 of them gathered here in the drizzle outside The Bearsville Theatre ? a concert hall/ballroom/bar just west of Woodstock - to pay tribute to Rick Danko, bassist and singer with the seminal American folk-rock troupe of the late 1960s and early 70s, The Band.

Danko, 56, died Friday in his sleep of unknown causes at his home near here.

With his band mates, Arkansas drummer Levon Helm on drums, mandolin and vocals and fellow Ontarians Robbie Robertson on guitar, Garth Hudson on keyboards, and Richard Manuel on piano, drums and vocals, Danko was at the head of the first pilgrimage to Woodstock, three years before the legendary 1969 music festival made the town a pop culture Mecca and a perennial freak carnival.

The Band, formerly The Hawks under expatriate American rockabilly star Ronnie Hawkins, had moved here from Canada in 1965 in the employ of Bob Dylan. They lived and recorded just down the road, in a big pink house Danko rented. It was a crucible in which a distinctive kind of elemental American music was distilled. It combined elements of folk and country songs, gospel hymns, rhythm 'n' blues and pop sensibilities with soaring, panoramic lyrics that evoked epic images of the republic's tortured legacy.

Record producer John Simon summarized The Band's effect on popular music at yesterday's musical memorial to Danko: "It's simple: The Band changed popular music. It was never the same."

The pink house was immortalized in the groundbreaking albums, The Band's Music From Big Pink and the Dylan-The Band collaboration The Basement Tapes. It's still there, no longer pink, just another dilapidated suburban oddity amid the flotsam of a generation's symbols, its windows blind to the rain on this dark, sad afternoon. A couple purchased it last year for around $150,000. They plan to make it a shrine for fans of The Band and Dylan.

Woodstock back when The Band roamed its shady streets became a refuge for young artists, writers, artisans, musicians, painters and actors, an organic counter-culture enclave. "Now that we're starting to cross the great divide," said one mourner, a Woodstock old-timer,as he shuffled into the theatre, referring to a song Danko made famous, "we can see the tragic future: Woodstockland …"

The most moving part of the two-hour memorial, more a concert featuring local musicians, including John Sebastian of the Lovin' Spoonful, songwriters Jules Shear and Vince Martin, and Danko's friends and neighbours, was a speech by Robertson, who flew in from Los Angeles. He has had little to do with his former band mates since an acrimonious split in 1976.

"Last night, when I got back to Woodstock, I felt inspired to write a note to Rick," he said. "Hey Rick, got a minute …?" The crowd and Danko's family laughed approvingly in recognition of the bassist's only conversational gambit. "Where did you go? I heard you went way over the other side of the hill, way up past Lake Erie, past Simcoe (Danko's birthplace) and the Six Nations (where Robertson spent his childhood summers), and I heard you ain't coming back …

"All I can see now is your light shining through the magical moments we had together, becoming The Hawks together, becoming The Band together, becoming men together. Old friend, I miss your hands, your rhythm, your laugh, your soul, the light in your eye, your joyous energy … and your big, warm heart.

"I'm honoured to have played music with you and Garth and Levon and Richard, honoured to have crossed your path."

Other highlights of the tribute, which opened and closed with a Scottish piper playing a Celtic dirge, were Shear's performance of a song he wrote for Danko, the strangely prophetic ballad "Too Soon Gone", Sebastian's mournful harmonica solo that closed a rousing ensemble version of "Amazing Grace", and a full-throated, joyful rendition of the Dylan song which The Band is most closely associated, the classic pop hymn, "I Shall Be Released," performed by all the mourners in the theatre.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 02:19:20 CET 1999 from (


Several of my favorite Ricky moments. The intro bassline to Do'nt Do It. The Acadian vocal at the end of "Acadian Driftwood." The look he gave Bob Dylan when before they reprised "Baby Let Me Follow You Down." The "Coyote" bassline. The "We Can Talk" vocal.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 02:17:27 CET 1999 from (


From: Long Island, NY

I decided to take the day off yesterday as I felt something pulling me to make the trip from Long Island up to Woodstock. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had last seen Rick at the Bearsville Theatre in July before a sadly sparse crowd. I really wanted to experience the feeling of being there one last time with the place packed with family, friends and fans. I'm so very glad I did! The line of people waiting patiently in the cold drizzle stretched well across the theatre parking lot (which eventually filled as cars were forced to park out along the road). While standing and watching the multitude of attendees arrive I spotted Robbie Robertson walking from the parking area into the north entrance of the theatre. I'm well aware of the history of the fued with Levon etc. but I must say I had a warm feeling inside at that moment. Let's face it some people would have criticized him if he hadn't showed up but there he was and I for one think it was a great gesture. The theatre was packed as I had anticipated and there was a tremendous feeling of warmth and community.

I continue at the risk of making this sound like some kind of "show". It was not a show as much as it was a fitting memorial to a deeply loved friend, musician and member of the community. I'd like to express my thanks to Rick's wife and family for allowing fans to attend the memorial as it gave people who felt like Rick was part of their family, the opportunity to feel like they were part of his family! I didn't take notes but I can tell you that there were alternating instances of laughter and sadness throughout the memorial. One of the ligher moments that sticks out in my mind was Tom Pacheco telling the story of how he does his writing late at night and the room in which he writes has a large window facing outside. He would be startled occasionally to have Rick press is face into the dark window from the outside and pronounce "Hey Tom...Got a minute?" This apparently common phrase from Rick was also used by Robbie to begin his "Note to Rick". The memorial began with a lone female bagpipe player slowly walking out onto the stage (the stage was decorated with numerous floral arrangements with small Christmas type lights strung on a black backdrop, pictures of Rick were handed out, at least top those of us seated, which also had the words "The day Rick was born the angels sang. Rick sang harmony.) playing a mournful tune and then slowly exiting. Local musician Happy Traum served as the narrarator and provided introductions for speakers and performers. I can't give a detailed blow by blow but I believe John Sebastian followed by playing (Amazing Grace?) on his harp. I believe Robbie was next. Oddly enough, this is the first time I had ever seen him in person. He explained that upon his arrival in Woodstock the previous night he had been inspired to write a note to his friend Rick. I got the impression that this was extremely difficult for him and he paused several times during his reading to collect himself. It seemed to me that he really had a genuine love for Rick and I'm sure that Rick's death was forcing him to face his own mortality. While he did make mention of the fact that he had written the words to the songs Rick sang he followed with how he was honored to have had Rick sing them and that " I believed every word you sang, every time you sang it". He ended with "I was honored Rick Clare Danko to have crossed your path. God bless you". I for one was moved to tears. Other highlights were Jules Shear recollecting a humorous songwriting session at the Bearsville theatre for which Rick was quite late and ending with a moving rendition of Too Soon Gone, more humorous words from old friend Vince Martin, fantastic and humorous tributes from Aaron Hurwitz (who also peformed Motherless Children on Accordion with Marie Spinozza, apparently he gave the eulogy at Rick's funeral) and John Simon (John told some great Rick sories, sorry but I don't want to try and recreating them if I can't remember exactly what was said, a stirring rendition of Twilight with some local musicians Rick has worked with (Amy Fradon? Scott Petito? sorry I'm drawing a blank), Kate Taylor singing Auld Lang Syne, Tom Pacheco adding a hearfelt version of a new song that Rick had recently worked with him on "They Can't Touch You Now". The memorial ended with Amazing Grace played on bagpipes and then sang by everyone followed by I Shall Be Released which was also sung by both Rick's friends on stage and everyone else in attendance. I know I've missed some things (and I'm sure the details will be filled in with time) but since I was surprised that not much had been posted to date I felt obligated to get some type of description of the memorial out to those who couldn't be there. I will remember that day and that memorial as long as I live. As Jim Weider said to my wife later that night at Levon Helm's performance at Joyous Lake "Rick will always live on in his music!".

I didn't personally see either Levon or Garth at the memorial but did hear from others that they were present. We learned at the service from some new found friends (Rick still has the power to bring people together!) that Levon and the Barnburners would be playing later that evening at a local club. Very briefly....Levon played 2 sets of mostly blues standards with gusto. His daughter Amy helped out on several songs singing lead. Levon didn't address the crowd that night nor did he sing. The audience was filled with familiar faces from the memorial for Rick earlier in the day. Richard Bell got up and played piano on a number of tunes. These guys were heating it up pretty good. Yeah, there was no all-star jam or for that matter, any mention of Rick at all but I was really glad I stayed around for Levon's performance as it left me with a feeling of "carrying on" and getting back to the music. As I overheard someone in the audience state "The blues is healing music". What a day.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 02:15:11 CET 1999 from (

Michael Doebbler

From: Avalon Archives

Our hearts poured out our love for Rick yesterday. A most fitting tribute for our brother Rick. Levon told me that he was comforted by all the well wishers.I sat with Robby and he spoke fondly of rick. He truly did love him. I asked him to please return to Woodstock next year for a tribute show for Rick and he said " Yea I'll see". I asked him to write a song for Rick. I was glad to reminice with Tom Pacheco.Remember that Dec 10 was the annual chistmas party which brought out all our old friends.Tom had returned last year to join Rick on stage after years in Ireland.Truly a highlight. I was comforted with the news that both Rick and also Tom will be releasing new albulms early next year.I had the pleasure to converse with Garth on Friday during a show with John Herald.He was in sad spirits but also willing to talk.He said to me "i think Whispering Pines will be enjoyed long after we are gone". This was after I expressed the opinion that The Bands music will last forever. So although we all have suffered a tremendous loss I believe that with our friends we can continue to love Rick through his legacy he left behind for all of us. P.S. Last night at the Joyous lake was a healing session for Ricks friends.Levon said that he wants to do this every wednesday night.So we will see you all next week. Love you Rick.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 01:58:45 CET 1999 from (


From: southern ontario,canada

many thanks to rick and all the boys in the band for the great tunes over the years, you have made us canadians real proud,rick will truly be missed,but we will never forget.I will always remember life is a carnival when I am blue,RICK I hope your jammin with sonnyboy and eaten wings and watching all of us left behind.rock on brother

Posted on Fri Dec 17 01:40:02 CET 1999 from (


It was the summer of '62 when I first ran into Rick, Levon, Beak and Robbie at the Brass Rail Tavern in London, Ontario. At that time they were doing the circuit with Rompin' Ronnie. It was a great time. I recall Rick having this sense of wonder about so many things. Whenever they were in town we usually got together to party a little. They stayed at the American Motel out on Dundas. The chicks would just cream themselves over the Hawks. Partied a bit in Grand Bend with them. All of us where young cats just discovering life. This scenario went on for awhile and they broke up with Ronnie and I went overseas. When I returned a year later they were playing at Friars, I believe. We hung out for a few days, Recall Beak was tooling around in a purple Thunderbird coupe. After that I didn't see them until they played at Centerpoint here in Ottawa several years ago. Levon and I talked about people long past for a while. Didn't get chance to talk with Rick. Lot's of memories from back then when they were the best bar band ever.

Posted on Fri Dec 17 00:14:41 CET 1999 from (




Posted on Fri Dec 17 00:11:35 CET 1999 from (


From: This is from todays local paper.
Home page

Friends fans bid farewell to Danko Service overflows theater in Woodstock Former Band member Robbie Robertson and other musicians are among those paying tribute. WOODSTOCK - Hundreds of fans, friends, family members and local musicians came to the Bearsville Theater on Wednesday to pay tribute to Rick Danko, a founding member of The Band and longtime area resident who died last Friday at age 56. The public memorial service was scheduled for 2 p.m.; by 1:30, a long line snaked through the parking lot outside the state Route 212 theater as mourners continued to arrive. The sky was gray and a cold drizzle fell, but the mood was upbeat as people waiting in the rain related personal experiences with Danko, remembered a favorite Band show and craned their necks to watch musicians entering through a side door. Among the most recognizable were former Band member Robbie Robertson and Lovin’ Spoonful leader John Sebastian, who lives in Ulster County. The Bearsville Theater, which holds just 300 people, was filled only min utes after the doors opened. People who couldn’t get seats crowded the aisles and soon overflowed into the bar area outside the auditorium. All told, wore than 500 attended. On a stage that was bare except for microphones and hundreds of flowers, a lone bagpiper in full formal kilt began the memorial, playing a mournful dirge that hushed the crowd. Happy Traum, a well-known local musician and friend of Danko’s, was the first to speak. ‘I think Rick loved Woodstock and loved being a part of a smalltown community,’ he said. ‘He leaves an indelible legacy that we will all remember for the rest of our lives.’ Danko, an Ontario native, first came to Ulster County in the 1960’s. He and fellow members of The Band Garth Hudson, Levon Helm and Richard Manuel -rented a now-legendary pink house in West Saugerties where they recorded their first album, ‘Music From Big Pink.’ The Bob Dylan recordings that eventually became known as ‘The Basement Tapes’ also were recorded there. Danko was in and out of Ulster County during his years with the Band but was living here again permanently when he died in his sleep last Friday morning Authorities have yet to identify the cause of death other to say it was natural. On Wednesday, the heartfelt words of Robertson, expressed in the form of a letter to Danko, brought many in the theater to tears. ‘Rick, where did you go?’ Robertson said. ‘I heard you went way over on the other side of the hill ... and I heard you ain’t coming back.” Robertson also spoke of how he felt when Danko sang songs that Robertson wrote: ‘I believed every word you sang every time you sang it.’

Posted on Thu Dec 16 20:25:17 CET 1999 from (

Rich Mizzone

From: New Jersey

I have sent the Band a few times, but always after the original breakup, so it was without Robbie. But it was still a fantastic time. When they kinda of got back together, I saw then at the Capitol Theater in Passaic NJ and at was the Palladium in NYC. I also saw Rick Danko & Paul Butterfield in sme little town in New Mexico in 1978. A friend and I were driving cross country, were visiting a cousin in New Mexico, saw this little ad in some hick newspaper, we had a great time. The Band & Rick's music will live on forever. Thanks for the memories.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 23:31:52 CET 1999 from (

Mike Nomad

From: Moonbeam, Ont.

Matthew Lewis: Great recollxn, nicely written. Thnx for sharing.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 22:42:09 CET 1999 from (



Posted on Thu Dec 16 22:36:24 CET 1999 from (

medicine hat

From: pittsburgh

david powell: that wordsworth piece is as beautiful and acute as any article or testament to rick and the guys i've ever read. god bless you for the comfort it brings. seems i'd better go to the library and copy it. peace.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 22:04:59 CET 1999 from (

Campbell Docherty

From: Glasgow,Scotland

Rick "Take it away on higher plains" He was one of the best.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 22:02:56 CET 1999 from (

Jareen Flohr

From: Pittsburgh, PA

To the entire Danko Family and his cousin Paul, I would like to take this oppertunity to express my deepest sympathy. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. May you find peace in the awareness that Rick and his music will always be with you. Thank you Rick and The Band for the wonderful music and memories.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 21:55:06 CET 1999 from (

bob wigo

From: havertown,pa

After spending so much time on this site the last few days I have a renewed interest in obtaining some of the more "obscure" Band recordings. If anyone can lead me in the right direction I will be most grateful. Please contact me directly at

Posted on Thu Dec 16 21:49:21 CET 1999 from (

rudolf van beek

From: Leiden, The Netherlands

What a way to end this century. First Doug Sahm, now Rick Danko. I was about 19 when I saw The Band in Holland, and man did they change the scene or what. Maybe even more impressive was a gig in a small NY place, Gerde's folk city, in the mid 80's. Rick, Richard and a harmonica player. Those voices, right from heaven. Another of my great musical heroes has passed away. Thank Rick, Richard, thank Doug. The 20th century was a cruel one but your music made it a not to be beaten memory too. Ruud van Beek

Posted on Thu Dec 16 21:33:42 CET 1999 from (


From: PA

I am very happy that RR showed up to wish his good friend off to heaven. My hope now is that Rick was able to complete enough of his new album so all his friends up in Woodstock can finish the production. Some more of Rick's music will be a good thing for all of us.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 21:22:22 CET 1999 from (

Rich Trotto

From: Wisconsin (In this current life)

Bye Rick. Now two of the most beautiful voices ever have been added to that hevenly chorus, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 20:24:24 CET 1999 from (

Duke Devlin

Rick Danko always had time for his fans and friends. The World will never be the same place without him. I feel I not only lost a dear friend, but a brother...

Posted on Thu Dec 16 20:22:38 CET 1999 from (


From: Ann Arbor, Michigan

I was listening to Rock of Ages the other day, thinking how full and wonderful the sound was. Those five guys must have known what a great thing they had - something I think we all long for. Tis fleeting - the wonderful things in this life. It was good to see a picture of Robbie from the memorial service. It struck me as strange - the three main voices of the band are now silent - in a sense. What they gave us is without measure - something so beautiful that words are an injustice. I have to say that I will remember these last few days as days when wonderful people got together to pour out their souls in honor of a wonderful man. Bless you all, and although we are longing in our hearts, we have many mighty blessings to be thankful for. I made a special ornament in honor of Rick, and hung it in a space I adore. Take care all of you out there. Reading through these pages has been one heck of a wonderful journey.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 19:53:43 CET 1999 from (

david fallon

From: ireland

Thanks Rick. I met him in Dublin in 96 when the Band played at the Olympia. I was sitting three rows from the stage an d Rick was right in front of me. After the gig, I went backstage and met him. I have one of his plectrums and the set list of the night. great guy, sadly missed.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 19:10:03 CET 1999 from (

David Powell

From: Georgia

The following stanzas are excerpts from the poem "POWER OF MUSIC" written by William Wordsworth:

"...His station is there; and he works on the crowd,

He sways them with harmony merry and loud;

He fills with his power all their hearts to the brim--

Was aught ever heard like his fiddle and him?"

"...What an eager assembly! what an empire is this!

The weary have life, and the hungry have bliss;

The mourner is cheered, and the anxious have rest;

And the guilt-burthened soul is no longer opprest."

"...The Porter sits down on the weight which he bore;

the Lass with her barrow wheels hither her store;--

If a thief could be here he might pilfer at ease;

She sees the Musician, 'tis all that she sees!"

"...O blest are the hearers, and proud be the hand

Of the pleasure it spreads through so thankful a band;

I am glad for him, blind as he is!--all the while

If they speak 'tis to praise, and they praise with a smile."

"...That tall Man, a giant in bulk and height,

Not an inch of his body is free from delight;

Can he keep himself still, if he would? oh, not he!

The music stirs in him like wind through a tree..."

Posted on Thu Dec 16 18:54:48 CET 1999 from (


Thanks to Claudia for the Poughkepsie Journal article. For those looking for specifics on RR's eulogy, I've copied the following quote from his eulogy from

‘‘Last night, when I got back to Woodstock, I felt inspired to write a note to Rick,’’ said Robbie Robertson, former member of The Band who penned many of the songs Danko’s voice immortalized.

Stopping often to collect his thoughts and fight back tears, Robertson read his Danko letter to the audience.

‘‘Rick, where did you go? I heard you went way on the other side of the hill. And I heard you ain’t coming back. ... Does anyone realize what an amazing sound your voice makes? I do because I wrote a lot of the words you sang. ...I remember becoming the Hawkes together, becoming The Band together, becoming men together. ... I miss your hands, I miss your rhythm. ... I miss your joyous energy. Most of all, I miss your big, warm heart.’’

Posted on Thu Dec 16 18:12:38 CET 1999 from (


From: Arlington, VA

From the moment I first heard "Music From Big Pink", I've been a fan of The Band and I always felt the music touched my soul somehow. I saw The Band several times, but I remember meeting the group, including Rick, in Washington, DC at the Wax Museum in the early 80s. He was a genuinely sweet guy. I wish we had him in our midst many more years as Rick Danko had a unique voice that somehow expressed the pain, the joy, the despair, the exuberance that is life. "Makes No Difference" seems to come up in alot of messages and I have to admit, I listened to that song alot over the weekend, feeling sad for his family, friends and for all of us who felt a connection to him. I'd like to extend my condolences to Rick's wife and family. It's small consolation now, but his voice will continue to resonate, make no mistake about it.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 17:16:03 CET 1999 from (


From: Albany, NY

"It makes no difference" always makes me cry. The message is timeless, especially now.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 17:13:53 CET 1999 from (

Rocky Peltzman

From: Israel

Days later, words still don't come that can express the depth of my sadness. His family, friends, colleagues and all of us fans have lost a wonderful human being and musician.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 17:03:37 CET 1999 from (

Jason Imbesi

From: Boston, MA

What to say... never in my life have I been old enough to be affected by the death of a musician that I admire greatly. All of them have died before I was born, when I was young, or before I discovered their music. Rick is a different case... I didn't know what to think or say when I heard that he had died. I thought the person who told me was pulling my leg, but sadly I looked at this wonderful site and the terrible news was confirmed. I am still in shock a bit...

I am a musician who is just starting out and I feel that the Band is probably the most underrated one, by people of this generation. Those who are into these bands now that have little soul, sense of musicianship, and overall talent are missing a huge portion of the big picture of why music is music and why image is only a very secondary thing to it. When I write, I strive to reach for the integrity that Robbie, Levon, Garth, Richard, and Rick had. The depth and pure spirit of their songs cannot be denied. No one could match the sense of togetherness and feeling of good times that comes through in their music.

Some of my favorite moments are (and they include everyone in the band): Rick's vocal on "It Makes No Difference" on the Last Waltz; Richard's vocals on "Lonesome Suzie", "Whispering Pines", "Orange Juice Blues", and "Tura Lura Lural"; Garth's unbelievable ability at every instrument he plays, but especially the organ on "Chest Fever", and the sax solo on "It Makes No Difference" in the Last Waltz; Robbie's cutting solos and riffs on songs like "IMND", "King Harvest", "Further On Up The Road" w/Clapton, and "Dirge" w/Dylan; Levon is the kind of drummer that I envision playing with--his style and grooves are killer and his vocals on "Dixie", "Rag Mama Rag", "All La Glory", "Daniel...", and his vocal as well as Rick's on "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" are great. There are so many more, though, but I think you all would agree if I said them so I'll keep it short.

Growing up in Syracuse, I wish I had still lived there so I could drive down to Bearsville... but I know that he and Richard can hear me now (because I was never able to tell them before) so I hope that they're out there across that great divide between earth and spiritland having the best jam session with each other like it used to be...

Thank you Rick for everything you showed me...

Posted on Thu Dec 16 16:39:29 CET 1999 from (

Matthew Lewis

I'd like to share a personal experience with Rick in 1997 that I think sheds light on what kind of guy he was, and why he will be missed. But first, if you will forgive me, some background. I became a huge Band fan in the mid-1970s, as a teenager in Wisconsin. After the Beatles, the Band was the biggest musical influence on my life. I even loved "Cahoots" and "Islands," which seem to be their "worst" albums according to conventional wisdom. To this day, I consider Rick's first solo album the best solo work by any Band member. Unfortunately, it became difficult to exist as a Rick Danko fan in the 1980s, simply because there seemed to be no new recordings coming out. It was a pleasant surprise to hear him finally resurface on that first Ringo Starr live album, with the excellent rendition of Buddy Holly's "Raining in my Heart."

Anyway, I eventually became a journalist, and moved to Singapore in 1989, where I lived for seven years. In late 1996 I moved back to the U.S. -- Hartford, Conn., to be exact. A few months later, I noticed a press release from Rykodisc for the new Danko/Fjeld/Andersen album, "Ridin' on the Blinds." I was cheered by this evidence of Rick's continued existence. On a whim, I called the Ryko PR people and asked about the possibility of interviewing Rick. No problem, they said, here's Rick's phone number, go ahead. (It still strikes me as ridiculous that getting through to Rick Danko, whom I consider one of the alltime musical greats, would be that easy. I somehow doubt that contacting Keith Richards or Lou Reed, to say nothing of Ricky Martin or Mariah Carey, would be equally simple.)

Around the same time, I discovered that Rick would play a solo show 100 miles away, in Foxboro, Mass., on Feb. 22, 1997. I decided to go, since I'd never seen him "live" before. I bought my ticket early, fearing it might be a sellout (it wasn't). It turned out to be a great show, and accompanists Aaron Hurwitz and Randy Ciarlante perfectly captured what I'd always felt that Danko "vibe" was all about. During intermission, Rick -- far from the aloof rock star -- sat out by the espresso bar, signing autographs and giving away personalized guitar picks in a very approachable and jolly way. "Rick, can you do 'Time to Kill'?" asked one fan, to which Rick replied very seriously, "Uh, let me think about that one for a while." I introduced myself to Rick, said I was eager to set up an interview, and that maybe we could do it by phone at his convenience. He said fine. The autographed picture he gave me that night still hangs on my wall.

A couple of weeks later, we hooked up for an hour-long phone interview, in which he said some interesting things. He was modest and down to earth, almost to a fault. When I confessed that I liked his first, late-70s solo album, he seemed shocked that I would remember it. During the conversation, I mentioned that although I had been a big Band fan for years, I had somehow never been able to catch the Band live. So I wrote the story (a feature for Reuters, and a separate one for a Singapore-based music mag, "BigO") then moved on to other things.

A couple of weeks later, I was stunned to come into my downtown Hartford office one day, and discover a message on my answering machine, from none other than Rick Danko. He invited me to come see the Band perform at Carnegie Hall on March 20, and told me where to pick up the ticket. Needless to say, I was stunned by his thoughtfulness and generosity, and also by the fact that Rick took the time and effort to make this call himself, rather than delegate the errand to an assistant or publicist. To me, that said a lot about his big heart, and his character. I suspect there were many other "random acts of kindness" from Rick that most people never found out about. Whatever hard times or personal demons Rick may have suffered, I have nothing but the highest admiration of him as an artist and as a person. To me, Rick Danko will always be synonymous with soulfulness, earthiness, and an utter lack of slickness or phoniness. He had almost no peer in the ability to convey emotion in a song. It continues to amaze me that he wasn't 10 times more famous than he actually was, but that's irrelevant. One of my favorite vocals of his, if I had to pick just one, is "Drifting Away," from the first Danko/Fjeld/Andersen album. This is my very windy way of saying, thanks for all the great music, Rick. You are missed. My deepest condolences to family and friends.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 16:45:03 CET 1999 from (

Lars Hjelmberg

From: Sweden

Rick Danko, rest in Peace. The Band has Played with Bob Dylan and are always in my mind

Posted on Thu Dec 16 16:43:08 CET 1999 from (

Robert Harden

From: Greenwood Lake NY

My condolences to the Danko family. Although I never met Rick, I feel real empty inside at his untimely passing

Posted on Thu Dec 16 16:18:30 CET 1999 from (


From: Cold Spring, NY

The local Hudson Valley paper, the Poughkeepsie Journal, had some nice coverage of yesterday's memorial service for Rick, including some photos, and it's posted on their website today. Here's the web address:

Posted on Thu Dec 16 16:17:50 CET 1999 from (

Mikael Jurgell

From: Kalmar, Sweden

Farewell Rick! When I was thirteen years old I went to se the movie The Last Waltz, since then I have loved The Band´s music. I have been seeing the movie The Last Waltz at least 30 times and I think it is one the most important milestones in rock history. The Band´s music and the voices of Richard Manuel and Rick Danko will live forever. Thank you for all the fantastic music.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 16:09:19 CET 1999 from (


From: Sugar Land, TX

The loss of Rick Danko is tragic. I pray for him and his family and those bandmates rocked by the life and death of this troubadour. I am one of the lucky ones. My wife and I attended the last great show at a special venue in Houston named Rockefeller's on May 6, 1996. In addition to a magical concert, I had my ROCK OF AGES LP signed by Rick, Levon, and Garth on the bus prior to their performance. God Rest Your Souls, Rick and Richard, and God's Speed to your survivors. Thanks for Good Times, Blue

Posted on Thu Dec 16 16:02:37 CET 1999 from (


From: Paramus, NJ and Decatur, NY

Just a thought. Any interest out there for a Saturday get together in the Woodstock area to celebrate Rick's life ? It would be nice for all of us who were unable to attend the memorial service...Just a thought....

Posted on Thu Dec 16 15:37:58 CET 1999 from (

M. Grambauer

From: Earth

I loved watching Rick Danko Play. You could see he was were he wanted to be.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 15:26:14 CET 1999 from (


From: The Netherlands

It's now 1 week ago since Rick left us and I'm still feeling sad thanks for everything Rick

Posted on Thu Dec 16 14:50:30 CET 1999 from (


From: The Brokerage

Today's NY Times has an article by Jesse McKinley on B1 and a photo which incorrectly identifies Levon Helm hugging a fan. The photo is obviously of Professor Louie and I have called the reporter for a correction. I hope we can get the WSJ article scanned in.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 14:49:44 CET 1999 from (


From: New York City

For a more detailed story, check out

Posted on Thu Dec 16 14:03:30 CET 1999 from (


Just for the record: Both Garth and Levon were at the sad and wonderful memorial for Rick.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 13:00:16 CET 1999 from (

Matti Brouns

From: Brussels, Belgium

I first heard Rick Danko (and the Band) in 1969: Music From Big Pink. Those heavenly voices. Rick was one of the best. A wonderful person. A unique singer. A gifted musician. His death leaves me sad and blue. "Oh, to be home again..." Goodbye Rick, Out of this world...

Posted on Thu Dec 16 12:27:32 CET 1999 from (

Frode Jenssen

From: London, UK

Does anybody know if a transcript of the Robertson eulogy is available?

Posted on Thu Dec 16 08:02:58 CET 1999 from (


From: Germany

There hs been a voice, that was swinging over the horizon, light and clear, sad and full of hope. It carried us through many songs and many years and will remain wherever it was heard. This voice is gone. Goodbye Rick, and thanks for being with us.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 06:31:03 CET 1999 from (


From: Sonoma County Ca

I love The Band. They are currently,have always been(for 30 years), and always will be my favorites. I love all of it, even their less popular or less critically acclaimed recordings. Rick was doing what he loved, playing music for us, right up to the end. I`ve seen Rick perform more often than the rest of The Band because he was always out there sharing great music with us. Every show was different,every show was great! I am lucky that I have cd`s and videos that I can enjoy for the rest of my life. A couple of years ago The Band played a show at a local concert hall so I took my 12 year old son to his first rock concert there. I wanted him to see the greatest musical group ever. The place was packed, the crowd was enthusiastic, and the show was incredible (as usual). After the openning act finished we stepped out the side door for some fresh air. There was a motor home parked next to the theatre and Rick Danko came out and just stood next to us. I was in awe. I didn`t know what to do. I didn`t want to bother him right before his show but I had to say something to him. We introduced ourselves and I told him what a big fan I had always been. He just looked and acted like a normal courteous human being. We talked for a minute, he shook our hands and he said he hoped we enjoyed the show. My son hears Rick and The Band at home all the time but he doesn`t understand he`s had the honor of meeting the best bass player and singer there ever was. My best wishes to Rick`s family and friends. Rick is gone but his music and his spirit will live forever.....

Posted on Thu Dec 16 06:08:27 CET 1999 from (

Pete Rivard

From: Hastings, MN

Today I hate my geography. Oh, to have slipped the skin of obligation two or three days ago, jumped in the car and barrel-assed out to Bearsville. It'll be a while before I think of myself as anything other than chicken-shit. I should have been there, too. That 3,000 seat theater should have been SRO (was it?) with a mob of additional mourners outside in the street.

Speaking for myself and the rest of the chicken-shit contingent, I would be ever so grateful for anyone who was there to add their observations. Levon and Garth's names are conspicuously absent in any posts thus far. Surely, they were there? And Jan, if you talked anyone out of copies of their eulogies, it would be great to see those posted as well, eventually.

And good for Robbie. I, for one, am heartened, and relieved, to hear that he made it and was prominent in the service.

Man, I'm blue. We're here at an end, and I want to start all over again.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 05:43:34 CET 1999 from (

frank & angelina orlando

From: west reading pa

deeply saddend and feel a loss for a player of such impact and charactor. Long time band fans.May his memory live on with his music.God rest his soul.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 05:37:37 CET 1999 from (

Kathy Welby

From: Upstate New York

Hi! Just got back from the memorial to Rick, a very sad moving day. Just wanted to let everyone know that the benefit Rick was going to do this Sunday Decmeber 19th for the "The Family Shelter" will go on as a tribute to Rick. Friends of Rick will be performing with surprise guests, so if anyone wants to come it is Sunday December 19th at The Joyous Lake, Woodstock New York at 8PM. I only wish Rick could be there but I guess God had other plans for him this Christmas. Rest in Peace Rick we all will miss you! Teach those angels how to sing......

Posted on Thu Dec 16 04:47:37 CET 1999 from (

Bashful Bill

From: Minoa,N.Y.

I just got back from Bearsville and am beat. I would have loved to catch Levon's regular Wed. nite gig but had to be back in town. My wife and I are going to make an overnite trip to Woodstock in a couple weeks and stay in a bed & breakfast and check out the Barnburners. My biggest thrill today: briefly being introduced to Jan, who was networking all over the place. My 2nd biggest thrill: seeing that Robbie made the trip(he and his companions sat in the same aisle as me, Richard Bell sat directly behind me). However my thrill was tempered a little when he spoke. This is my personal opinion, as a rabid Bandfan from way back who has always refrained from Robbie bashing or even attempting to form a partisan opinion on the "feud". He very pointedly mentioned, twice, that HE wrote many of the songs that Rick sang so beautifully. I think{once again IMHO}that it wasn't an appropriate place to mention that fact, twice yet. With the bad blood he has with some of the people present{obviously Levon... and John Simon sat right in front of RR and was the next speaker}I just don't think it needed to be mentioned. On the other hand, maybe I'm wrong. Otherwise it was a nice eulogy, especially when he spoke of how fortunate he was to have heard the beauty of Rick and Richard's voices together so many times. John Simon and Jules Sheres compared notes on working with Rick on opposite ends of The Band's spectrum. Jules also sang a heartbreaking version of "Too Soon Gone" Shredni (is that the correct spelling of his name?} was very "Rick-like", that is making sure that despite a somber occasion, let's make sure there is some fun to be had, too. Lots and lots of pretty acoustic music from Woodstock musicians, making sure they sent their friend out right. And the Danko family was all there, sitting in the front rows after burying Rick only a few hours before. I hope, but feel confident, that they took some comfort from the memorial. Of course I gave my wife a full report tonite. She had a good point. We all have read the many posts recently, from fans, myself included, who have briefly spent time with Rick, and experienced those good vibes he effortlessly emanated. She said just imagine the loss that all of his longtime companions and colleaques, not to mention his family must feel. For his presence to be, well, Too soon Gone. So long Rick. I only met you a few times, and I'm certain you don't even remember me, but I, along with countless others, will miss you forever.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 04:15:53 CET 1999 from (


From: yellowstone territory

Does anyone know the name and address and/or phone number of the women's shelter that Rick had planned on playing that benefit for? I would like to send them a donation in Rick's name....please e-mail me....Thanks

God Rest your heartfilled gentle soul, Mr. Rick Danko.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 03:55:51 CET 1999 from (

Ray Martini

From: Toronto

I have always been moved by the music of The Band. As a Canadian I take great pride in their history, accomplishments and impact on music. I am greatly saddened by the loss of Rick Danko and will forever remember him every time I hear one of their tunes. I am not ashamed to admit that whenever I hear "It Makes No Difference" I am truly moved to tears listening to Rick's voice and Robbies solo. They all hold a special place in my heart and I am glad that Richard and Rick are together again creating beautiful harmonies together wherever they are.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 03:52:58 CET 1999 from (

Jeff Montwicki

From: Des Plaines, IL

I just wanted to say that I miss Rick Danko more than I miss being 10 years old. I never really realized how much of an impact he had on my life and how much of a musical influence he really was to me and countless others, God bless you Rick, and I hope you can hear our prayers and thoughts. We all love you and miss you very much.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 03:49:14 CET 1999 from (


Does anyone know whether Levon and Garth attended the memorial service and/or spoke?

Posted on Thu Dec 16 02:51:36 CET 1999 from (

Tim Mullins

From: Atlanta via Long Island

My wife is Costa Rican, my present from the Peace Corps. I've taught her a lot about our music. She's now more knowledable about it than most people. The first video we ever bought was "The Last Waltz". I can't tell you how many times we've watched it. She would just shake her head and say "I can't believe how good these guys are. How come we never heard of them in Costa Rica"? What a tragic loss for us and Rick's family, but finally heaven has a real good bass player.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 02:35:45 CET 1999 from (

Mitt Stampler

From: Laurel, Maryland
Home page

Found a little hand-lettered poster that my goddaughter made for me a couple years ago--"Not trying to change the world, just help out the neighborhood." Wish I could have attended the memorial service, but I did steal away from work for a few minutes, and thought about the Guestbook neighborhood, where I've found so much delight and companionship, and great stories. Rick's neighborhood went far beyond Woodstock--it even touched a girl growing up in rural Pennsylvania and her future spouse, who wanted nothing more than to play Kentucky bluegrass--and got more than he bargained for. It's a sad time in the neighborhood, but reading these entries are a wonderful legacy--lives touched by someone's warmth, generosity, and kindness. That little poster is now over my desk as I write this and I don't think it's ever coming down. Peace and strength-- Mitt

Posted on Thu Dec 16 02:29:20 CET 1999 from (

Bobby G

Rolling Stone has the best write-up I've seen.. (not sure how to make it hyperlink, but here's the URL).. Rolling Stone

Posted on Thu Dec 16 02:25:22 CET 1999 from (

Tony LoBue

Home page

I can’t tell how many emails I received after posting the recent temporary Rick Danko site. I added that great rendition of “It Makes no Difference” live from the University of Chicago in 1983. I found it at “” Hope you enjoy it at this very sad time...

Posted on Thu Dec 16 02:22:40 CET 1999 from (

Jim Gargiulo

From: Hastings on Hudson ny

Today I attended Ricks memorial in Bearsville,and was very touched by all of the ulogys especially Robbie's heartfelt Homage to his fallen friend,by the show of people that waited in the cold rain to get in to the theater,rick touched alot of people,and through his music,he will continue to touch people for generations to come.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 01:47:26 CET 1999 from (

Geoff Webb

From: Santa Fe, NM

I've been reading these for the past several days, amazed really, since I didn't know he and they touched so many people. Except for a few of my far-flung friends, for whom The Band connection is a strong one, I thought it was pretty unusual to be into The Band, its members, and various incarnations. I've got a setlist from one of Rick's first post-Band shows in '77, I believe. That night we thought of the most unlikely things, our prayer lists, like Daniel and the Sacred Harp, and he actually obliged with a verse or two. What a thrill. Each of the band members were and are special in their own way...I find it unfortunate that the inevitable interpersonal tensions between members should be picked up on by others as partisans and taking sides in criticism. It's the music that matters, and as so many have said in so many wonderful ways, theirs has been that special bedrock synthesis of old and new, rock and roll and heartland, timeless and pure in its foundation and intentions. I was fortunate to see the original Band, with and without Dylan, and in their various combinations, the four of them, the three of them, Rick alone (sometimes very alone, as some have mentioned...I remember one time a few blocks from my house, living in Washington, DC at the time, there couldn't have been more than 40 people, and he joked with Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin about how they had been movie stars together...Bob backing up Muddy Waters). I hope this is a time for peace, and love, and reconciliation. Life is too short, and we can only be grateful for those who gave, who loved, who shared. As with so many others of you, Rick, Richard, Garth, Levon, and Robbie have provided such an important part of the soundtrack of my life, even all these many years later. I'm grateful that such talented and wonderful people came together to create such magic and share it with the rest of us. The spirit lives on in all of us, and we are the richer for it.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 01:44:41 CET 1999 from (


From: Lowell, MA
Home page

Can anybody provide information on the version of "It Makes No Difference" that was graciously posted by Tony LoBue below, next to a recent live shot of Rick? It's the most gut-wrenching, heartwarming rendition of IMND that I've ever heard. Has this performance ever been officially released? If so, is it available for purchase? I think it could be from a show at the University of Chicago in 1983. Any and all information on is greatly appreciated. If you haven't heard it yet, do yourself a favor and page down this guestbook until you see the big picture of Ricky, and click on the homepage attached. You'll be glad you did. You can also try to access it from this post by clicking the homepage, but I'm not sure if it will work. Enjoy.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 01:19:59 CET 1999 from (


Home page

This is a nice place to be!

Posted on Thu Dec 16 01:06:23 CET 1999 from (

John Frisch

From: Maryland

I have never done anything like this before but that is probably because the death of a performer has never so moved me. Danko and The Band were and remain a huge part of the soundtrack of my life. Is there a better live album than "Rock of Ages" (I think I went through three copies before CDs were available)or the electric portion of Dylan's "Live 1966"? Is there anything better than a Band or Dylan concert when they are on top of their game? One of my favorite lines of all time is sung by Danko--"I'd rather die happy than not die at all". One can only hope it was so with Rick.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 01:02:33 CET 1999 from (

Davy Allan

From: Tonridge, Kent, England (originally Scotland)

The weirdest thing, I was listening to 'It makes no Difference' on a train heading into London on Monday evening. Whem I looked at a paper that someone had left on the train and it had an obituary of Rick. It wasn't reported well across here so it was a great shock. 'Like a gambler says "read em and weep"'

Posted on Thu Dec 16 00:41:09 CET 1999 from (

Donald Joseph

From: Where the night winds wail...

FYI, there is a nice, moving tribute to Ricky with a recent photo in today's (Wed. Dec. 15) "Wall Street Journal," at p. A20 ("The Legacy of the Leader of the Band" -- 1st time I've seen Ricky & not Robbie or Levon referred to as the group's "leader" -- !).

BTW, the New York Times ran a big obit. on Sun. 12 Dec. with a nice vintage picture of the whole original Band (photo credit to "Dave Gahr 1969" -- it's not a picture I've seen before; curiously, it's not too good of Rick). The obit., a long one, is by Neil Strauss; it was buried back in the obit section. But it contains little new info., mostly it's a rehash of the Band's career -- unlike today's WSJ piece, which is a real tribute from a fan.

The WSJ piece begins "'Why aren't there more people here?' I had no answer for my friend, a musician who accompanied me to a solo concert by Rick Danko at a club in Rockland, N.Y....."

But Ricky got no mention elsewhere in Sunday's NYT, while the next day's edition carried a page-one article and photo on the death of Joseph Heller. Not to discount Heller's influence on recent American literature, but c'mon guys (at the NYT), what about Ricky's mark on recent American music?

Posted on Thu Dec 16 00:18:44 CET 1999 from (

anna and bill

Posted on Thu Dec 16 00:08:41 CET 1999 from (


Stanley, you are quite correct. My apologies...

Posted on Thu Dec 16 00:02:27 CET 1999 from (

Frank Minaudo.

From: NYC and greater Greene County/Woodstock area

I'll never forget you Rick. When the Band did "We've got time to kill, Catskills, June and July....We've got all our love, MOUNTAINS of".....I was hooked on your sound. I was a young boy living in the rolling Catskill mountains in the '60s. You had that special sound that makes one pause, time standing still, at first listen. The beauty of your talent was, it was always the "first time" when I heard you sing. I heard you many times over the years. I guess seeing you in '73 with Dylan was the most special. But hearing you play was always special. I last saw you at the Joyous Lake two Labor Days ago. You were great, and I had a great time. You played with Garth, and it was like Christmas, the Fourth of July, and New Years, all in one. That's the beauty of a one-of-a kind artist like you and the boys. You were beautiful, and I'll always hear your voice wailing when I'm walking through those hills at sundown. Love you forever.............Frank M.

Posted on Thu Dec 16 00:01:47 CET 1999 from (

Stanley Landau

From: Toronto

Matt, I believe that should be

Posted on Wed Dec 15 23:52:02 CET 1999 from (

Steve Taylor

From: Elk Grove

I've been playing in the same band for the last 27 years. The band's name is now and has always been "Crazy Chester". And you can probably gather that The Band's music is a staple for us. We first heard about Rick's depature from this venue during setup for a rehearsal. At first we just sat in silence, then decided to go ahead and play for a while. We didn't play any Band songs that nignt. I knew I would break down and cry if we did. The following weekend at our gig I was still feeling hesitant about playing the mini set of Band material, but when we started into The Weight and then went into Stage Fright a warm feeling came over me and I knew that Rick's soul and inspiration which he so graciously shared with us would help me sing Stage Fright. I'll never sing it as well again as I did that night. Thank's Rick for the loan of the chops at least for one night of my life.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 23:43:26 CET 1999 from (



The memorial for Rick Danko took place today in Woodstock. Rick was well loved in Woodstock and the surrounding area not only because he was a member of The Band but also because he regularly performed for local charities and helped many people on a one-to-one basis. He had planned to play his annual Christmas benefit aiding a local women's shelter next week. Many locals attended the service as well as several members of Woodstock's music community including John Sebastian, Happy and Artie Traum, Jules Shear, Kate Taylor, Rick's friend and legendary blues man Vince Martin, John Simon, Tom Pachico and Siedi Vollmer who had been recording with Rick on his new solo record. The memorial included Robbie Robertson reading a very moving "Note to Rick" which he wrote for his departed bandmate and friend. To conclude the ceremony they all joined in a stirring rendition of "Amazing Grace".

Levon Helm's regular weekly performance at The Joyous Lake, Woodstock premier music club, with his band The Barn Burners could wind up being a memorial jam with many attendees sitting in.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 23:36:05 CET 1999 from (

Christopher Gabb

From: Wales, now Nottingham

I have just heard the sad news of Rick's death. It was a shock. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts must be with his family and I hope they will gain comfort from the music he leaves behind. It will live long in our memories.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 23:04:56 CET 1999 from (

greg lewis

From: succasunna n.j.

i was fortunate enough to catch rick danko play at a small college in hackettstown nj in october.he played his eyeballs out and had a great rapport with his backup band the kings in disguise. the place was buzzing when the show was over. instead of leaving he went downstairs to chat with those who stuck around. it was a thrill to meet him. i said "you were great tonight rick" he shook my hand looked me in the eye and sheepishly said "thanks alot". his music was great, but for those fortunate enough to shake his hand and look into his eyes his kindness was even greater. thank you rick i will try to pass that on.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 22:54:58 CET 1999 from (


For those who keep track of such things...

According to, Robbie DID attend Rick's memorial service today and was a eulogizer...

Peace all


Posted on Wed Dec 15 22:42:44 CET 1999 from (

Steven Santarpia

Really wish i could have gone up to Bearsville today for the memorial, but couldn't get out of work. But will play my cd's, last waltz and rick bootlegs i have, drink a cold one and try not to cry. I can't say enough for the great times your music brought to all of us. I've seen The Band/Rick about 15'xs, my favorite time was when i saw Rick before a gig with his harmonica player Swenge? (don't know the correct spelling) i went up to rick and introduced myself, he treated me with open arms, no rock star bull. Anyway i asked him when the danko/fjeld/anderson was going to be released in america cause it was out already in europe. He knew i was a big fan cause i was rattling all this info about an album that wasn't even out yet in america. So we talked, he bought me a few rounds, laughs, just an unbelivable time. So he went on to perform, and i'd rattle off a song for him to play and he would just break into it. It was like we totally bonded. I even requested "Hold Back The Dawn" and he sang a few lines from the song, he looked at me and the 2 of us started to laugh. That was in 91 I think. Probably one of my favorite rock and roll moments. a peaceful soul, unbelivable singer/bass player, u touched all of us in so many ways. Walk that Endless Highway Rick. You will not be forgotten!! steven

Posted on Wed Dec 15 22:37:17 CET 1999 from (

Thomas la Cour Christensen

From: Horsens, Denmark

The winter has come. The cold and melancholy filled my soul as I heard that a great musician is gone. To soon gone. I will miss you, Rick.... I don't remember Woodstock. I wasn't even born then. I wasn't raised with the music of The Band in my ears. I don't combine the music of The Band with a distant past. But I watched "The Last Waltz" on television in the early nineties and was captured by the honesty, the genuineness and both the joy and pain in every note. I will miss Rick. I will miss The Band - Though I know the music will live forever and bring me comfort and joy every time I listen. Thank you Rick. I thank you especially for Stage Fright, Unfaithful Servant, It Makes no Difference and all the other songs that you sang for me.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 21:48:59 CET 1999 from (


From: Chicago, IL

I am so sad. The Band, and especially Rick, have meant a lot to me. Rick was an amazing musician and a beautiful soul. I hope Rick's family and friends find comfort in knowing that he touched so many lives and gave us such great memories.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 21:39:37 CET 1999 from (

Olle Asp

From: Sweden

I miss you Rick.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 20:58:15 CET 1999 from (

Jimmie Doolittle

From: look up and kiss it goodbye

Truth is Rick was just never the same after his little hiatus with the Japanese Govn't a few years back. OOOOhhh what a shame what a shame.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 20:22:22 CET 1999 from (

Joseph Bugeja

From: Malta Europe

Rick will be sadly missed by all his followers on the small island of Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean. Thank you Rick for Big Pink, The Last Waltz, Stage Fright........... You are gone, but your music will remain forever.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 20:10:26 CET 1999 from (

Richard Patterson

From: Pass me one of those coolers

Wow, I have been through some deaths in my family that were totally gut wrenching, but I am so happy that there is such a response to Rick's death. To grieve with all of you folks throughout the world is an amazing reality that only today's technology could provide (the internet). My thoughts are with Rick's friends and family. Sundog, your enthusiasm is close to how i feel today. Please continue with your idea of a Band tribute weekend, I'll be there.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 19:48:13 CET 1999 from (

Nobody was cooler than Rick Danko

From: south of the line

Let's all enjoy a whiskey toast in honor of the great Rick Danko. Pour'em tall and roll'em fat. Rock and roll's loss is heaven's gain. Thank you, Rick. Thanks for a lifetime. May the soul that you shared so willingly now rest in peace.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 19:29:33 CET 1999 from (

Masami Motoki

From: Japan
Home page

Goodbye Rick and thank you so much!

Posted on Wed Dec 15 19:28:55 CET 1999 from (


From: U.K.

Rick, goodbye and God bless. Travel well.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 19:15:07 CET 1999 from (


From: Paramus, NJ & Decatur, NY

Unable to attend the service today. But at 2:00 pm (est) I am going to sneak away from work, go to the park and play the entire "Live from breeze hill" cd in tribute to the beautiful soul of Rick Danko. His music, (solo & The Band) has certainly enlightned my life and filled me with joy. I must have seen Rick in concert about 20 times with and without The Band. I remember once at The Turning Pt. in Piermont NY, after the show I went upstairs to see if he would sign my "Jericho" cd. He was gracious as I intruded (I was quite drunk), he signed it once, didn't like it and then signed it again. He asked me how I liked the show. His spirit was so friendly and warm. Even though I didn't know him, he made me feel like I was his friend. Well, I lost that cd and I purchased a new copy. The next time I went to a show, he signed my new copy and actually asked me if he had signed it once at another show. I was stunned and told him I had lost the copy he signed twice. He chuckled and shook my hand and told me not to lose this one.....This web page has been very comforting to me. I am able to vent my feelings to everyone who feels the same way I do. Thanks for listening. Thank you Rick....

Posted on Wed Dec 15 18:15:21 CET 1999 from (

Nancy Gerrity

From: Chicago, Illinois

I saw Rick Danko perform at the Cubby Bear on December 3 and at the Cubby Bear North on December 4 with my friend Ed Voci. (Ed and I met at a Band concert in 1986 and have seen the Band members in various formations countless times since). When we heard Rick was coming to town for two nights, we knew we had to see him. The only question was should we go to just one show or to both. That question was answered within the first few minutes of Friday night's show; of course we would go to both. Rick didn't look so good, but when he opened his mouth, the sound that came out was pure Danko -- surely the greatest voice in rock and roll, sounding better than I've heard him sound in years. No one can tear out your heart like Rick Danko, as he sang harmonies to melodies no on else could hear. Toward the end of the set on December 4, Rick looked over at us and laughed -- apparently, he'd recognized us from the night before. As he was leaving the stage, he waved us over to him to say hello. Rick was not just a great musician, he was a great guy, generous, sweet and somehow innocent. When we heard he was gone, we were so glad we'd had the chance to see him one last time, to show him how much he was appreciated and to thank him.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 18:15:02 CET 1999 from (


I am deeply saddened by the passing of Rick Danko. He will be missed greatly.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 18:05:14 CET 1999 from (

Drum Tech "Paulie's" Family

From: Way Down South , In Jersey

Thank you God, for the gift of Rick. Our thanks and our prayers to Rick's family for sharing him with all of us. And ,thank you Rick, for the gift of you. Sincerely, Barbara Kennedy aka "Paulie's mom" and Jane Little-Poulliot aka "Paulie's aunt"

Posted on Wed Dec 15 17:38:10 CET 1999 from (

Huge Danko Fan

From: Topsfield, MA

Why do the best things always disappear?

Posted on Wed Dec 15 17:15:37 CET 1999 from (

Ron Orlando

I opened for Rick and Paul Butterfield in the late seventies. I fondly remember having a grand ol' time partying with those guys in the dressing room before the show. At one point I was convinced that I would have to play two sets 'cause Rick was getting a little wasted. They got him his bass and lead him to the stage. My jaw dropped...he was just so incredible. I don't think I'll ever forget that show. So Rick, " carry on and have yourself a lovely ride, think of me when you finally reach the other side. Carved in Stone is a name I will remember." Peace brother.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 17:12:11 CET 1999 from (


Rick, Always loved your stuff and will always do. You will have a great ball in heaven - Richard Manuel and all the other greats are up there at the soundcheck. What about a jam with Paul Butterfield and some Miles in the trumpet section? See you then, Lorenz

Posted on Wed Dec 15 17:05:27 CET 1999 from (

David Powell

From: Georgia

Listen closely, can't you hear? Two voices softly singing in the wind as it whispers through the pines.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 17:02:43 CET 1999 from (


From: The Brokerage

A request to Peter Viney. In tribute/honor of Rick, an article/monograph on "This Wheel's On Fire". I await my copy of the Breeze Hill CD. My heart goes out to all present in Bearsville today.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 16:25:01 CET 1999 from (

Elizabeth Stephen

From: Boston, MA

There's not much to say... we couldn't sleep last night... we were out playing a year-end show/open mic celebration, and we were happy, enjoying out performances and those of others, when we were told... and it took our breath away. But what better tribute, to be playing live and loving friends and music... what better way to know you are still alive. I can feel your energy... and it makes no difference how things changed in time, because you are and were, and that's all that matters. Listening to the rain in Boston last night I could hear your voice. Thank you, for showing me what singing is--I never met Otis Redding in this lifetime and now I will not meet you here, but I will put my hopes in that someday we will... go with your courage and grace and may the Great Mysterious guide you well... wish we could be at your service today but please somebody write how it was as it will be where my thoughts and heart will be all day today. Thanks to the person in Somerville who will be playing the tribute tomorrow, we'll be listening.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 16:23:37 CET 1999 from (

Bob Reichers

From: Cape Cod Mass

Rick Danko gone...So very sad...A superb singer and musician who never got the recognition he deserved. I extend my sincere sympathy to Ricks family & friends.I have been a big fan of Ricks ever since "Music from Big Pink" and was lucky enough to see him perform with the Band during their final tour at the Music Inn in Lenox, Mass. I was also fortunate to see him as one of Ringo's All-Starrs.. His solo recordings with Eric Anderson and Jonas are among my very favorites. Thank you for the music Rick. God speed.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 15:57:30 CET 1999 from (


From: The Netherlands

I read some messages about Rick from almost all "old" people. I am only sixteen, but I like The Band very much and I regret it that I will never been able to see them playing and I regret it even more that some members are already dead before I have a chance of seeing them in real life. Therefore I am very sad that Rick Danko died, but fortunately I can always listen to his music.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 15:57:03 CET 1999 from (

Mikael Jurgell

From: Kalmar Sweden

Goodbye Rick! We will always miss you. My first connection with The Band was The last Waltz, since then I´ve been sold on their music.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 15:29:42 CET 1999 from (

Jay Russell

From: New Jersey

Does anyone in the New York City Metro area have a copy of Rick Danko's live spot on WFUV 90.7 FM. It was an interview that took place back in August -- Rick and Aaron Hurwitz appeared on City Folk with Courney O'Connell (I think?) to promote Live on Breeze Hill. WFUV replayed the half hour spot on their day long tribute on Monday, but I was in the car and could not tape it. Unfortunately, most of the interview is now sadly ironic, but Rick and The Professor play a beautiful live on-air version of both Twilight and Ophelia. If anyone in the area happens to have it, please e-mail me. Much obliged.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 15:25:57 CET 1999 from (

Andy Johnson

From: Birmingham, England

Grab your hat and take that ride, Rick. Thank you for your part in making for us some of the greatest music i've ever heard. Rest In Peace, and teach those angels how to sing.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 15:01:30 CET 1999 from (


From: Massachusetts/ Florida

Have a safe journey Rick. Your music and voice will remain timeless. From the many posts here I have learned what a big, big heart you had. None of the negatives mean squat in comparison to that. You always had time to talk to your many fans. I can only guess how great it was to know you personally or to be family. 

I only saw you guys once back in 1968. I stood/sat three feet away from the soundboard and watched Albert Grossman (HEY!!! There's that big dude with the pony tail. That must be Dylan's.....  ) as he adjusted the mix. THE BAND hit big and hard and were a tremendous revelation back then. You guys were so powerful. Organic, old timey, American born, folk rock.
Happy to be slamming away!

I am listening to your music with a renewed appreciation for your rooted, down home, un-phony, from the heart contribution to American music.
G_d bless you and your family.
I know He will.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 14:48:10 CET 1999 from (

Brent Harvey

From: Stratford,Ont.

I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. I first met you at the Stratford Festival after a wonderfull homecoming for Richard. Thankyou! Your music will live for ever. brent

Posted on Wed Dec 15 12:15:36 CET 1999 from (


From: Kent, UK

In 1978, I was a 15 year old schoolgirl whose knowledge of music consisted mainly of my parents Frank Sinatra albums. I had never heard of The Band, or any of the other performers when my friend took me to see The Last Waltz. I expect I told my parents we were going to church. I'm sure I wouldn't have been allowed to go if I'd told the truth. From that moment onwards, Rick in particular was a part of my life. I thought they were all so old at the time, but now, 21 years later, I find it difficult to comprehend that they had all achieved so much in half a lifetime. My life has always been fairly tame, marriage, children, ordinary job, and the magic of The Band for me was always the longing for the sort of life that I imagined them having, lots of glamour and excitement. Even though I know this was probably an illusion, it still remains as part of me. I suppose that Rick's energy and sense of freedom served to highlight how I was feeling about the pointlessness and lack of excitement of my own life rather than anything about his reality. I never really achieved that sort of freedom, but I have done many things that I wouldn't have known to be possible before that day in 1978. I never met him or even saw him but he has had more of an effect on me as an iconic figure than anyone else. I have found my own ways to make my life what I want it to be but I will always have a picture of Rick singing 'It makes no difference' in my head as someone who helped me to realise what I was able to do.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 12:05:45 CET 1999 from (

Jostein Nohr

From: Norway

Rick, the world`s nr. one 2. voice is gone."It makes no difference" you may say, but to us who followed him the last few years with the "norwegians" Eric Anderson and Jonas Fjeld it sure does. We are left alone in the twilight, and twilight is the lonliest time of day. Thanks.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 11:51:25 CET 1999 from (


From: South Africa

It would be really great if anyone who attends Rick's Memorial Service could give us an account of the proceedings. Those of us in far off places would like to know a little about this very sad occasion. The numerous postings confirm how much Rick is loved. Its a tough time.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 09:42:42 CET 1999 from (

Darren Muscroft

From: Middlesbrough, England

The Band, for me were what music was about, and to hear about the death of one of the best bass players I have ever seen means the closing of another chapter in music history. The playing and singing on songs such as 'it makes no difference' and 'stage fright', were just beautiful. When I watched tha Last Waltz I couldnt beleive the quality that the Band acheived. You will be sadly missed, 'the sun wont shine anymore'.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 09:05:32 CET 1999 from (


It was the saddest of news to hear and it was the most natural thing in the world to rush here to this site. I knew here I would find kindred souls who felt the same way about The Band's music as I do. It honestly does help to grieve together just as we will all miss Rick Danko together, forever. Just look at what he left us, the beautiful music he blessed us with. We will always remember and love you and the music you gave us. Rest In Peace Rick.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 08:49:36 CET 1999 from (

Donald Joseph

From: Where the night winds wail


The news hit me hard, but I won't even try to add to the many articulate guestbook tributes here over the last few days. But maybe if I tell you how it was at the end, you'll understand a little better that this tragedy wasn't unforeseeable.

I've always had a tough time understanding what happened to Richard, so I'm writing this only on the assumption some of you might be interested in facts (as opposed to myth) regarding the tragic end of Rick. If you prefer to remember the mythical Ricky who grinned through The Last Waltz and in all the Brown Album Elliot Landy photos, stop reading here (please). I'm putting this down just for the historical record ONLY for those of you who haven't seen Rick live recently and who wonder what happened.

I saw Ricky's 2nd-to-last show, Sat. 4 Dec. in Lincolnshire, Illinois, 6 days before he died, his last Saturday night. (Special thanks to SUNDOG for alerting me to the show just after I'd gotten back from Peru -- it was only a couple of miles from my house but I was out of touch & otherwise would have missed it.)

"Doug's" posting of 11 Dec. gives a very accurate run-down/set-list. All the guestbook postings I read about the PRIOR night's downtown Chicago show (esp. SUNDOG & Scott Stephens on the prior night's Cleveland show) indicate the 4 Dec. Chi. show (& the prior Cleveland show) were more upbeat.

Unfortunately, the Sat. 4 Dec. show (& apparently the final show in Ann Arbor) did foreshadow real problems.

The Ricky of December 1999 was not that Ricky you may have mythologized in your mind -- the frenetic, peppy, elbows-akimbo laughing wild man who sings just like a bird.

No, the Ricky who performed a week ago Saturday to our small knot of die-hards was tired, broken-down, obese (in husky Ronnie Hawkins's words quoted elsewhere on the web-site, Ricky had "ballooned"). Ricky in December 1999 was a showman who went on 90 minutes late & turned in a short, half-hearted show seated on a stool, not even playing any bass. Ricky perspired heavily and needed helpers to walk him off the stage -- I'd seen helpers do this for Muddy Waters, and I just saw it again at a show by 90+ year-old Cuban piano legend Reuben Gonzalez. But helpers for Ricky?

Indeed, when Ricky sat down on his stool to sing, he was unable to hold his acoustic guitar properly -- due to his immense, "ballooned" girth, the instrument angled up radically, almost like a dobro.

And Rick was so absent-minded that night that he shoehorned an extra verse into "The Weight" -- the first time through, Rick actually skipped over his one own original verse #4 ("Crazy Chester followed me...), & went right into verse 5 ("Catch a cannonball"). Realizing the error, he then backtracked, sang verse 4 -- and followed it with a second take on verse 5.

I happen to have spent the previous night at this same club seeing Delbert McClinton (yes, unfortunately I saw Delbert during Ricky's downtown Chicago show Fri. night, Dec. 3), and I'd seen Dr. John at this same club on Nov. 12. Delbert & the Dr. had each packed the house -- which to me made the light turnout for Ricky all the more sad -- Ricky drew probably 20% of McClinton's/Dr.'s crowd.

Like most of you, I'm so close to the Band that I have a hard time judging a Ricky performance -- just to be seeing him is so great. But my wife -- who is also a fan and has seen many incredible Danko performances including perhaps the best show we've ever seen (an early '80's Rick-'n'-Levon acoustic show) but who is more objective than I -- said Ricky had lost his range, wasn't hitting or even reaching for any high notes, and was "pathetic." After the show, she predicted "that's the last time you'll see him."

I rejected this at the time, of course.

Again, as a die-hard, I loved seeing Rick. I loved especially hearing Caledonia Mission, Long Black Veil, and the 6-versed "Weight" (the song selection, as Doug reported, was largely "Breeze Hill" -- i.e., uninspired).

But I left the show with a supreme sense of sadness, even questioning my continued commitment to the Band as still my favorite current performers -- I, a guy who saw these men tear down many a house.

The first Danko show I ever saw was a solo show in '77 in support of Rick's sole studio solo album -- it was in a blizzard in Chicago, and the crowd was tiny. There were 2 shows that night, and instead of doing a 1st show encore, Ricky came out & gave us all tickets for the undersold 2nd show. The last Ricky show I ever saw, a week ago Sat., was similar -- very sparsely attended, and at the encore (just one song this time -- but "Caledonia Mission"), Ricky invited us to meet with him personally (after he rested). But of course the Ricky who played this time had lost his health and appearance.

Ricky was one of the great personalities, bass players, and singers in rock -- the greatest, in my opinion and in all of yours, too. I know he loved performing. It's just sad, though, that even after his health had deteriorated so badly, he was out there on the road instead of taking it easy.

I've had the bad luck now of seeing 3 1/2 legends in concert 2 weeks or less before they died...Ricky, Lowell George of Little Feat, and Stevie Ray Vaughan (I also had a ticket for the penultimate Grateful Dead show right before Garcia's death, but that show was cancelled because the night before the Dead Heads had ripped up the stadium). For all that is said of drugs & rock & roll, Rick, Lowell & Garcia [Stevie Ray died in a helicopter crash] all suffered from health/weight problems and should not have been on the road.

Maybe what Robbie said about the road being a "goddamn impossible way of life" is way more accurate than we ever gave him credit for. I can't help but think that Rick would not have died had he not been on tour in his condition. Did he need the money so much he endangered his health? (While he had always loved performing earlier in life, I'm here to tell you that Rick Danko did not seem to enjoy performing on Sat. Dec. 4.)

Having seen Ricky 6 days before he died (in his sleep), I am sorry to report that the road "took" another one of the "great ones."

Posted on Wed Dec 15 08:13:58 CET 1999 from (

Hans Rheinschild

From: Vermont

I am 25 and I have been a fan of Rick and The Band for around 7 years. Recently I saw Rick play twice with professor Louie. The shows were amazing, hearing Rick sing his heart out and watching his smile and positivity make everyone who was there glow with the same joy that Rick gave off. At one point during in the middle of the show in St. Johnsbury a month ago he said, "I drank a little too much coffee earlier so I'm gonna take a quick break." He wasn't a rock star. He was an ordinary guy like evryone else there but he happen to be the beloved entertainer. Also, though, it made it a point to visit with the fans after the shows. He'd shake your hand, ask your name, sign a picture, whatever. I will always look up to Rick for the way he lived and the way he gave himself to the world.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 07:22:54 CET 1999 from (


From: Covington, LA

Man! You DID make a difference. The music does make ALL the difference. You're a sweet,sweet man. Met at Jazz Fest a couple of years ago. My best Jazz Fest memory...Peace, love and comfort to you and yours.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 07:06:47 CET 1999 from (

Steven Karras

From: Chicago

When I heard "Stagefright" last Friday on the radio, moments before news of his passing, I marvelled at how a meat-cutter from Simcoe, Ontario could heave with the same soulful grandeur that made singers like Hank Williams and Sam Cooke so loved. We are so lucky to have had him. Now we're all alone in the twilight. I will so miss you Rick, Steven

Posted on Wed Dec 15 06:31:42 CET 1999 from (


From: France but working in Michigan

Today it is cold, wet, snowing, the clouds are low and Rick is dead. Although I have been a Band fan for many years, I did not realize how important Danko's legacy was to me. I have been unable to listen to his music since he left us, I am just too sad that we have lost him. The only positive element is to see that I am not alone, and all the messages left by fans all over the world are comforting. I wonder if R Robertson will attend the service. I seem to remember that he did not attend Richard Manuel's (no I am not doing any RR bashing like some of the regulars on this guestbook). Can the people who will have attended the service on wedn. tell us about it?

Posted on Wed Dec 15 06:17:25 CET 1999 from (


Home page

We finally got our tribute to Rick on our web site, its not that great, but its for Rick to show that we really do care for a man and his life that did so much for 3 generations and millions of people, and a whole lot more, so but a candle in the window tonite. All my thoughts will be on Bearsville today.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 05:42:04 CET 1999 from (

Deb McManman

From: Eugene, Oregon

It is an amazing tribute to one man's life and talents that such moving comments are posted here. I never got to see him perform live, so my personal experience of the very talented Rick Danko is mainly from watching "The Last Waltz" on video and reading the wonderful tributes to him posted here. I have greatly appreciated Rick's powerful and soulful voice through the magic of video and audio. He sang his guts out and no doubt could bring tears to a statue. "It's the Last Waltz with you, but that don't mean the party's over." I'm sure he's singing up there with the angels right now. If you listen you can almost hear...

Posted on Wed Dec 15 05:13:05 CET 1999 from (

Frank Bar

From: Toronto

Rick: Thanks for all of the beautiful music. You presence will be missed, especially at the concerts and bars in Toronto. We loved your voice and your attitude. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. "Across the Great Divide, ......"

Posted on Wed Dec 15 04:59:11 CET 1999 from (

scott eisner

Gosh I really loved Rick Danko and everything he did for music and for all of us. Rick, you were always an inspiration and I loved your style SOOOO Much. Thanks again, I'll always be thinking about you.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 04:21:31 CET 1999 from (


From: New York

Rick gone. Who would believe such a spirit would leave us. I never met the man - wish I had. I first saw him in The Last Waltz in '78 - a girl of 12 at the time - not even knowing 1/2 the musicians on that stage. Robbie caught my eye - but Rick - Rick - bouncing behind Joni during Coyote - bouncing with every beat, knowing every turn. That was a turning point for me. I was turned on to Dylan, Joni, Neil, Robbie, Muddy Waters, Clapton - and it was sparked by the enthusiastic crazy haired bass player - and there was no turning back. Rick was the heartbeat...that electric heartbeat. I envy the Angels.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 04:17:30 CET 1999 from (


From: woodstock

Please send a pure prayer of love and light out to Rick and his family when you read this. Until we all meet again...

Posted on Wed Dec 15 04:12:55 CET 1999 from (

jonathan monetti

From: NJ

Thank you Rick, thank you ever so much. You were a gift to us.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 03:40:00 CET 1999 from (

[guest photo]

Tony LoBue

From: New York
Home page

To hear the most beautiful rendition of “It Makes no Difference" Click on home page. We Love you Ricky...

Posted on Wed Dec 15 03:38:59 CET 1999 from (


Rest in peace, Rick. You gave more than you got and we thank you for it.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 03:06:50 CET 1999 from (

Bashful Bill

From: Minoa,N.Y.

9P.M. Tuesday-a little late probably. but if anyone in the CNY area needs a ride to Bearsville tomorrow, I'm leaving early. I hope to be on the road by 7-730A.M. Its 193 miles from here to there. I suspect there will be a lot more than 300 people. I saw on alt.musicTHEBAND that Jan flew in today. Anyway,I would be glad to share the day with a Bandfan who needs a ride and or company. If interested, Email me with a way to contact you, I'll check in one last time at midnite and again at 6A.M.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 03:03:21 CET 1999 from (

Jan"the Lazyman"van Doorn

From: Amsterdam

Rick Danko after Doug Sahm it's sad buth it is the truth. Rick thank you for the inspiration and the good music. It makes no difference.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 02:48:35 CET 1999 from (


From: RI

Thank you for all the wonderful music which has influenced my life from a very young age (6-7). Both my older brother nad sister turned me on to The Band. Rick, you will live on thru your music. Thanks again.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 02:33:47 CET 1999 from (

Keisuke Takagi

From: Japan
Home page

I am very sad to write this sentenses below in past tense. I loved his voice.I loved his sound deliverd from various instruments. I loved his heart worming character. I loved his smiling face. Instantly after knowing this tragic fact I played videotape of "The Last Waltz". Sleep in peace and SAYONARA Rick.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 02:31:34 CET 1999 from (

Andrew Hunsicker

From: Phila
Home page

Statement from Robbie - the full story is on the home page or go to

"I think Rick was one of the greatest and most soulful singers I've ever heard. Definitely, the most original bass player I've ever heard and one of the kindest hearts to have graced this planet. I feel blessed to have known him and loved him and to have had the opportunity to work with him for all those years. I will sadly miss him."

Posted on Wed Dec 15 02:31:05 CET 1999 from (

Paul McGrath

From: Burlington, Ontario

The first time I had the pleasure of meeting Rick was in Port Elgin, Ontario at the Cedar Crescent Casino when Rick, Robbie, Levon, Garth played with Ronnie Hawkins. Rick would have been 19 and I was just 16. Just seems like yesterday! I was playing with The Comets who opened for Hawkins that night. As I have followed your successes over the years I knew back then you were destined to leave your mark in the music industry. It saddens me greatly at the loss of yet another wonderful talent gone much too soon. The last time I heard you was at Ronnie's 65th bash and you were awesome as always. Thanks for the music that lives forever! May God be with you and especially your family in their time of sorrow. You will be deeply missed my friend.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 02:28:11 CET 1999 from (

Jason Roy

From: This Lonely Crowd

How did the Rick Danko memorial service go, I wanted to go but I didnt know of anywhere to stay out in New York that allows 17yr olds to rent a hotel room. Does anyone out there know where I can get a copy of The Band bootlegs: "Tears Of Grief" (2 CD) and "Royal Albert Rags". I'm looking to get my hands on anything that has Rick's soulful voice on it. Rest in peace Rick ~Jason

Posted on Wed Dec 15 02:18:56 CET 1999 from (

bob c.

From: connecticut

i see the service on wed. starts at 2pm.does anyone know what time the bearsville theatre will be opening its doors,and what would be a good time to arrive? thanks

Posted on Wed Dec 15 02:14:02 CET 1999 from (

Bob Sherman

From: Connecticut

As a mediocre guitar player who suffers from extreme performance anxiety I have always considered "Stagefright" to be a personal anthem of sorts. Rick Danko made the thing that i find so impossible seem so easy. always at home in front of the crowd with an ease to his manner and a rough edged grace to his style I will say that if i ever can overcome my fear I will do it as a personal tribute to Mr. Danko.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 02:14:00 CET 1999 from (

[guest photo]

Rick Danko

From: Back Porch Benefit Foundation
Home page

Rick Danko - Your music will always be remembered by the world. Click on the link to view a video tribute for Rick. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 01:53:10 CET 1999 from (

Jake R.

From: Virginia

Something I learned from Rick Danko : that perhaps a musician's greatest asset is his/ her ears. Rick Danko felt the music very deeply because he listened to the musicians around him. He found his pockets to fill, and his ability to sing harmony is unparalleled. The high notes he sang sometimes felt like he had pulled them out of the air, like his voice was God's organ. No doubt Rick learned a great deal about singing from his friend Richard Manuel. But his voice grew to be a combination of all of the musical influences around him. He hit notes that I'm sure he heard first in Garth's organ playing. Listen to a song like "The Weight" or "Up on Cripple Creek" and you hear just how perfectly Rick ties all of the music together.He contributed so much to the overall sound because he listened for his part, and he nailed it.And what a joy to hear him sing lead. He had incredible range and an ability to really put fire and punch into a song. His work with Fjeld and Anderson is another prime example of Rick's "ears". In a world where guitar players keep turning up their amps, Rick seemed to want them to turn it down, to say let's listen to one another. It's that focus on mutual contribution which made his band , The Band, the best goddamned band there ever was. Keep on rockin Rick. Thanks for the lessons which go well beyond the music, but like Neil Young says, "Music is the heart of the whole thing; music makes it happen." You made it happen over and over again. Peace

Posted on Wed Dec 15 01:49:15 CET 1999 from (

Dolf Planteijdt

From: Holland

Rick Danko sang like a bird. Free as a bird. Played bass like a bird. Allways changing the the rythm, the diction. Never did a song the same way twice. But allways from the heart. The most 'live' musician is not there anymore. Where do we go from here?

Posted on Wed Dec 15 01:35:45 CET 1999 from (

Eli Polonsky

From: Somerville, MA

I will also be doing a memorial tribute to Rick this Thursday 12/16 in the second hour of my 60's/70's radio program "Lost and Found" on WMBR 88.1 FM MIT Cambridge, MA from 1 - 2 pm EDT. The station can be heard on air in greater Boston, northeastern Massachusetts, lower southern NH, and also webcasts in Real Audio.

Requests and suggestions are welcome by e-mail anytime before 12 noon EDT Thursday. Please mention your name (or nickname) and where you'll be listening from, and I may relay some selected rememberances of Rick.

I've enjoyed Rick and The Band's music since first hearing it on the radio in 1968, and then live since my first Band show at Watkins Glen in '73, and a majestic show with Dylan at the old Boston Garden later that year.

I've seen Rick with The Band, solo, and with guests many times over the years, the last one for me being the "Day In The Garden" original Woodstock anniversary (w/Garth Hudson) at Yasgur's Farm this past summer.

I had the privilige of interviewing and meeting Rick a few times over the years, I'll always remember him as very accomodating, a lot of fun, and a really nice guy.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 01:34:03 CET 1999 from (


From: Lowell

I am deeply saddened and shocked about Ricks death. My condolences to his loved ones and other members of the Band and his fans. His music is his legacy. His music will never die!

Posted on Wed Dec 15 01:24:48 CET 1999 from (

Steve Goldcamp

From: South Point,Ohio

Words are often difficult when someone "close" to you passes away. Of coure I never met Rick but his music has been a good friend to me for over twenty years. I'll never forget the first time I saw "The Last Waltz" and how transfixed I was at the emotional intensity he brought to a song. There is no love song performed any better than "It Makes no Difference", with his vocals elevating Robbies' lyrics to the melancholic heights they deserved. Truly when he died some of the beauty in the world left with him. Thank you Rick, we will miss you and think of you often. May you Rest in Peace. ...."Old Gold"

Posted on Wed Dec 15 01:17:54 CET 1999 from (

john hutcheson

From: san diego

Thanks all the great music Rick. God bless you.

Posted on Wed Dec 15 00:52:45 CET 1999 from (



Thank you, RICK

Posted on Wed Dec 15 00:27:12 CET 1999 from (


From: Republic of Venice
Home page

We like the band and all their friends

Posted on Wed Dec 15 00:18:09 CET 1999 from (

Neil Rothfeder

From: Woodstock, NY

Rick, I was so happy to have had the opportunity to have seen you at the Joyous Lake a few months agao, and to hear you play just one more final time. I knew when I saw you in Eckerd's in Woodstock earlier this year that something was wrong, that you were troubled, both inside and out.To me you will never die, you will always live in your music, your wonderfully unmistakable and unique voice. As a fan of the Band going way back (am I dating myself??) I can honestly say that your songs both with the Band and solo were the ones I have listened to over and over again. God bless you, and thand you. My prayers are with you, Elizabeth and family.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 23:54:01 CET 1999 from (

Pat McGuire

From: Joliet, IL

The Band has been in my marrow for thirty years, the band dearest to me and my oldest, dearest friends, the music I need to listen to daily. Rick Danko was the one we talked about like he was one of us: "Ricky Danko," we called him, like a childhood friend. I was lucky to see Rick's show Sat., Dec. 4 in Lincolnshire, IL, and I'll never forget: --The Basement Tapes playing over the P.A. when Rick took the stage. The sound man cut off "Tears of Rage" in mid-verse. With a boyish grin, Rick finished the verse. --Rick introducing "The Weight" by saying with obvious affection, "This is Levon's song, but we'll give it a try." --Rick sitting and signing autographs after his set as people brought up old Band albums, CDs, posters; it was like a family reunion. --I had nothing for Rick to sign, but I realized I owed him for furnishing my life with all those aching, beautiful sounds, all those expressions and sentiments Rick sang for us that float up and out of me when I'm feeling regretful and tired and forlorn and reaching for hope. So when the line ended, I shook Rick's hand and thanked him. I hope Rick Danko knew how many of us felt this way. Good night, sweet prince.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 23:54:43 CET 1999 from (


From: Alexandria, Virginia

Rick Danko and The band have been a new wave of music in my life ever since I started listening to them last year. I purchased The Last Waltz and found it as one of the best live concerts ever. Rick stood out from the rest when he performed "It makes no diference". Rick will be truly missed by his fans worlwide.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 23:36:14 CET 1999 from (


From: Los Angeles, CA

My condolences to the Danko family. A great talent, a greater human being, too soon gone. Rest in Peace.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 22:58:19 CET 1999 from (

John Dix

From: Queenstown, New Zealand

In 1968 a friend in London sent me, by request, a copy of the new Cream album, Wheels Of Fire, and included Music From Big Pink. Cream hardly got played once The Band worked their magic on me. And Rick Danko? Awesome bass-player, great multi-instrumentalist, and one of the most underrated and soulful voices in Rock, certainly one of the saddest. That's some legacy you left, Rick. Condolences to family and friends.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 22:56:06 CET 1999 from (

Bill Shrpls

From: LIC, NYC

Since friday its been pretty tough. The last radio show in NYC is listed below. It may be the only free form show left on commercial radio. 2 things 1] the dj Vin Scelsa often talks about the death of john lennon and how all the jocks met at the station that night and played his music all night. 2]I knew Vin would do a nice tribute on sunday (he's a fan and over the years has played some stuff like J.Hammond old recording and John Simon album w/Rick guest vocalling), on friday I just had the pages of the guestbook to help me out. {anyone notice how usually people are from "up the river" or "out of the blue", Its cool people over the last few day say where they are from so we know there are like-mided souls from all over the world missing our friend.

Rick Thanks for music from your whole life.
Vin thanks for music from sunday night.

These are the songs I played on FM Talk @ 102.7 (WNEW, New York) on VIN SCELSA'S IDIOT'S DELIGHT® — 12/12/99

Tonight's Guest — JOE JACKSON

In memory of RICK DANKO — 12/9/43 - 12/10/99 Wheel's on fire
Rollin' down the road
Just notify my next of kin
This wheel shall explode ...

— Danko/Dylan, "This Wheel's On Fire" I see my light come shining
>From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released ...

— Bob Dylan, "I Shall Be Released"

WARREN ZEVON Don't Let Us Get Sick (pre-release)
PETER FALK "Compañero" scene from Wim Wenders' "Wings Of Desire"
THE BAND I Shall Be Released
RICK DANKO Spoken intro / This Wheel's On Fire (unreleased)
(live solo performance, "In Their Own Words" 6/15/91 at The Bottom Line)
BOB DYLAN & THE BAND This Wheel's On Fire ("Basement Tapes")
THE BAND This Wheel's On Fire ("Music From Big Pink")

(written by Rick and Eric Andersen for Richard Manuel)I FORGOT HOW GOOD THIS SONG. PUT IT ON TONIGHT.
THE BAND The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down ("Before The Flood")
THE BAND (I Don't Want To) Hang Up My Rock-n-Roll Shoes ("Rock Of Ages")
THE BAND The Weight ("Before The Flood")

-----------JJ — guest — conversation---------

R.E.M. Man In The Moon (instrumental)
(from "Man On The Moon" soundtrack)
THE BAND Blind Willie McTell
RICK DANKO Small Town Talk
(Rick Danko / Bobby Charles co-write) THE BAND Whispering Pines
THE BAND Unfaithful Servant

Posted on Tue Dec 14 22:39:19 CET 1999 from (

jay lyon

From: shalalth, Canada

i'll never forget you, rick. i remember the big bear hug you shared with my late friend ron outside the vogue in vancouver. the music will never be same. so long old friend.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 22:27:08 CET 1999 from (

Patrick Norton

From: Fall River, MA

Had the pleasure of seeing Rick with and without the Band, agreat musician and person. Talked with him a few times and he was just a great guy who was posseesed with the music. Looking foreward to seeing some friends in Bearsville tommorrow

Posted on Tue Dec 14 22:12:27 CET 1999 from (

Long Distance Operator

From: Lynn, MA

Tonight, celebrate the LIFE of the great Rick Danko. Rick's immortality is assured through the gift of his music. He lives on. "The sun don't shine, anymore", at least not as brightly. Thank you, Rick, for improving the quality of my life. Rock has lost it's sweetest voice, but tonight we celebrate LIFE. Your life. God rest your tremendous soul.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 22:02:40 CET 1999 from (


From: Upstate New York

This is posted in the website: In lieu of flowers, plans for a fund to benefit Rick's family are currently in the works. Full details will be available shortly. In the meantime, for more information please e-mail :

Posted on Tue Dec 14 21:55:59 CET 1999 from (

Knut-Arne Wensaas

From: Bergen, Norway

The voice with all that beautiful sadness, so easy to relate to, is gone. Since the first time I saw Rick in "The Last Waltz" his voice and the beat has been ringing in the back of my head. The music will never stop... My condolences to his family and all the fans.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 21:18:38 CET 1999 from (

Bill Gordon

From: Carmel NY
Home page

I met Rick when he played with his trio in South Station in Boston. It was a lunchtime show so I snuck out of work with my bass and took the T (subway) to the show. It was fantastic. I sang harmonies from my seat (I sang too loud) I remember Rick looking over and smiling. Afterwards I talked with him and asked him what he was doing for the rest of the day. He said he had a old car in a storage house just south of Boston and he was going to take a ride. He was a great guy and I'm gonna miss him. I missed the Towne Crier shows and that is a regret. Just a humble word of advice... If you have the chance to see performers that you love, see them as soon as you can. I took it for granted and figured I catch the next show... My deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends. peace

Posted on Tue Dec 14 20:48:33 CET 1999 from (

Jim Gargiulo

From: Hastings ny

It seemed like yesterday that I met Rick between sets at the turning point,he was truly a great human being and will be missed greatly for years to come

Posted on Tue Dec 14 20:44:12 CET 1999 from (

Mitch Group

From: Greenwood Lake, NY

Rick Danko was one of those rare gems. Talent was his aura and whenever he played the electricity emminated from his soul. The world will certainly miss his contribution. I certainly will

Posted on Tue Dec 14 20:33:57 CET 1999 from (


From: Sussex, UK

"... the clouds never hung so low before"

Posted on Tue Dec 14 20:15:11 CET 1999 from (


From: Wilkesboro, NC

"If your memory serves you well We're going to meet again and wait So I'm going to unpack all my things And sit before it gets too late No man alive will come to you with another tale to tell And you know that we shall meet again If your memory serves you well..."

Posted on Tue Dec 14 20:01:54 CET 1999 from (

Rainer Rödel

From: Reichenbach

Thank you Rick for all the music,good bye! Rainer

Posted on Tue Dec 14 20:01:37 CET 1999 from (

Jim Alterson

From: Voorhees, NJ

It Makes No Difference remains the most haunting, beautiful rock ballad ever written, and Rick's vocals were what made it special. He was one of the greats.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 19:31:59 CET 1999 from (

Doug Hatler

From: New Jersey

Long live the music of Rick Danko and the Band! So few musicians are willing to truly bare their souls. Rick and his bandmates gave us the gift of themselves; their thoughts and feelings. Thank you. To Rick's family, may you find solace in his memory and his music.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 19:20:59 CET 1999 from (

Scott Bradshaw

From: Portsmouth VA

his songs helped give voice to emotions, both good and bad, that I could not find the words to express. He will be sorely missed - too soon gone....

Posted on Tue Dec 14 19:16:41 CET 1999 from (

Brian Martin

From: New York, NY

What is there to say? Rick Danko was just an awesome musician, and my favorite member of my all-time favorite band....songs like "Stage Fright", "Unfaithful Servant", "Where Do We Go From Here", "Caledonia Mission", "It Makes no Difference"....all incredible works of music that have moved me his demeanor and professionalism makes him an icon for all time. It's a shame that another rock-and-roll legend has left this earth. He's in rock-and-roll heaven right now with Lennon, Hendrix, Janis, etc....and especially RICHARD...I wish I could hear the music they're making right now

Posted on Tue Dec 14 19:10:01 CET 1999 from (

Rick Allen

From: London, Ontario

From a very old friend of the Hawks, Rick "Chuck Berry Roll" Allen of London / Grand Bend...... Rick, Thanks for the memories, the bass lessons and the hard shell case. I wish I'd kept in touch with you. Adios my friend.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 18:54:20 CET 1999 from (

Bo Belinger

Rick is dead. Long live Rick!

Posted on Tue Dec 14 18:53:34 CET 1999 from (

Nick Hawthorne

From: London, England

I was numb when I heard the news. I have spent the day listening to Rick's wonderful songs, right up to 'High Cotton' and 'If I Should Fail' from 'Jubilation'. I always was struck by him. His wonderful voice, his handsome face. What a lovely, human, man. My deepest sympathies to Elizabeth and all Rick's family and friends. He made many people very happy. Tonight I'll raise a glass in tribute to Rick and shed a few tears probably as well. Rest in peace my friend.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 18:30:21 CET 1999 from (


I first heard "Makes no Difference" in 1974. I cried, age 18. I heard it many times over the last 25 years. Every time i heard it, i cried. Ain't no lie Jack. I heard it yesterday, full grown man of 43, overweight with 2 kids. I cried. No other song or singer every made me do that. None. I don't think anything or anyone willever have that impact on me again. I miss that emotion and now him. I'm going to the memorial in Bearsville tommorow. Never even met him.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 18:27:39 CET 1999 from (


From: Upstate New York

One more thing: Jan, I would like to thank you for having such a wonderful website! If it wasn't for this guestbook and for me to be able to see all of this feedback, I can honestly say I don't know where my head would be at right now. This has been very comforting and you are a very generous man to allow us this space to share our thoughts and feelings.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 18:08:11 CET 1999 from (

J. K. Iversen

A unique voice has silenced forever. Thank you, Rick!

Posted on Tue Dec 14 17:57:09 CET 1999 from (


From: Upstate New York

Thank you all again for your kind words and support. I have been very fortunate that 99.9% of the people from all over the world have had only kind & comforting words to say. The outpouring of family, friends and fans in this guestbook has helped me through one of the toughest times in my life.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 17:53:17 CET 1999 from (


From: Ottawa, Ontario Canada


Posted on Tue Dec 14 17:26:41 CET 1999 from (

freddie armstrong jr


Posted on Tue Dec 14 17:26:17 CET 1999 from (

Kevin J. Lyons

From: Long Island

I have followed you guys for most of your careers. He's playing for someone else now. We all will miss him. Write a tune for him.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 17:08:58 CET 1999 from (


From: Germany

And the sun don't shine anymore And the rains fall down on my door. Rick's voice and style of singing was a great inspiration to me. Thank you so much! My condolances to friends and family

Posted on Tue Dec 14 17:17:43 CET 1999 from (

Mark Rollinson

From: Yonkers New York

I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Rick Danko. The band was one of my favorites of all time. May he rest in peace. I will miss himand his great presence on the stage.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 17:00:41 CET 1999 from (

Lorri Kogut

From: Buffalo

I'm deeply saddened by the news of Rick's passing. My heart goes out to all of you, his family and friends. Just remember he will always be with you smiling down from above. Take care and keep his music in your hearts. Love Lorri.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 17:09:22 CET 1999 from (


From: Poughkeepsie, NY

Rick, may you finally have peace. I will always miss you.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:57:57 CET 1999 from (

John Molinari

From: The "Wamboozy" Festival

Although I only got to meet you on a couple of occasions,Rick, I feel I have lost a dear friend. When you played Wamboozy in '98, it was a highlight of my life. As the sunset over the mountain while you sang "Twilight", it brought a tear to every eye sitting on that mountain. To this day, friends and fans speak of your moving set with Buddy Cage and my friends Scott Foley and Bobby Sexton.To say your music was a major influence to me is an understatement. I was only a child when my sister went to see you at the legendary New Years show that became "Rock of Ages", but once she turned me on to your music, I was changed forever. Today, as I write this letter addressed to Heaven, I am saddened by the loss of not only a legend, but one of the sweetest and kindest people I ever was blessed to meet. Dec. 14 is my birthday and I never got to tell you, but the Wamboozy had it's origins as a birthday party for Sagittarians. You see, we are born so close to the holidays, Rose and I decided to throw ourselves a birthday party as well for others born under the sign of the archer. When I was told you were born Dec. 9, my heart, though pained by your loss, was at least filled with joy knowing that. Before I let you go to jam with Richard and Jimi and Jerry and Zappa and Lennon in that great gig in the sky, just let me say thank you for the memories, for making my festival a moment I treasure til the day we meet again, and helping me get through life with the songs you sang that made the world a little more enjoyable. Goodbye Brother Rick, Forever you will remain in the hearts of millions. Love John Molinari

Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:38:42 CET 1999 from (

Bobby Jones

Drink with me to days gone by. To the life that used to be. Let the wine of friendship never run dry. At the shrine of friendship never say die. Here's to you and here's to me. Drink with me to days gone by. Sing with me the songs we knew. Let the wine of friendship never run dry. At the shrine of friendship never say die. Here's to me and here's to you.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:36:20 CET 1999 from (

Paul Barrett

From: Fall River,MA

Another great one has passed.My only hope is now he might have found peace for which he always searched for. I had the pleasure of meeting him three times in my life and they all will be memorable.Once he said to me stop being nervous and take the picture or I'll take it myself.That night was an outside concert and as usual he and the Band were great.As always rick greeted you with that famous smile and was always glad to talk to you no matter who you were. That is always something I will remember of him.I will also remember that he sang we will meet again,I pray I will have that pleasure.My prayers go out to his family ,may GOD bless and keep you safe.God bless rick you will be missed . I will always remember you as a great person and will never forget your voice and that smile.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:35:18 CET 1999 from (

Karla Hale

From: St Paul Minnesota

Rick was one of the most talented people in the music industry. He will be greatly missed. I will always hold on to memory of seeing him w/ Ringo and the All Star Band in St. Paul. Thanks for sharing your special gift with the world! My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:31:50 CET 1999 from (

Brown-Eyed Johnny

From Robbie: "I think Rick was one of the greatest and most soulful singers I've ever heard. Definitely, the most original bass player I've ever heard and one of the kindest hearts to have graced this planet. I feel blessed to have known him and loved him and to have had the opportunity to work with him for all those years. I will sadly miss him."

Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:29:59 CET 1999 from (

David Powell

From: Georgia

The Canadian Jam Music site has a brief tribute to Rick that includes comments from Robbie Robertson, Colin Linden, Ronnie Hawkins and Rob Bowman:

Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:25:25 CET 1999 from (

Bobby Jones

Drink with me, to days gone by. To the life that used to be. Let the wine of friendship never run dry. At the shrine of friendship never say die. Here's to you and here's to me. Drink with me, to days gone by. Sing with me, the songs we knew. Let the wine of friendship never run dry. At the shrine of friendship never say die. Here's to me and here's to you.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:22:52 CET 1999 from (

Brown-Eyed Johnny

From: The Neighborhood

With Rick's birthday approaching (December 29), may there be many fitting tributes.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:22:31 CET 1999 from (

John Donabie

I would just like to congratulate WDST in Woodstock for the tremendous special they did on Rick on Saturday morning. They repeated it all week-end and Monday as well. Hearing Rick sing Twilight and others acoustically was beautiful. His history of The Band was so eloquent as well. It would be great if WDST could package that special and sell it to fans, with money raised going to the Danko family. Thanks Dave from WDST for the tasteful memorial broadcast.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:19:35 CET 1999 from (

Mr. Kicking Horse

From: Inside My Sweat Lodge


Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:13:54 CET 1999 from (

Bobby Jones

Drink with me, to days gone by. To the life that used to be. Let the wine of friendship never run dry. At the shrine of friendship never say die. Here's to you and here's to me.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:11:12 CET 1999 from (


From: Nova Scotia

Driving down a country road His song comes on the radio And it makes no difference if I'm late So I will slow down, Cause he'll sing no more It makes no difference what I say Or if I write it down Cause it has been said before

Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:08:01 CET 1999 from (


We've all lost an incredibly powerful voice, an amazing musician, a precious sweetness of spirit and exuberant joy in life. I only know Rick though his music and hearing a single concert and I feel a deep sense of loss. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends, whose loss is far greater.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 16:07:21 CET 1999 from (

Kim Pantalone

From: Detroit Michigan

I saw the last show Rick did in Ann Arbor Michigan On 12-7-99.Rick was not feeling well but still put on a good show.Sadly there was only a handfull of people to his last performance.I stood in line to buy Breeze Hill and had him sign it.I think it was his last autograph.He talked about The Band being in the studio recently and was upbeat about the future. I still feel the chill I got friday morning.Whoever wrote that little peice on Watkins Glen was right on.I was also at that show in the rain and they did play great and Rick did lead the way.I will try to remember that flashback instead of tuesday.Sip the Wine is one of the best studio things he ever did. What a tribute to himself.When Rick was to tired to Play anymore and finish his last show he asked the sound man to put on his new cd.You could tell he was very proud of it.Ricks memory will live forever. Kim

Posted on Tue Dec 14 15:58:24 CET 1999 from (


Thanks to everybody who has written into here and contributed their memories and stories.

I've been looking over the net for good coverage but have been greatly disappointed. Most papers have the AP story and even papers like the NY TImes and SF Gate where you think you might find a more knowing article have fallen short. It turns out my favorite article has been posted to RMD and right here (somehow I'm not surprised) by our own Peter Stone Brown. But I think some people just reading the guest book might not be aware of it so here is a link

article by Peter Stone Brown about Rick Danko

Thanks PSB and to all the others.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 15:20:31 CET 1999 from (

Mike Damora

From: New Jersey
Home page

Thanks Rick for all the righteous undertones that I have enjoyed throughout the years. My sincere condolences to your family, loved ones, close friends and to all the lives you've touched over the years.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 15:17:40 CET 1999 from (

Don Henderson

From: New Kensington, Pennsylvania, USA
Home page

Thanks for all the music, we'll miss you Rick...

Posted on Tue Dec 14 15:02:42 CET 1999 from (

Matthew F Golden

From: Boston

I would like to express my condolences to Rick's family and friends. I was saddened to hear of his passing, but I am glad that he spent some time among us. He contributed to many great memories I have of listening to his music, seeing him on stage or on the screen. We will have the music, the film images and the memories forever, but it seems that we ought to have had him among us much, much longer. I took a picture of myself standing in front of Big Pink this fall, and am waiting for an enlargement of it to be finished. Now it will take on a greater significance, as will all the music, film and memories. Rick, thanks for everything. You will be greatly missed by many.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 14:08:31 CET 1999 from (

Karl Wallendszus

From: Oxford, UK

Sad news indeed. I only saw Rick perform live once, when The Band played in London in 1996. Rick was not in the best of health that night, but still gave a great performance of It Makes No Difference, the highlight of the show for me. We'll always have the music and the memories, but Rick will be greatly missed.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 14:03:51 CET 1999 from (

Ira Stengel

From: Long Island,ny

I could not believe the news friday. Another member of my all-time favorite band has passed on. Oh my god. There can never be a reconciliation and reunion. These were my selfish thoughts. Rick Danko was a warm, kind man and a wonderful musician and singer. His thumping bass style was wonderful. His singing was sweet and sometimes powerful. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times, and, he was always so nice, always looked you in the eye and just seemed very sincere. Thank you, Rick Danko for all the smiles and all the tears. You have brought such joy to me and those around me.....Thank you fallen prince....Rest in peace

Posted on Tue Dec 14 13:32:29 CET 1999 from (


From: Netherlands


Posted on Tue Dec 14 12:48:07 CET 1999 from (


From: PA

I am sorry that I can not make it today to Rick's service, however, my thoughts and prayers will be there. My 4 year old daughter and I lit a candle at church on Sunday in Rick's memory. I am waiting for this weight to be lifted.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 11:58:51 CET 1999 from (

Torgeir Bjørntvedt

From: Norway

"It's a lot of fun to make music and have people remembering it. So if you can make music that people will remember, for even a little while; and if it makes them forget what's bothering them, just for the time being, or if a little of it slips into their mind the next day.....then it's good music!!" We love you Rick, for a little while that never ends.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 11:52:20 CET 1999 from (

bob c.

From: connecticutb

bound by an ancient song /we are bound by the love we feel

Posted on Tue Dec 14 11:36:19 CET 1999 from (

a fan in Greece

From: Athens

Danielle, many of us are still here, coming back to this site several times a day for comfort. Rick was a gentleman and one of the most loved human beings on earth. No one understood life and people more than him, he gave so much to so many people, always generous and a true star. And as for Levon, I saw him recently and he was as usual the picture of good health and positive energy. Rick is not with us but Lee continues to be my hero, giving love and affection generously. Lee if you are reading this, -I will take you up on that invitation to visit someday, God bless you all in this time of intrusion on your family. All the Band members are special human beings, we've known that for three decades. Their trademarks are genius,talent, and a calibre of behaviour which is extraordinary. They are all, and continue to be role models for many of us, and don't you listen to anything other than that. Danielle, you are indeed fortunate to be a family member. We miss your uncle too. God bless.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 11:24:48 CET 1999 from (

Jan Terje Flåan

Thank you for the music, Rick.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 10:45:25 CET 1999 from (

Chris & Gail

From: England, UK

In sadness...

It's been a long time since we picked up any Band news and when we do, it has to be this. Our thoughts are especially with Rick's family, friends, & all in Woodstock, also everyone around the world who loved Rick.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 10:32:37 CET 1999 from (

crazy horse

From: cartagena,Spain

it makes no difference when you turn I couldn´t get over you and your sounds still burns it makes no difference, live or dead your music will never seems to fade away. And your songs don´t shine anymore And the chords falls down on my guitar. see you in the sky!!! THANK YOU,RICK

Posted on Tue Dec 14 10:30:10 CET 1999 from (

Ned Farrington

Everytime a new song started we'd concentrate hard trying to listen to it. All the while trying not to fall off the port-a-john. It wasn't easy getting up on those things. The late afternoon downpoor had made them slippery. The way we did it was we'd wedge our ourselves between two of them and one hand one foot ourselves up. Finally in disgust John exclaimed that we were either going to make our move now towards the stage or just catch some sleep and and try and beat the inevitable traffic leaving early the next morning. So Peter, John and I started our trek forward through the enormous crowd, so large it was frightening. I wasn't exactly for this idea but I didn't want to miss it and I didn't bother trying to talk John out of it, I'd known him since kindergarten. There was enough room to walk through the crowd without upsetting anyone and until we hit a wall of humanity we just kept up a slow but steady pace. Soon we could hear the music much better and that just made us want to get nearer. Then we could start to make out the members of the band more clearly. Well, with nothing stopping us we just kept going and soon enough the crowd was closer together but we could move up without being a burden to anyone. Now the music was really loud thanks to that state of the art system that Bill Graham had installed, this was more like it. A few steps more and there we were in a spot where we could see as well. I can still see him. He was having the time of his life up there playing that base. I was close enough to realize that there wasn't any frets on that base. He was so skilled at it, and the smile on his face just made it all look easy. I couldn't forget it if I tried. It seemed like The Band played every song they knew. That CD they finally released five years back was just a taste. I've never really thought of The Band as having a leader, except when I think back to that night at Watkins Glen. Rick Danko was leading that show. Whenever people who were at that show cross paths they always sooner or later extol how well The Band played.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 10:24:11 CET 1999 from (


From: Nyack, NY

Rick's true genius was playing the spaces between the notes. I learned more from him than any teacher I ever had. Playing a set with him last October was a highlight of my career. God bless you, Rick. Goodbye.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 10:21:27 CET 1999 from (

Sean McArdle

From: Republic of Ireland

To Rick, For all the tunes...may you "Sip The Wine" forever.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 10:15:13 CET 1999 from (

Aaron Vail

From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Raise a glass for Rick Danko.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 09:56:14 CET 1999 from (

Bill Laymon

From: David Nelson Band, NRPS, etc.
Home page

Gentlemen, I'm so sorry to hear of the Rick Danko's passing. I love his music, The Band's, and glad I got to know him a little. He was a great talent and a great guy, to boot. He'll be missed & I'll never forget him...

Posted on Tue Dec 14 08:58:11 CET 1999 from (

Rick Allen

From: Rick Allen and the Upsetters

I had the pleasure of seeing the band 3 times and was lucky enough to also catch Danko and Helm.My band had the honor of opening for them at an outdoor show a couple of years ago. Danko was friendly and open and complimented our band in a way that showed he'd actually been listening.He was just what you'd want someone you admired so much to be. "If you find me in a gloom" it's because I'm missing a a great musician and a really nice guy-Rick Allen

Posted on Tue Dec 14 08:39:51 CET 1999 from (


From: Syracuse
Home page

To Mike Dillon: I hope you don't feed crap like that to your students on a daily basis. Your a better bullshitter than teacher. I now know what FREELANCE writer means. To Danielle: Don't let him get to you, there are always a few lowlifes around that try to make a buck off anything. Even someone elses grief. Remember...Forever Young :-) I have seen The Band perform countless times from Woodstock to a small theatre in Syracuse. I'll miss seeing your uncle perform but he'll live forever in my heart and for everyone through his music.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 08:29:38 CET 1999 from (


From: PA

I just heard about Rick on Saturday, and it has really bummed me out. As a college student, I have only heard of the band through my father's CD's and through The Last Waltz which I saw last summer on VH1. If anyone knows anymore information about Rick's cause of death or anything else, please feel free to e-mail me. May God Bless and Keep You Always, Rick. I'll miss you. Adam

Posted on Tue Dec 14 08:15:47 CET 1999 from (

John and Rusty

From: Tyler Texas

Rick! Give our regards to everyone We Love You and We'll Miss You

Posted on Tue Dec 14 08:04:41 CET 1999 from (

Mike Connoy

From: Southington,Ct.

My sincere sympathy to the Rick Danko family and friends.I've been listening to the BAND for 30yrs and I want to say thankyou Rick for the joy you have and will continue to put in my heart and my soul! You will be missed. Godspeed....MC

Posted on Tue Dec 14 07:40:05 CET 1999 from (

George A Stevanoff

From: George from Encore Embroidery, Inc.

Big Happy You Will Be Missed.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 07:37:18 CET 1999 from (

Darvin Joffrey

From: Montana

Man, what a bummer... I always had this dream that The Band would reform, put past problems aside, and go out and reclaim all the ground that's been lost to this sucky, corporate, market-researched trash that passes for good music now. God, I love your singing. I hope you rest in a better place...

Posted on Tue Dec 14 06:52:48 CET 1999 from (

Tony Santo

From: Orlando, FL

I was in art college in NY City when I started listening to the Band. One night in 1985, I saw the Last Waltz on PBS, taped it, and watched it over and over. At the end of a long day of painting, drawing, and commuting, I'd pop in my video of the Band and get mesmerized by their eclectic blend of music, as well as their offbeat interviews. Many a night was spent working on art deadlines listening to my vinyl record stacker playing the Brown Album along with other favorites. Soon my older sister got hooked on the Band as well. The second time I saw the Band in concert my sister and I went to the Lonestar Rodehouse, right before Jericho came out. That night was one of the best concert performances I have ever seen, one which my sister and I will never forget. Now, every time I hear a Band tune, it takes me back to my art school days and the musical bond I share with my dear sister. Rick will be missed.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 06:38:26 CET 1999 from (


I would like to offer my condolences to Rick Danko's family and friends. I'm so sorry for your loss. His music has meant a lot to me over the years. Shortly before Rick's death my wife and I watched "The Last Waltz" together. I hadn't seen the film in ten or fifteen years and it was her first sustained encounter with the Band's music. She helped me to appreciate it afresh. After the film was over she commented on how beautiful and moving Rick's voice was in "Stage Fright" and "The Weight." There was a genuine vulnerability that came across in those performances. The word "authentic" often comes up during discussions of the Band's body of work. For me the music was more than just culturally authentic, it was very emotionally authentic. I think that a considerable amount of that authenticity and integrity was due to Rick's influence. When he sang he wasn't afraid to express a wide range of feelings. So much of the power behind some of my favorite records comes from the sense that he really meant every word he was singing.

From what I've read he seems like a very decent person who cared about his music and his community a great deal. I'll just conclude by saying that his music always made me feel connected to other people and to many different histories of this country. He will be missed.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 06:09:07 CET 1999 from (

Steve Culley

From: Evansville, Indiana

Reading the wonderful tributes to Rick has lifted my spirits. Rick took the time to have a beer with me in a small club in Evansville around 1985. A nicer, more down to earth guy i have never met. THE BAND has been my favorite for thirty years. Thank you Rick !!!

Posted on Tue Dec 14 05:38:12 CET 1999 from (


From: Australia

I would just like to add that Rick's death has caused great sadness throughout the world. He was a shining light not only in the Band, but in his generation. As I type this the song "It Makes No Difference" plays in my head... he made a difference to the lives of many... and I know that with Richard he will not be forgotten- I have this image fixed in my mind of them "stuffing baloney" as part of their reunion. My sympathies to his family and friends who will miss him more than words can say. Sean Peters

Posted on Tue Dec 14 05:08:03 CET 1999 from (


From: Madison, Wisconsin. *AMERICA'S TWILIGHTLANDANKO*.
Home page

These last few days have been hard for me to except, but I'm gett'n better, but I'm positive its even been harder for The Danko Family,,,they lossed a father, a husband, an uncle, a friend, and a world that loved Rick Danko. I can't be there to give each one a hug and tell them in person that I care,,,but I can send the Danko family a nice Christmas card with a small donation to make the season a little bit better for them. Like in that interview I just read in The Chicago Sun where it said " Rick turned around and gave $20.00 to Nicholas Tremulas to get his daugther something nice for Christmas, and put tag on it saying from 'Uncle Rick', so she'd know him the next time he came to Chicago to visit again". That showed how giving Rick was, and I want to be like that, cuz as far as I'm concerned Rick was part of mine and your family, so please at least send a card, it'll make you feel good, and isn't that what Christmas is all about?!? ELIZABETH DANKO P.O. BOX 434 BEARSVILLE, NY. 12409

Posted on Tue Dec 14 05:03:36 CET 1999 from (


From: long island

Rick, Your words, music and spirit will go on forever touching and enlightening many more as time ticks on .Rick and Richard may you stay "Forever Young" Robert "Mookie" Gilhooly jr.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 04:58:01 CET 1999 from (

ghost rider

From: in your yard

Still can't find adequate words.... But there's not much I could add to the overwhelming outpouring of sentiments posted here since Friday.

See you at Wednesday's Memorial Service.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 04:47:55 CET 1999 from (


Today, all day WFUV - 90.7 fm, in the North Jersey, NYC area featured the music of The Band and Rick Danko. It was a wonderful tribute by a great radio station.....Good for you Danielle. God bless you and your family. Your uncle touched so many hearts. His music was a gift that I will always cherish.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 04:16:15 CET 1999 from (

Kathy Welby

From: Upstate New York

Rest In Peace Rick! We will miss you, more than words can say. Damn! I can't stop crying.......

Posted on Tue Dec 14 04:15:49 CET 1999 from (

Joel Roth

So sad. The corporate media has no inkling of how many people Rick and The Band have indelibly touched. And we're still passing their music on to our children. Hats off to niece Danielle who had the courage to call the self serving b.s. for what it was in her time of grief.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 04:15:00 CET 1999 from (

Wayne Szurka

From: Austin, Texas

I feel as if I lost my best friend. Rick, I bet Richard was at the gate to meet you. There must be some interesting bass lines comming from that celestial band of angels now.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 04:04:28 CET 1999 from (


From: Mississippi

Eons ago, on hot Summer evenings I would sit high atop the Vicksburg bluffs overlooking the river, watching the sun set way over on the Louisiana side. In that moment I could feel the might and depth and breadth of this land, both blessed and cursed, that sprung me and all the other collection of folk and events that played out like a drama in this grand place. And the honeysuckle clinging to the heavy air, the stereophonic locust and cricket calls, and reminiscences of old stories told to me about this place came bubbling out of every corner making my head swim. As the stars popped out I traced the Mississippi northwards, watching the bottom of the hills drop out onto the floor of the Delta, sprawling up Hwy 3 to Yazoo, and 61 to Rolling Fork and beyond to Lady Memphis. And this humming came spinning off all the miles of blacktop and track, and furrows of young cotton, and the winding river - these glory paths - a buzzing and droning hymn of sorts, as familiar as my own skin yet nothing I could describe. And it made me squirm and itch to express it like a bull Mockingbird without a throat. I never could reply into the blinking Mississippi darkness until one midnight slouching in the front seat of a '63 Dodge, parked high atop Steel Bayou levee, swatting skeeters with my darling baby doll - trying to pick up the signal of KAAY - the Mighty 1090AM - Beaker Street and Clyde Clifford. At first crackling of the car speaker the jubilant wail of young Rick Danko shocked us to our senses, alongside Mr. Dylan, Dark Richard, Homeboy Levon, Musicman Garth and that prima donna, Jaime Robertson, singing some such about Wheels being on Fire or something. God bless good Clyde for turning old Rick and the boys loose into that night - it was Rick's voice - the voice of the tired field hand, the midnight rambler, the squirrely preacher. Rick was helping to retell the old tales to the beat, making the little girls promises and then breaking them as he's leaving town in the morning light, moving on to another show. It was in that voice and those tales that the very land under the old Dodge was trying to shout without erupting!

Good Lord, keep that dear boy, Rick close among your angelic choir - with those pipes he could not keep earthbound for long. Bless us all, we'll miss him till we're reunited on the other side - the side of the setting sun - off from these bluffs toward Shreveport way. Keep us a seat for Rick's next gig. Thanks.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 03:44:05 CET 1999 from (

Mel Epstein

From: New Hampshire

Dec 13th, 1999 Dear Levon, Garth and the other band members, You don’t know me. I live in New Hampshire, teach piano and have been a lover and appreciator from afar of your music over the years. I only wanted to say that there are millions of people around the world this night who grieve our loss of Rick. I can never know what bond each of you had with Rick. I can only say that we are all poignantly less a sweet light tonight. You are in our hearts. Mel and Claudia Epstein

Posted on Tue Dec 14 03:38:39 CET 1999 from (

John Poulson

From: California by way of Massachussetts

Thanks for years of great music Rick. You touched many hearts on this trip. The music lives on and you will be remembered and appreciated for the great gift you gave to us all. Rest in peace.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 03:35:32 CET 1999 from (

Tony LoBue

Home page

I set up a temp site of my photos of Rick. Hope you enjoy.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 03:30:53 CET 1999 from (


From: Orono, Ontario

Ya know I'll miss ya Rick, Love ya forever!!

Posted on Tue Dec 14 03:27:18 CET 1999 from (


From: Buffalo, NY

Goodbye Rick. I only saw you once & regret missing you the last time thru Buffalo w/ Commander Cody. You & Richard along with Brian & Carl Wilson are my all-time favorite singers. God love you & I'll miss you always.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 03:20:55 CET 1999 from (

Kurt D

From: Pennington NJ

Our deepest condolences to the Danko family. The world has truly lost one of the most incredible voices and musicians ever. The incredible interlacing of music and voices of The Band will always remind of Rick. Rick, I hope you are "sipping the wine" Kurt

Posted on Tue Dec 14 03:20:13 CET 1999 from (


From: New Jersey

It is a deep loss for Rick Danko to have left this world at this time however I believe his train will bring him to a good station.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 03:11:32 CET 1999 from (

martin o'connor

"You know what happens when you start having too much fun . . . " Thanks for the waltz, Rick!

Posted on Tue Dec 14 02:55:44 CET 1999 from (

Steve Williams

From: Emigrant, MT

Gone but not forgotten. Best show I ever saw in the Boston Gardens. He will continue to live through his music. Adios

Posted on Tue Dec 14 02:53:14 CET 1999 from (

Brian Fitzpatrick

From: New Jersey
Home page

So incredibly sad to here the news of Rick's passing. I got to meet him at a gig he did in Jersey about a year and a half ago. It was a small bar near my home. I could hardly believe someone of Rick's caliber could be playing such a place. The room was packed and when he came out it seemed like the whole room just lit up. I was in complete awe! He sang "It Makes No Difference" and the whole room sang along. We knew every word. I hold his music and the music of the band very close to my heart. An amazing talent and an amazing man. He will be sadly missed by all.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 02:31:13 CET 1999 from (


From: Troy, MI

There are certin songs I listen to on a daily basis that no matter how I'm feeling at the time makes me smile. The Band is a band that I feel related to. The physical world has lost a kind voice and soul. He will be missed. I believe he produced his Masterpiece.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 02:27:36 CET 1999 from (

Chuck Woringer

From: Cape Cod

It was great listening to you and your cohorts ... it was even better watching you play. We loved you and miss you. Fair winds brother .. Chuck

Posted on Tue Dec 14 02:19:28 CET 1999 from (


From: Upstate New York

In response to mike dillon's blurb, I was kind of enjoying your rehash of the Saugerties/Woostock scene, I used to live there myself, so I could relate to what you were talking about, until I got to the point where you said "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." In defense of my Uncle and because I am sick of reporters who don't know what the fuck they are talking about I am going to make my point, from a family's standpoint, that there were NOT a lot of busts for drunk driving and drug possession. I am also not going to say that it was smooth sailing all the way, but until you get your FACTS straight, let's celebrate my uncle's life, not make up bullshit to glorify and glamorize your stories. Thank you.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 01:58:19 CET 1999 from (

Rama, Rocco and Evan

From: The Bronx

Last March 12, in celebration of my upcoming birthday, I had the pleasure of being treated to an evening with Rick Danko at the Turning Point in Piermont, NY courtesy of my beautiful wife. It was an evening I will never forget, even though we had to leave before Rick finished his set. (You see, the babysitter had to be home by 10:30pm.)We consoled ourselves with the notion that he would return and next time we would take along our 8 year old son, who has developed quite a passion of his own for Rick's, and The Band's, music. (Going off to sleep with "Rock of Ages" playing is now a nightly ritual.) We, like all who have posted their thoughts here, are saddened by his loss. It is indeed, as many have said, as if we lost a member of our family. His music, and that of The Band, means a great deal to us. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and those who knew and loved him best. We now look back at that winter night and are grateful to have shared a special, brief moment in time with him as he entertained an enthusiastic crowd near the banks of the Lower Hudson.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 01:57:04 CET 1999 from (

Jason Crane

From: South Carolina
Home page

My wife and I were sorry to hear of Rick's death. We're going to make the 14-hour trip to Bearsville tomorrow to attend the service. Our condolences to his family. The music lives on.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 01:49:26 CET 1999 from (


From: St.John's, NF. Canada

Well, we lost a great and underrated musican today with the passing of Danko. I started listeing to The Band about three years ago and have been a huge fan ever since. The guy was a real talent. Today, in a small way to honour Rick, I suggest that we all listen to I Shall Be Released and Rocking Chair. I know that Danko wasn't from old Virginny but the sentiment remains the same.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 01:46:53 CET 1999 from (

Mr. Lucas

From: Chicago


Posted on Tue Dec 14 01:37:00 CET 1999 from (

Mike Carrico

From: Georgia

I last saw Rick perform about 5 years ago in a small Washington DC bar; maybe 75 people there tops. Just Rick in a loud shirt with a beat up old acoustic...when he started to sing, the power of that voice nearly blew us off the barstools. A truly awesome instrument. He put on a great show and made us feel like we were sitting in his living room.

Rick was a remarkable, innovative bass player and such a soulful singer. He wore his voice on his sleeve. He seemed to be the kind of guy that anyone would want for a brother or father or son or friend or neighbor. I can't explain it but I feel as if I've lost a very close friend, tho I never actually met the man. Moments after hearing the news, I found myself staring through the kitchen window at the winter sky, tears flowing down my face.

My heartfelt condolences to the Danko family; may you find some measure of peace and understanding. Farewell Rick...

Posted on Tue Dec 14 01:36:59 CET 1999 from (

Bob Wyman

From: Colorado

I posted my message Saturday telling how I was able to spend a significant amount of time with Rick. It seems so many of the postings tell how Rick took the time for his fans, a lesson to all our so called "celebraties"; Take a lesson from a great human being, Rick Danko!

Posted on Tue Dec 14 01:36:07 CET 1999 from (


From: Nova Scotia

I've been listening to everything I have with Rick on it since Saturday and one of the songs I keep coming back to is "Raining in my Heart" from Ringo Starr and his all starr band. Jan's got a sample of it at

Check it out if you don't know it. I still can't believe this.

It's Raining, Raining in my Heart/The Weatherman, he says, clear today/ You know I don't feel this way/It's Raining, Raining in my Heart.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 01:20:27 CET 1999 from (


From: Chesapeake, Virginia

I have been reading these wonderfully moving testimonials to Rick Danko since Friday. It has been so uplifting to know that there are so many other people from all over the world who share my grief and great respect for Rick. I have been a fan since I was 9 years old, when I first heard "Crazy Chester." I was extremely fortunate to see the Band with Dylan in 1974 at the Boston Garden. I am now so glad that I drove 6 six hours to Philadelphia in November to see Rick perform at the Tin Angel. It was a beautiful performance from a brilliant musician and human being. Even though I never had the pleasure to meet him, I feel I know him from his music where he beared his soul to the world. His music has been my best friend for 30 years. My condolances to his family, friends and fans. "The greatest love is the love that dies untold."

Posted on Tue Dec 14 01:18:39 CET 1999 from (


From: Austin, tx.

Still just stunned. My thoughts were with Rick often in this life,still are, happily so, and will carry on. Rick gave so much joy through his warmth, good humor, great music and absolutely charming personality. I imagine Rick now with great folks on the other side, family, friends, playin a gig up there with Doug Sahm, Richard, Butter, Sonny Boy too. God Bless, everyone

Posted on Tue Dec 14 01:16:19 CET 1999 from (

Otfried Stein

From: Nuremberg, Germany

It's only a few days ago that I got Rick's two live-Cds. And it makes me feel sad to know that he's no longer among us. But he left his wonderful music. It is a great contribution to the Rock Music and makes Rick living on in our memory forever. Thanks to Rick and all of The Band.Otfried

Posted on Tue Dec 14 00:58:31 CET 1999 from (

Steve Lundgren

From: Detroit, michigam

Thank you Rick, you influenced me more than you'll ever know. You are a national treasure, and will never be forgotten

Posted on Tue Dec 14 00:35:34 CET 1999 from (

Stanley Landau

From: Toronto

Twenty-one years ago I won tickets to the Toronto premier of The Last Waltz on radio station Q-107 (CILQ-FM)in Toronto. These days, they generally play rock which is a bit too heavy for my tastes. But yesterday afternoon, the DJ on Q107, Andy Frost, had a one hour tribute to Rick which was very moving and tastefully done. Thanks to Q107 for that.

Posted on Tue Dec 14 00:23:54 CET 1999 from (

José Ignacio González

From: Madrid, Spain

"See the man with the stage fright, Just standin' up there to give it all his might. And he got caught in the spot light, But when he get to the end, He wants to start all over again". Bye, Bye, Rick. Jig

Posted on Tue Dec 14 00:10:32 CET 1999 from (


From: Birmingham, England

You had a very beautiful voice Rick. I remember you singing the ludicrous song about Ferdinand the imposter on one of the basement tapes. As always, you managed to make it sound moving and joyful. Thanks for everything.

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