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The Band Guestbook, December 1998

Below are the entries in the Band guestbook from December 1998.

Thu Dec 31 20:52:32 MET 1998

Jonathan Katz

From: same old place

To Danny Lopez: The Manuel vocal on the last track, Last Night, from Clapton's "No Reason to Cry" was an add on for the CD re-issue. I have the lp and bought the CD just for that track. Yeah, its disappointing, but its Richard!

Thu Dec 31 20:14:48 MET 1998

Danny Lopez

From: Iowa

Thanks to Peter Viney for the comments on the Jesse Winchester album. I'll have to check it out. I got Clapton's No Reason to Cry solely because of the Band contributions. Sign Language (with Robbie) and All Our Past Lives (with Rick) are excellent, as is Clapton's remake of the Danko/Manuel tune Beautiful Thing. BUT, I don't care for the Manuel vocal on the last tack, Last Night. Just doesn't seem to work. Maybe it's the song itself. I also have Tom Petty's retrospective box set which includes Manuel and Garth (with Robbie co-producing) on The Best of Everything. But here again, I'm disappointed. Manuel's harmony vocals sound so close to Petty's that his distinctiveness is lost. If you didn't read the credits, you might think that this was Petty's voice overdubbed. Oh well. Hate to sound such a sour note. Richard is definitely my favorite Band member. Wish somebody could have intervened to help him. God Bless to All, and Happy New Year!

Thu Dec 31 20:13:01 MET 1998

Jonathan Katz (again)

From: Columbia (still)

That last quote on creativity was from Winchester.

Thu Dec 31 20:11:06 MET 1998

Jonathan Katz

From: Columbia, MD

I was listening to the Jesse Winchester [Stony Plain] re-release as I read Ragtime's post. funny "Yankee Lady" was playing just as I read his quote of the lyric! I agree with Peter - this is a good album, all around. The material is well above average, and the performances are very good. Robbies guitar is there in the non-guitar-hero style of the Brown Album and the contributions by Levon are also very good. In the Stony Plain re-issue Colin Escott writes extensive notes and obviously interviewed Winchester. He notes that on "Payday" and "the Nudge" Robbie set up a marching band bass drum and put a mike in it to get the vocal sound like a "cheap PA." He further states: "I guess it's creativity..."

Thu Dec 31 17:21:31 MET 1998

Peter Viney

I just saw that the record stores here are suddenly full of CD singles of "1999" by Prince. Which is brilliant marketing. It's unusual to release ANYTHING this week. Which reminds me to wish you all a happy new year.

The Jesse Winchester album is one of the best albums with Band members sitting in. The quality of both writing and playing is superb - Hoskyns is totally wrong on this one, Ragtime. You'll enjoy it. Robbie co-wrote "Snow". Though I like the later Jesse Winchester albums, he either used up his best stuff on this one, or RR's role as producer and guitarist coupled with Levon on mandolin and drums was obviously an inspiration to greater heights. The album even had a great Bob Cato cover design. For years I filed this with my Band albums.

Thu Dec 31 15:07:09 MET 1998

Ragtime (again)

Pete Rivard (again):

Yankee Lady, third strophe:

I don't know what called to me / But I know that I had to go / And I left that Vermont town / With a lift to Mexico / And now... / And now when I see myself / As a stranger by my birth / The yankee lady's memory / Reminds me of my worth.

I'm sure I'm gonna like this record & disagree with Hoskyns' verdict. Nice guitar work by Robbie. Levon's on it too, but this is stuff for a Who Drums What query.

To our great great webmaestro Jan & to all of you: have a Happy New Year. See you in the Guestbook in 99!

Thu Dec 31 10:23:29 MET 1998


Pete Rivard:

Yes, I'm a hell of a guy, but I said I didn't want to make you jealous... and now I DID make you jealous... sob... Anyway I'll speed to the record shop to collect the Jesse Winchester album & see if I can help you with the lines.

Thu Dec 31 06:43:37 MET 1998


From: Ca

As for I Shall Be Released in TLW, you can see Robbie trying to quiet things down and looking over towards Richard during the verse. Remember Dylan was also singing the verse along with Richard who was attempting his falsetto through the caos of all TLW participants on the stage. Gee, The whole congragation was standing on... Anyway you cut it there is definitly not enough Richard in TLW movie. I was at TLW and one of my fondest memories was Georgia. Richard sat at the piano bench, turned toward the crowd and with microphone in hand sang this tune. Now I don't have the Complete Last Waltz on cd and Have'nt heard it since but I never have understood why this was not included in the film. I have read here in some postings of hoarseness and bum notes but in my minds eye's and ear's it was a highlight. Of course that was along time ago.

Thu Dec 31 01:50:31 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Have to agree with Freddy Fishstick here. Neil Diamond was truly out of place at TLW. I guess it just goes to show who was really running things that night.

Also want to mention that it still distresses me how Richard was all but forgotten during the making of that film. Not even one shot of him during "I Shall Be Released". Sad.

FREDDY FISHSTICK:Very much enjoyed your story of the mistaken Neil. And as someone who'll be sharing your company on 2/22 at Madison Square Garden, I just have to make sure. Jimmy _who_?? :-)

Thu Dec 31 01:38:22 MET 1998


Mr. Scott Tribble is not so careful after all, repeatedly attributing "We Can Talk" to Robertson & even taking this song as one of his major examples of RR's main subjects. Bit sloppy... Still a worthwile starting point for one of our famous guestbook debates...

Thu Dec 31 00:01:57 MET 1998

Freddy Fishstick

From: Sag Harbor

Back in the mid-70's before TLW and before I graduated to Jimmy Buffett, I too was a fan of Neil Diamond. Was supposed to take a girlfriend to see him @ The Winter Garden Theater in NYC. At the last moment she cancelled on me and I had to beg a buddy of mine to see Neil in concert. Imagine his surprise when my friend discovered he was seeing Neil Diamond and not Neil Young, as he had assumed! Anyhow the Crunchy Granola was Suite. Now all these many years later as a full fledged HeadBand, i can state objectively that Neil Diamond had no business at TLW other than due to Robbie's control of the show.

Wed Dec 30 23:52:50 MET 1998

Charlie Young

From: Down in Old (and Cold) Virginny

I once heard Levon on a Budweiser commercial, but he was singing, not doing voice-over. But wasn't that Robbie singing on "Third Man Theme?" Happy New Year, you all. Wish I was "down South in New Orleans...prettiest girls I've ever seen..."

Wed Dec 30 23:44:38 MET 1998

Buzzy Scoots

The Mercury Rev record, featuring Levon and Garth is one of the years best. The Gomez record is also excellent.

Wed Dec 30 23:34:19 MET 1998


From: Connecticut

In the new Rolling Stone magazine, there is a picture of Robbie in regards to he and other artists doing "voice-over" spots for television among other things. The magazine mentions that Robbie's voice has been used recently for VH-1 Legends. Does anybody know which show? I saw the one about the Who with Levon narrating, but nothing else. I think both Levon and Robbie have wonderful storytelling voices. I am not surprised that they get asked to do that a lot.

Wed Dec 30 22:30:08 MET 1998

Kris Pancoast

Hi there - Heard it was Rick's birthday today - HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICK!!!! so I thought I'd stop on in and say hello. Hope everyone is doing well and had a nice holiday.

Hey Now Sundog!!

Peter - Sorry to hear about the goodies you loaned out and never got back! I have a pretty decent cassette of the Bill Graham Memorial. If you would like me to make you a copy, I'd be happy to do so. Just e-mail me and let me know.

Here's to a happy, healthy 1999!!

Wed Dec 30 21:54:17 MET 1998


From: Wellington, NZ

As the last bars of Auld Lang Syne die out ....

Dah Daaah Dah Daaah

I know shes a tracker .....

One of the best moments on any Band record.

Re TLW. I'm sure Robbie's vocals are in the final mix of the album and video. There is a falsetto voice in there and I'm not convinced it's Richard as I doubt his voice was up to it in '76. Not live anyway. Robbie can definitely be heard on Ophelia.

I'm glad Neil Diamond was on TLW. When I was 15 or so back in 76 I was a big fan of Diamond and only when to see TLW because he was in it. After that Diamond was history and all I would listen to was The Band.

Anyway happy new year.

Dah Daah Dah Daah.

Wed Dec 30 21:35:41 MET 1998

Pete Rivard

From: Hastings, MN

Ragtime, were you searching on my behalf? What a guy! How much do I owe you?

Seriously, maybe you could refresh my memory on the third verse of "Yankee Lady", I've just spaced it, except for a few scraps like "knew it was time to go" and "Mexico".

Wed Dec 30 20:37:21 MET 1998


Peter Viney: I don't think Canadian piano teachers have basically other ideas than mine. Still the similarity in Glenn's & Garth's ways of playing & humbling-mumbling is remarkable. The only difference is that rock music is so loud that you seldom hear these noises originating from the musicians. BTW I earlier stated I'd like to share a desert island with Garth in order to play Bach four-handed. On second thoughts I don't think he would leave room for me at the keyboard.

My printer is still busy working on Scott Tribble's exhaustive & careful treatment of Robbie Robertson's songwriting (added today to the articles section). You all should read it: a good starting point for a debate.

Pete Rivard: I don't want to make you jealous, but a local record shopkeeper just called to tell me that they had found a copy of the Jesse Winchester album for me.

Wed Dec 30 19:58:32 MET 1998



Little John Tyler: Tinker Street closing? Say it ain't so! Will it open under another name? Thanks: Tom Izzo

Wed Dec 30 16:44:39 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

In the waning days of December, with the New Year approaching, it's time to take stock of the past year in music. With the release of CONTACT..., JUBILATION, LIVE '66 and LARGO, it was an eventful year for Bandheads. A seemingly rejuvenated Rick Danko resumed a full touring schedule, however, Levon was slowed down by worrisome health problems. With his club in New Orleans set to open, let's hope he has time to mend & recharge his batteries.

Apart from Band projects and the never-ending reissue offerings, I found myself listening to a lot of female recording artists in 1998. Lucinda Williams released her first album in years, the fine CAR WHEELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD. Telling stories, in the tradition of Flannery O'Connor, set to music, Ms. Williams sings like a strung-out Loretta Lynn playing in exile on main street. Vivid images blurred by time, emotion, and the amber light reflected through sour mash whiskey.

Sheryl Crow stripped down & hardened her sound with THE GLOBE SESSIONS, and Bonnie Raitt got back to her noncommercial roots with the help of Mitchell Froom & Tchad Blake on FUNDAMENTAL. Liz Phair followed up her cutting-edge earlier albums, EXIT IN GUYVILLE and WHIP SMART, with the wonderful WHITECHOCOLATESPACEEGG. Sure she's matured and she's now a mother, but she can still get down & rock just like some other kinds of mothers. Emmylou Harris released SPYBOY, recorded live and backed by her crackerjack rhythm section & the amazing singer /guitarist Buddy Miller. Emmylou also teamed up with Willie Nelson on the atmospheric TEATRO produced by Daniel Lanois.

1998 marked the passing of many great musical artists, including two legends named Carl. Carl Perkins, one of the original rockabillies, left us with his blue suede shoes and so much more. A fine performer and more important, a gentle, humble man. The often overlooked Beach Boy, Carl Wilson, left us stranded on the shore at low tide. The foundation of the group, and the mediator during the years of turmoil, God only knows what we'll do without him.

Wed Dec 30 13:15:07 MET 1998

Chris Lecky

From: Cincinnati, Ohio

Ruth McD, I am a big Band fan from Cincinnati. I was also disappointed when The Band cancelled. But I saw Rick in Columbus and Cincinnati in November of 97. Both great shows.

Wed Dec 30 13:08:08 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Ragtime pointed out the similarity in head and hand position between Garth & Glenn Gould. Gould was well-known for his vocal interjections, in that he used to mutter or hum (or grunt) along with the music. With solo piano this is very apparent on his recordings - try his Bach "Goldberg Variations." When I saw The Band at Cambridge, UK, I managed to get right at the front when Garth was doing the Genetic Method - and the man was making a lot of vocalisations in the same style. Maybe there was something about Canadian piano teachers

In my second defence of a pop (rather than rock) artist in 24 hours, I'll put in a word for the greatly reviled (on this page) Neil Diamond. Diamond was there at TLW to represent the Brill Building side of music. OK, Carole King might have been a better choice. But RR had just worked with Diamond on 'Beautiful Noise'. The guy looked nervous. He knew he was out of place. Now I had a friend who loved his live 'Hot August Night' so I heard it a few times. I always envisaged the audience as the people described in "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" - Police Chiefs and their wives. But Diamond's mainstream pop hits came across well on that record. You could tell he had power in a live setting. There was a case for including him as part of the supposedly eclectic mix of TLW, although TLW wasn't comprehensive in its embrace of styles. The lack of a genuine country & western singer is surprising, as both Robbie & Levon have expressed admiration for country singers, and Rick was also a fan. (RR mentioned George Jones in Mojo's poll of great singers). There was only a token nod to folk, in 'Four Strong Winds'. They could have left Diamond out and maybe it wouldn't have been noticed. They left Bobby Charles out of the movie. The inclusion of Diamond broadened their base commercially, but in dramatic terms it also gave contrast. I think RR wanted to show their range in their ability to back different artists.

According to contemporary reports they were up most of the night rehearsing with Joni Mitchell, who felt they couldn't get her sound right. Listening to "The Complete Last Waltz" she was correct. 'Shadows & Light' and 'Furry Sings The Blues' didn't work at all. She was second only to Dylan in getting three songs, and she blew it. As Levon indicates, she lost the dynamic and the show sagged at that point. 'Coyote' was great, but she'd have been better off doing a crowd-pleasing 'Woodstock' (obviously) or 'Big Yellow Taxi' instead of new, jazzy songs which did not suit The Band. Anyway, RR and Scorsese edited out the two songs. So, Diamond followed her at a low point in the concert, and instead of being applauded as a surprise "fun" contribution he was seen as unnecessary. Van followed him,and of course blew him off the stage. Given the range of performances and this need to show them in different settings, Diamond was probably one to keep (and they had no trouble with the song, in contrast to the two Mitchell ones they cut). If the show hadn't drooped during Joni, I think the attitude to Diamond might have been better.

Having defended Diamond, I was affronted during my pre-Christmas shopping for CDs and videos by a great deal of his new album of movie songs. I found his version of the love theme from Titanic gave me serious toothache and a desire to run out of the shop screaming.

Wed Dec 30 10:41:31 MET 1998

Jens Magnus

From: Norway

On Falsetto. I guess we just have to give credits to the wonderful Beach Boys. To my opinion they were the first to use falsetto voices to blend their singing into something special.

Wed Dec 30 07:43:53 MET 1998

Greg Murphy

From: Newfoundland, Canada
Home page:

Hey, I am 16 from Newfoundland, Canada. I have not really heard much about The Band, just that they use to back Dylan....I read through the page, its interesting...This is a great page, nice outline. Well, that be it, check out my bands homepage ppl...maybe you'll like some of our music and make a tribute site to us :)..... later... Greg

Wed Dec 30 07:19:45 MET 1998


From: Indiana

To Bayou Sam. If you listen to any previous version of "Mannish Boy" by Muddy Waters, you'll find he says," I can make love to you in five hours time." His reference to "five minutes" is just a stab at humor on his part, and I think it is also in reference to his advancing age at the time. Neil Diamond was brought out by Robbie's request, much to the chagrin of Levon. Read "This Wheel's on Fire" for more of the lurid details.

Wed Dec 30 05:26:13 MET 1998


From: Mad City, Madison, Wisconsin
Home page:


Wed Dec 30 05:12:41 MET 1998

Pat Brennan

From: USA

Speaking of falsetto, years ago I played a couple of gigs with Lou Christie. I was subbing on a oldies package and backed up Lou, Leslie Gore, The Shirelles, and Del Shannon. But the highlight was playing with Frankie Ford. Yup, the "Sea Cruise." Before you laugh, Frankie is Dr. John's cousin and all the way New Orleans. He played great Fess style piano. Fun. The two records I want back from the people I lent them to: Biograph and a 1977 vinyl Royal Albert Hall.

Wed Dec 30 05:11:04 MET 1998

Marc K

From: Lompoc, California

I just found this site after looking on UBL. I bought Lovon's book recently ("This Wheel's On Fire") and it got me all excited about The Band, again. I grew up hearing The Band, but not always knowing who they were. When I was either 9 or 10 my friend's father played "in A Station" while I was at his house (this was about 82 or early 83). I thought it was a sad yet beautiful song, so I saved up and bought the tape. "Songs From Big Pink" is not an album that most ten year olds would like so I had to enjoy it all by myself. That's what made The Band so special for me; they were kind of like my little secret. Take care, all. Marc K Lost in California

Wed Dec 30 04:32:23 MET 1998

Bayou Sam

From: South Louisianne

Just got back from TLW. My first impressions.

1. Why is Muddy waters proud of makin love to a woman in five minutes? Not the kinda thing I'd announce to the world. 2. Not enough Robbie, way too much Richard & Garth. 3. Why no closeup of Richard for "I Shall Be Released"? 4. Was it me or does Dylan sing Forever Hung? 5. Is Paul Butterfield Eric Clapton plus 50 pounds? 6. What the hell is Neil Diamond doing there and how come he didnt do Brother Loves Travellin Medicine Show? 7. How could they blowoff Chest Fever 8. Did Joni Mitchell come in a Yellow Taxi, or was that just The Rumor? 9. Not enuf Robbie. His vocals were impeccable. Think he shoulda sung Islands. 10. Peace and love Bandheads. :-)

Wed Dec 30 02:24:38 MET 1998

Crazy Chester

From: Selden, NY

Happy Birthday Rick!!!! You rule!!

Wed Dec 30 01:30:33 MET 1998




Wed Dec 30 00:44:36 MET 1998


From: Connecticut

It has been fun reading all the "Best of '98" lists. Almost all of them list Dylan's Live 1966; however, I am amazed how many of these lists have Robbie's Contact From The Underworld Of Redboy on them. Usually when a record comes out in March, it is forgotten by December. What a great year for the Band.

Tue Dec 29 23:57:51 MET 1998

Peter Viney

The Viney Lending Library closed for the same reason. I recall losing 'Rolling Stones #2', 'The Times They Are A Changing' and 'Otis Blue' to the same person in 1966. Swore I'd never do it again, but did. Then loaned a bootleg double CD of the Grateful Dead with John Fogerty to a guy working in a record store who wanted to DAT it. Repeated enquiries over months and it never returned (think it was the Bill Graham Memorial Concert'). The Rolling Stones #2 is a British LP that never came out on CD - they switched to the shorter US album versions.)

Tue Dec 29 22:41:18 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

RAGTIME: Little voices tiptoeing thru the tulips here too ever since you first mentioned it. Yes, it is _thru_, as one can only tiptoe thru the tulips...not _to_ them...unless one was trying to quietly approach them, which would be a whole other story.

Now I just have one question. Who's singing backup on that? RickorRichardor....... :-)

Tue Dec 29 22:36:35 MET 1998


From: Middletown, New York

Happy Birthday Rick!!!!

Tue Dec 29 22:31:48 MET 1998


Two corrections to my previous post (Think Before You Post Ragtime!):

... or was it "thru" the tulips"? Haunting anyway.

My dearly loved piano teacher wouldn't let me place my fingers that way. She wouldn't object to me admiring Glenn, but admiring Garth...? Mmmm... Don't think she would have heard of him.

Tue Dec 29 22:16:12 MET 1998


From: the tulips

Re re falsettos: I'm hearing little voices again... Now "Tiptoe to the tulips" is haunting me, thanks a lot to myself.

Pete Rivard

There exists no such thing as a Ragtime Lending Library since the day someone borrowed my copy of Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks" in 1971 and forgot to bring it back. I didn't care much at the time, because the lp had disappointed me. It was not like Van at all, I concluded. Nowadays I would like to hear it again for the same reason that I'm in the process of beginning to like Marvin Gaye's "What Going On" [thanks to the Viney's].

Now let me bring up an old subject: the Garthian stage appearance. The way he places his fingers on the keyboard & this position of his head during the process is exactly the same as Glenn Gould - the late great Canadian Bach player - used to play. My dearly loved piano teacher wouldn't let me, but I wish I had Garth's & Glenn's genius.

Tue Dec 29 21:52:00 MET 1998

Pete Rivard

From: Hastings, MN

John Tyler:I checked out the New Orleans Times-Picayune site, which I imagine you also have. If you haven't, it's pretty specific about upcoming events at Levon's club, Levon and the Cates Bros. 12/27, Danko on his birthday tonight there, the whole Band Jan 1, but I don't find any reviews of the 12/27 gig.

Ellarbee:Thanks for the reminder about Robbie's vocals, I read the book, but forgot. One of many volumes that are way overdue to be returned to the Rivard Lending Library. Along with numerous LP's and CD's. We ought to just declare one day of the year to be set aside for people to return borrowed items.

Today's quiz: Which single LP, CD, tape that was leant out never to be returned would you most like back?

My choice:Jesse Winchester's first album.

Tue Dec 29 21:15:46 MET 1998

K. Horse

From: Down South

New Orleans, 12/27/98: GREAT! It lives.

Tue Dec 29 21:00:00 MET 1998

Little John Tyler

Maybe it's just that the opening night party is still going on, and no one there has had a chance to post us about Levon's Club. Maybe. But if not, the silence coming out of New Orleans these days is perplexing, at least; ominous,at worst. Anyone who's down in the Big Easy, spread the news. I even just tried to get a local new Orleans newspaper on-line, to see if I could find a review or any word at all; maybe some of you other Guestbook regulars will have better luck than I.

Local newspapers a little closer to home, here by the house next door, are noting with regret the announcement that Woodstock's Tinker Street Cafe will close its doors for good after its New Year's Eve Party. In an earlier incarnation as Cafe Espresso, a young Bob Dylan would work out his new material in the club downstairs by night, and then retire to his rented room upstairs to write some more. It became a gathering place and hangout --and if you were lucky-- an impromptu performance venue for many of the artists who lived in town (or in a big pink house in nearby West Saugerties) or passed through while recording up the street at Albert Grossman's Bearsville Studio, including Hendrix, the Stones, Van the man, Dave Matthews, the B-52s.... Just in the last year, Levon and Rick each put in an appearance.

Tue Dec 29 20:34:28 MET 1998


A while back someone noted that RR had co-credits on "The Genetic Method," which Garth supposedly "ad-libbed" to fill time leading up to midnight.< I just bought the "Rock of Ages" CD, and both names appear on the credits. However, I checked the original record, (which I bought way back when) and only Garth's name is listed on the record)

Tue Dec 29 19:52:38 MET 1998

Dan Bridge

From: Azusa, california

Adventures in utopia is one of the greatest CDs ever written. Does Todd still play around with Commodore Amiga computers?

Tue Dec 29 19:32:38 MET 1998


From: Virginia

To Pete Rivard: Concerning RR's "vocals" in "The Last Waltz", purportedly there weren't any. Perhaps in Levon's book or perhaps in some other widely distributed literature about the history of The Band, it is written that RR's mike was off the whole time "The Last Waltz" was being filmed, except in between songs. Don't know whether that's true or not, but, given RR's, ahem, "singing" voice, it's possible!

Tue Dec 29 19:05:58 MET 1998

Pete Rivard

From: Hastings, MN

Rick Danko's cover of that Sam Cooke tune "A Change Is Gonna Come" is the one that pops to mind of him using that falsetto sound. Watching the Last Wlatz and all the singing into the mike that Robbie is doing on tunes like "Up On Cripple Creek" and "The Shape I'm In". I keep wondering why I'm not hearing his voice in the mix. Was he mixed out? Is it him on the occasional falsetto harmony, or is he doubling another voice.

Puts me in mind of a lead singer in one of my past bands who was such a sloppy rhytmn guitarist that we would surreptitiously mix his guitar completely out of the room sound and give him just enough in the monitor to keep him happy.

Tue Dec 29 18:32:09 MET 1998

Grant Handrigan

From: Canada
Home page:

Hello! I'm 16 and from Canada, I would like to know if anyone has complete songs by "the band" it either .wav, .mpeg, .au. If so could you please drop me a note? Oh and check out my homepage!!!!!

Tue Dec 29 18:31:27 MET 1998


Re Falsetto singers:

what about Tiny Tim who did his songs as early as 1967 down in the basement together with the Hawks? Although I always thought he was just making a joke of it, he might have been the first to show the falsetto technique to Richard (and Rick AND Robbie - they too used it occasionally).

Tue Dec 29 18:17:44 MET 1998

Peter Viney

The discussion on falsetto singers is interesting. Though Frankie Valli was an extreme version, I think it would be unfair to write him off as just a novelty act. The "Working My Way Back To You" album did the whole Bee Gees thing a few years earlier, and he has been responsible for some classic rock moments. One is the opening of the movie "The Wanderers" where the gang strut down the street to "Walk Like A Man" - much funnier than the start of "Saturday Night Fever." "December 63" is a good song too. One that interests me is "Beggars Parade" which is a vitriolic "anti-protest" song, perhaps hilarious in one way, but as ever with a good melody. And he probably fits in with that group of non-rated singers who nevertheless make you turn up the radio a notch or two when their songs come on.

Tue Dec 29 17:44:29 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

I agree Mr. Powell. Wasn't trying to put him in the same league as Richard or Ray Charles (not even close). Was just wondering about the falsetto.

Tue Dec 29 17:25:48 MET 1998

David Powell

Lil: Although Mr. Valli specialized in falsetto singing, I've always considered him to be more of a novely act than a truly influencial performer.

Tue Dec 29 16:55:33 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

DAVID POWELL: Probably going to age myself by asking this question, but wasn't Frankie Valli doing the falsetto thing very early on too?

Tue Dec 29 16:18:47 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

Pete: Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield, and often Ray Charles, would sing in the higher registers to achieve that emotional effect with the lyrics.

Tue Dec 29 15:50:52 MET 1998

Pete Rivard

From: Hastings, MN

Santa brought me CD versions of "Music From Big Pink" and "Live at Watkins Glen" for Christmas, God bless her, I mean him. Two things: first I had to go reread Viney's article on "Tears of Rage" because I was so struck by the lyric's echoes of King Lear. Also, after listening to Manuel's wrenching vocals on "I Shall Be Released" it struck me that this high pitched technique had to be four or five years before the BeeGees did their falsetto disco thing, and even before Yes and Boston and all those long-hair pretty boy bands beat the technique to death. Who else contemporary to '68 was doing that? Is Manuel one of the originator's of the sound, or was it something he picked up from Sam Cooke, or one of the black vocal stylist of the time?

Tue Dec 29 14:20:40 MET 1998

Spider John

From: Rancho Deluxe

Just been playing the hell out of Moondog Matinee with a good friend. Can't agree on Rick versus Richard query. Me thinks its udderly Rick. Happy birthday to you Mr. Danko. Some day hope to hear you take on "A Change is Gonna Come". Stay well and long may you run!

Tue Dec 29 13:29:36 MET 1998


From: Halifax,Nova Scotia,Canada

Happy Birthday to Rick from all of us Maritimers and from James in T.O.! Thanks for all the music over the years, hope to see you swing through Canada on one of your tours. Have a great day!

Tue Dec 29 08:43:26 MET 1998

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland Tx

It's not really Band related but I can't resist: Did anyone else see the WEIRD clip of Steppenwolf on the Ed Sullivan Show on VH1? It was really stange and funny. Allmost impossible to do justice through discription. Anyhow, you should listen to the sample of the boys on Ed you can hear on the cite, if you have never done it before........

Tue Dec 29 05:51:03 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin
Home page:

Is it still Ricks Brithday$$$ If it is then "happy new year + happy brirthday too@!!! pACE, Tim(sundog)Corcoran

Tue Dec 29 04:27:42 MET 1998


From: Melrose,Ma.

Yo Marty- Do you mean the NE Patriots? If you do I'm with you all the way!It may be bleak but the ship is still afloat.Sorry about the football talk people. PEACE, Cosmo

Tue Dec 29 03:50:37 MET 1998


From: Philadelphia

Another review of Jubiliation from the All-Music Guide ( The album gets three stars (out of five) and has the following comments:

Jubilation, the tenth studio album by the Band, showcases a group that has aged better than the finest port wine. Yes, although the voices have aged noticeably (particularly in the cases of Rick Danko and Levon Helm), this fact only makes the record more charming. The songwriting is still spiritual and evocative, and all of the tunes are peppered with a Grant Wood-ish plain-spoken sensibility that are at once familiar and instantly engaging.

The group (Danko, Helm, and resident keyboard genius Garth Hudson) are augmented by Richard Bell (keyboards), Randy Ciarlante (drums, vocals), and Jim Weidler (guitar). The odd thing is that this version of the group has probably been together as long as the original Band. Guest appearances by Eric Clapton and John Hiatt are nice additions, but are not reasons to buy this album, as it holds up quite well on its own merits. -- Matt Greenwald, All-Music Guide

Tue Dec 29 03:03:02 MET 1998

Steven Tyler

From: New York

Does anyone have info on Levons opening?How is his voice?

Tue Dec 29 00:10:24 MET 1998

Freddy Fishsticks

From: Cafe du Monde

Saw "Patch Adams" today- new Robin Williams film. Excellent movie, bit of CSNY, VTM, Clapton and The Band. Touch of The Weight can be heard. FYI- Lyndell Pennsylvania was the farm/home of Jim & Ingrid Croce circa 1970. It was hangout for many struggling artists including Jimmy Buffett and Arlo Guthrie.

Word to the wise for Jack f/k/a Jack My Dog- Mmgt believes that "Beth" of the chatroom is likely a gender- bender. Not what she/he seems.

Tue Dec 29 00:08:20 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Let me be the first to say....Happy Birthday Rick!!! Thanks for still being the wonderful man I first met 18 years ago. Love, health, and happiness always. Love you.

Mon Dec 28 22:52:49 MET 1998


From: Lyndell Pennsylvania

Welcome back Jan. Sad thing is that Alan Dershowitz would probably come to the defense of Dave/John from Penna. His behavior caused Lil,me ans several others to find a friendlier venue to chat. For that we will all always be in his debt. away all by himself.

Mon Dec 28 20:24:47 MET 1998


From: Canada

In January PBS will be airing a 4 part series about music from the heart of America called "River of Song"

In Part 3, titled "Southern Fusion", Levon Helm is performing with James Cotton! I've got my VCR set now.

Mon Dec 28 19:28:31 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

In regards to Jonathan Katz's question regarding the differences between GUITARS KISSING and LIVE 66, Peter Viney has already done a good job in pointing out the differences in over-all sound. Both versions use the same 3-track tapes as a source. The earlier "closer-miked" sounding version done by Sony, rejected by Dylan, is apparently the one used on GUITARS KISSING.

It is my opinion, however, that this version was the one that was "artificially" altered to filter out the audience / hall sound, through noise reduction and/or equalization. I think the natural hall reverberation and sound of the audience was captured on the original tapes as it "bled" into the microphones, and this natural ambience was left in on the official version.

The liner notes booklet to LIVE 66 explains how pitch problems & other tape anomolies were corrected. Compression was used in the original recording process to prevent overloading at peak volume. Once compression is used it can't be removed later. As I mentioned here last month, a review of LIVE 66 in the December issue of _the absolute sound_ reveals that Sony engineers "used old sixties solid-state equilizers that were built for Motown's Detroit studio on the band tracks." This was evidently done in order to "fatten-up" both the low & high frequency levels that were clipped by the compression. No mention was made of any reverberation being added to the official version.

Whether you like the closer-miked cleaner sound of the bootleg version or the rawer, edgier sound of the official release is a matter of personal preference. Perhaps the best way to characterize the difference is that the bootleg has the sound captured from a on-stage perspective, as opposed the sound as heard from further back in the hall as captured on the official version.

Mon Dec 28 18:58:29 MET 1998

Jan Høiberg

From: Halden, Norway

FYI: "Howard Dershowitz" who just posted the "Mon Dec 28 16:13:49 MET 1998" entry below is the same guy that wrote the anti-Jewish guestbook entry that was removed a few weeks ago. He has been harassing people in the chat room and through e-mail and seems to be mentally disturbed.

He is posting from the domain, which is a library network in Pennsylvania. I have contacted their network administrator and we are trying to track him down.

If he does not stop his "crusade" immediately, I'll have to close the guestbook and the chat room for a while until we have blocked access from his domain. Unfortunately this'll block out all users from "". If we get more idiots like this it may be the end of interactivity at this site :-(

For those interested, here's the log-file entry: - - [28/Dec/1998:16:13:49 +0100] "POST /cgi-bin/ HTTP/1.1" 200 6129

Mon Dec 28 17:09:24 MET 1998

Jonathan Katz

From: Columbia, MD

Howard Dershowitz: Have two nagilas, they're very small.

Mon Dec 28 16:13:49 MET 1998

Howard Dershowitz

From: The Halls of JusticeDD

Diamond Lil and freddy fishstick aka jim croce, there is good news on the horizon for us Yids. Steven Speilberg of Dreamworks and employer of Robbie Robertson has donated $500,000 to the Yiddish National Book Center in Mass., to help the current project to digitize over 35,000 books of Yiddish literature. It will take 2 years and the word going around is that Robbie will offer up the RR songbook as part of this project. HAVA NAGLIA!!!!!!

Mon Dec 28 12:37:22 MET 1998


From: Glitterhouse/Germany

Here´s another european who can´t wait to hear how Levon´s opening night went. And if it happened at all, since the latest news about the state of the building weren´t that promising.

Mon Dec 28 08:01:56 MET 1998


From: The Netherlands

And again it's an early Dutch morning

but nobody told us about Levon's opening night so far. I don't want to demand anything from anybody, but

it takes a lot of water to wash away new Orleans.

Mon Dec 28 07:41:35 MET 1998


From: Hollyweird

I have the rest of the Band info phone number and IT WILL BE POSTED! I just have to get permission from the ----------- Let's go Patriots!

Mon Dec 28 06:23:33 MET 1998

Blind Willie McTell

From: Toronto

1998 was a very good year for us fans of the band.

The spring saw the release of Contact From The Underworld of Red Boy. Like it or not, it is an amazing piece of music. Largo followed. It agreed with the soul. Jubilation finally showed up in September. It made you want to sing along.

Mon Dec 28 01:57:57 MET 1998

James Stewart

From: What A Wonderful Life

I think the new Band hotline is out of order----- 914-255-7somethump er uther is whut i have...can any buddy hep me? Youse gys have a good daY!

Mon Dec 28 00:15:56 MET 1998


Robbie and or himself and/or Levon and/or Rick... still confused about Who Sings What, are we? Here are two more to keep us busy:

Who's doing the backup vocals on "Katie's Been Gone" & "The Well". I always thought it was Robbie on both, but maybe it's Robbie?

Sun Dec 27 23:32:45 MET 1998

Hal Willingham

From: Anniston,AL

It has been a joy cruising through The Band's site.I have only very recently "discovered" this group.Seeing as how I'm a completely all 60s and 70s music follower,this fine bunch of musicians really nails it home for me!!I'm a total loather of all modern rock acts and am proud to be hopefully one of many who feel the same way.Again,I enjoyed visiting The Band page and will alert others to it as well.Yall be cool!!

Sun Dec 27 23:11:49 MET 1998


From: Iowa

Danny Lopez (or anyone else in central Iowa, for that matter)-- if you have the Complete Last Waltz on CD, I'd like to borrow it for long enough to copy it to DAT. Or I'd trade DATs with someone for it. I've had an analog cassette version for years and am looking for an upgrade.

Sun Dec 27 20:30:49 MET 1998


From: The flying Dutchman

Another message from the Low Countries. I just got back from the Seven Seas that won't carry us no more. Hope you all survived Xmas & Nawleans.

Danny Lopez: I second my fellow-Dutchman Gerard about "Get Up Jake" & "Look Out Cleveland". Pity that "Jawbone" was not included in the Classic Album video since this is (musically & rythmically) one of the most interesting tunes on "The Band". Those syncopes are still startling me.

Sun Dec 27 20:04:41 MET 1998


From: The Netherlands

Danny Lopez: check the FAQ for making paragraphs. I just found out myself. It is a revelation.

You say you'd prefer Get Up Jake to Look Out Cleveland. It would have changed the brown album as the boys wanted it. Robertson once said that changing the order of the songs would be like changing the pages of a book. I think this answers your question. Still I agree that leaving out Jake was a pity. If the CD format had existed in 69, they would probably have added it as the opening tune I presume.

By the way I like Look Out Cleveland

Are any their visitors to Levon's club down south in New Orleans who have just got up and want to tell us unlucky fellas how it was?

I think Diamond Lil is right and Jan Hoiberg showed up there instead of at the North Pole.

Sun Dec 27 19:48:18 MET 1998

Della Chippewa-Sapulpa

From: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Home page:

I have been trying and trying to get in touch with Robbie Robertson. I watched a program on VH-1 where he talks about going back to his Native American teachings. I am of Chippewa-Cree descent. I am a Caricature Artist/Cartoonist/Writer. I have two sons who are very talented with their music. They have written their sings, which is a mixture of Blues and their own style. I would like an autographed picture of Robbie. I have drawn and met many Blues entertainers, including Buddy Guy and Eric Burdon. I would like to present him with a caricature. You can view my website, as well as the links where my work is featured, The Blue Highway (Blues Mall), Oklahoma Blues Society, Eric Burdon's Audio + Video ( his webmaster created my site, and I'm in the process of trying to learn to maintain it myself). If there is an address where I can contact him., I would really appreciate it. My husband bought The Last Waltz last year, we had to order it from Border 's Book Store. we watch it all the time. Today we watched The Fabulous Baker Boys, and read in the credits that Robbie Robertson did the music for the movie. Excellent. Merry Christmas + Happy New Year. Please Reply. Thank you! Della Chippewa-Sapulpa, Chippewa Vision Art, 9168 East Newton Place, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74115....By the way, the guest book is cool, if people don't have anything good to say, they should keep their opinions to themselves. What happened to teaching good manners? Peace

Sun Dec 27 18:01:25 MET 1998

Danny Lopez

From: Iowa

Here's another submission. I can't seem to make paragraphs on this guestbook, so I'll divide up my ideas this way. The issue is this: how come Woodstock Records can't put out something like the Complete Basement Tapes? I salivate everytime I read (and reread) John Howells review of the 5 disc set The Genuine Basement Tapes. Then I get depressed because it's hard to believe in the middle of Iowa I will find a copy. (Although I did get the Complete Last Waltz, so maybe I should'nt be such a pessimist.) At any rate, if Garth owns the tapes, why can't an outfit like Woodstock put it out? Would Dylan's consent be required? I know he said something negative about the Basement Tapes before. Surely the boys in the Band realize the historic importance of this music. And it's got to have some commercial potential. So what's up with this?

Sun Dec 27 17:51:27 MET 1998

Danny Lopez

From: Iowa

Happy Holidays and New Year to All! Santa brought me the "Classic Albums" video. After two viewings, the best part is watching the joy of Robbie and Levon rediscover those old tunes. The little smiles they display tell alot about how much this music affected them. The whole experience obviously brought back good memories to both. On the curious side, I noticed they did not talk about Jawbone and Look Out Cleveland. I always thought the latter was somewhat incongruous with the general tone of the album. I remember reading Greil Marcus' Mystery Train where he said the song was a tip-of-the-hat to the rockabilly days of the Hawks. I'm not so sure that's the best explanation. Any others out there? I would have personally preferred Get Up Jake. It would have flowed better with everthing else. Nonetheless, I do find the little jam at the end of Look Out -- Ricky's manic bass, Garth's organ, and some crazy piano -- to be totally infectious. Another revelation of the video is how much Garth's background organ playing sounds so much like a carnival merry-go-round, as Robbie points out. He noted that on When You Awake, but I hear it on other tunes as well, such as the Great Divide.

Sun Dec 27 17:14:30 MET 1998

John Donabie

I received for Christmas, something that I have seen advertised for a very long time; but never purchased. It is a CD-Rom of Elliott Landy's Woodstock Vision.

On this CD Rom are pictures he has taken over the years of various rock stars, including The Band. The pictures of The Band have been seen thousands of times by Band fans; but never with such clarity. The colors are very rich. The Black & Whites pristine. Some of the photos I have never seen.

This is something that I would really recommend for Band fans and music buffs. think you've seen a photograph; until you see something like this.

Sun Dec 27 16:14:01 MET 1998


From: inside of Mobile

Did anyone out there attend Levon's club opening? If so, give us a description, info, etc!!! Thanks.

Sun Dec 27 12:12:34 MET 1998


From: The Brokerage

On 2/17/99 Eric Andersen will appear @ The Brokerage in Bellmore. Opening act is Ed Kaercher, no "Friend of the Devil".

Sun Dec 27 10:13:40 MET 1998


From: NZ

Jan, maybe you could add a section to the Frequently Asked Questions about attaching a photo.

Can any one else help ?

Sun Dec 27 10:03:08 MET 1998


From: NZ

Hey, I can do paragraphs too.

The "jam" at the end of Pepote Rouge reminds me alot of the jam at the end of Forbidden Fruit which is probably the longest jam they recorded. I enjoyed Peter Viney's article on PR but it's one of those songs where the lyrics don't warrent too much analysis - a bit like Jemmina Surrender. Like Jemmina the groove is what makes the song.

Does Levon's cafe mean he will spend more time in New Orleans than Woodstock ? What will this mean for The Band ? He does look frail and old in that picture but I remember seeing a picture of him in Modern Drummer in the early eighties where he also looked old. But that was just the picture I think.

Sun Dec 27 08:59:10 MET 1998

Richard Krivisky

From: New York (got the ways and means...)

Please Help!!! I need Basement Tapes music - guitar chords especially!!! i recently picked up guitar again and I must have the holy grail - The basement Tapes transcribed. I heard that around '75 a book actually did come out with the music from these prestigious sessions. If you have this or have done your own work on figuring out the guitar (and other) parts, please contact me so I can have obtain a copy. Thank You. email:

Sun Dec 27 08:29:22 MET 1998

Hoy Hoy

From: Nawleans

Two degrees in bebop-A PHD in swing-They're the masters of rhythm-They're the Rock & Roll Kings.Ladies & Gentlemen--THE BAND

Sun Dec 27 08:05:35 MET 1998


From: The Netherlands

Another quiet morning in the Netherlands. It's Levon's opening night in New Orleans. Is anyone going to tell us about it before plopping into bed?

Sat Dec 26 23:00:23 MET 1998

Lasse Salminen

From: Finland

Sat Dec 26 22:23:42 MET 1998

Turkey Point Productions

From: Central NY

The Rick Danko page is under construction and will return soon! Happy Boxing Day to all!

Sat Dec 26 21:35:59 MET 1998


From: The Netherlands

A reply to a question David Powell asked a few days ago. He wondered who sings along with Robbie on Knockin' Lost John: Levon or Rick. I think it is neither of them. It is Robbie's overdubbed voice singing along with himself.

Sat Dec 26 17:06:59 MET 1998

Bruce and Shelle

From: Woodstock, of course

Still trying to figure out how to be in New Orleans. Ariel wants to come to. See you back home in Woodstock, anyway, Lee.

Sat Dec 26 15:56:29 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Desperately need to change the topic here.

Hope everyone had a nice Christmas. Definately looks like the day after here. Remote control cars whizzing by my feet, kids still on that dreaded sugar high. Aah...the magic of it all.

Sat Dec 26 15:07:03 MET 1998


yo bob, don't you know it's beak singing on holy cow

Sat Dec 26 14:51:18 MET 1998


From: ct

yo klem it's rick singing holy cow

Sat Dec 26 14:29:56 MET 1998


From: ct

ihave seen you guys many times and hope to see you many your new cd.don't ever stop playing,it keeps all of us young!tell levon he is in our prayers. and the band played on !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sat Dec 26 13:11:05 MET 1998

Peter Viney

LIVE 66: BTW, in getting the rawer sound, I think they have lifted the volume of the audience in places, so although the effect is much more natural in sound, it has been achieved by artificial means!

Sat Dec 26 13:06:31 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Jonathan Katz: The two saxes trick was originally Roland Kirk's party-piece, but I've seen a few other people do it too.I looked up what I have on Danko in 77/78. I've got listed the whole band except "sax player-unknown"! I reckon he namechecked the others, but either left out the sax player or wasn't clear.

The sleeve notes to LIVE 66 are explicit on the differences from GUITARS KISSING. The story seems to be accurate - GUITARS KISSING is the original Sony remaster. A year later Dylan changed it because he fouind the sound antiseptic.

The acoustic Dylan set is exactly the same.

The electric set sounds different. The sleeve says:

An early version of the remastered tapes (i.e. Guitars Kissing) filtered out most of the audience and hall sound. This added a closeness and clarity to the vocals but took away from the manic edginess of the room. It was abandoned in favour of the rawer sound hear here."

That says it. If anything "Guitars Kissing" is clearer. "Live 66" is more powerful. I prefer Live 66 … but only just.

Sat Dec 26 08:04:09 MET 1998

John Sobersong

From: Re-Hab

I think Sundog drank too much Bongwater.

Sat Dec 26 07:51:17 MET 1998


From: The Netherland

Boxing day. Well it's early in the morning. The whole house is sleeping. I am recovering from last night's turkeys and mistletoes. This must be Christmas must be Yesterday - all my troubles seem so far away. Time to check the Band guestbook. I want to know if life goes on in Band land, even when the maestro is far away searching for the Northern Light. Apart from the usual half-wit advertising his lunacy from the closet, I have to admit that I am not able to answer any of Jonathan Katz' questions. Maybe I'd better sleep a few hours more. Shall I first think twice or post this now? Shall I submit button or

Sat Dec 26 05:32:33 MET 1998

Antoinette M. Erwin

From: Eureka, California

I am so happy to be introduced to your site,it is Christmas, and I purchased "Jubilation" for my husband (BIG FAN) and saw your web site. I am anxious to order your lithographs, however your Rick Danko site seems to be down so I have not been able to see what he has to offer. Please keep me posted on any and all new releases, I found Jubilation just through sheer luck. Well I am sure you hate long winded fans, but you can do no wrong in our house, I have 2 airedales (e-mail namesakes) and they even enjoy singing along, they only do that with very few artists (Simon and Garfunkle etc) they have excellent taste. Your loyal fan, Antoinette and Jerry :)

Sat Dec 26 04:26:28 MET 1998


From: Mad City, Wisconsin.
Home page:


Sat Dec 26 03:41:50 MET 1998

Jonathan Katz

From: Columbia, MD

Happy Christmas to all.

A couple of questions for Band fans:

1) When Rick Danko toured to support his 1977 solo album he had a sax player with him that played two saxes at once. Anyone know who this was?

2) Has anyone compared closely "Live 1966" with "Guitars Kissing...?" I want to know whether there is any real sonic benefit to the official release.

3) Does anyone know if videos of Rock Hall of Fame inductions are available? Happy New Year and thanks to Jan, as well as all of you that make me check out the guestbook way too frequently!

Fri Dec 25 21:24:10 MET 1998


From: Into The Closet Again

Please stop...

Fri Dec 25 21:00:23 MET 1998

Melkklem Hopperkadiddlehopper

From: Serge

It was Donald Joseph all the time.

Fri Dec 25 20:57:20 MET 1998

Klemmelk Kadiddlehopperkadiddle

From: Out Of The Closet

Fri Dec 25 19:52:30 MET 1998

Melk Hopperkadiddle

From: That Same Closet

HOLY COW!! Hasn't anyone figured it out yet? Viney's singing lead, Powell's on backup. That's my story and I'm stickin to it :-)

Fri Dec 25 19:29:42 MET 1998

Klem Kadiddlehopper

From: Skeltonscloset

Been sleeping for awhile, just awoke. Hey, is it Rick or Richard on Holy Cow?

Fri Dec 25 15:50:44 MET 1998

Wanda 'n Dennis Cooper

From: Beautiful Downtown West Saugerties, NY

Greetings this lovely Christmas morning, 1998, from West Saugerties. Sadly, it's not a white Christmas, but it's chilly and beautiful!

Fri Dec 25 08:05:33 MET 1998

Edvard G.

From: Troldhaugen, Norge

Jeg elsker Dig i Tid og Evighed!

Godt Jul!

Fri Dec 25 05:33:03 MET 1998

Little John Tyler

How a little baby boy bring the people so much joy...

God bless us, every one.

Fri Dec 25 03:29:26 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Ho Ho Hoiberg....miss you. God jul til deg :-)

Fri Dec 25 00:53:08 MET 1998


From: Walterville, Oregon

I love the Band more than any in the world with the exception of the Beatles. I first saw them early 1974 in Montreal with Bob Dylan. They were great playing for the home town. I saw them again 5 days later in Washington D.C. At that show Dylan did "Its alright ma I'm only bleeding" and it was at the time of the watergate nixon thing and when he sang"even the president of the united states sometimes must have to stand naked" the crowd went wild. At the end before the encore everyone lit their lighters and matchs, the first time this was ever done at a concert. It was some show!

Fri Dec 25 00:09:59 MET 1998

Freddy Fishstick

From: Margaritaville Cafe- New Orleans

Happy Birthday Jimmy!. Why don't we meet @ Levon's and I'll buy you both a Rolling Rock. :-)

Thu Dec 24 23:33:19 MET 1998

Freddy Fishstick

From: Key West

Its Christmas so what the hell, enjoy

HO HO HO AND A BOTTLE OF RHUM (lyrics by Jimmy Buffett & Ross Kunkel- music by Jimmy Buffett Roger Guth & Peter Mayer) Santa's stressed out as the holiday season draws near He's been doing the same job now going on two thousand years He's got pains in his brain and chimney scars cover his buns He hates to admit it, but Christmas is more work than fun He needs a vacation from bad decorations and snow Mr. Claus has escape plans, a secret that only he knows Beaches and palm trees appear night and day in his dreams A break from his wife, his half frozen life the elves and that damn reindeer team Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of rhum Santa's run off to the Caribbean He thinks about boat drinks and fun in the sun Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of rhum Plastic creations and crass exploitations aren't good He wants to go back to simple toys made out of wood Just for the weekend he'd like to be Peter Pan Get out his long johns and dance with a sword in the sand Chorus: Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of rhum Santa's run off to the Caribbean Marimbas, calimbas, he's playing steel drums Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of rhum (Bridge) Chorus: Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of rhum Santa's run off to the Caribbean Marimbas, calimbas, he's playing steel drums Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of rhum Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of rhum Santa's run off to the Caribbean A week in the tropics and he'll be all right Sporting a tan as he rides out of sight (over the drums) Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night

Thu Dec 24 20:37:26 MET 1998

David Powell

Happy Holidays Jan and all my friends from the guestbook. Fear not, come rejoyce! Most of all, thanks to Levon, Rick, Garth, Richard B., Jim W., Randy, Aaron, Jim E., Mike, Marie, Amy and Robbie too. Your music has helped us through another year.

Thu Dec 24 19:43:25 MET 1998

Ol' Dexy

From: South of the Line

Hmmmm. Hidden behind the keyboards??? He was always the center of the shoehorn. How could Garth have been any more prominent than that? The two sitting singers were on either side, and the keyboard player was right in the middle! And, now with three "lead characters", he continues to hold his own in live performances, even though he doesn't sing! Oh, what more can we say? And here's my thanks, at the end of the year, to Jan for the best musical webpage I've seen. I hope you do read up on all the stuff you miss over the holidays. Cheers to Garth, Rick, Mr. Helm and all the others.

Thu Dec 24 18:44:23 MET 1998

Charlie Young

From: Down in Old Virginny

Ben Pike: I second what you said and wish all of the friends and family of The Band a happy and healthy 1999 (especially you, Levon--good luck with the New Orleans venture). Peace to all...

Thu Dec 24 17:30:19 MET 1998

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland Tx

Well, as we circle up the wagons on 98, I just wanted to say how much fun I've had this year with everybody in the Band Room on subjects great and small. Even enjoyed swapping some tapes and gabbing with some on you out of the room here. So, I hope we all have just a good a Christmas as can be and a fine 99. Bless you all.

Thu Dec 24 16:42:46 MET 1998


DIAMOND LIL AND DONALD JOSEPH: I don't deny there is a lot of humor and fun in this guestbook - that is why I'm reading it - but to call it "intellectual debate" sounds like hybris to me. Happy Christmas anyway to all of you and especially to my new found friend and countryman RAGTIME. I hope members of The Band will find time to perform in Europe next year and please take Beki Brindle with you!

Thu Dec 24 16:13:32 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

In light of Donald Joseph's recent comments, I would like to add that part of the appeal of The Band for me, apart from their music, has always been the absence of any display of pretense when they perform. One only has to look at the film Woodstock (uncut version) to see how totally opposite in this respect they were from their comtemporaries.

It wasn't until around the time of The Last Waltz that Robertson started displaying a bad case of "guitaritis", as Levon recently described it. When the group first started out, there was no front man trying to hog the spotlight. It was a group effort & above all the music came first.

Thu Dec 24 15:45:12 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin, Donald Joesph's neighbour!
Home page:

Donald Joesph; You seem to be "hip", and heres some peace, and love back at you, cuz you "seem" to like it, but tell me; who sings, and what band, does this! It begins like this, Now theres something I'd like to talk to you about at this particular moment, and its about the one thing we won't be able to do together, unless we all become as one, and then, we can do it together. Now I ain't walked through it all the way yet, but there was a time I walked into it, and had to go into it alone; thats this place called "The Halls of Karma". Now when you go into "The Halls of Karma" the way I did, I don't know it might have been a hallucination; but I think it was real. You see, I felt the presents of the two energys, the positive and the negitive of God and the devil, however you want it. They were pulling and wondering on what to do with my soul, now I couldn't take this at that moment cuz I had to come back to be with you people- to do a thing. Out of this bargain, the devil, he got my body, with the good in his needs far and beyond earth, and the Lord, he got my mind, for the good of the universe and for the good of man; but they both, they got me in between, cuz they both got my soul. So the next time I come up, I want the Lord to please have mercy, on my soul! The end! Hint-A State. See ya! Peace, Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Thu Dec 24 13:20:06 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Freddy Fishstick:

Knew you'd feel "conspicuously absent" from my last post, which is why you're getting one of your own.Love You my friend. And I'm truly glad I found you..... :-)

Thu Dec 24 13:00:52 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

I don't know Gerard, kind feels like life is just one big intellectual debate at times. I rather enjoy the humor and the lunacy of this book. Helps put the seriousness of the daily grind into perspective.

Donald Joseph: I happen to agree with your visual of Garth, which is not to take anything away from his genius. I can close my eyes and see that one scene in TLW during Genetic Method/Chest Fever where that wisp of hair is hanging in his face and he looks like a man lost in the music. To me, that _is_ Garth. And btw...I do have to disagree about the sax comment though. Think Garth plays alto sax, not soprano.

Ragtime:Thanks for the wishes. Same to you and yours this holiday season.

All my best wishes to everyone for a happy and healthy Christmas. Peace on earth for 1999.

Thu Dec 24 10:59:29 MET 1998


From: The Netherlands

DONALD JOSEPH: Intellectual debate? Come on son, wake up. Discussing someone's appearance as a nutty professor is far from an intellectual debate. I am anxiously waiting for your article on The Band's musical and sociological influence on rural and urban North America in the past decades. I'll be happy to discuss it vigorously.

Thu Dec 24 09:00:16 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: Chicagoland, Home of the Blues

It wasn't on purpose, but in my last post I believe I raised Band navel-gazing (ridiculous focus on minutia) to a new level, when I brought up and critiqued a guy's blink. All of you who were able to conjure up the image of Garth's sax-blowin' blink -- you know who you are, I bet it was most of you -- are just as guilty as I, just for knowing what I meant. Maybe we need to follow Jan's lead and get outta here.

Thu Dec 24 08:49:24 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: The Home of the Blues

Uncle! Uncle!! O.K., you guys got me again -- I modify if not fully retract my last comment, re Garth's bad stage presence. I now admit Garth's stage presence can be compelling. I especially liked when, in the mid-80's, they put 4 or 5 lights in with his keyboard set-up, shining up at him. He can look like the mad professor, wisps of hair flying loose, arms akimbo, as he jerks his head around not really in time to the music pushing buttons and extracting weird sounds. And I will always be the first to say he's the greatest keyboard wizard in rock history (as distinct from the Nawlins piano men like Dr. John, Fess, Booker, etc, who really do a different thing). I can't remember any dynamic moments seeing Garth on a horn, though -- often he has looked a little silly to me being a big guy blowing into a tiny soprano sax. His horn solo on "Makes no Difference" in TLW is not great theater -- remember his goofy blink on the last note? HE BLINKS!! Also you have to admit they have always kept Honeyboy pretty well hidden behind his big rig of keyboards -- he is pretty much out-of-sight to a lot of the audience a lot of the time. With these caveats I'll admit his mad professor thing can be compelling. But I ask you to review what set me off on this in the 1st place -- the Great Albums video. Pls. concede, at least, that in that video his weird head jerks and his spider-like hand movements are, ahem, unattractive. (BTW, on Garth: I used to think his sax solo on "Volcano" was one of the Band's great recorded moments. Is anyone else into it?)

Why do I always end up playing the heavy, raising negatives about the Band? Somebody's got to do it -- we engage in a real intellectual discourse, in my opinion. The difference between intellectual discourse and fanzine-level bubblegum worship is the element of conflict and critique. While a lot of you "peace-and-love, group-sex" types will be loath to admit we need conflict at all (SUNDOG?), pointing out the bad with the good is necessary to sustain a genuine intellectual exchange here. We should never be mean, but would one or two of you others take off the gloves once in a while, too? It seems all negative comments are taboo, except negative stuff about RR, and -- only lately -- negative reaction to Levon's negative opinion of RR. Also, I guess, it's o.k. to be negative toward Barry Hoskins and Greil Marcus, because although they wrote sustained pieces on the Band, they criticized some bits. Oh, yeah, it's also o.k. to be negative to the Japanese criminal justice system and to Serge. But that's it: You even draw heat on this site if you knock "Ramble Jungle" (or whatever it's called) and the other unlistenable garbage on HOTH.

Jan, have a good break! I feel sorry for you when you get back, because I'm sure you'll read the whole guestbook, and catching up on the guestbook after a prolonged absence can be a chore. Is this really one of the most popular rock sites? I'm surprised, because (let's face it), by any other measure (sales, airplay, concert attendance), this isn't '74 and our boys aren't giving the Spice Girls a run for their money -- well, maybe our boys do draw better than Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice).

Thu Dec 24 06:03:30 MET 1998

Pat Brennan

From: USA

I was about 100 feet in front of The Band at Watkins Glen. The story you hear about the rain and Garth's solo turn is true, but I'd like to add another wrinkle. I'm not a big Deadhead but I think they're okay. At Watkins Glen, the Dead had the most godawful wall of speakers you ever saw straight across their backline. They did their noodling thing and everybody was into it, yeah, yeah, yeah. The boys came on after with a modest little setup that sounded twice as good as the Dead's ridiculous mountain of cabinets.Quite a contrast. Anyway, the skies cloud up, the rain starts and people are huddling against the elements. Right then I thought of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down--it looked like a sea of refugees. So Garth comes back on, all by himself, and gets the place going. After the excesses of the Dead's set and accompanying tech overkill, to see one person wrestle a wretched turn of weather events into a huge positive was, to say the least, amazing. In front of 750,000 people, I might add.

Thu Dec 24 04:17:04 MET 1998

Blind Willie McTell

From: Toronto

The 2nd last time I saw Garth was in 1993, The Band were playing the Forum in Toronto. Garth was fidgeting with the strap around his neck for a long time after coming up from the keyboards. He leaned down and picked up a sax and proceeded to wail away like only Garth can do.

After all, Garth is the real Santa !!

Thu Dec 24 02:23:06 MET 1998

Eric Beggs

From: Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 24 01:37:24 MET 1998

Freddy Fishstick

From: Sag Harbor

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to The Band with a belated Happy Chanukah to Professor Louie. The same to all saints, sinners, losers & winners. A special early happy birthday to Rick Danko and a healthy 1999 to Levon Helm.

A special Merry Christmas to that precious jewel one.

Thu Dec 24 01:32:22 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web's what I'm thinking. Jan headed North. North of Norway is the North Pole, Yes? Think he mentioned something about a sled too. Hmmm... You don't suppose? Nah. Couldn't be.

Wed Dec 23 23:44:54 MET 1998

The Dancing Bear

From: NYC

Follow Up Regarding VTM's new album -- back On Top: Virgin/Point Blank (Due for release March 9, 1999) Tracks: 1.Goin' Down Geneva 2.Philosophers Stone 3.In the Midnight 4.Back On Top 5.When the Leaves Come Falling Down 6.High Summer 7.Reminds Me of You 8.New Biography 9.Precious Time 10.Golden Autumn Day Note: Reportedly due out March 9, 1999, with the first single (the title track) due to be released in February. Remember, though, how these things can change: witness the 2-year saga of The Philosopher's Stone).

Wed Dec 23 22:48:18 MET 1998

John Donabie

From: Toronto

To Jan, David Powell, Peter Viney and all the Band fans. I want to wish you all a very Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year. Lee hope your feeling well and wish I could be with you in New Orleans for New Years.

Wed Dec 23 20:41:56 MET 1998

Robert Henry Taylor

From: Houston, Texas

This is by far one of the best rock group-related websites that I have ever encountered on the web. It offers incredible insight as well as excellent, far reaching, and all-encompassing history, commentary, factoids and ongoing news and stories. Chock full o' Band! Well done.

Wed Dec 23 20:18:30 MET 1998


From: Virginia (USA)

Re: Ol Dexy's post about Garth's positive stage presence: I couldn't agree more. Garth is the epitomy of cool, and cool is, more often than not, a very positive performance factor. I had a similar experience to Ol Dexy's "It Makes No Difference" post. Same song, Virginia Beach, Virginia, September 5, 1995. Rick was deeply, emotionally into the lyric -- not "talking through" the vocal as he has sometimes done, but far into the heart and soul of the song. He had just finished delivering the last few verses to an audience with jaws by then agape when Garth rose to blow his solo. A truly electric moment as the crowd absolutely erupted. Shivers up the spine time. And then, to top it all off, Jim built his guitar to a concluding crescendo that brought the house down. Honestly, it was one of my all-time favorite concert moments. Simply a stunning rendition, proving once more that, when they're "on", The Band is a group without equal. Here's wishing the best to all over this holiday season. For those of you planning to go to New Orleans to Levon's club, please don't forget to post for those of us who aren't able to go. And, Jan, thanks for everything. You're a wonderful cyber-host!!

Wed Dec 23 20:10:32 MET 1998

David Powell

Update on a couple of Band cohorts:

With the upcoming merger of Polygram with MCA/Universal, the artists as well as the executives of both labels are in a state of disarray. Luckily Van Morrison saw the approaching storm & got out just in time, for it's just been announced that he has signed on with Virgin/ Pointblank. His next album, entitled "Back On Top", is set to be released in March of next year.

Mobile Fidelity is reissuing John Hiatt's classic "Slow Turning" album on gold CD Ultradisc. This is one of the first of a series of releases to be remastered by MoFo utilizing their new Gain 2 proprietary system, which reportedly offers increased musical detail while retaining a warmer analog-like smoothness in sound.

UK label Absolute Analogue has reissued an LP version of Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" album pressed on 180-gram vinyl by EMI. Remastered from a first generation copy of the original master tapes, I have to say it has a superbly smooth & rich sound comparable to that of my original Columiba 360 copy, only pressed on heavier & cleaner vinyl. (For some reason, the Sony import LP set of Dylan's "Live '66" was cancelled at the last minute, so I ordered the Absolute Analogue "Highway 61" instead.)

The Eminent label is releasing a video of Emmylou Harris' "Spyboy" tour. Unfortunately, it will be available only on video tape & not DVD. It's set to be released to coincide with the upcoming release of the "Trio Part II" album from Emmylou, Linda & Dolly.

Wed Dec 23 19:41:55 MET 1998


... and again... and again...

Wed Dec 23 19:37:49 MET 1998

Ragtime Willie

From: The Seven Seas

Ragtime's predictions for 1999:

Levon Helm & Robbie Robertson record a cd with love duets written in peaceful cooperation

Garth Hudson records Bachs Art Of Fugue on a synthesizer, at the point of no return surprisingly turning into The Right Offspring

Rick Danko puts himself on a diet & NO SMOKE hey hey hey

no rock group will make an album that comes near The Band's brown album .

Am I right or am I right? Anyway, I'd have liked wishing Jan Hoiberg a Happy Xmas & New Year, but the man is heading for the north already. So here are my best wishes to you all in general*) Looking forward to next year, when we'll repeat our discussions again & again...

*) and Diamond Lil in particular :-)

Wed Dec 23 17:51:57 MET 1998

Stanley Landau

From: Toronto

Jonathan Katz: Very interesting about John Simon. I got the impression from Levon's book and from the Classic Album video that Simon is in thick with Levon and doesn't think much of Robbie. I sometimes wonder about other musicians that each of Levon and Robbie have played with and whether any of them could be a bridge to bring them back together ie., Ronnie Hawkins, Bruce Hornsby, Eric Clapton not to mention Garth Hudson who I have never heard speak ill of Robbie.

Wed Dec 23 17:35:18 MET 1998

Peter Viney

From: The same country as Charles Dickens

With Garth, you have the impression of great power on the stage, waiting to be ubnleashed. When he does let go, and the sax in IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE is one moment, various keyboard sections are others, the impact is all there. When they did YOUNG BLOOD live, everyone was leaning forward waiting for Garth's vocal contribution. Garth has a special kind of charisma - not the Steve Tyler kind at all, but it's there and it's magnificent.

I do now recall the Porky the Pig line. I'd only remembered the better-put "high-stepping like a Roxette" line for Van at the Last Waltz.

And David Powell made the only logical choice of Desert island companion from among the six artists / bands on offer (those featured in the "Classic Albums" series). Stevie Nicks was my choice too. At least we could sit around and discuss astrology together without being flamed. Paul Simon would have been an intellectually challenging companion. I don't think I could maintain his level of conversation for long. Levon would have been the most useful in difficult situations. I have the impression he'd know how to light a fire and skin a wild animal etc, and the tales would be good to hear. Either Robbie or Paul Simon could have befriended the locals from neighbouring islands and made a great ethnic album with them, which would pass the time. Also, given all that time with nothing to do but talk, I'd finally hear Robbie's side of the story. As (like Donald I suspect) I'm a very talkative person, I'd probably get badly on Garth's nerves. Rick would be great - as Ragtime Willie pointed out, my last few articles have all been on songs that Rick sings, and his 200 song repetoire would be entertaining. Stevie Wonder's inherent cheerfulness would partly offset his lack of ability in the clam-finding area. With no power supply, even a living Hendrix would have lost his main asset. The Grateful Dead would be all very well, but you'd have to put up with a whole crowd of people sitting in the surf taping everything that happened. I believe a "Classic Albums Two" series is on the way. They'll have to include Dylan and Van Morrison next time. But I'd still prefer Stevie Nicks.

On that seasonally silly note, may I wish you all a great Christmas and a happy new year.

Wed Dec 23 17:08:22 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin
Home page:

"HAPPY HOLIDAZE TO A GREAT WEBMASTER, JAN". I just recieved an E-mail from Heather, and she's interested in list of bands that we have showcased on our show, and is going to contact me in mid-January,"WOW", can it get any better than this?????? Peace, Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Wed Dec 23 16:51:58 MET 1998

Ol' Dexy

From: Now very far west of 58th Street

Garth's NEGATIVE stage presence? Oh, man. One of my fondest concert memories was on July 31,1993, just around the release of JERICHO. It was at the Lone Star Cafe, a truly intimate affair. The house was packed, but since my wife was pregnant, we were seated right next to the drums (Levon's), just as we had been a few weeks before at a Colin Linden concert, with Levon as guest. The moment was near the end of IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. Rick had already knocked everyone's socks off,but the place truly went wild when Mr. Hudson rose to deliver the sax solo. Literally had chills. I imagine no slight was intended, but jeez, the guy's stage presence is most certainly POSITIVE and powerful. It was, by the way, also the night that Rick Danko had to admonish some young, boisterous and quite drunk fans who spilled beer onto the stage from the upper level. I remember commenting to my wife: Imagine being lectured by Rick Danko about bar room etiquette. I'd cherish that moment forever.

Wed Dec 23 16:28:26 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

Thanks Dancing Bear for the imformative posting on Blind Willie. Another one of his great songs is "Georgia Rag" which recounts his days of playing on streetcorners in Atlanta. King Biscuit Boy, as well as Mike Bloomfield, did wonderful cover versions of this song. Taj Mahal & Ry Cooder during their days in the Rising Sons did a version of "Statesboro Blues" that pre-dates the Allman Bros. Perhaps the Allmans got the idea to do the song from Taj & Ry when Greg & Duane were out on the West Coast playing in Hourglass.

Pat as usual does a fine job of setting us straight regarding the historical (in)accuracy of "...Dixie Down". As we down here in Georgia are well aware, Stoneman & some of his troops were captured just after the Battle Of Atlanta as they headed south. He was later released as part of a prisoner exchange; perhaps this explains his decline in statues in the Union army.

Just as Dylan created fictional situations in a song based upon a real person in Blind Willie, Robertson used the historical figures of Lee & Stoneman to add an air of realism to his song about the South. Mixing historical characters & events around a fictional story is a method that allows the songwriter to create a mythical atmosphere in the song. While literally inaccurate, the mood the song creates still rings true emotionally to the listener.

Wed Dec 23 15:30:19 MET 1998

Jonathan Katz

From: Columbia, MD

Andrew: Yes, it was John Simon on piano. I'll review the tape again and give a better account of all the players after the holidays. As I recall, they didn't introduce them before hand, and only mentioned some by name after, as they cut away to commercial.

Wed Dec 23 10:37:07 MET 1998

Jan Hoiberg

From: Halden, Norway

Time for your webmaster to get on his sledge and head north for the midwinter orgy. Thanks to all you contributors and visitors and friends and loved ones, for helping me make The Band web site one of the best, most visited and most extensive artist sites on the net.

A merry Christmas and a happy new year to all of you. And please behave here in guestbook while I'm away, or Diamond Lil' will come get you :-)

Wed Dec 23 07:56:10 MET 1998


From: Ca

Andrew: Nice try but the complete denial of Robertson's contribution by Levon (on the classic album video) smacks of outright hatred. Sad but true.

Wed Dec 23 06:37:32 MET 1998


From: Philadelphia

I am enjoying the comments on the guestbook recently. I would like to weigh in with some thoughts

On the subject of the Classic Album tape which had aired previously on VH1. I agree that Levon does not address RR in any personal way and RR is quite generous in his comments. I have mentioned before on this page that it probably was due to a few things;

1. The songs that they reviewed did not feature RR guitar work heavily (as a lead instrument) but Levon, Rick and Richard were all over the place

2. Levon and Rick were focusing on Richard's contribution since he was not there to make his own case and

3. Maybe this is how the Band's makeup was during the first two albums as a more democratic process where RR's role was as a supporting player and not as the point person that he made himself to be during the later phases.

4. The boys figured that RR would be more than capable of speaking about his contributions or

5. If it is true that RR's compay produced it, he is probably being a generous as possible to ensure Levon's and Rick's contribution (RR does seem to be a good businessman)

On the 'the' discussion regarding Robert E. Lee. I have always interpreted that as referring to the person and not the boat. I liken it as referring to someone as 'your the man' meaning a show of respect.

Finally, is what I read about RR's appearance on GMA correct. That not only did he croak his way through 'Dixie' but he had John Simon backing him up? From what I gather, Simon is less of a fan of RR than Levon?

Wed Dec 23 06:35:13 MET 1998

Suzanne Grimaldi Ralph Grimaldi's daughter

From: New Orleans (now live in Portland Maine.
Home page: htpp://

Levon, I am Ralph Grimaldi's daughter Suzanne. I will be coming for a visit in Febuary. I am sending my best wishes to you. I have a great passion for music and my hometown N.O.. Please start a mailing list with me at 11 Oak ST. #3 S.Portland,ME.04106. Peace and Love, Suzanne Grimaldi and Jack Straw P.S. Be there to celebrate the music with ya'll soon!

Wed Dec 23 05:52:04 MET 1998

Pat Brennan

From: USA

Garth's negative stage impact? Genius often resides on the far side of sanity. And Garth Hudson is a musical genius. And he can do anything he wants on stage. I find him compelling. As for the Robert E. Lee thing (and I believe this has been touched on before, but what the heck): the published music has no "the" before the general's name. I never really listened to Joan Baez's version, although I do recall her substituting "so much cavalry" for "Stoneman's Cavalary" which, to me, was pathetic. If she used the offending "the", well God bless. Two things. Lee never went to Tennessee after the war. The closest he got was probably Charlotte, NC. However, many people--especially ex-Confederates--claimed to see him all over the country, just as many ex-slaves claimed to see Lincoln after the war. That sort of public hysteria is common; you know, Elvis in Kalamazoo. Since Levon claimed to point Robbie to some books at a library when the song was forming, perhaps he clued Robbie into the phantom sightings. Or, perhaps, Robbie just thought it would be a cool image, whether it had historical weight or not. There are other historical inaccuracies in Dixie which Peter Viney discusses in his article on the sight here. However, I've always been amazed at the use of George Stoneman in the song. Stoneman had been a Federal cavalry bigshot earlier in the Civil War but had been banished to the backwaters towards the end. His Late war raid that Virgil Caine sings about was a rather small potatoes affair in the midst of the momentous events of the last month of the war. I'd love to find out what book Levon supposedly hipped Robbie to that gave him info on Stoneman's raid. Will return to Glory later.

Wed Dec 23 05:31:06 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: Chicagoland

You guys are right; I was being too much an optimist. Landau, et al., are wise, & I concede Levon's recent interview shows that no reunion possibilities loom. Let me put my point another way, though: Levon refuses to share the stage with Robbie, & even boycotts the silly Rock Hall induction to prove his point. But he does not object to be interviewed at length for a project co-produced by his company This Band, Inc. which simultaneously features Robbie quite heavily. Whassup with that?

Lord Beatle, Jr.: My "Porky the Pig" line was an allusion to a Last Waltz review I once read, a long time ago, which referred to Van the Man's having put on weight in his 2 year absence from the road before his Last Waltz reappearance, and which referred to his little dance steps at the end of "Caravan" as "Porky the Pig kicks." I once or twice lifted this line in prior guestbook postings, so I thought you all would pick up on it. I have already admitted I'm sizist.

Also, thanks y'all for not flamming me too much re the Garth ugliness thing. I think it's undeniable that the man does not look pretty when he plays, esp. in the Classic Albums video. This is not a knock: His concentration is 100% on how he sounds. The same can't be said of RR in concert. But we can't let our admiration for the group lead us to deny realities, like Garth's negative stage presence.

Wed Dec 23 02:31:07 MET 1998

Pat Brennan

From: USA

Donnie Joe, I don't know, I don't see a glimmer of hope in the Classic Album video either. You're an incurable optimist, I guess. However, since I enjoy being picky, Garth Hudson has long since put the organs in cold storage and has been carting synthesizers around the world. Although he played some preset beast on Moondog, you can hear his programming and synth playing on Before The Flood. Although NLSC has a ton of synths on it, he was still using the trusty Lowry (and Richard used a Hammond on a couple of tunes). But when the boys returned in 1983, Garth was using synths exclusively. You just can't get those sounds he was using on the Classic Album solos with an organ. If anyone's interested, I could post the synths I could ID in his racks. Whatever. The Classic Album video is priceless. I'll post later on Robert E. Lee and the soundtrack to GLory.

Wed Dec 23 01:53:37 MET 1998

TD Bear

From: Joshua's (try the fallafel)

To The Dancing Bear

Hey good buddy. Worth mentioning The Band's cover of Blind Willie McTell as performed on Jericho.

Wed Dec 23 00:53:48 MET 1998

Stanley Landau

From: Toronto

Last Sunday, I finally had an opportunity to view the Classic Albums video absent my (non-Band fan) wife and children. Usually, they mock me mercilessly whenever anything to do with The Band comes up so it was an opportunity to settle back, crank up the volume and enjoy.

Since I first saw The Last Waltz, I’ve had an increasingly dim view of Robbie as compared with Levon and the others. That guy with the scarf, the bulging neck veins, and the affect was not the same guy I saw in 1970 up on the stage, lost in the music, totally devoted to his work and his Band. Then there was Levon’s book, my own disappointment with the commercialization of Richard’s death (ie. the Fallen Angel video) and the really bad singing on his albums, contrasted with Levon’s apparent sincerity, down to earth demeanour and wonderful work on Jericho. However, the video, I must say, has made me do a bit of rethinking.

First of all, I disagree with Donald Joseph’s impression that Levon and Robbie’s involvement bodes well for a future reunion. I thought it was noteworthy that Levon did not mention Robbie once by name. I believe the only time he even referred to him at all was when he commented that the guitar on Rockin’ Chair was out of tune. (With great respect to Levon, I have to disagree - in fact the guitar and mandolin interplay on the song are the second best highlight for me - Richard’s singing and the harmonies being the first). Also, listening to Levon run down the instrumental lineup on Rag Mama Rag, you get the impression that there was no guitar on the song.

The Robbie that I saw in the video, however, was a different person than the Robbie of The Last Waltz. It seemed that we were seeing the real guy, totally into the music, and wanting very much to articulate his perspective on it. Levon did the same, but I was aware throughout of that unspoken antagonism running just below the surface. Robbie on the other hand, spoke very favourably about Levon as he has on many other occasions. I can tell you that I would have a lot of trouble praising Levon if I were Robbie considering the trashing he has taken, justified or not.

No one has ever come up with a concrete and plausible explanation for the "Great Feud". I’ve suggested in the past, as have others, that the song writing credit explanation just doesn’t jive with the history. I’ve speculated that the whole thing may relate to Richard’s death, but I don’t know. In any event, Levon’s comments about Robbie in his last interview certainly don’t suggest that time is healing any wounds.

There was an article on Robbie in The Toronto Globe and Mail last March. I read it on a red eye flight from Israel and didn’t keep the copy but I remember an interesting quote from Levon and one from Robbie.

Robbie’s: [I’m paraphrasing] "Levon is confusing being in a band with writing the songs. I wrote the songs."

Levon’s: "No one [ie any other musicians] will play with his [Robbie’s] ass" [I don’t think he meant it literally].

If anyone has the article it might be interesting to post some excerpts.

Wed Dec 23 00:00:37 MET 1998

Stevie Nicks

... my mind ... David Powell you hypocrite

Tue Dec 22 23:53:56 MET 1998

The Dancing Bear

From: NYC


Most music fans are more familiar with the Allman Brothers' version of one of Blind Willie McTell's songs than they are the original. Fewer still know of the songwriter who was born and buried in Georgia. But enthusiasts in McTell's hometown of Thomson are out to change that. They say the Southland gave birth to the blues, and the birthplace of a bluesman, Blind Willie McTell, wants to strike a new note for celebrating his music.

Folks in the McDuffie County seat of Thomson have staged a festivalevery fall for about four years in tribute to their native son, a legendary guitarist whose career stretched from the ragtime era to playing for tips on the streets of Atlanta. Like some stretches of Blind Willie's life, the festival has hit some hard times.

Fittingly, the effort is being led by local musicians who also happen to be Blind Willie fans.

Blind Willie had written and sung "Statesboro Blues," "Broke Down Engine Blues," and "Tree Woman Blues." But he never named a song for the place he was born.

When McTell was born in 1901, most people in rural Thomson sharecropped or made moonshine to get by. A childhood accident left him blind, but there was more to McTell and his music than poverty and pain.

His family moved to Statesboro when he was a teenager, and he was educated at the Macon School for the Blind.

He also wrote ballads, folk songs, pop tunes and ragtime numbers.

After the death of his mother, who had taught him to play guitar, McTell went off on his own. He played with traveling carnivals.

He started to make a name for himself playing at parties in Atlanta, and he made his first recordings in the late 1920s. McTell rode the rails around the country hobo style, and when he got to big cities like New York, he got around by subway. As he traveled, he recorded under different names for record companies, calling himself "Blind Sammie" or "Georgia Bill" or "Red Hot Willie Glaze."

He made a few more recordings in the late 1940s and '50s, but he never enjoyed big-time success. He played the Atlanta street corners, and in 1959 he suffered a stroke that proved fatal.

He was brought home to be buried.

After his death, he got a brief jolt of popularity when the Allman Brothers Band recorded "Statesboro Blues." And while other country-bred blues singers have been rediscovered by a wider audience, Blind Willie's acclaim has stayed mostly within the corps of devotees of his kind of music.

Not long before they started holding the Blind Willie Blues Festival, a new headstone was put on Blind Willie's grave at the Jones Grove Baptist Church in rural McDuffie County. Also, a historical marker telling his story was erected at the nearby crossroads community of Happy Valley.

However, not everybody can get his name straight, even after all these years. McTell was one of his stage names. The historical marker identifies him as Willie McTear, while the name on his grave is Willie McTier.

And it's still easy for people to overlook the Thomson connection to McTell's life.

His widow, Kate, lived near Thomson until her death a few years ago. But when Blind Willie was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame about five years ago, no one thought to invite her to the ceremony.

In Atlanta, there is a popular blues joint called Blind Willie's.

Tue Dec 22 22:33:32 MET 1998

David Powell

Jerry---I consider myself to be an "analog retentive" type of guy. During any given week I spend at least twice as much time listening to LPs as I do CDs. I initially bought a relatively inexpensive DVD player for watching movies, but after I got a DVD audio sampler from Chesky , I soon discovered how good music could sound in this format. Concert videos not only have sharp & clean images but great sound as well. In addition, the prices are not that much higher than that of the inferior video tape format. I picked up The Band "Live at the New Orleans Jazz Heritage Festival" for $19.99, and recently got the Rolling Stones "Bridges To Babylon" concert DVD for $14.95!

Peter--I don't know what the current exchange rate is, but recently a high-end audio magazine rated a DVD player that sells for under $400 here in the States as having a comparable sound to that of CD players that sell for several thousands apiece. The thing to remember is that if the CD you listen to was recorded or mastered badly, a better sounding player will be even more revealing of the faults in the sound source.

From the Classic Album Series, the person I would like to be stranded with on a desert island would have to be Stevie Nicks. For her music as well as her mind, of course.

Tue Dec 22 22:09:11 MET 1998

Bill Munson

From: Toronto

Since Jonathan Katz reraised the Robert E. Lee man/boat issue, I figured it was time to offer my thoughts on the subject. I didn't really know the original when Joan Baez's version was a hit, so I always thought hers was kinda nice. And I always heard an implicit "Brigade" (or "Army") after "Lee" when she sang "THE Robert E. Lee". Such usage is consistent with references to other military organizations: the Princess Pats (Regiment), the 519 (or anyother squadron), the 48th (Highlanders), etc., etc. Besides, there was a local band at the time called the Robert E. Lee Brigade.

So, I was shocked when I first read Greil Marcus's snarky comment that she was singing about a riverboat (since picked up by others); how could anyone so knowledgeable about other stuff be so small-minded on this? I still think that, though I've come to lose all fondness for the Baez version for other reasons.

Tue Dec 22 21:51:21 MET 1998


From: desert island

Peter: Garth Hudson of course, because:

I'd prefer a desert island to the asylum [read Donald's post!] where Holy Cow & Pepote almost brought me into and...

if he brings his piano with him we could play Bach four-handed!

on seconds thoughts: not him, because the Genetic method makes me nervous. Robbie Robertson then, without the entourage of a Beverly Hills clothes shop. I'd like to bring up all the Burning Questions that George didn't dare to ask.

Tue Dec 22 21:40:05 MET 1998


From: Connecticut

Thanks to George Gawartin for his post about meeting Robbie Robertson. I met him for the first(and only) time last January at the Hall of Fame Induction dinner. Rick and Levon are always so inviting and pleasant, but I was a bit intimidated to speak to Robbie. He was engrossed in a conversation with Jan Wenner and Sheryl Crow, but, amazingly, when I went up to him, he could not have been any friendlier. He signed my program, and we talked about "Contact...." getting ready to come out. Obviously, I had about ten thousand questions for him, but I let him get back to his conversation with the others. It was a great thrill!

Tue Dec 22 21:10:32 MET 1998

Peter Viney

… and why.

Tue Dec 22 21:09:16 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Not to get into Hi-Fi mag territory, but reports indicate that a £600 ($1000?) DVD player offers better sound on audio-CD than the most expensive audiophile CD players (at £3000 or $5000), and on existing CDs which have a limited dynamic range compared to DVD audio. Still, I haven't jumped yet. But if someone can persuade me that I get even 1% more on the brown album, I'm sold. Christmas Quiz: which artist featured on any of the six Classic albums videos would you most like to be stuck on a desert island with?

Tue Dec 22 20:16:37 MET 1998


I like my vinyl copy of the Brown album just fine thanks.

happy holidays!

Tue Dec 22 19:35:09 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

Mr. Viney mentioned the possibilities offered by DVD technology. Rhino Home Video has just released "The Making of Fleetwood Mac's Rumors" from the Classic Albums Series in the DVD format. Hopefully The Band & others from that series will soon be available on DVD also.

The advantage of DVD, in addition to its superior noise-free picture, is in the increased dynamic range of the audio. With it higher 96 khz sampling rate & increased 24 bit resolution DVD offers increased detail & spatial approach to music. Far superior to the CD format, uncompressed DVD audio technology is closest one can presently get to the sound of the actual master tapes.

In addition to two channel PCM stereo tracks, DVD audio also offers the potential of six channel surround sound (front & back left / right channels, center channel & subwoofer channel). Movie as well as concert videos sound more life-like & three dimensional when presented in this manner. Depending on the extent of one's audio/video setup, the DVD format allows you to choose the audio format to match your equipment.

Two recording labels, Classic and Chesky, offer audio-only DVDs that take advantage of the increased detail, dynamic & spatial possibilities of the format. Chesky is one of the first labels to have begun recording its artists in 96/24 sound. Some of their recent DVD audio releases include albums from Sara K. and Livingston Taylor. The Classic label specializes in reissues of classic jazz, classical & popular recordings. Recently they have remastered several albums to the 96/24 format. These include Muddy Waters' "Folk Singer," Dr. John's "The Brightest Smile in Town," and the awesome soundtrack from the motion picture "Glory."

Hopefully in the near future, fans of The Band will be able to enjoy some of the group's music presented in the 96/24 format. This could offer the closest opportunity yet to hearing the sound captured on the original master tapes.

One further thing I'd like to mention about this subject is that DVD players are "backwards compatable", that is they can also be used for playing CDs. DVD-rom drives are also available for computers.

Tue Dec 22 16:22:24 MET 1998

Jonathan Katz

From: Columbia, MD

I hesitate to bring up this old issue, but I was recently listening to a dub of Robbie Robertson playing "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." This was from the recent [last summer] "Good Morning America" appearance in which [if my memory serves me well] John Simon, Howard Johnson, John Sebastian, David Sanborn, and others joined RR on a live rendition of the old classic. Robbie clearly sings: "there goes Robert E. Lee." So at least with Robbie, its the real person, not some riverboat that the singer is talking about. [It was probably only a riverboat in the, ehem, "interpretation" by Ms. Baez.]

Tue Dec 22 16:14:42 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Pepote Rouge: I had noticed the resemblance of "pepote" to "peyote" - I looked at the indices of several books on Native-Americans to see whether "pepote" was a real figure, and in several indices the word "peyote" leapt out. Each time I thought I'd found "pepote" for a second. At the time I thought I'd include a paragraph on Shamanism with the note, but then the thought got lost. Just as Von Daniken was popular reading at the time, so was Castaneda. I don't think "peyote" is a key to the song, more like an in-joke. The lyric is too confused to bear comparison with "The Weight" (for one), but there was an intent and some kind of story there. I felt pretty negative when I started out, but now I can't get the song out of my mind.

I enjoyed reading George's encounter with RR. Readers of Tracy's RR newsletter, "The Crazy River" may recall that an advert for Roots is reproduced there which features RR.

BTW, Donald, I'm glad you got to see "Classic Albums" at last. But who is "Porky the Pig" in The Last Waltz? And why would it invoke an apology to me? I can't work out which one it is at all (Dave Crosby wasn't there), though judging by your comment on Mr Danko's girth, you are suffering from "sizeism /fattism" and several of the performers show a certain rotundness. If the apologies are because they're British, I guess it has to be Van or Ringo, both of which are unjust. Clapton is skinny, so ruled out. I won't comment on your remarks about Garth, as I'm sure winged barbs are already flying down from Ontario to take you to task.

At this season of goodwill, I don't want to get into the Band v The Beatles again (though the Guestbook HAS been unusually quiet this week) but I could easily imagine McCartney doing the same with the 'Sergeant Pepper' master. In fact the first time I ever saw this done on TV it was George Martin doing this with 'Sergeant Pepper'. All the Classic Albums series have similar moments (except the Hendrix one for obvious reasons). Paul Simon got a bad review for his laconic fader-twiddling with 'Graceland' but this was also enjoyable. Fleetwood Mac is a good one. I enjoyed watching Robbie and Levon most too, and the enthusiasm was infectious. I think if we're only judging the series on physical appearance though, I'll vote for Stevie Nicks.

My conclusion from the series is this: We've bought the LP, we've bought the CD, we've bought the remastered CD, (and maybe even also the limited edition individually numbered 20-Bit remastered gold CD with stainless steel hinges in the jewel case and fade-proof acid-free sleeve notes); we're just about to buy the enhanced-audio DVD in about a year's time. And when they've sold us five copies of the same album, the record companies will release the sixth - a CD-Rom / DVD series taken from the original 8-track masters, with the ability for the listener to remix to their heart's content. Peter Gabriel has already done this with a couple of tracks on his CD-Roms. You can play around, then default to the original mix.

Tue Dec 22 12:06:33 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

RAGTIME: Those of us reading your posts are incredibly thrilled with your new found ability to make paragraphs too :-)

On a seperate note (hence the new paragraph), I'd like to wish everyone happy and healthy holidays, safe travel, and the love of family and friends.

Tue Dec 22 10:24:44 MET 1998


From: Capability Town

[I'm excited about my new capability to make paragraphs]

[thanks Peter]

[let me try again]


[enough waste of space now] This is to Donald Joseph. I enjoyed your comment on the Classic album because I had exactly the same experience when I saw it on TV in '97 and taped it. But on one point I disagree. Levon and Robbie tell us about making the album BOTH & THE SAME WAY, but NOT TOGETHER. It's fun to see they have fun remembering how it was and rediscovering their own musical discoveries, but they were filmed at different occasions & locations. After seeing the result they anyhow must have realized how much they had in common.

[another one] BTW I don't think Rick's short solo rendering of Unfaithful Servant did the song justice.

Tue Dec 22 08:47:14 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: Toronto video store report

On my recent trip to Toronto I picked up the 75 min. version of "Classic Albums" which, close readers may remember, I'd never before seen. Just got a chance to watch it, & in some ways the experience is equal to the 1st time you saw the Last Waltz: While the video's no Scorcese production, it is exclusively devoted to the Band -- no sharing screen time with Neil Diamond & Porky the Pig (sorry, Viney). This video is a special treat for fans like us because it's a pure exercise in indulgence in Band trivia -- although for something devoted to an album there is surprisingly little (nothing, actually) analyzing lyrics a la what we get into here.

Herewith D.J.'s 1st impressions on "Classic Albums":

What strikes me on 1st viewing is the apparent seamless cooperation between Levon & Robbie. A viewer of the video sees Levon & Robbie edited contiguously, & would never suspect The Great Feud (although Viney has pointed out that Levon discusses the group's lineup omitting Robbie). While obviously their interview spots were filmed separately, so were the Garth & Rick interviews. Robbie & Levon both put real effort into this project knowing they were going to appear together in the final product. Hell, many albums nowadays (not including the Brown album, obviously) are recorded by musicians who never see each other in the studio. Levon & Robbie collaborated this a major project in 1997. Maybe that bodes well for the future reunion.

If anyone needed reminding, the video emphasizes how important Beak was. And I don't just mean the other boys' lip service (Rick & Levon get visibly choked up remembering Beak); Beak's voice really was the One.

It's nice to see Rick's 2 solo turns on the guitar, but he takes the songs WAY too fast & they turn into mere throw-aways. And forgive the sizeism, but it's too bad Rick mushroomed: Please, somebody, show this guy an ab cruncher!

I loved the boys' exuberance at hearing the tracks on the mixing board -- both Levon & Robbie, at various points, grin madly just hearing The Band on tape. Seeing those scenes justifies our time on this damn guestbook -- these guys were the best in the business. Viney, can you imagine McCartney playing back individual White Album or Sgt. Pepper tracks & getting so into it? I can't, because the Beatles' musicianship simply doesn't inspire such a reaction.

If RR was always the preening, posing rock star, the video shows me more clearly than I've ever before noticed that Honeyboy is Robbie's bizarro-world opposite. The live-in-the-studio Garth organ solos, especially, are striking in the juxtaposition of such beauty on the soundtrack versus Garth's physical ugliness in posture and body language. Even blind keyboard players like Brother Ray & Stevie Wonder seem more concious of how they look at the keyboard. (I'm not suggesting Garth change. I'm just pointing out another unique facet in the group: You had pretty boy up there in a gold lame scarf in front of what looks like someone who wandered off the asylum.)

Tue Dec 22 03:44:18 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: Near Chicago

Geo. G.: You seem to've gotten tounge-tied during your brush with greatness. I've reported here before that RR was downright outgoing with my mother when they met in Seville. I too likely would have chickened or blanked out re the Burning Questions. Incidentally, I would put Mystery Train as the #2 studio jam after Pepote.

I'm also deep into the guitar solo in Smoke Signal -- I once timed it at over a full minute.

I agree that Pepote's lyrics are as impenetrable as writings on Peyote -- hence my praise of the tune always was for the music, not the lyrics. I admit, though, that Lord Beatle Jr. (Viney) opened my eyes to the depth in Jupiter Hollow, which, pre-Viney, I'd written off as equally worthless, lyrically, as Pepote. Frankly, I sat down to read Viney on Pepote expecting him to unearth as many insights as he found in Jupiter. That he came up empty-handed confirms Robbie didn't hide any Easter Eggs (to mix a metaphor) in Pepote. The boys do cook on it, though.

To the Japanese newcomer (sorry I forgot your name): I don't know how they teach geography in Asia, but here in the states Paris doesn't qualify as southern Europe.

Tue Dec 22 03:06:17 MET 1998

George Gawartin

From: Los Angeles


I wanted to make a Richard Manuel tape and to start it with Fallen Angel from Robbie Robertson's 1st solo album. I only had it in vinyl so I picked up the CD on Friday at the library. Yesterday my wife and I decided to go to Beverly Hills to shop and eat lunch. I brought the CD and played the song in the car since I hadn't heard it since I got it. Once in BH we did some window-shopping and then went into this clothing store called Roots. Sitting in a chair talking to another guy was---Robbie Robertson. I literally did a double take. I then told my wife "that was the guy whose CD we were just listening to". We then kind of hung around in the store while I was waiting for an opportunity to say hello. It looked like he was with some family or friends. Finally the salesman asked us for the 4th time if we needed any help and I nodded to Robbie and then the sales guy said "Oh just tap him on the shoulder". Before I made a move the sales guy went over to Robbie and said "this gentleman would like to meet you." Robertson was very friendly and gracious and I told him I've enjoyed his music for the last 25 years and then relayed the coincidental nature of running into him and he laughed. I introduced my wife and he shook our hands and that was about it. It reminded of the scene in Annie Hall where Woody and Annie are standing in line at a movie behind a guy who is pontificating on Marshall McLuhan's theories and then McLuhan shows up to correct him. Not to beat this to death further but I thought the store name was also very fitting. I do apologize for not asking some of the burning questions that have surfaced in the Guestbook. It was definitely one of the most strange but thrilling encounters I’ve experienced.

I’d like to nominate the “jam” in Mystery Train for one of the most sublime that the Band ever recorded in studio.

Mon Dec 21 21:15:31 MET 1998


From: The Unveiling Of Peyote Rouge

Had Mr. Powell disclosed this information before, he would have saved some of us a lot of time & painstaking trouble.

Anyway thanks to Mr. Viney (I hope you notice the unveiling of my paragraph). I liked your article and was surprised by your assumption that NOT should be A GOD which is a reversal of my belief that a god should be not. Well, it explains a lot albeit not all.

Mon Dec 21 20:22:40 MET 1998

Pete Rivard

From: Hastings, MN

Quick, which would you rather read, Joyce's "Ulysses" or "Finnegan's Wake"? "Stage Fright" is a superior song to "Pepote Rouge" for the same reason. When writing is so impenetrable that you have to have dreamed the same dreams, experienced the same hallucinations and lived the same life as the author to understand, then they lose their currency. Now I like a good song that takes multiple listenings to fully appreciate, that unfolds over time and requires some work on the listener's part. The best writing, songwriting or otherwise, brings the reader/listener to a common ground, a universal experience. It's cheaper and easier to slap together some dispatch from the dreamtime so vague and surreal that it could mean anything, or very little.

Mon Dec 21 19:26:58 MET 1998


From: NJ


Appreciate the information. Have never heard 'White Mansions' and don't find the cast of characters as intriguing as Helm/Harris/Crowel/Cash(es), but maybe I'll be surprised.

Mon Dec 21 18:00:17 MET 1998

David Powell

From: The Judiciary Committee

Whereas it is resolved that we, the members of the Committee, ascertain the true meaning of the heretofore incomprehensible lyrics to the song "Saga of Pepote Rouge," written by one Robbie Robertson and recorded by a popular Rock and Roll group known simply as The Band.

Having heard the testimony of Misters Hoskyns, Bowman, Duns, Joseph, Willie and Viney, we conclude and adopt the following finding to be referred to our fellow members for further action:

Although Mr. Robertson omitted the salacious details, it appears that this song describes an American-Indian woman who is abducted by aliens from outer space and, hence, forced to perform unspeakable acts of a pseudo-sexual nature, but not including actual intercourse.

All seriousness aside, perhaps the key to unraveling the mystery of this song is obviously simple. Just change the second "p" in the word Pepote to the letter "y". Thus the song merely recounts a series of hallucinations induced by the buttons of any of several American cacti (genus Lophophora), used by American Indians as a religious sacrament. Mr. Robertson, himself, has admitted, in recent interviews relating to his heritage, to partaking this mescal sacrament as a means to self-discovery.

Mon Dec 21 17:42:43 MET 1998

John Donabie

TO BRIN: I'm afraid that's the only way it is available Brin. It's a two CD set from England; which includes White Mansions, Kennerly's other concept album.

Mon Dec 21 17:13:49 MET 1998


From: NJ

This has been covered before, but I'm hoping someone can give me some information on the availability of 'The Legend of Jesse James'---specifically, is it available on a single CD? I've only been able to locate it on an expensive two-disk import coupled with Paul Kennerly's other historical 'concept album,' 'White Mansions,' which isn't of much interest to me.

Mon Dec 21 15:39:55 MET 1998

Mr. K. Horse

From: The North Pole

Friday 12/18/98 Rick Danko show in Rochester was a big success. Rick "did em all". Small Crowd, small venue, big talent. And, Schredni V. was in top form on his insturment of choice. How about that "little red rooster". Now all thats needed is a good orthopedic surgeon.

Mon Dec 21 14:07:50 MET 1998


Just clicked at 'What's new' & saw the latest picture of Levon. It didn't reassure me. The man looks old and frail. Still holding a cigarette.

Mon Dec 21 08:39:50 MET 1998


From: beyond understanding

Little John Tyler: thanks. "Melodic vagueness"? I don't think so. The vagueness is not in the music (on the contrary, it's a firmly rocking tune with a strong beat) but in the words. Could "Pepote" be a native American name? Maybe I should stop bothering with a text that is meant to confuse (OR is a product of a songwriter who lost control - you are probably right about this).

Mon Dec 21 01:02:06 MET 1998


From: The Netherlands

This web site is full of concert dates and there is much talk about Levon's cafe in New Orleans. This is tantalizing for me. Any chance that Band members come over to Europe next year? I have not seen them live since 1971. And this is to you, Beki: posting your pictures twice makes this guestbook more colourful. I hope our host Jan Hoiberg will not remove the second one this time.

Mon Dec 21 00:57:05 MET 1998

Litttle John Tyler


We're not ignoring you, it's just that Pepote Rouge is so darn dense... Your attempted analysis is about as good as anyone could hope for, maybe better than it deserves. While I agree with Donald Joseph's assessment of the playing, especially at the end, I think that in this case Robbie's lyrics overreached a bit, in hopes of coming up with something "mystical" or "Spiritual" or "transcendant" or "relevant" or "futuristic" or "worthy of further study"; What he gave us instead with his avatars, spaceships, seventy children, mecca plain et. al, was melodic vagueness.

BEKI: It does that if you hit "SUBMIT" twice

BEKI: It does that if you hit "SUBMIT" twice

(P.S. I was at The Lake Wednesday and really enjoyed your playing)

Mon Dec 21 00:50:29 MET 1998

neil diamond

OW Uncle! That hurts!

Mon Dec 21 00:43:50 MET 1998

Beki Brindle

From: Woodstock, NY
Home page:

I don't know why this thing posts entries twice! weird! Bek

The problem is that you double-click the "Submit" button. Duplicate posting removed
-- JH

Mon Dec 21 00:40:48 MET 1998

[guest photo]

Beki Brindle

From: Woodstock, NY
Home page:

Why don't you guys post some pix? This is one from 1990. Rick and me at Tinker St. Cafe' Sredni was there, too but isn't in the pic. Rick, gets better with age, I must say. The guy is a true showman and a major talent. Very lucky we are to have him around!
: >
Best Wishes to all!
(Woodstock, NY)

Mon Dec 21 00:14:08 MET 1998

Uncle Hangover

From: Austin, TX

Ferrante & Teicher?! Yuk. Worse than Neil Diamond.

Sun Dec 20 23:02:31 MET 1998


From: the damn coast

Not many reactions to my random thoughts on The Saga Of Pepote Rouge. Just another one. I still feel stranded. She's a radiant, mysterious lady, a phantome, but what about her name? Pepote "Rouge" reminds me of the "madams" in whorehouses in western movie towns. Am I right or am I right? If our creative plenipotentiary RR should come down from his mountain & bothered to read this Guestbook he'd probably laugh at me.

Sun Dec 20 22:48:59 MET 1998

Scott Smith

From: Palm Desert, CA

Ferrante & Teicher were not a schlock duo!! Their rendition of The Last Waltz was forced upon them by their record label--United Artists Records in 1978 for their LP "You Light Up My Life" and released as a promotional single for the movie. Neither Ferrante or Teicher had any interest personally in recording this selection.

Sun Dec 20 13:13:28 MET 1998

Seiichi Nakayama

From: Tokyo,JAPAN

Hello, it's a great site. I'm 34 years old,JAPANESE man. Next month I will visit Lyon,France. Are there THE BAND FAN in FRANCE! Please connect to me. In this WEB, I can find American, British,North Europe. How about South Europe. Richard sings about Paris in RIGHT AS THE RAIN.

Sun Dec 20 04:53:52 MET 1998


From: Montana
Home page:

Hey Southern Rockers! Please come visit the site dedicated to the upcoming benefit concert for the original Molly Hatchet vocalist Danny Joe Brown "Jammin' for DJB". Thank you. Rox

Sun Dec 20 02:43:58 MET 1998

John Donabie

BONES: Believe it or not...NO. Coal Miner's Daughter is only available on cassette. I've always thought that it would make a great re-release, Blue Moon of Kentucky....Amazing Grace......

Sat Dec 19 22:32:28 MET 1998


From: Connecticut

Could anybody tell me if the Original Soundtrack for Coal Miner's Daughter is out on compact disc? With all the reissues out now, I am surprised that this has slipped through someone's fingers.

Sat Dec 19 19:39:44 MET 1998


From: GA

It's been quite an exciting few days for me as far as The Band is concerned. First, I was watching a rerun of R.E.M. Behind the Music on VH1, and what to my wond'rous eyes does appear but a television commercial for "Jubilation." It said to look for the album at Borders Books and Music. Kudos to Mr. Paige and everyone else at River North Records. I'm guessing the footage was from the streaming video EPK that was featured at The production quality of the commercial was not great, but it was very exciting to see a commercial for The Band nonetheless. Second, I am going to Shreveport, LA to see my family for a few days around New Year's Day. When I saw the poster for Levon's Club on the website, I considered making a sidetrip to New Orleans to see The Band. My wife took the bull by the horns, and after having no luck with 592-CLUB, she called information and got the club's number. We got through to Maggie, and now my wife, brother and I have tickets reserved to see The Band in N.O. on the Jan. 2. Last but not least, my wife ordered both Landy prints for me for my birthday and/or Christmas last Saturday morning at the reduced $50 price. I am thrilled to report that they arrived yesterday, less than a week later, and on my birthday no less. They look fantastic. Oh, something I was going to mention a while back. I ordered the Jubilation vinyl from, and it arrived several weeks ago. For those who are curious, the vinyl is a pearlized lavender. The back cover has replicas of all 6 members' signatures. I'm taking it to New Orleans to see if I can get the real things on the front!

Sat Dec 19 16:11:16 MET 1998


From: New Caney

This is a great site! Hey Ben, do you know Larry Clark from Splendora?

Sat Dec 19 11:47:02 MET 1998

Freddy Fishstick

From: Belize if u pleeze

As Christmas approaches as well as the cold weather might I suggest listening (other than to Islands for Christmas Must Be tonight) to Jerry Jeff Walker's 'Cowboy Boots & Bathin' Suits or Christmas Island by Jimmy Buffett. Might help you get through the holidays. Feel better Lil.

Sat Dec 19 07:45:22 MET 1998


Sensitive are we, W**f from Leutonia, for a change? Sorry if I offended you, just before Xmas. Didn't mean to. I always tell myself: Think Before You Post Ragtime, but sometimes I'm too hasty. You must know the feeling.

Sat Dec 19 05:03:29 MET 1998

Big T

From: Sydney, Australia

Just got 'The Shape I'm In' CD. Wow, this takes me back to the good old days. I'm sorry I didn't take more notice of these guys- they are great.

Sat Dec 19 04:25:04 MET 1998

Jason D. Cole

From: Winchester Ky.

I would just like to say that, in my opinion, that The Band is the greatest rock band in the history of music. With a perfect blend of blues, jazz and country they took the route less traveled. They should be recognized by all their peers and present musicians alike for their contributions to the music industry. In closing I would just like to say that it is way past time for a really good tour featuring ALL the remaining original members. Come on guys, don't deny my generation the chance.

Sat Dec 19 04:23:24 MET 1998

Scott Duncan

From: Middletown,Ct

First time sign on. Izzo, yuk yuk.... Aiden, I hope you got my e-mail.

Sat Dec 19 03:11:50 MET 1998


From: Leutonia

Ragtime: What does J***s have to do with you "random thoughts" ??

Sat Dec 19 00:57:25 MET 1998

Dan brown

From: Denver, Co

I have been a fan since I heard The Weight" on the radio in the late sixties. I remeber the DJ saying this is kind of unusual but they were associated with Bob Dylan somehow so maybe we shoud give it a listen. I grew up in Salt Lake City, UT and I can count on my hand the other people who had heard of them. I was a huge fan, and I searched the liner notes of albums to find other artists the group had played with. There is a depth and intracacy to The Band's music that sets them apart. They don't just play music, they understand it. I could go on gushing but I figure I am preaching to the choir. I am glad I found the page and some soulmates.

Sat Dec 19 00:57:09 MET 1998

Tom Izzo

From: waterbury ct

Hi! Everybody! (Voice of Dr. Nick) To Scott: Do you really think Jim Weider would like to trade his new Dobro for your old ...out of date,vintage ,steel cone resonator Dobro? (As he said at Joyous Lake?) If so, You know I'll be with you. REMEMBER the NATIONAL is out of the question. That baby's mine!! Say High to Karen for us! A special hello to Lars:Again thanks for the kind words about my harp playing that night. Happy Hollidays Everyone! Peace & Love Tom & Marianne Izzo See you in Woodstock or North Hampton or The Town Cryer or Scott and mine's next gig (12/26/98 in Waterbury) or anywhere The Band or any of the boys are playing.

Fri Dec 18 23:30:32 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

How interesting. Imagine someone wishing me Happy Chanukkah. First time in my life that's ever happened.

Even more interesting though, is the fact that the very insensitive "Lucinda" post from the other day and the "Dershowitz" post from today were both written by the same unbalanced individual. Holy Smoke well it ain't no joke. The state of Pennsylvania must be real proud of you. A little friendly advice: Why not try and make better use of your time in the library, ok?

Fri Dec 18 22:16:46 MET 1998

Partial to Robbie

Why don't y'all ask your buddy Levon what these songs mean. He probably claims to have written them.

Fri Dec 18 21:25:24 MET 1998

P.S. Ragtime

Jesus! Far too long! Sorry to bother you all with all these random thoughts!

Fri Dec 18 21:23:06 MET 1998



DIAMOND LIL: Thanks for your concern. The little voices disappeared:-) With Tchaikovsky & Holy Cow out of my head, I listened to Islands again. A really enjoyable record and not weak at all, albeit not a unity as the brown album, which remains the ultimate masterpiece. DAVID POWELL: this is from the Who Sings What Department. Re Knockin' Lost John: I never thought there could be a Levon-Rick mixup like the Richard-Rick confusion we had about Holy Cow. I still think it's Levon all the time helping Robbie to stay in tune, which must have been a hell of a job [in classical music we say "he has an intonation problem" as an eufemism for "he sings off-key"]. PETER VINEY: this is a stab at Pepote Rouge as promised. I tried to do some close-reading, but at second thoughts I felt handicapped by the fact that English is not my native tongue. Dictionaries help a bit, not a lot. Hoskyns (p. 338) calls this song "cryptic"; well, he's right this time. I. A question for our US or Canadian friends: I don't know if there really exists a folk tale or saga about a mythical woman called Pepote Rouge. II. Does "Beyond the _mecca_ plain" (no capital) mean 'beyond the plain of holy worship'? III. The 2nd strophe could be a lamentation from the narrator (which seems to make no sense at this point) OR he tells us about the state of superior solitude that PR has reached. In her superiority she learned to be humble as well. IV. The 3d strophe ("Break the news") is the 1st version of the refrain. It is a call for PR to redeem the people "in town" who "stand accused of bein' hellbound". This _stand_ suggests an accusation by others? By whom then? PR "holds the key" because she "had a vision". The 4th line is one of the three paradoxes that appear in the refrains, variations of one and the same thought: make something out of a lack. V. In the 4th strophe ("I was stranded") the narrator describes his vision. On the "damn (doomed?) coast" he saw the radiant appearance of PR. She called to him and her words "resounded like a fountain of truth" (WOW! so much for arteficial imagery) but then she "faded like a rain-BOW". I think RR made a prosodical mistake here by stressing the -BOW, at least in the way RD sings it. VI. The next strophe causes me real trouble. "Her golden spaceship with the mother of the earth / Carved in stone", seems to me a combination of ancient times & future science fiction. And then "the queen of avatars": is this about Hindu revelations? Rather apocalyptic I should say. Don't understand the "seventy children given birth" either. Should I know about Hindu mythology to recognize what RR's poetry is all about? VII. The return of the refrain is another call for PR to redeem "us". There is confusion about where & what we are and only PR's wisdom can lead "us" into the right direction. "Town" = mankind. VIII. Strophe 7: the call is intensified & imperative: "lead our people into the light of day". "All our leaders are cast in clay": turned into dust? IX. In the next strophe ("Now disbelief") everybody is wildly confused, Ragtime included. It seems to me that PR did NOT come down from the mountain out of _love_ or _wisdom_. ("You can call it love or call it wisdom / To be NOT savin' a drowning man"). What did I miss? Here RR lost me. Does it mean: everybody has to find out for himself where to stand in life? Without the helping hand of gurus? VIII. And then the last refrain: repeated call for PR's help: "She can show us just where we went wrong / You don't know where you're goin' 'til you find out where you belong". The answer is not given. IX. To my opinion this is a song about solitude versus mass confusion. Only in retreat we w'll find the answers to the questions of life. "To be someone is to be someone alone" seems to me the key line of the whole song. X. Some mysteries remain. I'm not sure whether they are deliberate or just a by-product of RR's ambition to be a great poet. XI. And then that wonderful jam at the end. I second Donald. But it is not confused at all. This is not an 'at random' improvisation like the Watkins Glen jam, but an integrated part of the song. P.S. Peter: I'll retry "What's Going On" as you suggested. I expected something like I Heard It Thru' The Grapevine, a song that I love, hence my disappointment.

Fri Dec 18 19:52:10 MET 1998

David Powell

Jerry & Brin---I recall that another Ronnie Hawkins alumnus, King Biscuit Boy, quoted those same lines in a song by another name that he performed on one of his albums. I wonder if the Hawk included the song in some form as part of his repertoire.

Fri Dec 18 18:11:59 MET 1998


Thanks Brin!

I'll have to go pick that one up now.

Fri Dec 18 17:10:51 MET 1998

howard dershowitz

Happy Chanukkah to Diamond Lil and her son Saxman, the four C's-croce,fishstick- and to Lucinda{?}Cohen. Lil and Croce and i have spent many happy times together at RD shows sharing a glass of Maniechevitz{sp?} or two even though we weren't actually sitting at the same tables. Lil your Tiferet{beauty} is exceeded only by your lovinr Rahamin{compassion}. Croce your perceived Gedullar is brought down to earth by the actualized Ayin of your existence. I was in Woodstock years ago and ran into Levon and I would guess his height at about 5'10. Levon doesn't walk so much as he glides or strolls, which is perfect for the speed of his newly adopted home New Orleans. In fact one might say Levon walks "Like a fly in the Ointment". Lil, Croce and I share a rich Heritage of musical talent-Garcia, Bromberg, Goodman, Croce, and Kinky Friedman. So to all enjoy your Matzah soup and Kippers during these festive times. Remember, its never so bad, it can't get worse, Oy Vey!!!

Fri Dec 18 17:08:29 MET 1998


From: NJ

Jerry C

Like so much related to The Band, the source of that snippet from Watkins Glen is New Orleans---in this case Fats Domino's version of "The Rooster Song."

Fri Dec 18 15:47:46 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

While learning how to play "Christmas Must Be Tonight" I've been listening to the _Islands_ album again for the first time in many years. I have a question for all of you. When I listen to "Knockin' Lost John" it sounds to me like Robbie is singing along with Rick at the begining, but later on in the song it sounds like Levon is singing the second vocal line. On the chorus is does sound like Rick adds the high harnony. What do you all think? This second vocal is somewhat buried in the mix . It sounds almost like it was just a reference track for Robbie to sing along with in order to stay relatively "on key", but was left on in the final mix to beef up the lead vocal.

Fri Dec 18 14:32:53 MET 1998

Jerry C

From: Canada

Anybody know the origins of the song The Band does a peice of on Watkins Glenn...

"Rooster died, ol lady cried and the hens don't lay like they used ta"

I love that, in front of that many people they pull out a little diddy. THAT is why they were (are) the best group of musicians EVER!

Fri Dec 18 11:19:27 MET 1998

Aiden Wylie

From: Glasgow, Scotland

The Band: I recently had the pleasure of seeing Scorcese's The Last Waltz, and this lead me to purchase Music from The Big Pink. I know believe that if I were to organise my own post-modern Woodstock, the line-up would be, and in no particular order: Bob Dylan The Band (circa 1976) James Taylor Radiohead The Stone Roses Tom Waits Neil Young (accoustic only, no Keep on Rockin' guff) Cheerio, must visit

Fri Dec 18 08:21:06 MET 1998




Fri Dec 18 07:59:50 MET 1998



Fri Dec 18 03:09:26 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin
Home page:

DONALD JOSEPH; Your welcome anytime, we'll make a run of it in the new year, maybe come up for "PARADISE WAITS", you'll love them! LITTLE JOHN TYLER; I only wish I could hve been there,I sure hope Rick Danko and friends make it up this away!!! And I'll bet that you are now energized!!! Peace, Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Fri Dec 18 01:25:32 MET 1998

John Donabie

Stanley, I can't be sure; but try phoning Tower Records at Queen & Yonge. I believe I saw Jubilation there.

Fri Dec 18 00:51:40 MET 1998

Stanley Landau

From: Toronto

Jubilation is still not available in retail stores in Canada. Moreover, I have not been able to find an imported copy in any record store in Toronto. If anyone in this part of the world has any information on when or if it is going to be released in Canada please let me know at the above e-mail address. Failing that it's off to Buffalo for me this weekend. Considering the origins of The Band, it's kind of sad.

Fri Dec 18 00:19:02 MET 1998


From: Connecticut

Thanks to Bill Paige for his post. I always get excited to hear from you. Things have a more "official" sound when coming from River North. I am also glad to hear that Jubilation is doing okay. Is it doing well enough to warrent a second one?

Thu Dec 17 21:28:40 MET 1998

Bill Paige

From: River North
Home page:

Greetings, Like many of you, I am excited about the upcoming Band shows in N.O., at Lee's new club (Levon Helm's Classic American Cafe). The dates I have are Dec 31, Jan 2-3, Jan 23-24 and Jan 26; there was also some talk of a Jan 28 gig, but I have not had that confirmed. I won't be making the first weekend, but plan to attend the second weekend, when we are hopefully doing a webcast. Aaron has the guys rehearsing for the shows, and we are still pressing Letterman for a mid-January appearance, but may move on to Conan soon! Traveller is the company producing the web cast, and you can see their site at; we did a show last Saturday with Kansas, and you can see the results there. Pretty good sound and video, for phone lines! The archive will then be up for 6 months or more. This is the same outfit that did the Band webchat in August, but they seem to have their act together. I even got a vinyl "Jubilation" today! The album continues to sell steadily and even showed a bit of increase this week over last week's sales. As you know, we have offered two Band tracks in the MP3 format and they have been fairly popular. Hopefully people will check out one song, like it, and decide to buy the CD. Wish I had more to contribute; I will drop in again when there is more to report . . . P.S. Last week I asked Rick if he would be doing "Christmas Must Be Tonight" during his solo shows this month. He thanked me for reminding him and said he would add it to his sets.

Thu Dec 17 19:58:02 MET 1998

A Band Friedn

From: New York

Riley, Sorry you had so much trouble booking a reservation for New Year's Eve at Levon's Club. I too booked a reservation and spoke to Heather, who was just wonderful. She took the reservation for myself and friends and we had no problem, we even got a table. I understand the club is opening on the 26th. If I were you, I would try again.

Thu Dec 17 19:42:03 MET 1998

David Powell

P.S.---"It's really true how nothing matters / No mad, mad world & no mad hatters / And no one's pitchin' cause there ain't no batters / In Coconut Grove."

Thu Dec 17 19:37:12 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

I would like to sadly note the passing of author William Gaddis, and thank Beki & Little John for their postings on the Sebastian, Danko, et al. concert

Thu Dec 17 17:42:18 MET 1998

tom izzo

From: waterbury ct

Re: joyous lake 12/16/98 My wife,myself and two friends made the 2 hr. trip from waterbury ct to woodstock last night for the benefit at the Joyous lake.Ican only echo Little John Taylor's comments. Great show and worth the trip. I however (unlike Little John and my wife) made it into work! I would like to give special thanks to The Migrants for inviting me onstage to blow some harp. We took some digital photos and sent them to Jan so that he may determine what to post. Happy Holidays Everyone & Peace: Tom

Thu Dec 17 16:46:43 MET 1998


From: Germany

Levon´s Cafe: I called yesterday to purchase a ticket for the show on January 28, 1999. They asked for my number and called me back (in Germany) three hours later. A cheerful lady called Heather told me that "of course are we opening on December 26" when I asked her. I have planned a killer 5-day BAND trip. I am leaving German on Wednesday to see The Band in New Orleans on Thursday, go up to NY to see Rick Danko at the Turning Point on Friday. A trip to Big Pink is scheduled for Saturday. Back home on Sunday. The last time I have been that excited must´ve been 35 years ago when my parents gave me an electric toy train for my 6th birthday.

Thu Dec 17 15:37:02 MET 1998

Ol' Dexy

From: One stop on a long tour

Naw, I don't think the real Lucinda's been checking in. However, my wife and I did have the honor of catching her road show last week here in the great plains. And, damn was she good. Sell-out crowd in a beautiful old opera house here that serves as a performance hall and arthouse movie theater. Like Levon,, she's the real thing -- wizened, tough, cool, great voice, great songs. Fine show, much like some of you are sure to see in New Orleans on 12/26, 12/31 and after.

Thu Dec 17 15:31:56 MET 1998


From: Wilmington, NC

I got real excited when I saw the line up for Levon's Cafe. I called my travel agent and booked a trip down to New Orleans for the New Year's Eve show. When I called the club they were pretty confused about the details of ordering tickets. In fact,they would not even take my order. They took my name and number and said they would get back to me,which they haven't. This all caused me to be a little concerned and before I hung up I asked if the club would even be ready in time for the show. The lady would not give me a straight answer,all she could say is that the were still taking orders and I wanted to say but your not. I have voided my airline tickets because I just can't afford to take the risk that there will not be a show. Does anyone have any info? I love this site and have learned a great deal from this guestbook.

Thu Dec 17 11:33:05 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Donald Joseph: I finally managed to find Lazy Lester's "All Over You" in London yesterday and am thoroughly enjoying it. So if anyone's in the mood for the blues, it's highly recommended. It was one of those strange days when you find things you've been looking for over ten years - "Bolivia" by Gato Barbieri, Barbarella OST by Bob Crewe, "Grounation" by Count Ossie & The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari (obscure but important reggae album). Damn. If I find much more on my long term wants list I'll have to stop spending so much time in record stores. Oh, and everywhere had import copies of "Jubilation" which means that they've probably given up on a UK release (HMV, Virgin & Tower don't stock imports if a UK release is forthcoming in the near future).

Thu Dec 17 11:12:16 MET 1998


WOW Beki! Huge it is! And beautiful. AND EVEN TWICE! Since my browser was upgraded I don't object to large pictures anymore ... whatcha doing child ... oh, sorry

Thu Dec 17 10:58:44 MET 1998

***Little Bessie***

From: Suède

***Bonnes Fetes, Nouvel Orleans, laissez les bon temps rouler!***

Thu Dec 17 08:08:24 MET 1998

Beki Brindle

From: Woodstock, NY
Home page:

Wow! Sorry that picture is so huge!! oops! Beki

Not anymore ...

Thu Dec 17 08:07:23 MET 1998

[guest photo]

Beki Brindle

From: Woodstock, NY
Home page:

I just got home from the benefit in Woodstock and it was great. I played with John Sebastian on two Yank Rachell tunes; "Tappin' That Thing" and "Laundromat Blues." He loaned me his J Triggs Arch-Top guitar for the gig! Nice! Later Danko asked me up to play on "Crazy Mama" and I used Weider's dobro, which is also an incredible instrument. The night seemed to be a success and everyone was having fun. It was so nice to see old friends and to hear Rick again! He sounds like a maestro, as usual! Thanks for giving your all, Rick! : >

(also Sebastian's web-mistress! New page going up at !! Should be up in a day or so!)

Thu Dec 17 07:32:33 MET 1998

Little John Tyler

From: The House Next Door

When news of The Band's performances to open up Levon's club in N'Awlins the week after next, ...and news of a Rick Danko show ("with lots of surprises") in Woodstock last night, ... both hit this website in the last few days, I had a real strong hunch that the Woodstock show might turn into a warmup date/dress rehearsal in front of a live, hometown audience, before The Band premieres "Jubilation" before a big crowd in a big city. So I decided to blow off work on Thursday, and head to The Joyous Lake. It's not the first or the last time I've been wrong.

A local duo, The Migrants, opened with a 45 minute set. They were followed by Tom (High Cotton, If I Should Fail) Pacheco, who did a strong 45 minute set accompanied by Jim Weider on dobro. Pacheco performed "Hills of Woodstock" but not the songs he contributed to Jubilation. After Tom and Jim, John Sebastian did a short (20 min.?) set consisting of old blues numbers, impressively picked out on his acoustic guitar, along with one lesser-known Lovin' Spoonful number, "Lovin' You."

After a break "The Crowmatix 3 (Hurwitz, Spinosa and Dunn) + 1 (drummer Gary Burke) did 2 songs , one featuring Marie on vocals, and then Prof. Louie on "Wee Wee Hours." After which, Marie and Mike Dunn left the stage; Rick Danko made his entrance.

Rick opened with Book Faded Brown, and showed somewhat more familiarity with the lyrics than he did at his Pawling show a week and a half ago. He followed it with an uptempo Christmas Must be Tonight (featuring a new variation on the herdsman lyric: "a simple plainsman such as myself"!!) Jim Weider and bassist Dunn returned to the stage to help Rick with Ophelia, It Makes No Difference, The Weight, and Crazy Mama, in that order. At the beginning of Crazy Mama, Rick said that it would be his last number because it was getting late and he had to catch an early plane to Missouri. At its conclusion, he was given a framed certificate of appreciation for his support of Family of Woodstock (a local shelter for battered women and children -- the whole evening was a benefit for them). Rick accepted the certificate, launched into an impromptu Rivers of Babylon with everybody back on stage, and waved goodbye and headed out, 40 minutes after he first came on. Rick sounded and looked good, and all in all it was an interesting evening of music, with proceeds going to a good cause, but I guess we'll just have to wait a little bit longer for a long-awaited Band Reunion.

Oh, and SUNDOG... because I knew you'd ask I paid extra close attention: Red and white plaid shirt, worn open over a black tee-shirt, and black jeans.

Thu Dec 17 05:38:00 MET 1998

Scott Stephens

From: Cleveland, OH

The REAL Lucinda Williams? I'm impressed. Thanks for all the great music over the years. Aside to Rick: We talked at Wetlands Preserve during you recent gig there. Please come back to Cleveland! You and Aaron played a great show at Wilbert's in 1997, and we can fill the place again! Much interest here! Peace to all from the North Coast.

Thu Dec 17 05:25:58 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: Just back from Newark(!?)

"(SUNDOG)": Thanks for the nice invite; sorry I didn't acknowledge it earlier. Unfortunately I just got back from yet another trip; with Xmas & obligations w/3 kids, I'll have to take a rain check because I can't do a road trip (albeit short) just yet! BTW, I second Ragtime, in that while the NARRATOR of "King Harvest" is trying to convince himself that being a "union man now all the way" is the way to go, the songwriter -- although empathizing with the character a la Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck -- is not advocating life as a unionized farm worker, by any stretch! The test is simple: Would "King Harvest" make YOU want to be a unionized agribusiness employee?

As I said before, I believe the jam at the end of "Pepote Rouge" -- the last 90 seconds or so of the song -- is the greatest pure instrumental jam the Band ever recoreded in the studio. Reminiscent of the Brown album, the jam is not a stage for soloists; it is a funky groove arising from the 5 guys jamming as a single unit, with no solos -- a la Garth & Robbie solos, say, even on Stage Fright. I know it sounds heretical to point to a minor cut from a minor l.p. (& a break-up l.p. at that), & claim it's the Band's best jam as a cohesive unit, but go listen to it before you say I'm exaggerating.

Thu Dec 17 00:01:11 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:


Wed Dec 16 22:44:50 MET 1998

Lucinda Williams-Cohen

From: Lake Charles, LA

To all my Jewish fans I apologize for the daves and rantings of one less than Christian fan from Penna.

I have accepted the invitation of my good friend Virgil Cohen from up north and may be be at Levon's for a belated Hanukkah celebration. On my setlist are Don McClean's "Dreidel" and Adam Sandler's Chanukah songs. :-) Peace and love to all fellow Bandandies. I extend The Hand of The Band to you all, and you know who you are.

Wed Dec 16 21:52:00 MET 1998

Dave Besterman

From: Valparaiso, Indiana, USA

If anyone is interested in reading a scholarly review of the music of The Band and their sympathetic perspective of the working man’s life (King Harvest and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down) from a socialistic point of view, go to:

This work is from the New Left Review from the early 1970's. The discussion of The Band begins about 4 pages from the end. Thanks to Vivek Basrur of Mumbai, India for helping me track this down.

Wed Dec 16 20:40:36 MET 1998

Doug Maple

From: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Even though it has been a few days since i've seen discussion on the current state of the band and its present and former members, i thought i would pop in some thoughts i've had. i teach 5th grade, and it's just a thrill to have the opportunity to spend the day with 30 wonderful little people. i spend a lot of time observing my students - and it is especially interesting to observe them at recess. my theory is that many of our adult battles are simply extensions of what happens on playgrounds all over the world. one day two kids are best friends - the next day they're enemies - it goes back and forth endlessly. it is interesting to see who pops up as leaders, who follows, and so on. Things aren't always clear, and yet when the dust settles, i think its human for all of us to want to fit in and be part of something special. When Levon hurts outloud about the breakup of the original group, we hear "southern pride." When it involves Robbie, we call it "ego." I look at it as a playground battle. Some may say the stakes are higher, but really the only important thing involved is the emotional pain. That's what hurts them both - I'm sure. I think it bothers many of us because we got so much out of their unity. Together we stand, divided we fall. When i was younger, I was completely fascinated with the Beatles. I had thirty or so books, and I loved looking at the pictures and feeling the joy of the musical collaboration that shook the world. In my late teens, I started looking for pictures of the Beatles together after they had broken up. It was easy to find combinations of two (paul and ringo, john and ringo, george and paul), but i searched for years to find a picture of john and paul together after the breakup. i read stories about them being together, but i never saw an actual photograph. I finally found one, and it just made me rest a bit more easily. I want to thank all the people who contribute to this page - I read it every day. My best wishes to all of you out there - the music will keep us free.

Wed Dec 16 19:23:02 MET 1998

Jonathan Katz

From: Columbia, MD [but wish I was from New Orleans]

If anyone is interested: CDNow has Rick Danko's solo album for about $9.50. Such a deal!

Wed Dec 16 16:25:14 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

In New York yesterday, the leaders of the Recording Industry Association of America along with the heads of five major recording companies announced that they will develop a means of distributing & selling music directly through the internet. Through the cooperation of technology companies, including Microsoft, Sony, AT&T, IBM,Toshiba and America Online, a standard of delivery will be developed, called the Secure Digital Music Intitiative.

This comes in reaction to the current piracy challenges facing the Industry in the form of MP3, Liquid Audio & other distribution methods which make it easy to download & copy music. Unlike these methods, the standard to be developed by the Industry will allow the copyright owners to protect & control the distribution of their music, but at the same time make it easily available for sale to the public . This proposed method will probably include forms of copy protection that will encrypt & limit the number of copies that can be made, as well as a means of "watermarking" that will allow the music to be traced back to its source.

The Recording Industry Association of Japan and the Londo-based International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, representing recording companies in 70 countries, are joining the RIAA in this initiative.

Wed Dec 16 13:47:35 MET 1998


From: the madhouse

... I can't wheel... I can't deal... they're coming to take me away... holy cow whatcha doing to me...

Wed Dec 16 11:49:54 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web


Hearing little Band voices in our head amidst Tschaikosky concertos, are we? Might be time for a long vacation :-)

Wed Dec 16 10:52:16 MET 1998


From: the classical department

HOLY COW HA HA HA! Am I bewitched? My editor wants me to write an article on the Tchaikovsky piano concertos in the Unabridged Original Versions. Based on the original manuscripts just as Pjotr Ilyitch intended them. They sound quite different from what we are used to. Very interesting stuff. Deadline tomorrow. I listened carefully to the 3 cd's & to other versions, read a lot about it, and-so-one. But what's in my mind continually ... and it ain't no joke NO JOKE hey hey hey ... can't get rid of it. This is hopeless. Holy Cow haunting me. Some weeks ago it was Chattanooga-choo-choo ... pard'n me boy... thanks a lot to one of you guys in the Guestbook. I'm sure Pepote Rouge will be next ... to be someone is to be someone alone ... What can I do about it? Call an exorcist? Quit the Guestbook? That would please Wolfie, but not me... Well, back to Tchaikovsky once again. There is even one minute of his voice on the cd, recorded on a Edison Wax Roll in 1890. Amazing... Pyotr Ilyitch's Basement Tape... NO JOKE hey hey hey...

Wed Dec 16 08:39:40 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Ragtime: I hadn't noticed I was picking out Danko vocals, but you're right. Perhaps I should do 'Holy Cow' next. :-)

Wed Dec 16 07:09:23 MET 1998

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland Tx.

I wish Ricky would go sing Unfaithful Servent on the White House lawn.......

Wed Dec 16 02:45:51 MET 1998


Just saw the page on the first month of Levon's club. Mavis Staples!!! The Band!!!! Don't get much better than that.

Wed Dec 16 02:23:19 MET 1998

john donabie


If your asking about the New Orleans dates for the opening of Levon's club. I was there a week and a half ago and they were gutting the building. They had a full crew on however and anything is possible if there working 24 hours a day. "The Band" are to play there on New Year's Eve. I sure would like to be there. The exterior of the French Quarter building is quite beautiful. The locals tell me they are really looking forward to it. Think about it. If Levon were to call just a few of his "old friends" to come in once in awhile; it will give Tips and HOB a good run.

I have gone to the HOB many times in New Orleans. I found on this visit the food was not up to the usual. They dropped some good eats from the menu. If Levon and his partners can provide great music and great food. They've got a hit. Oh and yes. A place to sit down while watching the music. I find standing at the HOB for 5-6 hours pretty painful. It was no problem when I was 21. Eddie Bo is one of the finest moments in visiting the crescent city. He only works Friday and Saturda during happy hours (5-8 pm) Hope Lee will bring him over to his club once in awhile. He's the Ronnie Hawkins of New Orleans. Yell out the tune and that piano begins to boogie.

Wed Dec 16 00:31:18 MET 1998

Ragtime postscript

PETER: Unfaithful Servant... When You Awake... Christmas Will Be Tonight... Pepote Rouge... how come you are picking out only Danko lead vocals lately? Coincidence? Or is it because Robbie always 'used' Rick's tearsome voice as a vehicle for his more personal and/or ambitious lyrics? [... and it ain't no joke NO JOKE hey hey hey... - this doesn't make any sense but it haunts me for many days now]. BTW the right spelling should be Shéhérazade.

Wed Dec 16 00:23:47 MET 1998


From: Connecticut

Are these dates in New Orleans official? Is Levon ready to go? Is Bill Paige still out there and can he tell us about any developments on the River North end? It all sounds too good to be true.

Wed Dec 16 00:10:04 MET 1998


From: beyond the mecca plain

Break the news, Pepote Rouge is coming to town. Great idea from LJT & Peter to add this one to the articles section. Pretty enigmatic stuff. Maybe our creative plenipotentiary was reaching to the top - as a poet I mean - and failed this time. Who the hell are avatars? Quite nice jamming section BTW, as Donald pointed out some time ago. I'll be back later.

Tue Dec 15 23:21:29 MET 1998


From: Virginia

Sorry, all. That's what I get for not properly proofing my post. Jan replaced Levon on drums with Levon on mandolin, not vice versa. Ah, hell, they're both great -- as are all of Paul Fleming's works available through Jan's site. Enjoy!

Tue Dec 15 23:18:22 MET 1998


From: Virginia

To Jan: I've just come back to the site after a few days away, and I noted on page 1 that you've replaced Paul Fleming's portrait of Levon on mandolin with Levon on drums. I purchased the mandolin piece from Paul a couple of months back, and I proudly display it in my home. To me, it captures the essence of Levon and shows his gritty determination, his "want to" in getting a song just right for his audience.

Tue Dec 15 22:12:14 MET 1998


sorry for the 2nd posting; but I thought it would be proper to spell the city right.

Tue Dec 15 22:10:27 MET 1998

John Donabie

From: Toronto


The late Bill Graham was the executive in charge of The Last Waltz. I do believe Bill Graham Productions is still alive and well in San Francisco . You might try there.

Tue Dec 15 22:08:58 MET 1998

John Donabie

From: Toronto


The late Bill Graham was the executive in charge of The Last Waltz. I do believe Bill Graham Productions is still alive and well in San Fransico. You might try there.

Tue Dec 15 21:32:03 MET 1998

Peter Viney

OK, Little John. I take requests. If you can hum it, I can have a go at it. 'The Saga of Pepote Rouge' is perplexing though. Jupiter Hollow part 2. But why 'Pepote Rouge'? Sounds like New Orleans meets Schehezerezade (what? can't be bothered to look up the spelling). I suggest doing this like "When You awake" - I'll compile the comments and add what I can.

Tue Dec 15 17:34:06 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Gang Starr sampled "Cripple Creek" as "Beyond Comprehension". I can't manage to work out the divisions between types of rap, hip-hop etc. And I haven't heard it.

Tue Dec 15 17:15:21 MET 1998


From: Ottawa, Ontario

With all this talk of Peter Vinney's article, I feel compelled to share the thrill of my life thusfar. In December 1993, at the age of 22 in Nepean, Ontario, I had the pleasure of sharing a Coke, a smile, and an impromptu duet with Rick Danko. We sang a couple of verses of Christmas Must Be Tonight and I was beside myself. AND I got pictures! As a side note, I don't suppose anyone knows who was in charge of the overall event planning for The Last Waltz (turkey dinner and all). I'm presently studying events management and I want to do a paper on how it all came together. If anyone has a clue, I would truly appreciate it. What a great website. What a great Band. Sarah

Tue Dec 15 16:04:58 MET 1998

Danny Lopez

From: Iowa

To Ragtime, David Powell, llkka, Sundog, and Pat Brennan: thanks for the "political" comments and analyses. I missed the Lucinda brouhaha. To Pat Brennan: I'll take your multicultural point and raise you one -- did a hip hop group sample Cripple Creek? Seems like I heard that, or read it somewhere (here?) I've got a cold and the gears in the mental machinery are grinding.

Tue Dec 15 16:01:41 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

I was watching a DVD of the Rolling Stones "Bridges to Babylon" tour last night. In the background among the back-up singers was Blondie Chaplin. I came away impressed by the drumming of Charlie Watts & how, over the years, he has remained the backbone of the sound of the Stones. Like Levon, he's not flashy & plays a relatively small drum kit, but both drummers pound out a beat that pumps the blood from the heart of their respective groups. What sets Levon apart is, with his distinctive voice, he's as fine a singer as he is a drummer. Add the fact that he plays a mean mandolin, harmonica, guitar & bass, and you realize what a unique performer he really is. It's not often that such a talent emerges from behind a drum kit to the fore front of a group.

Speaking of drummers---the book I mentioned last week about one of Levon's favorite drummers will be published in April. Written by Tony Scherman, it is entitled _Backbeat: Earl Palmer's Story_.

Tue Dec 15 15:09:11 MET 1998

Ol' Dexy

From: Way north of New Orleans (and West too)

Great news about the January dates at Levon's. Would I love to be there, but that's not in the cards for next month. River North -- anyone -- when are the boys takin' the show on the road???

Tue Dec 15 10:34:29 MET 1998


From: N.Z.

The "shares" in The Band mentioned earlier probably included things like Shangri-La (what happened to this) and the houses that needed new fridges that Levon talks about in his book.

Tue Dec 15 09:00:11 MET 1998


Sundog: sure this is political, but not a "statement" in any way. A song as King Harvest is about the poor sods who are betrayed by their bosses and by their unions as well (Our Hard Times Are About To End), but are not able to do anything about it. It is not a call for the barricades. There is a mild, compassionate irony in these lyrics.

Tue Dec 15 09:00:06 MET 1998


From: the land of Jorma Kaukonen

Yesterday I asked where I can find information about European origins. Why to ask?

As a temporary visitor in the Usa I'm always amused to notice European traditions and how they are mixed. I can eat tacos in a house from Danish countryside or I can see in TV the word Nokia which for me is nothing more than a small town where I used to be as a kid. I feel comfortable, I recognize things. - Where can I find european tradition in the music; a hymn? a melody? definitely not a rhytm?

As an immigrant myself - if only from across the border - it is the most natural thing to me that we all come from somewhere. Nobody comes from - nowhere.

Tue Dec 15 06:57:15 MET 1998


From: Ca

Excuse me, I believe I meant Al Kooper.

Tue Dec 15 06:41:27 MET 1998


From: Ca

Pat Brennan: And Al Copper in his Rolling Stone review of Big Pink claimed he heard influences of "The Association". I'll buy that, though I'm still looking for them. I'd guess it's in Garth's keyboard playing?

Tue Dec 15 05:48:41 MET 1998

Pat Brennan

From: USA

I was struck by the use of "multicultural" in an earlier post and it got me to thinking. One of the things I love about the Band is what can only be called a multicultural approach to music. I remember when the first two albums came out and the reviewers couldn't believe how a group could combine so many disparate musical form into a seamless whole. Some reviewers heard the Beach Boys in some of the harmonies(Surf culture), Appalachian folk songs (Mountain culture), country picking (country culture), urban blues/soul (AfrAm culture), rock n roll (youth culture), Southern mythology (Southern culture), New Orleans, Folk/Dylan....Robbie even went off on The Works project which seemed to imply European Classical traditions. Of course, Garth brought that to everything they did (Bach to Avant garde). It might be their multicultural approach that we find so intriguing. Re: What's Going On, just keep listening, you'll get there. And the most political line on the Brown Album (well, maybe not) is: I don't mind choppin' wood, and I don't care if my money's no good, you take what you need and you leave the rest but they should never have taken the very best...

Tue Dec 15 01:56:58 MET 1998

Little John Tyler

Peter Viney:

I have very much enjoyed reading your recent articles on Unfaithful Servant, When You Awake, and Christmas Must Be Tonight. Thanks for sharing them with the rest of us, and JAN, thanks for recognizing the value in Peter's contributions and filing his thoughtful work in the Articles section. Peter, do you take requests? I'd love to hear your take on The Saga of Pepote Rouge. To my ear it always sounded like Robbie trying to do a "mystical" story-song and not quite succeeding, but I'm sure that if I've been missing something, you'll put me right.

Donald Joseph:

Welcome back. Thanks for attempting to sort out my "shares of The Band" question.

Danny Lopez:

Welcome to the club.

Tue Dec 15 00:16:47 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:

RAGTIME; isn't this a political statement from the brown album; "I work for the UNION, cuz she so good to me, and I'm bound to come up on TOP, that's where she said I should be, (King Harvest). Peace,Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Tue Dec 15 00:00:51 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Absolutely right, Jan. I didn't see it, and I'm glad I didn't. Thanks.

Mon Dec 14 23:58:52 MET 1998


From: Connecticut

Thanks to Peter Viney for his article on "Christmas Must Be Tonight". I have always wanted to know who the female singer was on it. Any ideas? I also like the added lines: "down by the water" and "over by the river". I agree with you that the Danko version is the best.

Does anybody know if Robertson's "One and All" ever got released? If so, what record?

Mon Dec 14 23:55:56 MET 1998

Peter Viney

The questions raised by Levon's latest interview continue to rebound, especially on the Robbie Robertson site. Ignore the extreme positions some have stated there, but I was just looking back at 'Bill Graham Presents.' If anyone knew the politics of group dynamics it was Bill Graham. You name them, he saw them. He also came out as pretty antagonistic towards Robbie (but Robbie got the right of reply in THIS excellent and fascinating autobiography):

"I went to Malibu to see Robbie Robertson. Robbie had always been the leader of The Band. The spokesperson. Lead guitarist, singer, writer. Due to the nature of his character, he was always the one who said, 'What do you think? Levon, Richard, Danko? What's it going to be, Garth?'

As to Levon's claimed non-participation around "The Last Waltz", Graham adds:

"Levon came and he said, 'We're going to have all these long white tables set up in Winterland, right?I want to get amber-orange lights that will hang down. Hundreds of them. That will not spread. There will be like a ribbon of light coming down on these white tables."


"I must say that Robbie and The Band were the greatest house band I ever heard … With all my tsouris with Robbie Robertson, he was the ultimate conductor-composer, the only guy that could have pulled it off."

As I said earlier, Graham was highly critical also:

"Robbie's ego always bothered me more than anybody else's. He was a great talent and a very handsome, attractive man who later on tried to have a career as an actor in movies. But his ego was too big."

So Bill Graham's opinion of his leadership qualities were unclouded by any blind approval. He was stating what he perceived by 1976. (Though he also knew them in 1969).

Mon Dec 14 23:22:41 MET 1998


If The Band's lyrics are a bit nostalgic about rural family life, they also express a certain irony, at least on the Brown album. There are no political statements, let alone fanatism. But they are also compassionate to their characters/personae in the way Steinbeck is (in The Grapes of Wrath).

Mon Dec 14 22:08:10 MET 1998

David Powell

Thank you Jan. Not only were the remarks offensive, but inappropriate as well in lieu of the fact that one of the Band's founding members descended from TWO persecuted tribes.

Mon Dec 14 22:01:13 MET 1998


From: new Congressman Udall's office

The picture of Levon in New Orleans is authentic, but how it came to me is a strange tale.

I was in town for for the first weekend of JazzFest and had to leave unexpectedly for St. Louis Sunday morning. A friend was putting me in a cab, noticed my camera and asked if he could keep it the rest of the weekend because he'd forgotten his. It had maybe 6 shots left on the roll.

This guy I lent the camera to wouldn't have known Levon if he'd been wearing a sign. He just took that picture on an impulse. There's another shot taken seconds before the one I sent to Jan, judging from the buildings and cars. In that shot, there's no sign of Levon. None of the other pictures he took have any people in them.

The film was lost at WalMart for months and I had considered it gone when they called me to pick it up. That was the week Rick gave the radio interview in New York saying Levon would be ok. I sure did stare at that image of Levon for a long time.

We take these harmonic convergences seriously here in northern New Mexico, and I did and do regard it as an excellent omen.

Mon Dec 14 21:33:13 MET 1998


From: Halden, Norway

The posting that was removed judged people based on religion / race. I accept strong words and heated discusions here, but not racism. Please keep it off this guestbook, or it'll be closed.

Mon Dec 14 21:03:43 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

And I guess the man who runs this site agrees with me. Thanks Jan.

Mon Dec 14 20:58:41 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Rendered absolutely speechless here, and trust me that takes alot. My holiday wishes for friends who visit this site are most appropriate here, and I am appalled at the insensitivity and downright crap that I just read in "Lucindas" post.

Mon Dec 14 19:57:24 MET 1998

David Powell

Danny Lopez: I went back to read your "political" posting & tend to agree with your "conservative in a progressive way" statement. Maybe because of their working class & agrarian backgrounds, the members of the Band tended to view things differently than a lot of their contemporaries. Rather than dealing with rebellion and abstract philosophy, the songs of the Band dealt mostly with everyday life from a practical perspective of survival. Although somewhat conservative, morally, in tone, their lyrics could also express socially progressive views (note the pro-unionism of "King Harvest").

Mon Dec 14 19:37:14 MET 1998


From: the woods in Northern Europe

Ragtime: There ain't much happening up here except a deer who crossed an ice covered river ... but the ice was too thin. The Firemen came and picked up the poor animal and the press fotographer got his Picture Of The Year: a deer wearing a Firemen's winter jacket.

I don't have either Levon's or Hoskyns' book (sold out?). Maybe this is mentioned in one of those books. I'd like to know what are the European origins of the (original) members. Some of the names could be british, others not. Can I find this information somewhere?

David Powell: When I saw Muddy Waters he was old and very tired, he was sitting on a chair under the whole concert without any power at all. It was sad to see and I felt pity. So I must have been late as usual.

Danny Lopez: The politics were one of the differencies between The Band and other groups in the sixties. The real people here in the woods could easily accept them.

Mon Dec 14 18:21:23 MET 1998

Danny Lopez

From: Iowa

Sorry, that's "who" sang what where.

Mon Dec 14 18:20:05 MET 1998

Danny Lopez

From: Iowa

Wow! Not a word about my political manifesto, other than the predictable Serge strike. Hope that means you all are not as inundated with postmodern and multicultural extremists at your place of work as I am. Okay, I'm switching back to asking you sang what where.

Mon Dec 14 18:00:48 MET 1998


Peter Viney: your "Xmas" article is a pleasant surprise. What's next? And what about Hoskyns' paradoxical "magical & saccharine" judgement? This is pejorative I should say. Or is it "peiorative"? David Powell: there is an abundance of good & very good (& very bad & mediocre) recordings of the New World symphony (more than 100), but my all-time favourite remains the late Istvan Kertesz on the Decca label, recorded in the sixties but still sounding very well. I don't care for DDD-quality. The performance is thrilling. But there are many many more. BTW: I decided to listen only to the "bad" Band albums for a while. Islands is enjoyable, Cahoots has its moments, but High on the Hog? Sorry, no. Only "Stand Up" & "Young Blood" survive. All the songs in between: no, no & no.

Mon Dec 14 16:17:48 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

Donald Joseph Esq. raises some interesting points regarding partnership. The question is, however, what value would shares in the group itself have to Robertson unless they involved some sort of future royalty payments? After all, this is a group he sought to disband, and as Mr. Joseph points out, still tours & records using the name "The Band."

Ragtime: In light of Largo & your interest in classical music, what is your favorite recorded version of Dvorak's New World Symphony?

Peter Viney: I was fortunate to have seen Muddy Waters perform live several times, and he indeed had a commanding stage presence. I also saw Howlin' Wolf perform in a small club, albeit late in his career, and The Wolf was so menancing on stage that he truly personified a dangerous sense of evil. Even his band appeared to be apprehensive about what The Wolf was capable of doing on stage.

Mon Dec 14 13:23:43 MET 1998


Take a picture of this. I like classic albums, but I love classical albums even more. My non-classical musical world is limited. Apart from The Band To End All Bands there is not much that I know and/or love. But I'm always willing to learn. So when you lot suggested a few weeks ago in this very guestbook "What's Going On" as a great album I bought it (in a second hand store I admit). What possessed me? Is this soul? Sounds like easy-listening to me. Can anyone explain why this album appeals to Band lovers?

Mon Dec 14 11:40:46 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Peter Viney: Loved your article about "Christmas Must be Tonight". Thanks.

Want to wish a Happy Hannukah to everyone out there who's celebrating, especially to the 4 C's.

And lastly, to Charlie today. Don't Wait.

Mon Dec 14 10:42:21 MET 1998


Blue misty morning... I just came back from a few days up north... didn't see your rabbits & deers though, Ilkka. Couldn't agree more, Uncle Hangover: enjoyed your article on When You Awake, Peter. Still listening to Holy Cow. Glad you're back, Donald. Love and peace, Sundog (well, why not...). What happened to you, Frogman Ned?

Mon Dec 14 08:44:05 MET 1998

Uncle H.

From: Austin, TX

Peter Viney, thanks for your excellent work. Nice to finally see a photo of you after having read all your stuff. Keep on keepin' on.

Sun Dec 13 23:49:26 MET 1998



Sun Dec 13 23:27:08 MET 1998




Sun Dec 13 23:04:50 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Of course my previous post has a "Spot the Mistake" (It would be hard for one partner to continue a partnership!). But they'd bring in another partner.

Sun Dec 13 23:00:07 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Donald: Hope you got to Sam the Man's in Toronto. This is pure speculation, but I assume UK and US partnership laws are similar. In a partnership, there is difficulty when you dissolve it - in the UK you can get a severe tax headache. So usually one or two partners elect to continue the partnership and arrangements are made to cover the resultant tax situation. I'd noticed the distinction between THE Band and THIS Band. There may be something here to explain the shares business.

As to your question. Not only three of them are Goats in Chinese astrology, but their names also begin with R which brings in numerology. Goats are gentle, artistic & peace-loving, but also undisciplined. Jagger & Joni Mitchell are goats. Garth is an ox, hard working, original, silent. Disney & Chaplin were oxen, as were Hitler and Thatcher. I make Levon a horse, which is charming, gifted, entertaining and independent, though also hot-headed. He shares this with Paul Simon, Paul McCartney

Sun Dec 13 22:27:43 MET 1998

Peter Viney

The post by Pita whoever was not me. I think the lyrics to the tune 'Islands' are a bit thin, as are the 'Third Man Theme' and 'Jam' from Watkin's Glen. The album? You tell me.

Sun Dec 13 19:09:09 MET 1998

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland Tx.

Note to American Band fans. If you watch "Mystery Science Theatre" on the Sci Fi channel next week, they show a really interesting film called "Jack Frost" (not the new one). And there is a really great reference to Levon.

Sun Dec 13 17:35:57 MET 1998


From: Madison,Wisconsin
Home page:

Donald Joseph: I'm still hoping to meet you, or maybe you didn't see my post on SAT. DEC. 5 20:02:47 MET 1998, I sure hope you can make it, you sound like a trip, to where I would love to find out!!! Peace, Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Sun Dec 13 11:02:13 MET 1998

Little Bessie

From: the snowy Sweden

Thank you 'Old friend' for your wise words.

Sun Dec 13 09:12:09 MET 1998


From: Madison,Wisconsin
Home page:

Donald Joseph: I don't think I would have ya as my lawyer, no offence dude!! Peace, and whatever dude, Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Sun Dec 13 08:01:34 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: Missing Toronto (& Washington D.C.)


Whew! Reading a week's worth of the Guestbook in one sitting would give Evelyn Wood a chink in her neck! (No allusion intended to side 2 cut 1 of "Cahoots.")

Re "When You Awake," I always heard the line "Old lady told me...."

SUNDOG & Diamond Lil: Please keep your nasty, hateful spats and your tearful, gushing reconciliations to private e-mail. Your raw emotion wreaks havoc on my laundry bills.

Viney: Thanks for the astrological reading. I can't decide whether that was more or less helpful than the speculation on Levon's height. (LOVED your post, "Big Pink"!) In recognition of "Shootout in Chinatown" & "China Girl" from "American Son," why don't you, Viney, favor us with an analysis of the Boys in Chinese-year astrology? Don't omit Weider, Bell, & the Cate Bros.

Bones: Good question about the Robbie/Levon warmth circa 1978 postdating the events of which Levon complains. But I've already raised your exact point. It was answered VERY WELL (I believe by Stanley Landau): go back & read the last month or two Guestbook.

Old Friend: Your entry is my new all-time favorite. You coyly say you "spent some time" with the Boys. Is that an attempt to imply a false distance, akin to the Pants-Dropper -in-Chief's reference to Monica as "that woman"?

Li'l John Tyler: I don't think I ever proclaimed myself an expert in anything. I have truthfully said I'm a lawyer; if you dispute that designation you'll need to take it up with the Ohio state bar association. I'm not a copyright/intellectual property lawyer, so I'm not the guy to go into the distinctions among songwriting royalties, publishing, etc. However, the phrase "selling shares in the Band" seems to refer to selling shares in the ENTITY (group) the Band, not in royalties. The Band could theoretically have been incorporated, with the shares closely held by the 5 members, although I doubt this was done by a rock group formed in the '60's. It more likely was a partnership, with the partnership interests referred to as "shares" in the partnership. The current boys seem to use the phrase "This Band" in the fine print of their records: Perhaps "This Band" is a corporation doing business as ["d/b/a"] "The Band" (Robbie hasn't fought use of that name.) Perhaps the original group was a partnership called "The Band." Even if this analysis is right, it doesn't tell us too much, as it doesn't tell us what rights/property the original partnership called "The Band" held -- hence we don't know what it would have meant for one of the partners (one of the original 5 Band members) to have sold out his partnership interest in the original partnership to Robbie.

Sun Dec 13 04:56:17 MET 1998

Anthony Saccne

From: Niagara Fall,Ont

After 3 months of Jubilations release I can't get enough! I've pretty much worn out my c.d. and am looking forward to another new blast from the past! Keep it up and keep them coming! THE BAND ONLY GETS BETTER!! A SACCONE

Sun Dec 13 01:45:15 MET 1998




Sun Dec 13 00:14:31 MET 1998

Pita Veiny

From: UKAY

Is it me or are the lyrics to Islands a bit thin?

Sat Dec 12 23:53:50 MET 1998

Just Wondering

Are we now down to the point of trying to figure out Levon's height???? We seem to be running out of things to say about The Band when it comes down to this.

Sat Dec 12 23:03:18 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Thanks to all the contributors to "When You Awake". The article is now up in the articles section. This "joint venture" is a new way of doing the articles and hence I think more useful.

Sat Dec 12 21:08:40 MET 1998


From: Connecticut

To Holmes: Robbie did attend Grossman's funeral, and he also gave the eulogy.

To Old Friend: If Robbie was so concerned about using The Last Waltz to advance his solo career, why did he only come out with one movie(Carny) and no solo records for the next nine years, despite many offers.

Sat Dec 12 18:54:21 MET 1998


Hmmmm..Lopez, such a departure from your usual style and word power. Didn't I read the text of your last entry in some publication??

Sat Dec 12 18:44:48 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:

SERGE : You didn't spell Flibberijibbet correctly, but then again, either did I. On January 23rd we have a band called Flibberijibbet, see our FUTURE SHOWS LINK; but I spell it Fliberty Gibbet, also Serge just what is a Fleberttygjibit, and is that a nice thing to call a person? Also, has that word ever applyed to you? Peace, Love and best to you Serge for the holidazes, Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Sat Dec 12 18:38:14 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Hi Serge. I don't know if I misread it as such. What I did do was go off on a tangent and get into something about stage presentation. I think I know what Old Friend was saying, but as I said in my first line, I'll leave defining "male charisma" to others and focus on "stage charisma" which I have seen in both genders.

Sat Dec 12 17:55:06 MET 1998

Danny Lopez

From: Iowa

A long-winded note on politics and music: Band members and music critics have noted often how incongruous the Band's music and message was in the tumultuous years of 1968. At a time of the counterculture and the new Left, the Band quietly affirmed family, tradition, and an apolitical mentality. Prevailing trends today -- such as postmodernism and identity politics -- continue to show the Band "out of synch." If a postmodern were to "deconstruct" the Band, I am sure he/she would unveil "racism" in Chinatown and Jemima, "familial tyranny" in Tears and When You Awake, "reaction" in Dixie, "misogyny" in Chest Fever, and a "privileged male" voice in everything. Putting aside these wild, politically correct charges, let me address another issue: is the Band socially conservative? I would say yes (and I'm a liberal), but the Band is conservative in a progressive way. What the Band has always sought to "conserve" is a sense of community. Whether its a way of life in Dixie, or the whole cast of endangered characters in Cahoots -- blacksmiths, railroads, eagles, the buffalo, Little John Tyler, Chinatown, "your neighborhood," and a river -- the Band always seems to say that what contributes to a flourishing life is rootedness in a community. This theme continues in the latest offering (the family prayer in Book Faded, and the backyard "rock and roll barbecue" of High Cotton). In contrast, Robbie's new outing exemplifies the poverty of identity politics in creating healthy communities. RR has taken identity politics to heart -- rediscover your roots and resurrect its suppressed voice. Unfortunately, the way RR does this (like American Afro-centrists and Quebecois nationalists) is to erect boundaries and distance between communities. Even though the Band speaks mostly of "white" experiences in America and its audience is probably mostly white, the Band's sense of community was (and is) one of openness, acceptance, and welcoming. In contrast, when RR claims in Making a Noise that "this is the kind of silence that frightens white men," what is he doing but imposing limits on human experience and attempting to elevate one community above another (a common ploy by postmoderns who seek to "reverse hierarchies")? I'm not a Robbie basher. In fact, I like all his solo material. I just find it interesting that RR and the Band have taken not only such diverse musical paths lately, but have (perhaps unknowingly) staked out different political allegiances as well.

Sat Dec 12 17:14:48 MET 1998


From: London, Ontario

Viney, I think that you have totally misread the intent of Old friend's entry.

Sat Dec 12 17:10:43 MET 1998


From: Dusseldorf

Excuse my lack of English..but what is an "observant" ???!!! Should it be: an Observer ? also.."why should LTJ give THEIR (?!)Email address etc..I believe Observant's grammar has "went". Mr."Observant" must be LTJ' you say? "Mouthpiece" ?

Sat Dec 12 11:42:21 MET 1998

Freddy Fishstick

From: Sag Harbor

Have been offnet since Wednesday visiting our nation's capital. I see that The Band has some tracks on the new Robin Williams movie "Patch Adams". Anybody know which? Good to be home. On Monday gotta grab tickets for Jimmy Buffett @ MSG.

Sat Dec 12 11:11:41 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Old Friend: I enjoyed your personal insight, but find myself ill equipped to comment on male charisma, so will leave that to others. It has been said - more than once - that The Band in general lack STAGE charisma, and in the wham-hit-you-in-the-face sense that Bruce Springsteen and others radiate, I think that’s true. Few have it. Dylan lives off it. Muddy Waters projected more than almost anyone I’ve seen. Menacingly, almost. Like him or not (and I don’t), Jagger has it. Both Lennon and McCartney had it. k.d.lang has it. In spite of being one of the very greatest musicians of his era, Van Morrison takes more than half of most shows to start projecting anything like it. It’s not about musicianship, or song quality, or genius. In either 1968 or 1969, I “bashed the mike cable” on the Tom Jones show twice a night for six weeks. I really didn’t like his act or his music in the slightest, BUT the guy had instant 100% charisma. A far greater musician, Paul Simon, doesn’t project in anything like the same way. Stage charisma is an innate quality.

The Band radiate great good will, great musicianship, and a real good time, but because they were an equal band of five, there was never a single front man to project. There’s a lot of talk about Richard being the lead singer, but they never positioned him on stage in a place where he could project that image. As I said in two reviews, it’s astonishing that they now manage to place Levon in the middle of a sea at cymbals, low down. right on one side, as Levon is a huge radiator of good will and good time - when can you see him. I’d put him on a well-lit, high drum platform stage centre. They’re self-effacing and don’t do this. Garth has a presence of the highest order, but little eye contact. Because three were sitting and two were standing (or nowadays four and two), it was always going to be Rick or Robbie who caught the eye. This isn’t a necessity - there are plenty of piano players who sit and remain the focus of attention (Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Elton John …), but The Band always set it up that way. Looking back through the videos, they never paid much attention to stage craft. They probably thought themselves above it. That’s why we all wonder why Richard seems so marginal in most videos - they placed it that way and lit it that way.

Scorsese is a film maker. Logically, Rick is not going to get the focus, because he is only doing a third of lead vocals. On The Last Waltz there are the guests too. If you brought in ANY competent director to that situation, he’d look for a constant, standing presence up front who wasn’t marginalized when the vocal is with someone else. You’d choose the lead guitar. I’d choose the lead guitar. Scorsese did. It’s straight visual work. But not even Scorsese can create charisma. All you do is bring it out and manifest it. Having seen videos of Robbie on Letterman, Seville etc, he’s no Tom Jones in charisma on stage, but (watch Classic Albums) he’s a very good narrator. Some of this is technical, he speaks slowly, makes things measured. Repeats the same stories too often as well. But that’s another thing. I think he probably radiates power rather than charisma. But journalists who have interviewed him have commented again and again on what a charismatic person he is. Maybe he hit his peak later than the others.

Sat Dec 12 06:36:23 MET 1998

An Observant

From: A good and decent place

Serge! You are INSANE! Get some help!Why would anyone, let alone LJT, want you to have their Email address.

Sat Dec 12 03:43:03 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Little John Tyler:

Just speculating here (which seems to be the favorite pastime of alot of folks in here) but I was wondering about that photo from New Orleans. I mean, is it authentic? Perhaps those cars in the photo are actually matchbox cars, and the men walking with Levon are midgets? Hmmm...Something to think about.

I still stand by what I originally said. I might've been a little off by saying 6 feet tall, but I am 5'6 and Levon _is_ taller than me.

Isn't this fun?

Sat Dec 12 03:19:11 MET 1998


"Old friend" you win the Post of the Month award in this Guestbook. Thank you for telling it like it was, and like it is. Interesting that none of the Band "experts" here have commented on your entry. Well..ignorance is bliss, they don't know...and will never know what really went down. But observations by people like yourself, who saw both sides of the fence, pretty much tell the story.

The "Dunk into Cripple Creek" (head first) is won by that Flibberdee-Gibbet.. Little "Weasel" Tyler for his usual drivel.

Still waiting to see you post your Email address Mr."art critic".

Sat Dec 12 00:47:19 MET 1998

Little John Tyler

Well, at least one recent Guestbook controversy has been settled, thanks to the photo Jan posted on Dec. 11, of Levon in a New Orleans parade. Access it via the "What's New" section. Look at Levon. Look at the other men in the parade. Look at the parked car next to Levon as a point of reference. Now who still believes Levon's about 6 feet tall, as someone said, and who wants to stand by others' recollections that he's not?

Back to the "shares of The Band" discussion. Nice try, David Powell, but note that this is something separate and distinct from songwriting credit (which the other 4 never had, so therefore had nothing to sell to Robbie) and publishing rights, as Levon carefully notes in the book. So what are "shares?" We may have to wait for the return of the Guestbook's self-proclaimed legal authority, Donald Joseph, Esq.

Fri Dec 11 22:42:00 MET 1998

David Powell

To answer Holmes' question in the abstract---It's unclear what shares Levon was talking about; whether he was referring to publishing or other rights. As discussed here recently, the original songs on _Music From Big Pink_ were published by Dwarf. It's my understanding that this was a publishing arm set up by Grossman with Dylan. The songs on subsequent Band albums were published by Canaan and later Medicine Hat. I don't know if Grossman had a percentage of either of those entities. It's also unclear as to whether the other members of the Band had shares at one time in the publishing rights along with Robertson. Were these the shares Levon was talking about?

It's a relatively common practice in the music industry for recording artists to sell their interests in publishing for a certain fixed amount, often a rather large sum, in exchange for future earnings. The advantage is that one receives a guaranteed sum immediately for investment or other purposes. The disadvantage is if one should seriously underestimate the potential value of future earnings. One recent example is Merle Haggard, who sold the publishing rights to his song catalog for a very large sum.

Another recent trend in the music & entertainment industry is to borrow a good deal of money by putting up the future earnings potential as security. As one can see, this takes things out of the realm of sex, drugs & rock & roll and into the world of lawyers, accountants, tax experts & thieves.

Sundog---I believe you're right. I relied on a printed, published form of "Dear Landlord" rather than the version actually sung by Dylan. Although the difference, on the surface, is somewhat minor, the use of the phrase "lap up" cleverly adds an extra meaning.

Fri Dec 11 22:33:48 MET 1998

Old friend

From: One woman's perspective

Three decades back, when I was 19 years old, I spent some time with the fellas in The Band. I didn't know much about music, but I knew a thing or two about male charisma and in those days, Levon, Richard and Rick fairly oozed with it. They were smart and funny and could just enthrall you with their stories.

Robbie and Garth had a more subtle appeal that was more serious and definitely about the music. They were not players in today's sense of the word.

A few years later I kind of left the planet for nearly 20 years and had no knowledge of what had happened to The Band. When I got back and heard the story, I was amazed to learn that Robbie was perceived by many as the leader of the group and the indispensable man. And what was all this about Robbie's great charisma?

I stayed confused until I saw The Last Waltz on video. Robbie just sold his soul and The Band to Marty Scorsese in exchange for the invention of his charisma. All those stories he tells in the film I had heard from Levon, or Richard or Rick and they told them better and without being set up by a straight man. And what's up with the fly catching and pick brandishing and all that affected smoking?

Robbie always had lots of talent, but apparently he needed to win in every area and Scorsese let him do that on the big, commercial screen. Heartless and gutless, but successful in 70s terms. He hijacked the best band around for a big kick-off to his solo career.

Robbie can still play that guitar, but I can't listen to his new stuff without thinking about how he got where he is. And I'm sure he's still working off all that bad karma he bought.

Fri Dec 11 20:27:17 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin
Home page:

DAVID POWELL, I seem to differ on your last POST, and I don't have "THE JOHN WESLEY HARDING" SONGBOOK, but I'm sure the song goes like this: /AND ANYONE CAN FILL HIS LAP UP WITH THINGS; HE CAN SEE, BUT HE JUST CAN "NOT" TOUCH.../ Peace, Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Fri Dec 11 20:01:55 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Charlie Hawker:

You're very welcome. It was my pleasure :-)

Fri Dec 11 19:28:02 MET 1998


From: Connecticut

Page 235 - Faded Brown: I'd like to know - what did Leven mean when he said that the band members should sell their share to Robbie and Grossman? What exactly did that mean anyone? It doesn't specify between the two. Also - Petty question. Did Robbie ever go to Grossman's funeral?

Fri Dec 11 16:35:23 MET 1998


From: the woods in Northern Europe

Sorry, if I get sentimental on this site, but there are stock market and economical sites to be cold-hearted with.

Trikywu's post (Dec 11) has questions which should be answered. Is there anybody who can?

Fri Dec 11 16:34:35 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

The Band's business affairs should be matters of private concern. However, Levon seems to take every opportunity to publicly air his differences. Although Robertson's public remarks often seem self-centered, he has continued to say complimentary things about the contributions of Levon & the rest of the Band. I'm sure that each one has their own side of the story to tell.

One should remember that around the time of Big Pink & John Wesley Harding, Dylan himself was having his own differences with Albert Grossman. He reportedly felt that Grossman was taking too large a percentage of his earnings and they soon parted ways.

"All of us, at times, we might work too hard / To have it too fast and too much, / And anyone can fill his life up / With things he can see but he just cannot touch."

Fri Dec 11 14:26:44 MET 1998

Claus Petersen

From: Denmark

This is a brilliant site! Thanx a bunch.

Fri Dec 11 14:12:51 MET 1998


From: Mad City


Fri Dec 11 13:29:04 MET 1998

Charlie Hawker

From: The Honkytonks

Diamond Lil, thanks. I loved it.

Fri Dec 11 08:58:58 MET 1998

Peter Viney

As "Hey page 235" says we have been through all of this more than once - the reference to Richard singing those songs (whose titles I'm tired of typing) is indicative of poor proof reading and careless co-authors rather than anything else. The "selling the shares" point has relevance for the present. Who ultimately is in control of re-releases of their material? This refects on rarities, and live material that hasn't been issued, as well as what gets compiled. When I wrote on this I assumed, judging from Levon's book, that it was RR. To whom all enquiries should no doubt be directed.

Fri Dec 11 08:51:54 MET 1998


Spluttering with Rage: You sound like a Taurus. They're often scornful of astrology. Am I right?

Fri Dec 11 06:55:12 MET 1998


These guys were grown men. They knew what Albert was like. If they sold their 'shares' (whatever that may mean - I'm not a lawyer), they were happy with it at the time. Took the money and ran. Levon's hard feelings came afterwards. Pity he's cherishing his grudge.

Fri Dec 11 06:53:25 MET 1998

Hey Page 235

Your right, they are different, and they can be bought and sold just like publishing rights!

Fri Dec 11 06:41:19 MET 1998

Page 235 Faded Brown

We've been through all that. BTW: royalties and song writing credits are not the same. We've been through all that too.

Fri Dec 11 05:44:13 MET 1998


From: Ca

I ment SERVE.

Fri Dec 11 05:39:02 MET 1998


From: Ca

I remember an article in Musician magazine around the time of Jerico's and Levon's book release. I looked for the magazine but could'nt find it, so I'm relying on memory. Rick said something about being grateful for the CD re-issues and the money that came in from the sales of these CD's.So it seems the boy's did not sell out to Robbie. Levon and Rick both went on about a contract with Sony they had signed that came with a huge advance . Later Sony decided to drop The Band before releasing any product but the boy's got to keep their advance. This was part of the inspiration for the song, "Move To Japan" (I think thats the title-I lent my copy of Jerico out long ago and it was never returned). But the killer was a hint by the author of the article that Robbie was interested in rejoining the band while negotiations with Sony were in the early stages but Levon was against it. Any one else remember this article? Does my memory sevre me well?

Fri Dec 11 04:17:28 MET 1998


From: New York

Little John makes an interesting point. When I read that passage, I wondered why, oh, why did the other members of The Band sit back and let Albert G. and RR take control like that? I would have dragged them through the mud if anyone asked me to sell my share of my hard-earned efforts. It seems that Levon put up a fight, but who in the hell would get away with something like that? I like Robbie, and have no ill feelings toward him (I really admire him, in fact), but this is unbelievable. What made him so powerful? His schmoozing of Albert G? How can anyone get away with that?

Fri Dec 11 03:21:22 MET 1998

Page 235

From: Levons Book

In reference to Moondog Matinee:

Richard sang Allen Toussaint's "Holy Cow" and "Change is Gonna Come".

Fri Dec 11 01:21:03 MET 1998

Little John Tyler

I don't want to add any more fuel to the Robbie-Levon Feud fire, but I sincerely wish someone could explain this to me. In Levon's book, on page 272, he indicates there's something more than publishing rights that's bothering him: "Noises were being made about Robbbie wanting to buy out his fellow musicians' shares of The Band." He goes on to say that Rick, Garth and Richard ultimately were convinced to sell their ...shares of The Band to Robbie Roberson."

So what does that mean, from a legal or any other standpoint? Regardless of who jammed with who at The Troubador in '89, or who played on who's solo album after that, Do Rick, Garth, and Richard ('s estate) not earn royalties on the sale of Band recordings from Big Pink thru Last Waltz, or what?

Fri Dec 11 00:19:46 MET 1998


From: Connecticut

Another note on the Levon-Robbie saga. As late as 1978, Robbie was invited(and attended) Levon's all day and all night premiere party for the launch of RCO All-Stars. Not only did Robbie attend, but he spent the majority of the party hanging out with his old buddy, Levon. I have a fabulous picture of the two from that day, sitting in Levon's jeep. So why, in 1998, are we blaming for things that happened in '69-'70?

Thu Dec 10 23:41:08 MET 1998


From: N.S.

Congrats on the popularity of your web site, Jan! The work you have done here is a huge resource for music lovers. I personally have bought several new cds and albums as a result of reading about them here. Thank You!

1,850 people using .gov have looked at this site? There's gotta be a joke there somewhere.

Thu Dec 10 23:36:10 MET 1998


From: Clifton Park NY
Home page:

Just finished reading the Levon Helm interview in Offbeat. Levon can be as bitter as he likes-he has a right to be. The BAND was 5 people and certainly the 4 non-writers (well, they wrote a few of 'em) all had a hand in the way the songs and the arrangements were shaped and recorded. BUT Levon should also kick himself too-did he (and the others) ever confront/say anything to Robbie in the 10+ years they recorded together? I'm sure they had some idea that they were in the music business...we'll probably never know what did/didn't get asked about business in 1969, 1970, 1971...Yeah, if Robbie was big about it he'd restructure the publishing so the others share in it. It might also be his philosophy (not totally wrong) that without his songs there wouldn't have been as much success...Take note:The Beatles still don't own/control their own publishing-Michael Jackson does. Musicians from any era (the 1950's was even more unkind to musicians in respect to publishing/songwriter credit/royalties) should understand (or try to) it's a business.

Thu Dec 10 23:16:11 MET 1998



Thu Dec 10 22:38:03 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:

Peter, Robbie WAS the creative one, my opinion, Richard WAS vulnerable, I do believe, Levon though WAS loveable, for sure, Garth WAS no doubt, to shy, and Rick WAS the CRAZY one. As for me I'm a libra-the DEAD sign;, bull,lion, crab, ect.,October 08,1954, and we balance all of YOU!!! Very GOOD post Peter! Peace, Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Thu Dec 10 22:17:25 MET 1998


From: Cincinnati

After looking at how big the page is getting, I want to thank Jan. Your doing a great job.

Thu Dec 10 21:57:28 MET 1998

steve williams


Happy christmas to all the band.25 years of soul music p.s. GARTH, I believe we share a birthday, the 2nd of august, William 'pop' Borroughs passed away on the same day .Thankyou for the good times. regards, Steve.

Thu Dec 10 20:32:24 MET 1998


From: N.J.

I was surprised to read comments questioning Robbie Robertson's abilities as a guitarist.If speed and flash is how you define talent Robbie's early work with Dylan and John Hammond certain can provide lots of it. His latter work with the Band shows that he can also put his ego aside and play whats best for the song.His short two measure solos that are all thru the "The Last Waltz" are proof enough that taste and economy are important elements of his style. As any one who plays guitar can tell you,knowing how to play and knowing what to play are two different skills.Robbie had both.

Thu Dec 10 20:31:21 MET 1998



Thu Dec 10 19:18:45 MET 1998


From: Connecticut

I was loving Levon's interview until the end. Levon's bitterness toward Robbie is overwhelming. To think that at one time Robbie wrote "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" for Levon as a thank-you for all that Levon had done for him. Now to hear Levon say that Robbie did not even write any of the songs is too depressing for words.

Thu Dec 10 16:03:27 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

Scott Jordan's musically enlightening interview with Levon ended on a somewhat sour note as Levon expressed his bitterness toward Robbie Robertson & Albert Grossman over publishing rights. However, the group's relationship with Sally Grossman appears to be more congenial, since she receives acknowledgement & thanks in the liner notes to _Jericho_ & _High On The Hog_. I wonder what's up with that.

In the interview, Levon expresses great admiration for the legendary drummer Earl Palmer. For those of you who may be interested, New York Times music writer Tony Scherman has a book about Mr. Palmer that will soon be published (it may be out already but I've yet find it in the stores). Mr. Palmer began his career as part of the studio band in New Orleans that played on most of Little Richard's & Fats Domino's hit records. In 1957 he moved to Los Angeles, where he became the most in-demand drummer in that town's blossoming rock & rock recording scene. Between 1957 & 1966 he played on 50 top ten hit records, including Johnny Otis's "Willie and the Hand Jive," Sam Cooke's "Shake," and the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling."

Thu Dec 10 15:20:33 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Birthday business: Hoskyns must have got Rick's birthday from one of the many offshoots of "The Guinness Encyclopaedia of Popular Music."(I just looked). I know two people whose dates are wrong in the same volume. As it's a teen-magazine sort of fact, I guess no one bothers to check it. One mistake, probably years ago, will sail on through book after book. If I'd ever wanted to note that info, I'd have gone to the same source and repeated the same error. Now I just mentioned this to my wife as trivial information. Not so! The fact that the man is a Capricorn rather than a Sagittarius is, she tells me, highly important. Does he show Sagittarius characteristics? I never knew their birthdays before today, but if the Guinness book is only wrong on Danko - and it might be wrong on all of them - then Richard was a vulnerable Pisces, Garth a jovial Leo, Levon a likeable but difficult Gemini and Robbie was a creative Cancer. As the last is my sign, maybe that's why I tend to take his side in various disputes. Robbie, Rick and Richard also all fit the 1943 thesis. I can't remember it in detail, but years ago someone wrote a long paper about the rock stars of 1941 birth v rock stars of 1943 birth! I already hear some of you spluttering with rage, but others of you will follow this!

Thu Dec 10 14:39:02 MET 1998


From: Madison,Wisconsin
Home page:

Thanks 'Lil, Its people like you and me and Jan, you all know who you are, that make this website so must Fun to come back to time and time again, hugs and kisses XXXOOOXXX! I'LL BURY YA NOW, BUT "DIG YA" LATER! Peace, Love and Light always, Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Thu Dec 10 13:18:25 MET 1998



Dave Hopkins: I think you got it right. These Garthian vocal contributions from down-under are unearthed day by day. Remember at school: there was always one kid not singing along with the others, but just humming (at my school it was me). Honey Boy MUST be on Holy Cow too?

Thu Dec 10 12:51:22 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web


I suppose that's one of the nicer things about communicating with others on this page. We all learn things that we didn't know before. I know I do. Hell, if we all knew everything we'd be....Jan :-)

Peace back atcha Sundog. Still friends.

Thu Dec 10 08:13:06 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:

Well 'Lil, now you hurt my feelings hone, you are right, and I'm wrong, sorry if I came off as a heel. Rick Danko: tell people your brithday when your sober, heck, ya can't have two brithdays!(or can ya?). Peace,STLL FRIENDS? Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Thu Dec 10 06:40:33 MET 1998

Dave Hopkins

From: Cambridge, MA

So now that we’ve established (I guess) that it’s Garth who signs the bass part on Yea! Heavy, how about the bass part on Please, Mrs. Henry? Is that H. B. too?

Thu Dec 10 04:28:55 MET 1998

Mike Carrico

From the October 18, 1969 issue of Rolling Stone: Robbie is talking about "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and Levon - "I wrote it for him and aimed it right at him; he gets to say it all".

I thought that was pretty touching at the time - it seems particularly poignant now in light of the current estrangement of these two "brothers".

Thu Dec 10 02:43:28 MET 1998

Diamond Lil (again)

From: Still The Web

Apologies if that post came off as nasty. Wasn't meant to be. It's just that I think if anyone knows when Rick's birthday is, he does :-)

Thu Dec 10 02:38:12 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web


The information I have about Rick's birthday being December 29 came directly from the man himself. Any more questions?

Thu Dec 10 01:57:02 MET 1998

Kevin Gilbertson

From: NE PA

Youngblood (with Garths ‘looky there’) is also present on the 2 CD Superstar Concert Series from Westwood One Entertainment.

This was recorded at ‘The Joint’ in Las Vegas. Jan has the track listing here somewhere.

Thu Dec 10 01:55:56 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:

Also with all due respect, that is also why the"Wisconsin State Journal"-a major paper in the great state of Wisconsin; printed his brithday in the column of famous people, so like you said, I won't believe everthing I read, BUT WHEN DO YOU DRAW THE LINE, MY FRIEND? So, if the 29th.of December is right, then prove it, cuz I know that if I had a major paper, or writing a major book about a famous Band, a simple thing as a brithday would be the lease fact to worry about. But if you all are right, then I was misguided just like those of you that can't heard who sings vocals on Holy cow!!!BTW-I'm NEVER wrong! Ha ha ha Peace, Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Thu Dec 10 00:58:30 MET 1998


From: Toronto

When High on the Hog came out, I was visiting in the USA. I bought it, then I lost it. I then re ordered it from BMG music services. When I got my CD in the mail it had an extra song YOUNGBLOOD. It cost me an extra few bucks, but it was worth it, YOUNGBLOOD is a great tune

Wed Dec 9 21:52:08 MET 1998

A Band Friend

From: NY

That book is an unauthorized biography of The Band a lot of things are wrong in it and one of them is Rick's birthday. This is not worth getting into and I promised myself I wouldn't get into this petty nonsense on this page...but....Rick's birthday is the 29th of December and as Diamond Lil says always was and always will be ...don't believe everything you read and only half of what you see. See ya all in New Orleans

Wed Dec 9 21:16:20 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web


With all due respect to Hoskyn's book, Rick's birthday is now, always was, and always will be December 29, 1943.

Wed Dec 9 21:12:35 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:

By the way,the picture of THE BAND on the cover of that book is worth a billion words and is my All Time Favorite, if you have never seen or read the book, I highly suggest you buy it for yourself for the hollidaze, and read it with the Music from The Band playing in the background. You may learn more than you cared to about The BAND. For those of you who still own the "record" and original sleeve of Big Pink, open it up... now see the red barn behind the gathering...see the door... now see the branch from the tree in front the guy in black... well, thats BOB DYLAN, and I never knew that untill I read that book! Now I know why Peter and Jan are such smart "BANDHEADS" blah,blah blah!!! Peace, Love and Light Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Wed Dec 9 21:07:04 MET 1998

Annie Davis

From: Altus Arkansas

I liked your movie the last waltz and it was sad after 16 years on the road you had to quit your music is good southern rock and i liked it alot and i hope you e-mail me some time

Wed Dec 9 20:54:08 MET 1998

The Teacher

On Sundog's version of Happy Birthday, is that Rick or Richard singing lead? Holy cow, I don't know!!!! WooHoo

Wed Dec 9 20:37:03 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:

To: A BAND FRIEND, I've also been a BANDHEAD all the way back to the "BIG PINK" DAZE too. But trust me on this,theres a book out by Barney Hoskyns and its called "THE BAND and AMERICA -("ACROSS the GREAT DIVIDE"), and if you turn to page 16 at the top of the page, BAND bassist Rick Danko was born on 9 December 1943. But like you said; We can say Happy Brithday to Rick ANY day! Peace, Love and Light Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Wed Dec 9 20:18:19 MET 1998

Stanley Landau

From: Toronto

To Ellarbee: Really, nothing against Weider, but as Mr. Viney said, the true guitar genius is in inventing the licks not in imitating them. As far as whether he can play the solo better than anyone else, well he sure does it better than the guy from the Cate Brothers. But I've seen the "new Band" perform (maybe they should be called the "new Hawks")and I saw a very competent guitarist, but I was not overwhelmed. And I certainly would have preferred to see Robbie up there playing with the boys where he belongs. Truth be told, I think it's Mr. Weider who should be thanking The Band. This is the best gig that any guitarist could ever get.

Wed Dec 9 19:37:01 MET 1998


From: Virginia

Re: the RR as guitarist debate, there can be no doubt: Robbie was (perhaps still is) an extraordinarily fine guitarist, at his best in minimalist arrangements. Which is not to say that Jim Weider isn't an extraordinary musician in his own right. He truly is. I challenge any guitarist to deliver the goods as well as Jim does in concert with a song like "It Makes No Difference." In live performance, his contributions to that song will pull your heart right out of your chest. And another thing about Jim: he's stuck with our boys through the very worst and confusing of times. He's a major reason why we have The Band today. And, for that (as well as for his tasteful, creative guitaring), we should all give thanks.

Wed Dec 9 19:09:01 MET 1998


From: the land of Linus "Linux" Thorvalds

WARNING: This is depressing, don't read it.

My thoughts after reading Levon's interview. - Look at the cover of the Brown Album and listen to the songs (like you have done thousand times). In the musical scene of the late sixties, this was for me a powerful yet minimal, down to the earth, healthy, honest and romantic rock music. Behind their modest approach I liked to see friendship and hope that would last. Take anything from that great era, they were different. - Then came The Last Waltz; it was a slaughter, a crime, when it should have been a flame, a burning fire. I felt that he/they who stood behind it put me down.

And Richard then, oh my God.

Robertson owe me writing. Boys owe me what I always have been waiting for: a reunion. But if that unbelievable, that miracle, would happen, it would be - without Richard Manuel.

Wed Dec 9 18:59:13 MET 1998

Robbie's songwriting pen

The interview with Levon interesting, though badly let down by his stance on Robertson.

As says, "that was so long ago". So why does he continue to bitch over it? Couldn't he just show a little decorum when these questions are put to him, with a nod of the head & a wise smile??

Wed Dec 9 18:38:54 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Shark-E: If you can tell me what you have played on that matches 'King Harvest' or 'Who Do You Love?' or 'Crazy Love' from Phenomenon (as a contrast)or indeed anything else Robbie ever played on I'll consider your opinion of his guitar playing. I never cease to be amazed by the number of people who think copping Robbie's licks means they're as good as Robbie. It has nothing to do with mechanically manipulating the guitar strings, it has everything to do with thinking of it in the first place. Robbie, Lowell George, Ry Cooder, Steve Cropper - that's my division one, probably in that order. But I sense you were joking anyway. Listen to 'Live 1966' if you weren't.

YOUNG BLOOD was a bonus track on both British and Japanese releases. It's also on "Till The Night Is Gone: A Tribute to Doc Pomus' which would be a better buy if you already have the US version of HIGH ON THE HOG. Shawn Colvin's VIVA LAS VEGAS is outstanding for a start plus you get Dr John, Los Lobos, Lou Reed, Aaron Neville, Brian Wilson. A great tribute album. And Garth sings on it on album and … a great joy to all at Cambridge - on stage. But only the last deep line in each section.

I'll dig out my TWILIGHT single - I thought it came out ahead of BEST OF THE BAND. I remember debating whether to buy it as I had the single. I did of course. The NLSC out-take bit was only said much later on.

Wed Dec 9 17:53:36 MET 1998

Jenni Harjunpää

From: Kerava , Finland

I can say that they're just Great! Wonderful music that keeps you going.

Wed Dec 9 17:26:23 MET 1998


From: Canton, MA

Adding to the Holy Cow controversy is the
fact that Hoskyns' book says it's Rick while
Helm's book says it's Richard.  I listened
to it again and I swear I hear both.  At least
it ain't Neil Diamond, and we should all be
thankful for that.

Wed Dec 9 17:13:15 MET 1998

Stanley Landau

From: Toronto

To: Shark-E. One can certainly say a lot of negative things about Robbie, but I must respectfully disagree with your assessment of his guitar playing. He is(was in his hayday)one of the finest (in my opinion the finest) and certainly the most tasteful guitarist in rock. Nothing against Weider, but he's no Robbie, although he certainly is adept at playing a lot of Robbie's licks note for note on stage (e.g. W.S. Walcott). Everyone, including Levon should give credit where credit is due. Robbie was just as integral to what made The Band great as any of the others and some would argue that this is an understatement.

Wed Dec 9 16:41:37 MET 1998


From: Ireland

Robbie Robertson, What a crap guitar player, Never mind, he wrote great songs

Wed Dec 9 15:47:19 MET 1998


From: Christmas Island, Indian Ocean

Great web site! Have been a Band fan since Big Pink days. Have a little trouble obtaining material out here but manage to catch up eventually. Will be a regular visitor.

Wed Dec 9 15:44:58 MET 1998

Harry Bogaev

From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Fantastic group of musicians, great music. Got an opportunity to meet Levon and Butch after a Cromatix show last march and thanked Levon for keeping the music and memory of Muddy Waters and Hank Williams alive. Couldn't want to meet a nicer bunch of folks. Your website is a constant source of joy, Jan.

Wed Dec 9 15:39:05 MET 1998

John Donabie

RE: Accents again. It's true that you can usually spot a Canadian with the words "out" and "about". I have found that people from the east coast of Canada really use those two words in a very "Canadian" way. Living only 90 miles from Buffalo, I still get a kick from Western New York State accents.

For example. If your name is Patty, they will say Pea-atty. I met a guy in New Orleans last week from California. After a few words I asked him if he was originally from Western New York State. He responded did you know? It's that accent thing. I have spent so much time in the states that I am sometimes asked if I am American. I don't do the out and about thing. I also pronounce the word rout as rout. Canadians pronouce it as "root". Canadians say, schedule as shed-ule. I say sked-ule....very American. I am often taken to task about it.

Wed Dec 9 15:30:44 MET 1998

Jan Høiberg

From: Halden, Norway

I just got all the prints of Paul Fleming's The Band paintings. If any of you are thinking about getting copies, I'll highly recommend it. The quality of the prints is excellent, the scans on the website do not do them justice (ehm ... was that a correct English expression? Some times it's a little difficult to run an English website when you have another language as your first.)

Anyway, I am impressed by how good these prints look. The colors, sharpness, the paper quality ... looks almost like the originals. Get'em if you want some nice The Band pics. Mine'll look great next to the Landy posters I already have. Thanks to youknowwhoyouare. And to Diamond Lil for making my day.

Wed Dec 9 14:28:54 MET 1998

A Band Friend

From: NY

You can wish Rick a Happy Birthday anytime --- but his birthday is December 29. And....let us put this Holy Cow business to rest. It is definitely Rick. Believe me his memory is fine. If he says it is him singing, it is him. Besides, I don't know how anyone can mistake his voice for Richard's. See Ya all.

Wed Dec 9 14:21:37 MET 1998

Ken Kramer

From: Florida

Wed Dec 9 14:15:14 MET 1998


On my copy of High on the Hog, Youngblood is listed on the sleeve as track 11, but is not on the CD. That's too bad because by the sounds of the audio sample, it's probably one of the better tracks on an otherwise dismal album. (Ramble Jungle - whats up with that?)

Wed Dec 9 14:09:46 MET 1998

Joe Henderson

From: Upstate NY

Wonderful Levon interview! Great how he talks about the old days and the influences on his playing! Great teamworker he is. One question; he does a lot of talking, but his recent voice problems are not mentioned by the interviewer nor himself. So he's back on track? Or doesn't he want to talk about it?

Wed Dec 9 13:54:06 MET 1998


So it's Garth grumbling on "Youngblood"? Never realised. Then it's definitely his voice on "Yeah! Heavy", albeit 30 years younger, but still the same. What about this 'Japanese bonus track' anyway? I bought my copy two years ago in just an ordinary Dutch record shop. "Youngblood" is not at all mentioned on the sleeve and booklet, but it is on the cd as track 11. This "has been discussed before" no doubt?

Wed Dec 9 10:47:05 MET 1998

Spider John

From: LAD3/4

Having headed north for an incredible show at the Towne Crier courtesy of Rick, Jonas, Professor Louie and Marie its time to make preparations to head south to MSG on 2/22/99 to see Jimmy Buffett.

Barometer Soup Follow in my wake You've not that much at stake For I have plowed the seas And smoothed the troubled waters Come along let's have some fun The hard work has been done We'll barrel roll into the sun Just for starters

Wed Dec 9 09:53:15 MET 1998


Danny Lopez: I understand Garth lent his deep deep bass bass voice to "Even If It's A Pig, Part I & II" recorded in the basement. Never heard it.

Wed Dec 9 07:09:11 MET 1998


From: penna

Real Canadians pronounce Caribou as Keraboo and Out as Oat. Am i right or what? Eh?

Wed Dec 9 06:59:20 MET 1998


From: penna

You must be drive me crazy! I always considered Holy Cow a Danko song but after the other suggestions here the element of doubt has creeped into my alleged mind. So tonight I cued it up and played it low then loud then with headphones. Finally i have piece of mind. It is without a doubt the Simcoe Sensation. The tone, timbre, the affectation of the voice-Danko. Besides if the man himself said he sang it, that's more than good enough for me. I believe that Rick has an excellent musical memory and knows what he has done. So take off, eh.

As for Canadian accents I am always reminded of the great hall of fame goalie Bernie Parent who still sounds as if he just arrived from the great north even though he has lived here in penna., over 20 years. Bernie often answered questions about his awesome performances by saying "You shout the puck, I stop it. Eh?"

In the past a certain friend of the Band's from Canada has expressed displeasure with us Americans. And for good reason. Canadians dislike Americans because: we won't acknowledge enormous cultural contributions of Howie Mandel. Not enough guys named "Gordie". They've never even heard of our most popular superhero, Captain Saskatchewan. We're pretty sure they're holding Wayne Gretzky down there against his will.{excerpt from David Letterman's top 10 list} Dave would be nothing without Thunder Bay's own Paul Shaffer!

Wed Dec 9 06:10:23 MET 1998

Jonathan Katz

From: Columbia, MD

To Danny Lopez: Garth "sings" on "Young Blood" from the Doc Pomus tribute [and the Japanese official release of HOH]. I think there is an audio file of it on this site [which remains my favorite internet spot - Thanks Jan!].

Wed Dec 9 04:51:03 MET 1998


From: Curitiba, Brazil

Hy that's me again, I forgot to say that I got a VHC tape of the great Dylan singing "Like a rolling stone" along with The Stones in Rio de Janeiro, if anyone wants a copy please write me.

Wed Dec 9 04:46:26 MET 1998


From: Curitiba, Brazil

Hy all Band mates, as you can saw I am from Brazil, I've been a Band fanatic since ny teens ( I am 36 now), but unfortunately here is so difficult to got any material from them aside the official albums so if anyone could have the kindness of contact me by my E-mail adress i would appreciate. tks + bst rgds, Vila.

Wed Dec 9 04:26:45 MET 1998

lex gilbert

From: earth

nice site thankx

Wed Dec 9 03:38:45 MET 1998

Danny Lopez

From: Iowa

My hunch on "Yeah! Heavy" is that it has to be Garth. Richard can get low, but this doesn't sound like his voice. Robbie has a deep voice, but in the early days -- Bessie, Kingdom -- he was singing high. Judging by Garth's natural speaking voice that I've heard on the various videos, it has to be him. Ragtime: tell me what other song Garth sang on!

Wed Dec 9 01:23:09 MET 1998

Kees B.

From: Deventer, Holland

I love "Book Faded Brown" on JUBILATION, too. But Levon on "Don't Wait" is my favorite. I understand he is having problems, and I can hear it. But the honesty and roots in his voice, and the greatness of his performance ... it makes me cry. The Band would never be The Band without Helm.

Wed Dec 9 01:20:51 MET 1998

Pat Brennan

From: USA

Chaz, I'm not sure how you meant the last two sentences of your post, but Richard Manuel co-wrote Whispering Pines with Robbie.

Wed Dec 9 01:15:33 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:

"Happy Brithday to you, Happy Brithday to yooou, Happy Brithday too RIK DANKOOOOOO, Happy Brithdaaaay tooooo yoooooouuuuuu!

Wed Dec 9 00:27:21 MET 1998


From: the brazos

This is rather trivial and not at all important, I'm just curious.

In the liner notes for the_Across the Great Divide_ box set, it says_Twilight_was recorded in 1976 and first released on_The Best of The Band_. On this site, the singles discography says it was released as a single in 1975 and was an out take of NLSC.

Anybody know this one? Thanks.

Wed Dec 9 00:24:46 MET 1998


From: Toronto

I just got the Band's new CD Jubilation. I can't find it in stores, so I ordered it from CDNOW. The CD sounds great, can't get enough of Book Faded Brown, Danko's never sounded better.

Wed Dec 9 00:22:14 MET 1998



Danny Lopez: about the deep voice. I always thought it was Richard. Maybe it's Garth? One of his two vocal contributions? Let's keep ourselves busy for the next few days!

Tue Dec 8 23:33:57 MET 1998


From: Detroit

Levon say's in the latest interview, that Robertson did'nt write any of the Band's songs. Is this true?

Tue Dec 8 23:32:46 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:


Tue Dec 8 23:31:29 MET 1998


I was sorry to see that Levon is continuing to stomp his feet about publishing. His constant whining is getting very old, not to mention it's a turnoff. I stay away from the whiners at work cause they bring me down. Levon has really become a bitter old man. Listen to the great poetry of the first two Band records. Whispering Pines is beautiful with or without music. Robbie was very good for a while.

Tue Dec 8 22:53:52 MET 1998

Stanley Landau

From: Toronto

Having heard John Donabie introduce The Band many times at concerts, and having heard him on the radio I can assure you that he has no accent at all, eh.

Tue Dec 8 22:09:06 MET 1998

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland

Two Plus Two equals Four. Water is wet. The Sun is Hot. Bill Clinton can't keep it in his pants. The attempts to nail him are pure political. And let me tell you......Rick Danko sings lead on "Holy Cow"; you can take that to Nick's Check Cashing and cash it.......

Tue Dec 8 20:20:34 MET 1998


From: here

the concert from the rock rocked. Too bad the boyz decided to pack it in. Had to be expected with their musical backgrownds.

Tue Dec 8 19:22:03 MET 1998


From: boston

Phil. Yes.

Time to listen to When You Awake again, this time imagining 'Ole' or 'Ollie' as the narrator's mother. I need a life.

Tue Dec 8 19:00:07 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

Looky here good buddies---an almost sure fire test to tell if someone is Canadian is to have have them say the word "about."

Tue Dec 8 15:45:29 MET 1998

John Donabie

RE: ACCENTS...As a broadcaster for many years I find the whole "accent" conversation interesting. One of the reasons that Canadians end up on British & American TV & Radio, is that we are deemed to have and I quote, a "Transatlantic Accent." Sounds like we are a benign group. Question? How do you spot a Canadian at an orgy? Answer: We're the ones washing the grapes. Thanks to Canadian humorist Dave Broadfoot for that one.

Tue Dec 8 15:05:46 MET 1998


Not bad for a web site about The Band ... up there with the major ISPs and national newspapers.

Tue Dec 8 14:18:01 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Accents: I've done a fair amount of spoken voice recording with Canadian and American actors (quite often with Canadians doubling as Americans, which they do well if they're good. Americans find it much harder to do the other way, possibly because they're less familiar with Canadian accents). Anyway, from 3000 miles away, Robbie and Rick are both definitely Canadian to me. I've used Robbie radio shows as an accent reference, and the Canadian actors have always agreed! I'd agree that many other Canadians who've lived in the States are harder to guess. I wouldn't guess William Shatner from his voice, and certainly not 'Scottie'. Whoops. Sorry, perhaps STAR TREK is something we'd better not enter into!

Diamond Lil: You mean it isn't Levon? :-)

Tue Dec 8 12:16:41 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

I don't know if this was ever discussed here, but I have a question.

Does anyone know who sang lead on "Holy Cow"? :-)

Hope you all smiled at that. Have a good day!

Tue Dec 8 06:27:27 MET 1998



Again I'm convinced, by JERRY this time. Can we stop now?

Tue Dec 8 06:07:07 MET 1998

Stu Hruska

From: Westchester, New York

Great show at the Towne Crier in Pawling N.Y. on Saturday night. Memorable performances by Rick Danko, Aaron Hurwitz, Marie Spinosa and Rick's special guest Jonas Fjeld who sang several tunes from the two Danko, Fjeld-Anderson albums. Wonderful artist wonderful music! Rick seems to have "Book Faded Brown" down pat. Hope to see him perform this song as well as others from "Jubilation" with the other members of The Band on New Years Eve at Levon's All American Cafe. Several years ago I heard Rick Danko perform "When You Awake" in a small intimate venue. Rick asked for requests and as he started to sing he said " My mother's name, God rest her soul, was Leyola and her friends used to call her 'Ole'" He then went directly into this wonderful rendition of "When You Awake" Perhaps Rick's bandmates were also thinking of Leyola Danko when they penned this whimsical tale. Finally, I listened to Moondog Matinee once again and its definately Richard singing lead on "Holy Cow" and Rick soulfully covering Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come". Several years ago, also at The Towne Crier Cafe, Rick Danko was accompanied by his friend and onetime member of The Band, Blondie Chaplin, who performed the most incredible rendition of "A Change is Gonna Come" that night. So much so that whenever I think of the song I think of Blondie.

Tue Dec 8 05:34:37 MET 1998

Dave Hopkins

From: Cambridge MA

The New Orleans web site does say that The Last Waltz happened in 1977...there’s a mistake. Also, it says that the Band played 17 instruments. Is that right?

Tue Dec 8 05:20:46 MET 1998

Kevin Gilbertson

From: NE PA

Recently, I have been corresponding back and forth with regarding the vinyl version of Jubilation. The order finally did arrive and I must say that was very fair and helpful. They did not charge me for the vinyl (or the CD) due to the delay in shipping.

During our correspondence, mentioned the following:

“P.S. Good news on the QT, if you are a Band fan, it looks like we are working on a deal to web cast, not chat but web cast, from Levon's new club in New Orleans, so stay tuned.”

I can’t see how mentioning it here could possibly jeopardize it. Of course, if it was a big secret it wouldn’t have been mentioned to me. Perhaps they new a fan couldn’t really sit on this bit of info and are looking for a bit of publicity. Anyway, they did not indicate a date or time frame. Of course, “working on a deal” does not mean there is a deal. Hopefully, something will actually materialize.

Has anyone else heard anything like this?

Tue Dec 8 04:53:21 MET 1998

Pat Brennan

From: USA

BTW, I don't think there are enough mistakes in the preamble to Levon's interview on the New Orleans website.

Tue Dec 8 04:31:59 MET 1998

Pat Brennan

From: USA

The songbook that covered the Brown Album has "Ollie told me..." as the first line. I don't know how much this played into it, but check the song order on Moondog: 1.Aint...Levon 2.Cow..Rick/The Boys 3. Share...Richard 4. Train...Levon/The Boys 5. 3rd Man...Garth. Makes sense. Kinda. For further review, compare the voice singing "Cow" with the voice singing "Share Your Love." Hmmm. Pretty different. For that matter, check out the voice on All La Glory. They could do some different things with their voices. For some real laughs, check out Teenage Prayer from Basement Tapes. Who's doing what there?

Tue Dec 8 04:26:29 MET 1998


From: Ca

Franko:Your kidding about Richard on lead....right?

Tue Dec 8 04:09:08 MET 1998


From: Boston

Rick. It is Rick. RICK. yes, Richard and Levon come in on "holy Cow, watcha doin' child" but the song is mostly Rick. Hey, three voices in one Band song is, well, is a Band song. Rick sings lead. Rick said so himself, last week. Robbie said so, according to a recent entry. Robbie Dreamworks can't be wrong.

As for "When You Awake", I always heard it as "Ole", a Scandinavian name of some sort, not sure which country (sorry Jan). I look forward to a Vine-y-tation (carried away by the recent addition of "garthian" to my vocabulary, thanks to the guestbook) on the lyrics, I was never able to make much of them myself. When I was a kid I thought it to be a simple song about family, the relationship between a grandfather and his grandson, a place for the boy to go to listen and fall asleep to the comforting words of his grandfather. Upon further listenings it seem like 'Ole' gives as much advice as the grandfather does. I'm perplexed. Who is Ole? My guess is Ole is the singer's older brother. I don't know why. Richard does a great job on the lead, though.

Tue Dec 8 03:55:24 MET 1998

Danny Lopez

From: Iowa

In terms of the debates on who sang what, who has the deep, deep voice on "Yeah! Heavy and a Bottle of Bread"? Is it Robbie, or could it be Garth???

Tue Dec 8 03:49:05 MET 1998

Stanley Landau

From: Toronto

Peter Viney: To my ears, Robbie has no discernible Canadian accent and Rick barely has one. From the Last Waltz which is the only time I recall hearing either of them speak (other than in Eat The Document which I saw about 20 years ago and an interview on Canadian TV a few months before Richard’s death) Garth has and Richard had the most noticeably Canadian accents. Thanks for the comments about publishing rights. I am a lawyer (although not one with a great deal of knowledge in this area) and your understanding is the same as mine. For me, it’s pretty easy to take Levon’s side on most things since Robbie impresses me as generally quite full of himself - but not on this issue. As I pointed out in a post a few weeks ago, it just doesn’t jive with the historical record for Levon to continue to accuse Robbie of screwing the others on song-writing. By the way on the issue of "Ollie" vs. "Oh they", I too for many years thought it was "Oh they", but then some time in the early 70’s I got hold of a Band songbook which indicated that the correct lyric is "Ollie". Incidentally, on the "Before the Flood" tour I heard the song performed twice and the line "You will be hangin’ on a string from your…" was finished with the word "heart" ie. "you will be hanging on a string from your heart". Finally I’m really astounded at the controversy over who sings "Holy Cow". It never even occurred to me that it could be anyone other than Rick. In fact about a year ago I signed Hideke Watanabe’s guest book and pointed out what I assumed was an error in what was otherwise a very informative, detailed and accurate list. I could be wrong because you guys all seem to have good ears, but if Rick says he sang it, maybe it’s a bit insulting to suggest that he can’t remember. After all this is an important part of his life’s work.

Tue Dec 8 02:14:04 MET 1998



RICHARD:I can't wheel & I can't deal RICK:Since you walked out on me, holy smoke whatcha doin to me. RICHARD:I can't eat & I can't sleep RICK:Since you walked out on me, holy cow whatcha doin child. RICHARD & LEVON: Holy cow whatch doin child RICK: Whatcha doin, whatcha doin child. RICHARD & LEVON: Holy smoke well it ain't no joke RICK: No joke! RICHARD & LEVON: Hey Hey Hey

I'd better stop there.

Tue Dec 8 01:49:43 MET 1998

Travis Bikel

From: New York City

Allright you screwheads, listen up, once and for all...... Levon and Richard: Holy Cow, whatcha doin Child Rick:Whatcha doin, whatch doin Child.... Levon and Richard: Holy Smoke.. well it ain't no joke Rick: NO JOKE!! Levon and Richard: Hey Hey Hey..... Someday a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the street, the filth, the dogs, the people who think Richard Manuel sang songs that Rick Danko sang on Moondog Matinee....

Mon Dec 7 23:07:15 MET 1998

Peter Viney

In Association with Professor Higgins:

One More Shot ought to do it. Accent. From 3000 Miles away, Canadian accents seem a oneness to me, though of course I'm missing Provincial and Regional differences and also the nuances that must exist from district to district of cities. I can still tell (mostly) Canadians from Americans. I've been fooled by Americans from near the border. I've heard Robbie A LOT on tape and video. Rick and Levon quite a lot. Garth a bit. Richard hardly at all. So I have to judge on what comes through singing. At this distance, Rick and Robbie are both instantly recognisable as Canadians by their accent. Garth is Garth, so less so. Richard, in singing, is often indistinguishable from an American. I have no idea about talking!

So, most of the time Rick is singing, I hear Canadian, not American. But this is not always so. In 'Holy Cow' the Canadian accent is notably less in the main vocal, except in "since you WALKED OUT on me". This is not a classic Canadian "oot" at all, partly because the singer's trying to pronounce approximately like Lee Dorsey. But there's an edge to it there that makes me think it's Rick. When I get to "I can't eat …" I think it's Richard. So, one for you Canadians. Do Rick and Robbie have more Clearly Canadian accents? Or should I have been drinking the Clearly Canadian beverage instead of red wine tonight?

Pete Rivard: that's the first explanation od "Ow-lie told me" that makes sense! Thanks.

Mon Dec 7 22:32:36 MET 1998

Pete Rivard

From: Hastings, MN

I'm another one who always heard "Oh, they told me..." in When You Awake. When I moved out here to the Upper Midwest, I discovered a whole genre of joketelling concerning a Scandinavian couple called Ole and Lena. Typically, the jokes center around Ole, or his wife's, cluelessness, and sometimes are inverted to make Ole the smart one among some of his oafish friends. Now, Ole is pronounced Oh lee, in these stories. I wonder if Robbie had picked up some of these tales from Dylan, a native Minnesotan, or someone else from this area, never bothered to check on the spelling, and used him as a character dispensing folksy advice.

Mon Dec 7 22:29:52 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Diamond Lil: the more I listen the more perplexed I get too. I hear one, then the other. I can't suss it either. Rick's definitely doing the echo part. The other voice sounds stylistically different, but not on the live tape. But they have quite a range. Both of them. We've had Rick's say so. I'll go with that. If Mr Danko genuinely looks in here, maybe he could repeat? I thought we'd solved this. As we're at the risk of being flamed if we continue the discussion, feel free to e-mail me directly too!

Mon Dec 7 21:39:58 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Peter Viney:

I very much appreciated you taking the time to tell me all that, but I wasn't referring to there being a "problem" singing 2 parts on tape. I was referring to the fact that Rick is singing backup on Holy Cow, and _someone_ is singing lead...another voice. Both are not Rick. Listen closely please.

Mon Dec 7 21:33:24 MET 1998

Peter Viney

From: Dorset

1) Diamond Lil - even in 1973 (and 1963) there was no problem with singing two parts on tape! 3) Just re-read the great interview with Levon. It brings up this publishing question again. This post will be repetitive for long term readers.

Legally, a composition is the top line and the lyrics. Period. Everything else is arrangement. Unless a deal is made to the contrary, lyrics are assumed to be 50% of the publishing; the top line is the other 50%. We have lawyers here with music specialities, and I think they’ll back me up on this.

So, Miles Davis does ‘Time after Time.’ The credits read (Lauper-Hyman). We don’t know who wrote the lyrics or whether they shared them, but on this instrumental version they split 50 / 50. No publishing at all for Miles. The Hendrix version of ‘All Along The Watchtower’ is (B. Dylan.) What Jimi does counts only as arrangement. Performance royalties - yes. Publishing - no.

OK, take my favourite drum part of all time. ‘The Weight.’ Never surpassed. Sheer poetry. There were three hit cover versions, plus the cover by Smith on the EASY RIDER OST. Neither Aretha Franklin, nor Diana Ross with the Supremes & The Temptations make any attempt whatsoever to reproduce the drum part. But it’s still ‘The Weight’ (though vastly inferior.) Smith try to reproduce it - ludicrously. Jackie DeShannon’s drummer tries to reproduce it but can’t get anywhere near the sound or timing. Ditto Spooky Tooth’s non-hit version (but near hit in the UK). So you can have a hit version of ‘The Weight’ (sadly) without the drum part at all, as well as feeble attempts to copy it. The drums are arrangement, not composition.

Now any kind of individual deal could have been struck. But everyone in the business would have advised RR that the publishing was his by right and by precedent. No matter that it had the best organ ever, drums that are sheer poetry, three incredible voices, great bass part. ALL OF THIS is arrangement. Publishing is a different thing. That’s the rule - top line and lyric. So I find it sad that they still hold it against him. Maybe he should / could / might have broken the system, but the system was in place long before The Band. You don’t have to think it’s fair. But they were all adults.

Mon Dec 7 21:25:20 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

After listening to "Holy Cow" another hundred times or so, I am convinced bayond a shadow of a doubt that it's....Garth singing lead. Holy Smoke! Who woulda believed it, eh?

Seriously though, I do wonder how if Rick is singing backup on that tune (and he is) - how can he be singing lead as well? I know what he said at the Towne Crier and I love him to death, but maybe his memory doesn't always serve him breakfast either. I _has_been a long time.

The question posed to him by LJT I believe was "who sang on Holy Cow?". Not who sang _lead_ on Holy Cow. Just makes me wonder that's all.

And lastly, for whatever it's worth..I still think it's Richard.

Mon Dec 7 20:42:38 MET 1998


From: Ontario

Sorry: On my previous post, I should have said Doug, not Dave.

Mon Dec 7 20:37:07 MET 1998


From: Ontario

Dave: Amen to what you said! There can be no doubt that with the phrasing, intonation etc., the vocal on "Holy Cow" is Rick. As someone pointed out here in an earlier post, Rick surely had to take lead vocal on one or more songs over the course of a record album. Thus, Holy Cow and A Change...

Mon Dec 7 20:29:01 MET 1998

Doug Maple

From: Ann Arbor, Mi

There is no question in my mind that the vocalist on Holy Cow is Rick Danko. In listening to the first few lines, I definitly here the signiture of the same scared man who told us about "stagefright" and "Crazy Chester."

Mon Dec 7 19:58:19 MET 1998


From: Canton, MA

resubmitting in a more readable format.. I hope. sorry...

Holy Cow, let's not bring Buckner into this! Look at and see that this is a point of disagreement:

Paolo Demaria's list of lead vocalists says that it's Rick:

>Holy Cow Moondog Matinee Rick

...but Hideke Watanabe's 'who plays what' list says otherwise:

>Holy Cow >Richard Manuel : 1st Lead Vocal & Electric Piano
>Levon Helm : 2nd Lead Vocal & Drums
>Rick Danko : Back Vocal & Bass
>Robbie Robertson : Electric Guitar
>Garth Hudson : Tenor Sax & Lowrey Organ

I don't have Moondog handy, but it I listen to 30 second the soundclip from this site I can definitely hear Richard, not to say that Rick doesn't take over elsewhere in the song.


Mon Dec 7 19:58:03 MET 1998


From: oh canada

Rudy: Jubilation is not yet available in Canada either, which is even a worse tragedy considering their Canadian history. (Rick, Garth, HELLO??).

Great Levon interview, "Only now can The Band get talked about as being the group that's able to do something without Robbie Robertson. Goddamn, that was so long ago, it just ought to be put to rest. The Band ain't Robbie Robertson."

That should put to rest some of the on-going discussions (arguments) on this, dontcha think? Wish I could be down in New Orleans for the opening.

Mon Dec 7 19:57:02 MET 1998


From: Canton, MA

Holy Cow, let's not bring Buckner into this! Look at and see that this is a point of disagreement: Paolo Demaria's list of lead vocalists says that it's Rick: >Holy Cow Moondog Matinee Rick ...but Hideke Watanabe's 'who plays what' list says otherwise: >Holy Cow >Richard Manuel : 1st Lead Vocal & Electric Piano >Levon Helm : 2nd Lead Vocal & Drums >Rick Danko : Back Vocal & Bass >Robbie Robertson : Electric Guitar >Garth Hudson : Tenor Sax & Lowrey Organ I don't have Moondog handy, but it I listen to 30 second the soundclip from this site I can definitely hear Richard, not to say that Rick doesn't take over elsewhere in the song. --Dave

Mon Dec 7 18:55:39 MET 1998

Little Bessie

From: the snowstorm in Sweden
Home page

HI KIRSTEN, yes there are women who like the music of The Band. It's great to hear from other ladies who share the same interest. My favourites are Up On Cripple Creek and Stage Fright. - Let's keep the female voices heard in this guestbook! (PS If you love to ride a bicycle, like the Danes usually do, take a look at my page.)

Mon Dec 7 18:45:12 MET 1998


From: Scotland

At last...I've only been in to The Band for a year now but I was allready beginning to despair of finding another human who had even heard of them never mind appreciate them. Then bingo I find this great site within an hour of having access to the internet and people from all over the world who love their music. This is a happy day and I've allready added this site to my favourites. If anyone can tell me how to get copies of the videos here in the UK (other than The Last Waltz) I would be really grateful. Thank you for restoring my faith in the worlds musical taste..............LYN

Mon Dec 7 15:52:43 MET 1998

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland Tx

Bob, your post is the worst flub to come out of Boston since Buckner bent down for that grounder. Holy Cow......

Mon Dec 7 15:29:59 MET 1998


From: Boston

Great site! Rick Danko must be confused when he says it's him singing the Alan Toussaint song "Holy Cow". It is 100%, without a doubt and unequivicably a Richard Manuel vocal. The first lines give it away (I can't wheel, I can't deal, since you walked out on me, yeah). Danko is clearly heard singing backup (Watcha doin child). Sometimes singers memories get lost after a long time. A good example of this is heard on the new Lennon anthology when a snippet of his son Sean is played. Sean is singing "With a little help from my Friends" and asks who the singer was John correctly answers Ringo with him and Paul on back-up but when Yoko pipes in and asks for the name of the song John tries but can't remember! He recovers though by singing it to himself before remembering. I bet if you played the song for Rick he would say "oh yeah, that was Richard". Anyway, fantastic work on this site! I don't have an e-mail address but will check in when I can at the library.

Ragtime again

The Levon interview is so good you can 'hear' him talk. Definitely his own words. Great interviewer, this Scott Jordan. Please note that it's Levon himself who brings up the name Robertson. Pity his grudge is not over yet.

Mon Dec 7 14:39:41 MET 1998

Ragtime Willie

From: The Low Countries

PETER: maybe Pat Brennan's songbook can tell us whether the 'Ollie' line is right. "Oh, they..." always made more sense to me too & gives these lines a broader meaning. I was disappointed when I found out it should be "Ollie", which sounds silly to me. Reminds me of Oliver Hardy. Still I don't think the narrator is Stan Laurel. GERARD: het spijt me kerel. Yes I'm a reviewer (of classical music), but I'm not a rock journalist and don't even know one personally. If you want a chat on availability of Jubilation in the Low Countries feel free to contact me by e-mail.

Mon Dec 7 13:45:50 MET 1998


From: The Netherlands

I bought my copy of Jubilation in mid-september in the "PLATO" recordshop in Utrecht. There are more branches in other Dutch towns, but I saw copies of Jubilation at "VAN LEEST" shops as well (they labelled it as "special import"). So it's not difficult to find in The Netherlands, but I've seen no reviews at all. What do YOU say Ragtime? Aren't you are a reviewer yourself?

Mon Dec 7 13:23:43 MET 1998

Rudy Veirman

From: Belgium

Well, as you 've noticed on this guestbook, the Band still got some admirers in the Low Countries. There's a problem though - as already was pointed out by a Band-fan in the Netherlands - "Jubilation" didn't get any reviews in the Belgian newspapers and magazines - yet. It wasn't even announced !! (For your information and as far as I could check : same thing in Britain). So, in my opinion Polygram Europe did a louzy job in promoting the record because it simply isn't available over here, not even the popular megastores in Brussels. Thanks to this wonderful website, me and some friends, were able to get ourselves a copy and since "Jubilation" is such a strong piece of work, we are spreading the good news - even sent e-mails to some newspapers and magazines. Nevertheless, this ongoing situation - "Jubilation" was out last September, wasn't it - is a bloody disgrace and something should be done about it, don't you think so ?

Mon Dec 7 12:23:09 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Excellent interview with Levon by Scott Jordan - don't miss it.

Jan has added Little John's dialogue with Rick to the Moondog Matinee article

Thanks for comments on 'When You awake' - I heard exactly the same as Ragtime for years too, "Oh, they told me …" and what's more it makes more sense. Should have it ready soon.

Mon Dec 7 10:33:40 MET 1998

Ragtime Willie

From: the fork in the road

When You Awake: I can't help you with worthwile ideas Peter, just a few random thoughts. There are too many features in these lyrics I can't figure out. Thanks for the 'spiritual' info, Mike. It helps. 1. Is this a song about a kid learning to be streetwise? 2. It is a MANUEL-Robertson song. 3. The ('official') lyrics as noted by Jan say: "Ollie told me", but for many years I heard Rick sing "Oh, they told me", "Oh, they showed me", "Oh, they warned me". Who is Ollie? 4. The chorus seems to be interrupted: "...hangin' on a string from your... When you believe...". 5. Grandpa's knee returns in "Once Upon A Time" which is the very best track on Rick's solo album TMHO. As I said, just random thoughts. Maybe some of these lines are too hermetic for me?

Mon Dec 7 06:35:07 MET 1998


From: penna

John Donabie, much obliged for the link to Levon's interview. Very interesting and enlightening. Levon sounds like he has big plans for himself and the Band. And he didn't even mention future plans for his other gig{acting}! Levon says good things just seem to come his way. Yep, good things happen to good people. Of course it helps to have a little talent too! I just appreciate and admire the heck out of Levon Helm. The rest of the fellows ain't too shabby either.

Mr. Donabie nobody has to ask if you enjoyed N'awlins, as it goes without saying. Probably my favorite city in the u.s.a. Bet there are a lot of people that would like to be there Dec 26 but Xmas and family commitments, no can do.

C.B.Pinkerschmitt, where's your Cripple Creek dissertation? Are you real? Or am I dreaming, of all your idle scheming.

Mon Dec 7 05:55:42 MET 1998




Mon Dec 7 05:41:41 MET 1998


Mike: I Did'nt know that. I'm not well up on spirituals. I probably should be. But if they did steal this line I think they made it more intersting with "if I THOUGHT it would do any good". Ain't this guestbook great? You learn something every time you post. Thanks Mike.

Mon Dec 7 03:33:58 MET 1998


From: N.J.

Just a word to Phil.the line "stand on the rock where Moses stood" is a refernce to the old spiritual "O Mary Don't You Weep Don't You Mourn" There it's "if I could I surely would, stand on the rock where Moses stood.Pharoh's army got drowned,O Mary don't you weep." No major point to be made except again we see Robbie has a fine sense of the history of American music.Talk to you all soon.

Mon Dec 7 03:33:03 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:


Mon Dec 7 03:11:39 MET 1998


Just got back from New Orleans tonight. Thought I wuod share this with you


Here he talks bluntly about Robbie and other things. As a personal note. Levon's club is still vacant. Dec 26? Hope so. The Band are supposed to appear their on New Year's Eve.

Mon Dec 7 02:54:05 MET 1998



I would like to submit an idea for a song to Robbie Robertson. I also have a CD with original songs I have recorded this past year with a definite Native American theme. Keep up the great work! Take care TC'

Mon Dec 7 01:45:31 MET 1998

Marc Vos

From: Belgium

This is a very wonderful website. I am very happy with it. A group like The Band deserves this.

Mon Dec 7 00:50:36 MET 1998


From: 3


Mon Dec 7 00:48:56 MET 1998

Fred W. Schneider III

From: Glendale CA

A QUESTION: this site lists many Band bootlegs, but where can I buy them?

Mon Dec 7 00:45:15 MET 1998

A friend of Donald Joseph

Going, going, gone...

Mon Dec 7 00:42:32 MET 1998

Ragtime's Dog

My master does not have a dog.

Mon Dec 7 00:33:33 MET 1998




Mon Dec 7 00:25:18 MET 1998

Brett "THE KID" Murray

From: Broken Hill, Australia

Down here in the outback we all listen to The Band. It is the perfect lumberjacks music. "I DON'T MIND CHOPPING WOOD AND I DON'T CARE IF THE MONEY'S NO GOOD"

Mon Dec 7 00:21:55 MET 1998

Kirsten Langgaard

From: Skanderborg, Denmark

Are there girls and/or women who listen to the great music of The Band? I do. I think Garth Hudson is the greatest singer I've ever heard. The Beautiful Beard!

Mon Dec 7 00:19:22 MET 1998

Maurice Vieuxtemps

From: Verviers, Belgium

Hello to all music lovers. The Band is the greatest show on earth. I love them all since I heard their first longplayer Music from Big Pink long time ago. It is nice to see that there are still listeners to their great music. Young folks don't seem to care about them anymore.

Mon Dec 7 00:12:37 MET 1998

Clarence D. Hirschfeld

From: Brooklyn

I am impressed by all regular contributors to this guestbook. You are very knowledgable, intelligent and nice people. Besides you have a nice way with words. Please go on, all five of you!

Mon Dec 7 00:09:39 MET 1998

David McCullers

From: Ely, United Kingdom

I always sing Band songs while bathing. The Weight has very good acoustics. Don't Do It Don't You Break My Heart is another good one. This morning my wife ran into the bathroom. She thought Levon Helm was there!

Mon Dec 7 00:06:10 MET 1998

Joe Henderson

From: Upstate NY

This is the very best website I've ever seen. Keep up the good work!

Mon Dec 7 00:04:58 MET 1998

Marie-Louise Carraud

From: Thionville, France

France loves all Band music. My favourite is Acadian Driftwood. It has French words, but I think my English is better than Rick Danko's French!

Mon Dec 7 00:03:49 MET 1998

Rick V.

From: White Plains, NY

I was at the Towne Crier last night, fifth or sixth time I've seen Rick in the last 2-3 years, and it was probably the best show of all. He came on around 10:00, played a little over a half hour, and then said he was going to take a short break "to figure out the second set" and made reference to some "surprises". When he came back, he said he had intended to bring out some special guests, but there was a big argument backstage and they left. When someone asked who they were, he said "one of them was Bob Dylan". When someone in the audience called out "Robbie Robertson?", Rick said "We've already given him enough publicity. Marie Spinosa came on stage after the break, they did a few songs, and then he called up Jonas to join him for "One More Shot". Rick left and Jonas did four or five solo numbers. Then everyone came back on for "Shape I'm In" and a capella "Rivers of Babylon". Rick left, the audience applauded and stomped for a few minutes, and then he came back on for "Christmas". Great show, great crowd. Ended around 12:15. P.S. If anyone gets to the Towne Crier, don't miss the fusilli with eggplant.

Mon Dec 7 00:02:40 MET 1998

Kurt Eisenstein

From: Diepholz, Germany

Love the Band. Known their great music for 30 years. Wonderful website.

Mon Dec 7 00:02:22 MET 1998

Kurt Eisenstein

From: Diepholz, Germany

Love the Band. Known their great music for 30 years. Wonderful website.

Mon Dec 7 00:00:57 MET 1998

Glenn Murphy

From: Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Hi everybody. I just found this website. I love the Band, especially Rick Danko and Randy Ciarlante. I just bought Jubilation, but High on the Hog is my favourite. Love and peace from Glenn in Johnstown PA.

Sun Dec 6 22:26:21 MET 1998

Railroad Man

From: Down The line

Oh please !!, Can we have some new contributors on here instead of the same old hoary bunch ??

. Greil Marcus wrote in Mystery Train about travelling to Woodstock to interview R.R. and his feeling about the town was "it seemed like a closed,smug,selfish place.".....well I'm getting same feeling about this guestbook

.So please regular readers, post some comments and don't let this become a private forum for a half dozen or so "fans".

Sun Dec 6 22:10:52 MET 1998


From: Ca

Great choice Peter. My all time favorite Band cut. Always sounded to me like two songs joined together. "Wash my hands in lye water" part onward maybe a song idea by Richard taged onto a RR song? And how about fading out on a line so rich as "If I thought it would do any good I'd stand on the rock where Moses stood". Pete Townshend would have written a whole concept album around a line like that and The Band fades on it. Great stuff. Great guitar picking by RR too.

Sun Dec 6 21:40:39 MET 1998

Pat Brennan

From: USA

Donnie Jo, Ben, and all. That's Rick on "Change," no question. For a nice demo of Rick's falsetto, check out the final harmony on "She Knows" from the boxed set. That's Rick on top. Actually, Rick and Richard had similiar range in thier falsetto voices, while Rick had a higher range in his normal voice. Rick was a David Crosby type; he could contruct harmonies that sounded like melodies on their own. Dixie is a good example. Levon sings the melody, Rick is right on top of him with an equally interesting melody, and Richard sings a simpler thing on top in his falsetto. There are actually very few times that they both used their falsettos in the same song--I Shall Be Released being one.

Sun Dec 6 21:37:22 MET 1998

Peter Viney

A Change Is Gonna Come: Didn't think this was in dispute at all, given Robbie's comments. Ben Pike, flash to my article and go to the footnote number 2 on the Robbie quote. It says:

Interviewed by Harvey Kubernick, Crawdaddy, 1976. Thanks to Ben Pike for posting this information.

Just as Little John Tyler settled it by asking Rick directly about Holy Cow, you settled it by recalling the RR quote - this has been up since my article went up. But thanks again.

OK, I'm now working on 'When You Awake' - any comments? This is seasonal as frost continued all day, even here in (normally) mild Dorset.

Sun Dec 6 21:25:58 MET 1998


Ben Pike: although Rick surely has a higher pitched voice, Richard's had a wider range from very high to very low. On "A change is gonna come" it's definitely Rick (I said Richard earlier, but let's say this was a keyboard-slip). You all confused me for a while with Holy Cow, but not on this one, no matter what Greil Marcus or even Levon says. And here's a message from MY dog: the basement tape dog once belonged to the late Jim Morrison but didn't make it to the pictures in those strange days.

Sun Dec 6 21:05:51 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web


Sorry..didn't take any pictures of Rick, but having acollection of about 20 years worth of photos of him, I can't complain. He did 2 sets last night, the second of which was with Jonas Fjeld and Marie Spinosa. Didn't really time them, but the show started around 9:30 or so and ended around 12:30, with intermission in between. Don't have a ticket stub for ya, but if you want to pay my credit card bill..the tickets are on there :-)

How was he dressed? He was dressed like Rick..comfortable and even color coordinated. He looked good IMHO, and reminded me of someone else although I can't figure out who. I mean.....he had a broad face, and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly....

This must be Christmas, must be tonight.....

Sun Dec 6 20:50:37 MET 1998

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland Tx

OK fellers.... this is turning into a burr under my sadle. Donald Joe, Danko's voice, dispite I Shall Be Released, is actually higher in pitch than Richards. Listen to "It Makes No Diffrence," then "Shape I'm In," and you'll see what I mean. Or just listen to "The Rumor" where Richard comes in with the low part. Little John, I beg ya, next time you nosh with Rick, as him about "A Change", that is the one that is really in dispute anyway, thanks to Greil Marcus. BUT SOMEBODY COULD DIG OUT THAT CRAWDADDY INTERVIEW AND BACK ME UP!! Otherwise, we are on a slippery slope, and someone will be crediting The Genentic Method to Levon. You know Vinney, you could give ME a little credit for fighting the good fight here......

Sun Dec 6 20:24:13 MET 1998


From: ct

RE:TOWNE CRYER LAST NIGHT My GOD!! What a show!!! Jonas, Maria, et al Wish you all could have been there!!!!!!!

Sun Dec 6 20:15:09 MET 1998

Ed Shook

From: Detroit, Michigan

Thank you!

Sun Dec 6 18:22:53 MET 1998


From: 2


Sun Dec 6 18:19:52 MET 1998

Pst Brennan

From: USA

"Christmas Must Be Tonight"? Did anyone tape it? LJT, congrats on being there. Also, I communicated about a year ago with a collector (Mostly Dylan) who lives in Evanston. Having suffered major computer problems I lost your email addy. If you see this please respond.

Sun Dec 6 18:18:47 MET 1998

Ilkka's dog

From: the pink painted doghouse

My master says that dogs don't have "dignity which is required" ( what does that mean?) for signing the guestbook. My master is SLEEPING in ROCKIN' CHAIR after TOO MUCH OF - STRAWBERRY WINE, so I just might have time enough to write this down. - My question: There is a dog on the cover of The Bassmen Tapes... or is it The Basement Tapes. Who was this dog? Who can tell the story of this little white dog with sexy black ears? My master says that it is Chester's dog and he won't feed him anyway. - Is it now I must press the "Submit" button with my nose and

Sun Dec 6 17:44:11 MET 1998

Little John Tyler

Later that same morning...

After Rick's show last night Aaron Hurwitz confirmed that The Band and everybody (which I took to mean The Crowmatix and other "inner circle" musician friends) would play at the opening of Levon's club in Nw Orleans in a few weeks. He said Levon's doing better, but as far as his personal participation that night goes, Levon will definitely play drums and definitely NOT sing. "He is talking a little bit again," Hurwitz said, which he hadn't been able to do for some time. Some Band dates in Spring '99 are about the best they can hope for at this time, according to Prof. Louie.

Sundog and Peter Viney: Thank you both for the well-wishes you posted for me yesterday. I hope you both are able to enjoy a great time with one of your heroes some time real soon.

Sun Dec 6 17:41:27 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:

Hey now Lil', did you take any pictures of Rick, and also how long way the set? Were there 2 sets, and how was the sound? was it flat, or hollow, or ? And can I have your ticket stub? Ha ha!!! Peace, Love and Light Tim(CORCORAN. p.s. Was he dressed "VEGAS" style or lumber jack or ?

Sun Dec 6 17:30:14 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Thanks Little John & Diamond Lil for resolving this question of vocals once and for all. What it does prove is that these guys were slippery with their vocals and even the most confident of us can be deceived. The Chicago tape helps a lot.

I missed A LOT of good songs from my New Orleans Café juke box list (and I didn't intend 1 to 10 to be in order of merit either. Well, I did intend "New Orleans Ladies" to be number one). Yes, Allen Toussaint (though represented by Lee Dorsey). Also Robert Parker. Bobby Charles. And we'd better have the Aaron Neville version of 'Louisiana 1927" as well. And the greatest omission of all as Uncle Hangover rightly pointed out "Hurricane" from American Son. I love that album too. I think Delta Blues opens up another whole area though.

Sun Dec 6 14:51:02 MET 1998

A Friend

From: NY

It is definitely Rick singing A Change is gonna come. Have spoken to him in the past about it and Rick has sang it the Turning Point a couple of years ago. Can anyone confirm that The Band will be playing at Levon's Club on New Year's Eve in New Orleans?

Sun Dec 6 13:14:30 MET 1998

Spider John

From: LAD3/4Time

Many people that post to this site have complained of the similarity in Rick's setlists and performances. Having seen Rick about six times in the past two years or so, I was beginning to feel that way. Last nite at The Towne Crier Diamond Lil, Tenor Sax Man and myself along with a full house were treated to magic. Rick opened with Book Faded Brown and sounded the best I have heard him. The special treat of the nite was of course the unannounced appearance of Jonas Fjeld who sang When Morning Comes to America and Women Cross the River, joined Rick for One More Shot and did a few native tunes. The liveliest audience I have ever been privileged to be apart, brought the group back for Christmas Must Be Tonite.

My point is that for those of us diehard fans it is worth making the trip to see the boys live. You never know who might show and ewhat you might hear. For my trip to Pawling, Sharpie in hand, I got to add Jonas' autograph to my Life is A Carnival tshirt. More importantly I spent the evening with godd friends enjoying the music we all love.

Finally, expect another DFA album in 1999. Stu, enjoy Levon in New Orleans.

Sun Dec 6 13:01:45 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Now that I got a few hours sleep, I concede that it must be Rick singing lead on "Holy Cow". If Rick says it's Rick, I guess it was Rick (although I just listened to it again and um....).

Anyhow, thanks Little John for remembering to ask Rick that all important question last night. Frankly, I forgot. Nice to know that someone's memory is still serving them well :-)

Sun Dec 6 08:20:29 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: North Part of Chicago area

I was the dude who, on 12/3, re-opened the "Holy Cow" debate, & I credited the vocals to Rick. Glad I'm right. Too bad you didn't ask Ricky the follow-up question as to who sings "Change" -- I admit I credited that to Richard -- Where else on record does Rick hit a falsetto that high? If that's Rick, he must have had Hulk Hogan sitting in his lap.

I'm at a disadvantage to you guys 'cuz I have 3 (today 5 'cuz friends are over) sleeping children & a sleeping wife while I post, so I can't listen to stuff 16 times at full volume to settle debates. I'm going on memory.

My "Robbie-as -singer- of-Xmas Must Be Tonight" theory got roundly trounced. Before today I'd never heard either of the 2 Robbie solo "Xmas" covers. Today, in a Michigan Ave. store buying a Zegna shirt for 80% off (Monica would be proud; Monica: when I wear the shirt it's a signal I'm thinking about The Band), on the in-store piped-in muzak system I got treated to one of the 2 Robbie "X-mas" solo covers. (When it comes to a listening experience this wasn't exactly the Dead's Wall of Sound, but it was nice just the same.) I concede that the Robbie solo cover sounds a lot more like Robbie than does the "Islands" original. I still can't hear Rick in that "Islands" version, but I need to spend more time with the disc & less at the keyboard, I guess. God forbid I trust my own ears over the derision of you guys. BTW, who are the prominent girl backup singers on the Robbie solo "Xmas" (or has Jan already answered that one)?

I'll be back in a week, kids -- you won't have Donald Joseph to kick around while I'm off in...TORONTO!! It'll be great to cruise the record stores for those Canada-only Ronnie l.p.'s, videos, & other rarities in the boys' home town! And don't y'all worry if I get hasseled by Serge when I'm up there, 'cuz I'd rather be burned in Canada than to freeze here in the South.

Sun Dec 6 07:53:35 MET 1998

Diamond Lil (Tired and Forgetful)

From: The Web

Forgot to mention one thing. Marie Spinosa was also there tonite, and when we asked her Levon is doing, she replied "fine.Getting better everyday". That was _very_ nice to hear.

Sun Dec 6 07:53:16 MET 1998

confused again

From: Ragtime

... we must bow our heads ...

Sun Dec 6 07:49:42 MET 1998


From: Ca

I'll be darned! Good job you lucky folks.

Sun Dec 6 07:38:14 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Just got in from Rick's show at the Towne Crier in Pawling. Little John Tyler pretty much told it like it was. Rick was in great from, he sounded better than ever, and got like a 5 minute ovation when the show was over. He came back out and did "Christmas Must be Tonite". A wonderful end to a great show.

I had to add that it was an incredible surprise when Jonas Fjeld was introduced. Pretty much made my whole night.

All in all it was a great night, and sharing it with one of my closest friends made it even more special. Thanks Spider.

Sun Dec 6 07:35:44 MET 1998


From: 2


Sun Dec 6 07:18:11 MET 1998

Little John Tyler

As per Peter Viney's suggestion, I had the following bit of conversation with Rick Danko, barely an hour ago, after his show at the Towne Crier, Pawling, NY. It is as close to accurately quoted as I can recall. (And it proves that we must never doubt my man Ben Pike on matters pertaining to The Band)

Me: Hey Rick, I've got a Moondog Matinee question.

RD:What's that?

Me: Who sang lead vocal on Holy Cow?

RD: That's me!!

Me: Ah, really? Because there are lots of folks who think it was Richard.

RD: Well Richard WAS our lead singer.

Me: And we all miss him dearly. That'd be a nice project for Woodstock Records; a Richard Retrospective CD with all his best stuff.

RD: It would be. I DO have all the archives you know.

Me: You ought to do it.

RD: Well, we'll talk about it.

As for the show, Rick was lively, funny, and charming. Very much ON all night. He opened with Book Faded Brown, and redid the fiinal verse after screwing up the lyrics. The rest of the show included the standbys: Crazy Mama, Stage Fright, Makes No Difference, Blind Willie McTell, Wheels On Fire, Caledonia Mission, Twilight, The Weight Aaron Hurwitz did a couple of vocals.

The special treat of the evening was Jonas Fjeld joining Rick for One More Shot, and then taking the stage solo to do When Morning Comes to America, and Women Cross The River, plus 2 Norwegian songs.

Everybody was back on stage for Shape I'm In and Rivers of Babylon. Then Rick came back out for his final encore: Christmas Must Be Tonight.

If Diamond Lil was there, I'm sure she and her Spiderman enoyed themselves, but we all didn't find each other.

Sun Dec 6 04:37:13 MET 1998


From: NY

From time to time, I've seen references to "Big Pink," "The Band" (brown album) and then everything else. I like Big Pink, but in my opinion nothing (including pink) comes even close to the brown album. Got the record in 1969. It got beat up, lost in moves, whatever. Hadn't heard it for years. Look for it in every record shop, and have poked around online. Recently I found a copy in a local record store for $11.99! Forgot just how great it is. Forgot too, what a major role Richard played on that album in particular. Was so happy to find it and it's been really great re-discovering it. Again for my money, nothing comes close. I appreciate all their stuff. I know Cahoots took some hits when it came out, but I liked it then and like it now. Even like "Free Your Mind" on 'High On the Hog.' It's a catchy tune. It's only music folks. Enjoy. As for Jubilation, listened to it 20, maybe 30 times then set it aside for a couple of months. Have listened to it recently. No, it's not even close to the Brown album but nothing is. I'm just glad that after all these years, these guys are still making good music.

Sun Dec 6 03:37:08 MET 1998

Jonathan Katz

From: Columbia, MD

Well, do we start a series of songs/artists that Peter missed? I would say that we have to have something by Bobby Charles, and what about Muddy Waters as a representative of the delta blues tradition?

Sun Dec 6 03:25:12 MET 1998


From: boston

Rick. And Rick.

Sun Dec 6 01:12:25 MET 1998

Don Pugatch

From: Roswell,. Ga

For all those intereseted, I will be in El Mexica, on Saturday night, to hear the tunes of El Stephano and Don Diego Powell, The major question will be, after numerous beers, did Senor Powell sing, or did he just strum his 6 string. The answer will be forecoming on tomorrows guestbook, so stay tuned. Ole. ps, I will try to do the Rick portion, but Crazy Chester may get upset

Sat Dec 5 22:33:40 MET 1998

Uncle Hangover

From: Austin, Tx

Viney, you forgot the obvious #1 on your list (from my alcohol damaged memory): "I was born in the rain by Lake Ponchartrain, underneath the Louisiana moon, I don't mind the strain of a hurricane, they come around every June. High black water, a devil's daughter, she's hard and she's cold and she's mean, but nobody's taught'er that it takes a lot of water, to wash away New Orleans." (jew harp...drum roll). I love that album. Lee at his best.

Sat Dec 5 22:07:13 MET 1998

Peter Viney yet again

Levon Helm Café in New Orleans: Suggestions for the juke-box:

1) New Orleans Ladies - Louisiana’s Leroux

2) Creeping Midnight - Seatrain (and the ladies taste like New Orleans)

3) Louisiana 1927 - Randy Newman

4) New Orleans - Gary U.S. Bonds

5) Up On Cripple Creek - The Band

6) The Battle of New Orleans - Johnny Horton

7) New Orleans Wins The War - Randy Newman

8) Kingfish - Randy Newman

9) Walk On Gilded Splinters - Dr John

10) Walkin’ To New Orleans - Fats Domino

plus the complete works of The Neville Brothers and Lee Dorsey and all of Dr John’s “Gumbo”

Sat Dec 5 21:48:56 MET 1998

Peter Viney

I hope Little John and Diamond Lil have a great time at the Towne Crier. The Band have done KINGFISH at least twice - The Quatro Club in Tokyo in May 1994, and then at Tipitina's in New Orleans with Joel Sonnier in January 1987. I believe they also did LOUISIANA 1927 on that show. I've been listening to this song all day in preparation for the UK release of the Randy Newman box set on Monday. Both the Randy Newman version and the Aaron Neville version. "Something has happened down here, the wind have changed …'

Randy sings 'this poor cracker's land' while Aaron understandably changes it to 'This poor farmer's land …'

If you can't and won't use Robbie anymore. Randy Newman is the next best choice!

Sat Dec 5 21:18:24 MET 1998

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland

This is how you know Rick sings "Holy Cow" and "A Change Is Gonna Come" on Moondog. A) If he didn't, he would have no vocals on the album, and there are no other Band Albums with only leads by Levon and Richard. B) dispite the fact that it is the lone factual error in Grail Marcus's "Mystery Train" (and it's reprints, as pointed out in "Across The Great Devide") we know Rick sings "A Change Is Gonna Come" because Robbie said so in a 75 interview in Melody Maker, a version of witch was reprinted in Crawdaddy. C) It Sounds Like Him. Speaking of "Mystery Train" I picked up the Randy Newman boxed set. It's pretty good, the best of portions are well chosen, some of the raw tapes are interesting, and the soundtrack stuff is fun to have. Did someone say that the boys once did Kingfish? Sure would have loved to hear Richard sing Louisina 1919..."

Sat Dec 5 20:02:47 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:

To DONALD JOSEPH: I, and the SUNDOG CREW,would like to personally invite you and your love ones, and personal DEADHEAD friends,to Tim's SUNDOG program "LIVE", as my guest to be seen live cable TV on Dec.19th. to see The Nelson Brothers, at 650 E.Main St.Madison Wi. We're about 150 miles from you, and bring a Sony VHS tape so you can bring the experence back with ya! It will be fun for your family, plus I'll have Nels play a "Grateful Dead" song or two DEADicated to ya!!! Peace, Love and Light Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Sat Dec 5 19:33:02 MET 1998


From: Madison.

I'm sorry Ragtime, it was "LITTLE JOHN TYLER" on my last post I was talking about, Have a great time L.J.T.!

Sat Dec 5 19:26:36 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin.
Home page:

Lil', I'm 5'10, and Viney,you worded that perfect, about structure and all! And Ragtime, I would have to kinda agree with you that Levon is about 5'7, and his SMILE is 6'2!!! Rick is a BIG teddy bear, always with a smiling grin! Peace, Love, and Light to all of ya, I'll bury ya now, but I'll "DIG YA LATER". Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Sat Dec 5 18:48:06 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Although I never brought at tape measure with me on the numerous occassions that I was lucky enough to talk with Levon, I can only tell you that I am 5'6" tall and he's quite a bit taller than me.

In response to Peter Viney....good idea about asking Rick tonight about who sings lead on "Holy Cow". I'll ask him, even though I already know the answer :-)

Sat Dec 5 18:28:09 MET 1998

Little John Tyler

Peter Viney:

I'll ask if I get a chance. And for the record, Levon's about 5' 6" or 5' 7". Rick's about 6' to 6'2". I've had the pleasure and privilege of shaking hands and talking with each of them form time to time.

Sat Dec 5 17:48:39 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Hey, if Diamond Lil and Little John Tyler are going to see Rick tonight, ask him who sang 'Holy Cow.' Then we can forget about it once and for all! Post tomorrow!

Sat Dec 5 17:36:26 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Aw. I didn’t want to enter this debate again, and was trying to keep a low profile, but I can’t avoid a direct question from Ragtime! First, I have no doubts left about 'A Change Is Gonna Come' being Rick.

As to Holy Cow, I confessed that I kept wavering between the two in my article. I’d always thought it was Rick. But the more I listened while doing the article, I heard Richard, then I asked people here to contribute (this is early August / late July). There was a clear majority (7:1) in favour of it being Rick on ‘Holy Cow’. I also got comments from very respected contributors who confessed that like me, there are times when they just can’t be sure whether it’s Rick or Richard. Then I listened to the Chicago 74 tape and felt sure it was Rick (but surely that's the amazing thing about the way these voices can bend around).

On the CD this very day, (Japanese remaster) it sounds like Richard to me now, with Rick on the echoed “No joke” and “child”. But then I just checked Chicago again. On the Chicago tape I believe you can hear Levon and Richard come in behind the lead vocal. The fact that the words get screwed up briefly in Chicago sounds more like Rick too. However, I did have an e-mail from someone who remembers distinctly seeing Rick singing ‘Holy Cow’ on stage (Roosevelt Stadium 1973), and it was the performance of the day that really stood out for him. If he sang it on stage, then ninety nine -to-one he sang it on the record. I think they can swop and imitate each other well- just as Rick has done in taking over ‘The Shape I’m In’ in recent years. But I think Rick’s accent is more distinctive and comes through on the live version. Probably. I think. Maybe. But one thing I’ll bet anything on … er, that’s definitely Robbie on guitar.

If Rick really does drop in here, this debate must be absolutely hilarious to him. That’s because SOME of us are wrong, and I don’t know which ones, but he does. If our continuation gives him a decent laugh, it’s all worth it.

Anyway, with apologies, I must confess that I prefer the Lee Dorsey version! But going back to Diamond Lil and Sundog. I did clothing and cars at someone’s request a few weeks back. So is Levon really six feet tall? I’ve never had the privilege of meeting him, unlike so many of you, but from the audience he never looked a tall guy to me. But some people are short on stature but so tall in personality that they seem tall. This is partly why people are often surprised that stage and screen personalities seem smaller in real life.

Sat Dec 5 16:57:46 MET 1998

Pat Brennan

From: USA

The latest thread reinforces the simple genius of those Band vocals. Their voices seem very distinct, yet they can be very difficult, at times, to tell apart. The Making of the Brown Album video hints at their ability to switch around parts--lead vocalist on a verse becomes harmonizer on chorus, and vice versa. Rick and Richard also had similiar falsettos; it can be nigh impossible to tell them apart when they're both using that type of voice. Later boots of Rick-Richard shows really bears this out. But Levon...never much doubt there. Also, Levon is not a tall man. Eat The Document thread is also interesting. THere are many different versions of it around. Some include the infamous Dylan retching scene co-starring a nonplussed John Lennon. Perhpas with the release of Dylan 1966 we may yet see a performance heavy version of the Document.

Sat Dec 5 16:33:21 MET 1998

Little John Tyler

From: The House Next Door

Diamond Lil:

I'll be there at the Towne Crier tonight, along with you and Spiderman. I'll be the one yelling out "Unfaithful Servant" when Mr. Danko asks for any requests.

Sat Dec 5 16:08:14 MET 1998

Ragtime convinced

After 7th & 8th hearing: I'm convinced now, it's Richard all the way. Holy God, I thought I knew these voices. "... Holy Cow what y're doing to me..."

Sat Dec 5 16:00:48 MET 1998

Ragtime confused

On second thoughts (& 5th & 6th hearing) could it be Rick singing the second stave? I'm totally confused now.

Sat Dec 5 15:51:34 MET 1998


Diamond Lil & Phil: Absolutely Amazing! I just listened four times to "Holy Cow": LP - loudspeakers & earphones - CD - earphones & loudspeakers and YES! You are right! We must bow our heads. It IS Richard doing the lead vocal. He must have done it on purpose: look if I can fool ev'ryone by doing "Rick". He surely fooled me. I'm the one who needs a hearing test, Phil. And this is to Peter: you also listed Rick as the lead singer in your Moondog Matinee article. What do you think now?

Sat Dec 5 12:22:48 MET 1998

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Really enjoying the latest posts here - nice to see the flames out for a change.

I just have a few comments on some of my faborite posts here this morning.

Thank you to whoever finally realized that it _is_ Richard singing lead on Holy Cow, with Rick doing back up. Was waiting to see how long it would take for someone to get the right answer there.

Sundog: Just how tall are you anyway? Levon's about 6 foot tall. "A tiny little guy" eh?

Donald Joseph:You seem to have a good sense of humor and I enjoy reading your posts. Take it easy on old Sundog though. The guy has a great outlook on life. "Peace, love, and light". Not a whole lot of that going around these days.

And finally, I'm going to see Rick tonite at the Towne Crier in Pawling with my very best friend..they call him Spider John. Anyone else going?

Thanks for listening folks. Pretty much did this without any coffee. Now I'll hit the send button and count the typos :-)

Sat Dec 5 09:22:38 MET 1998

Abner Curly...aka big pink and big pink...agian

From: Earth

Ilove the band. Ilove thier web site...Thank you..... Im abner curly

Sat Dec 5 08:43:25 MET 1998

Ragtime Willie

From: Nederland

Kors: please contact me in private if you want a nice chat in Dutch about naughty Uncle Hangover who is a harmless person anyway. Levon: Some time ago we were wondering if there are more people in the world named Levon. I just figured out accidentally that the name is quite common on... Cyprus. So Mark "Lavon" Helm must be a kid from this island and not Arkansas?

Sat Dec 5 08:24:36 MET 1998


From: Madison, Wisconsin. USA!!!
Home page:

Hey now! The Teacher, and Ophelia, aka Ghost, thanks for the "KIND" words, I wish we could meet!I would be honored if you two would click the web address and sign the guestbook. Age is great,and you know why?, cuz when my mom got me Big Pink in '68, I knew there would be no way to get back stage to meet any members of The Band. It was'nt till July 24th 1994 at The House of Blues in L.A. that my dream came true; I stood outside of their tour bus untill they came out to go inside, and Levon (a tiny little guy)was the first one to step out, followed by a camera man (who was touring with The Band)then Rick. The first thing that came out of my mouth was-"Levon, thanks for the music. He said,"I take it you like Bob?" (cuz I was wearing a Bob Dylan,"Under The Red Sky" tye-dye T-shirt)I said, "At this point, I must be in Heaven", as he's right arm went to shake my hand.(it was a weak hand shake, but I absorbed EVERY second of it!). True story,I swear to my Father, and Brothers grave, plus I got proof, I was very honored to have had that moment and I thank God for letting me be at the right place, at the right time, I know it will never happen again... Peace, Love, and Light Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran.

Sat Dec 5 08:07:15 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: Chicago is Very Near Madison

It ain't restraint, Teach. It's just that we're still scratching our heads trying to figure his damn posts so we can lampoon them.

War, Hate, & Darkness,


Sat Dec 5 05:13:55 MET 1998

The Teacher

From: whispering pines

I'd like to thank the Guestbook guests for their restraint in making fun of our very own sundog. And why would we? He's an interesting guy with a fine website. He comes on here and gives us an alternative look at life through tye-dye glasses. PEACE,LOVE AND LIGHT RIGHT BACK AT YA SUNDOG!!!!YOU RULE DUDE!!!!

Sat Dec 5 04:48:32 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: Chicago area


Sat Dec 5 04:43:42 MET 1998


From: Ca

I may be late on this but as for vocal credits on "A Change Is Gonna Come", some of the confusion as to who is singing may be caused by the flanged/choursed effect used to treat the vocal track. This thickens the voice which makes Rick sound a bit like Richard (who had one of the thickess sounding natural voice's in the universe). As for Holy Cow, sure sounds like Richard to me on lead voc. with Rick doing the responce voc. "whatcha doin, whatcha doin child". Or maybe I need a hearing test?

Sat Dec 5 04:07:46 MET 1998

Ophelia, aka Ghost

From: Toronto

Hey Trevor and Freddie Fishstick!

I happen to be a 30-something FEMALE who absolutely LOVES The Band. My husband is the 40+ year old guy, also a big Band Fan. There are a lot of us Band-loving chicks out there. And we are not only turned on by Rick's and Robbie's good looks (circa The Last Waltz) but we really, really love the music. It's all about the music, the wonderful music. If I can make it to Levon's I'll be the attractive WOMAN wearing the tight Grateful Dead T-shirt! And I'll be ready to ROCK AND ROLL!! WOO-HOO!!!!!!!

Sat Dec 5 00:46:51 MET 1998

Kors Mokkenstorm

From: The Netherlands

I visited this website a few months ago after buying Jubilation by The Band. Now I am back again. There was no coverage of the cd in any Dutch magazine of newspaper, as far as I know. I have a few questions for you, since you all seem to know quite a lot. 1. Are there Dutch visitors to this guestbook? 2. Can anybody tell me how the record is selling? 3. Is a certain Mister Hangover still visiting this site? He once insulted me for no reason, so I decided to quit. Thank you all. Yours, Kors from The Netherlands.

Fri Dec 4 22:53:10 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

Jan, I enjoyed the sample of you all's Rock of Halden version. For those of you in the Atlanta area, I may attempt to assist my friend Steve in performing an acoustic version of "The Weight" at El Mexica Restaurant & Bar in Roswell, Ga. tomorrow (12/5) night. It's just one of those songs that whenever a group of musicians gets together, you gotta play it. We may not do the song justice but we'll have a good time doin' it. Have a margaritta & sing along.

Fri Dec 4 21:49:51 MET 1998


From: a peaceful man

Jan: I think the whole congregation was downloading The Jan, for it took me hours to get there. But it was worth every minute of it! Your guitar player is a gifted singer as well. I'm sure Ilkka admires your bass playing and is trying to imitate you this very minute. But we'll have to start one of our Guestbook debates on your choice for a textual change: "Do me a favour now". Or was it the free brew that made you change the lyrics? BTW: 1:14 is far too short. And please give us a sample of The Levonettes too.

Fri Dec 4 21:27:29 MET 1998


Jan: if there were no Big Pink, the Jan should be my #1. Heavy metal, yeah...

Fri Dec 4 21:22:43 MET 1998


David, you forgot to list #4 :-)

Fri Dec 4 18:30:20 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

My favorite versions of "The Weight": (1) Original Band version from Big Pink. (2) Band / Staples Singers version from Last Waltz. (3) Levon, Rick, Dr. John et al. from 1990 Ringo Starr & All-Starr Band CD.

On the All-Starr version, Levon & Rick are both in fine voice. Dr. John takes a fine piano solo after which he joins in singing the "Go down Moses" verse. Great sax solo from Clarence Clemons. Billy Preston on organ? Nils Lofgren & Joe Walsh on guitars. To me most of all, it's worth buying the CD just to hear Levon playing drums along with the other "king of the skins", Mr. Jim Keltner. Along with Rick on bass, it's hard to find a better rhythm section. Although there's no specific credit listed in the liner notes, I guess Ringo sits in on drums on a few of the songs. If you haven't heard this album, you ought to check it out. Rick also sings a fine version of Buddy Holly's "Raining In My Heart." See the discography section elsewhere on Jan's website for more details on this album.

Fri Dec 4 16:31:05 MET 1998


From: Under the Northern Lights

I just tell you: Get a nostalgic trip and visit SUNDOG's homepage. - Those T-shirts are fabulous!

Fri Dec 4 16:27:27 MET 1998

Peter Viney

I'd agree with Jonathan. You can hear that the Japanese reissue of 'The Band' been remastered, but it's not a blinding revelation. There's still a definitive remaster to be done someday, though I think only Robbie or John Simon could supervise it. Is it worth $30? The cover is beautifully done. If I'd been doing it I'd've replicated the LP label on the CD, but otherwise it's superb. Can you ever have enough copies of 'The Band'? Probably not.On the other hand, all the Capitol albums are mid-price (and available) in the UK. It's a luxury item.

Fri Dec 4 15:53:41 MET 1998

Jonathan Katz

From: Columbia, MD

to Steve Rovner: The Japanese reissue of the brown album is IMHO an improvement, though it doesn't blow me away and I haven't compared it to the vinyl reissue. Is it worth $30? What do you think Peter?

Fri Dec 4 15:53:38 MET 1998

Peter Viney

Not to wander too far from The Band, but I did buy the Howlin’ Wolf album, “Evil - Live At Joe’s Place 1973”. It turns out that the Wolf doesn’t appear till track 4, and that “Ode to Billie Joe” is an instrumental version by sax player Eddie Shaw (nothing spectacular). In these days of shrink-wrapped and sealed CDs you don’t always get what you think you’re getting.

Robbie’s solo ‘Christmas Must Be Tonight’ appeared first on Scrooged, but the ‘Winter Fire & Snow’ version is different. Both versions say ‘Copyright 1988’ but the vocal line is different as well as the backing. I’ve never understood why Capitol never subsequently released the original Band version as a Christmas single as originally planned. While on Christmas, my yuletide special this year will be Cyndi Lauper on ‘Merry Christmas - Have A Nice Life’ album which features contributions from Rob Hyman.

“Uncut” magazine has Mercury Rev “Deserter Songs” featuring Levon and Garth as album of the year, with ‘Live 1966’ at number 6, and C.P. Lee’s “Like The Night” as #5 book of the year with Andy Gill on classic Dylan songs at #8 (which has a lot on The Band). Not bad going. Their Mercury Rev article quotes Jonathan Donahue on The Band:

“(The album) has certain Band elements because we love the same type of music they do - blues, polkas, that Salvation Army feel. The lyrical style too, and also some of Richard and Rick’s vocal styles, the high falsettos and things like that, where they’re not necessarily on key, but there’s so much genuine sincerity there that you can’t replace.” This is what others hear in Mercury Rev’s music too, though I keep hearing side 2 of “Abbey Road.”

Fri Dec 4 14:33:15 MET 1998


From: Madison,Wisconsin
Home page:

"Fredie Fishstick", hope I got your name write?! You crack me up, but "cheers" to your last post, and we only got 40 more years to go!!! Peace, Love and Light, Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran. Now I'm push'n age 73, and there ain't no place I long to be, Oh to be home again, down in ol' virginney, with my very best friend, I call him RAGTIME WILLY!!!

Fri Dec 4 13:59:04 MET 1998

Patric Mulcahy

From: New South Wales.Australia.

Having been a Band fan since 1968 I have always bemoaned the fact that Australian music has failed to produce a group like the Band that gave voice to the history and the romance of our country. The group that came closest was a band called Stars who had a brief but interesting career releasing 2 records that had great potential, they never climbed the mountain that the Band did but believe me, they made some marks in the foothills.

Fri Dec 4 13:02:39 MET 1998

Little John Tyler

Donald Joseph:

Veruca Salt is a character in Willy Wonka. The Band connection is that Danko likes chocolate? Danny Lopex: A while back you asked about the distance from Woodstock to Schenectady. About an hour -- maybe less-- on the NY State Thruway. Make the trip.

Fri Dec 4 12:40:31 MET 1998

Freddy Fishstick

From: Sag Harbor

DJ from Chicago

I don't know about you but I'm comfortable on a boat, a beach, a bar or eatin the apple. Nobody's gonna kick my ass. Everybody knows that almost all HeadBands are 40+ year old guys so there aint many friendly women to be found at the show. Besides Mrs. Fishstick would saute me if she even thought I took a dip. Sober up, come down and wait for Jimmy to set you straight. Next stop is a place Livingston would feel right.

Fri Dec 4 10:16:42 MET 1998

Jan H.

Uriah Heep? Strange, they were ony of my absolute favorite groups when I was _very_ young. The line-up with David Byron, Ken Hensley, Mick Box, Lee Kerslake and Gary Thain, put out a few albums that is still worth listening too. I do, anyway, but then again my wife claims I'll never grow up :-)

Fri Dec 4 10:12:59 MET 1998

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland Tx

Hey Pat, remember that tune "Susan" by the Buckinghams?

Fri Dec 4 05:55:13 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: The Smokin' Tokin' Land of Donald Joseph

Trevster: I couldn't name even a single Uriah Heep tune, but I knew U.H. was a Dickens character -- it's NOT an obscure fact, although the Heep IS an obscure act. For a tougher literary reference rock act, what's the derivation of the name of contemporary girl band Veruca Salt? (If you know I'll buy you 2 rounds at Levon's in Nawlins on 12/26; I'm the guy who's buck naked except for a "Kiss" hat.)

Earl: Great, but why titillate? My access to Levon has fallen off ever since his fall-out with Robbie -- Helm won't return the calls Robertson makes for me. So do tell: What's the "drum-off" competition tale? Remember, we spend so much time on this damn web site we obviously don't have a life; we salivate for a fresh, authentic, titillating Band anecdote (sorry, Lord Beatle, Jr., that's "Hawks" anecdote to you).

Freddy Fishstick, great post, yours....Damn! I move from the sticks of Cincinnati to the Big Time of Chicago, & I still miss out (on "Eat the Document") since I'm not in N.Y.!

Oh, that big, big apple! I'm sure Freddy gets his ass kicked, but he goes away, it heals up, & he's right back for more. It's a large dose! However, since Guillianni & Disney cleaned up Times Square, where are all the friendly women, Freddy my boy?

Fri Dec 4 04:57:04 MET 1998


From: Jupiter, Fl

Uriah Heep was also a Dickens character in Great Expectations

Fri Dec 4 04:54:21 MET 1998


From: the Bogle Bodkin

Blimey! Ghost you the man, er you the spook, er you got soul. Be prepared to quaff a few pints compliments of umble Trevor on Dec 26, down in N'Awlins at Levon's cafe. I'll be the bloke wearing a Jubilation shirt with a Band cap.

Fri Dec 4 04:18:30 MET 1998


From: Christmas Past, Present and Yet-To-Come

To Trevor: A character from Charles Dicken's "David Copperfield" went by the moniker URIAH HEEP! Time for my brewski!!

Sorry fellow band-mates, this has nothing to do with The Band. (But I couldn't resist)

Fri Dec 4 03:58:21 MET 1998


Earl from Kamloops..thank you for your piece on hawkins. You're right on the money. The boys knew all they had to know way before Dylan came along. No Ronnie....No Band.!

Fri Dec 4 03:58:15 MET 1998

Freddy Fishstick

From: Sag Harbor

After some gentle prodding from J.W. I headed into NYC and uptown to the Museum of Radio and Television on 52nd Street. About a dozenof us were there for the 7PM show. The only couple in the audience left midway. Dylan and Pennebaker have not painted a masterpiece, but I do recommend that you all Eat the Document. My first impressions follow:

The documentary opens with Richard and Bob rehearsing Rainy Day Women #12 &35, atleast with the snorting and blowin, that's my guess. We meet a young, slim, full haired and clean shaven Garth. Robbie mostly in shades particularly when indoors. Rick in black with two big "behinds" on "One Too mAny Mornings. Johnny Cash not in black but at the piano with Bob. John Lennon showing that he was a very funny Englishmen, mocking Bob while in a hansom. Richard attemting to barter his jacket etc for a young blonde. Since he finally offers Australian dollars I suppose thequestion of The Band's appearance in Australia to view the Southern Cross is answered.

Too many commercials, no shots of the audience as they appeared from the stage. Not enough Rick or Garth. I missed Levon. Not enough music. Hell I loved it though.

Fri Dec 4 02:33:48 MET 1998


From: the Bogle Bodkin

Hey mates, any bloody fool with a tin ear knows its Rick the Bass player who sings A change gonna come+Christmas must be tonight. I'm a eavy and umble bloke who after years of listening to my buds Uriah Heep can still tell the different Band vocalists from each other. Make no mistake about it there is a connection between the Band and Uriah Heep. They both play jazz, folk, rock and blues with the heepsters delving into some progressive rock. The Heepsters had an album and title song in 1978 called Fallen Angel many years before Robbie Robertson"s ode to Manuel. One of the verses speaks right to Richard, dig it.

Fallen Angel....Tell me how did it feel in your promised land

That you chose as your pain and pleasure

A temporary sanctuary

Oh fallen angel I'm your real treasure. Fallen angel.....

All you students of the Band know how they got their name. How did Uriah heep get to be named? 1st person to correctly post an answer gets a pint on the house, down at the pub. Just ask for that umble bloke Trevor!

Fri Dec 4 02:30:37 MET 1998

Steve Rovner

From: Greenville, South Carolina

Sorry to post this question again, but I never got a response to my last post a few weeks ago: Is the sound quality of the new limited edition Japanese CD of the The Band (i.e. "Brown Album") a significant improvement over the sound quality of the Capitol CD (which, in my opinion, is lousy)? I don't want to shell out $30 bucks or so unless the sound quality merits the upgrade. If you have any information, please e-mail me. Thanks.

Fri Dec 4 01:28:55 MET 1998


From: Weedstock

Got anymore of that exotic bud Joseph? Open your ears, it's Rick on A Change and Christmas.

Fri Dec 4 00:23:58 MET 1998


From: Berlin

Ragtime: I "always" make A VALID POINT when I post here. Not just "this" time. And don't you forget it! I've read a lot of drivel that came from you in the past.

Wandering: Think your entry, see if if it's perhaps "silly", before you hit the submit button.

Fri Dec 4 00:19:15 MET 1998

Mike Nomad

From: Smooth Rock Falls, Ont.

Earl of Kamloops: Succinctly well put. That's how I remember it, too. Those really were the days, weren't they?

Thu Dec 3 19:44:34 MET 1998

JD Cowles

From: Spencerport, NY

I just picked up "Jubilation". Glad to see the more music from the Band. I'm curious if any music books(sheetmusic) have been published with music from the Band. JD

Thu Dec 3 19:14:48 MET 1998

Bill Munson

From: Toronto

... and between Illinois Speed Press and the Fabulous Rhinestones, Kal David played with Neil Merryweather, who'd played with Rick Bell in the '60s-vintage Toronto R&B band, Livingston's Journey.

Thu Dec 3 19:10:12 MET 1998

Bill Munson

From: Toronto

After the Buckinghams, Marty Grebb was in the Fabulous Rhinestones with, I believe, Harvey Brooks. Certainly Richard Bell played on their first LP, and may have been in the group for a time.

Thu Dec 3 18:59:15 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Green Manalishi

Excuse me for mentioning John Hiatt & Marty Grebb within the context of Rosanne Cash. Although Hiatt & Grebb were not guests at The Last Waltz, which occurred 22 years ago, they made guest contributions to _Jubilation_, which was released by the Band within the last few months of this year. Thanks Pat for mentioning Mr. Grebb's association with the Buckinghams. At one time he was also a member of a group called the Fabulous Rinestones, along with bassist Harvey Brooks and guitarist Kal David. Before becoming a Rinestone, Mr. David was a member of the Illinois Speed Press, along with Paul Cotton who later joined Poco when Jim Messina left to hook up with Kenny Loggins. How's that for degrees of separation.

Thu Dec 3 18:37:13 MET 1998

Bill Munson

From: Toronto

Bad news for Jens: '68 was 30 years ago!

Thu Dec 3 16:22:44 MET 1998

Little John Tyler

From: The House Next Door

Donald Joseph

That's Rick doing lead vocal on "Christmas Must Be Tonight" on "Islands." The liner notes to the "To Kingdom Come" anthology, written by Rob Bowman, say "Knockin' Lost John" is Robbie's only lead vocal since "Kingdom Come" appeared on Big Pink. It's interesting to note that Robbie , who had a lot of input into this 2-CD anthology, chose those two lead vocals of his own and positioned them almost as bookends, near the front of disc one, and at the end of disc two, embracing the rest of The Bands's history between them. He be the alpha and the omega, baby, and don't you forget it.

Thu Dec 3 16:00:21 MET 1998

An Irishman in New York

From: Duh...

There is a God after all! The best site on the Internet is about the best rock group in the world. And it's free!!

Thu Dec 3 14:58:51 MET 1998

Jens Magnus

From: Norway

Music from Big Pink was first issued in 1968. That's twenty years ago. Has there been any celebration of this album (apart from the jubilee)? It seems such a long time ago, when my older brother (in '69) brought home the brown album, and told me: This is THE BAND. We listened with awe for hours. I don't think I heard Big Pink until a few years later. BIG time, big time!

Thu Dec 3 14:50:41 MET 1998

Just Wonderin'

From: Texas


Thu Dec 3 13:16:05 MET 1998

Richard Murray

From: Co.Antrim, Ireland

I Just bought Jubilation and its bloody great. The band are really on form and levon and the rest of the bands writing has recaptured the spirit of the band again and more. Its my favourite of the last three records (although I love their cover of Atlantic City) and its as good as anything theyve ever recorded. I think another Dylan cover would have been good in there too. I also bought Dylans Royal Albert Hall bootleg which I highly recommend. Time for a tour boys.

Thu Dec 3 12:55:12 MET 1998


Al Vacado: sorry, my mistake. Of course it's Rick on "A Change Is Gonna Come". Don't know how I came to this. Think I had "Share Your Love" in mind.

Thu Dec 3 12:03:28 MET 1998

Al Vacado

From: Starlite

Some random thoughts: 1. Definitely Rick tryin to Cooke on A Change is Gonna Come. 2. Gonna do my Gordon Liddy imitation today- "Eat the Document". 3. Has anybody heard Eric Andersen's new album?

Thu Dec 3 11:38:02 MET 1998


From: Kamloops, BC _ Canada

Donald.... When I knew these guys, they were NOT the same folks that most of you have become aquainted with. They were, with the exception of Ronnie and Levon, simply kids fresh out of high school like a thousand other aspiring musicians in the area. What set them apart from all the others was Ronnie Hawkins. He had (and still has) an incredible nose for "moldable" talent. Too little credit is given to Hawkins and what he did both for and to these guys. He was a merciless taskmaster. Sometimes he came off as the buffoon. Oftentimes he would belittle his musicians - both on the stage, and at our "social" events. Sometimes he was a "blowhard", but he was always the boss, and he knew exactly what they were capable of (even if they didn't at the time). As for their repertoire in the early days, Ronnie was the only real vocalist back then before Richard Manual joined. He'd do "Ruby Baby", "Odessa", "Bo Diddley", "Summertime (and the Livin' Is Easy)", Jimmy Reed's "Come Love" and "Big Boss Man". Levon only ever did one song - "Short Fat Fanny" - and he did it every week. Robbie and Rick did "Bring It On Home To Me", and that was it. Later, when Richard came over from "The Revols", Ronnie began to share the vocals a little more.. But Richard was limited to the gravelly-voiced Ray Charles-type songs. Then, along came Garth, and with him came a gradual evolution - the songs were the same, but the sound was beginning to change. The last time I saw them as the Hawks was early in 1963, just before I joined the Navy. By that time, the audiences came to hear "Ronnie Hawkins & THE HAWKS" not just "Ronnie Hawkins". It was a subtle change, but I'm sure Ronnie could see it coming. Just a matter of time until he would have to find another bunch of kids to prod and cajole until they would outgrow him too. You know, a lot of ink has been dedicated to Dylan and John Simon (and others) regarding their influence on "The Band", but not nearly enough recognition has been given to Hawkins. Love him or hate him, but nobody could develop talent or put on a show like Ronnie. Here's one final anecdote: If you ever happen to talk with Levon, ask him about a "drum-off competition" with the drummer from Jumpin' Gene Simmons' band. (He, of "Haunted House" fame). Cheers from Kamloops... Earl

Thu Dec 3 11:08:11 MET 1998


P.S. P.S. Forgot the most important Rick/Robbie personal outings vehicle: Stage Fright of course.

Thu Dec 3 11:01:33 MET 1998


From: mystery train

Pardon me boy, is this the Chattanooga-choo-choo? Just Wonderin': EVEN if it's from Wolfie, he certainly has a point this time. There are so many train songs that we could connect The Band to almost everyone. Even to four puppets on a producer's string like The Monkees (says Donald: Have You No Pride, Man?). Take a picture of this: Last Train To Memphis - Last Train To Clarksville - Monkees - Neil Diamond - Robbie Robertson - The Last Waltz - The Band - Last Train To Memphis. Let the cicle be unbroken. You wouldn't like this on your conscience, would you? BTW Donald: just listen to the music. There is no doubt in my mind that Richard sings "A change" and Rick "Holy Cow" and "Xmas". Robbie often 'used' Rick for his more personal outings like "It Makes No Difference", "Endless Highway" and "Xmas". P.S. I remember even a Monkees song (God only knows which one) starting with a deep voice shouting "LISTEN TO THE BAND".

Thu Dec 3 07:05:33 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: Chicago area

Dan Marinkovitch: The song's "Sip the Wine" from Rick's '77 solo l.p. Get with the program, buddy. It's Rick singing without Levon or Robbie, & the final credit in the film's credits tell you the song.

I've always been intrigued that we can't reach consensus on who sings "Holy Cow" & "Change is Gonna Come" (cf. Lord Beatle Jr's article on the website on Moondog -- BTW, I think it's Rick on "Cow" & Richard on "Change"). Let me open another lead vocal issue, one appropriate for the holiday season: Everyone seems to think Rick sings "Xmas Must be Tonight" on Islands, but to me that has always sounded exactly like a Robbie vocal lead. Remember that as the Band broke up & Robbie's thoughts turned to a solo career, he fancied himself a singer (cf. his 2 leads on studio side 6 of TLW & his vocals on the Carney & King of Comedy l.p.'s). I've never heard the Scrooged soundtrack Robbie solo version of "Xmas," but the fact Robbie does a solo take on "Xmas," of all Band songs, arguably supports my theory that "Xmas" is a Robbie song even on Islands. Pls. put conventiaonal wisdom aside, listen to Islands' "Xmas" as if it's Robbie, & let me know if I'm on to something or just smoking something.

Thu Dec 3 06:23:57 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: Chicago area

Earl: Post more, puh-leeze! If you wander more on these web pages, you'll see the topic of the Hawks' R&B playlist in the early 60's is indeed a hot one. It'd be nice to hear more from an ear-witness.

David Powell/Just Wonderin'/Wolfgang: I'm BIG into Rosanne, & I own most of her l.p.'s I also own at least 2 Tractors c.d.'s, & I'm into them, as well. I still question the appropriateness of devoting more than a passing line to an act that's not the Band (or Band-connected, such as TLW guests) on this site -- I guess that's Wolfie's point, too. Even Lord Beatle Jr. ties his hommages to the Fab 4 into the Band.

Maybe we could play "6 degrees of separation," the Kevin Bacon game, to get these groups tied in. Easy for me. Roseanne Cash played with Rodney Crowell who has worked with Emmylou Harris who is a TLW artist and who had Rick & Garth appear on "Quarter Moon," and who used T Bone Burnett on "White Shoes" --T Bone having backed Alias in Rolling Thunder, who links to the Band (I'm forgoing the already-alluded to Roseanne-to -Hiatt- to Band play: Also note Roseanne & Hiatt sing together on "1 Step Over the Line," on "Will the Circle Be Unbroken 2"). Tractors: Ry Cooder plays on Tractors track "Blue Collar Rock"; Ry guests on T Bone's "Let the Night Fall" tune; T Bone- to Alias -to The Band. Or Bonnie Raitt guests on Tractors track "Tulsa Shuffle"; Rob Fabroni produced Raitt's "Green Light" & also worked on TLW, etc. Argggggghhh! Let's stick to The Band!

Thu Dec 3 06:17:26 MET 1998

Dan Marinkovich

From: Indianapolis

This is my first trip into yhe band site,glad i found it .I love all of the bands music,it just keeps getting better with time.I only have one question for all you band fans its been driving me nuts for years.In the film the last waltz during an interveiw between Rick Danko and Martin S. Martin asks Rick what he has been doing since the end of the last waltz and rick says "just making music" then a song starts playing and it only plays for about 15 seconds.Its levons voice and it sounds like robbies guitar.Was this song ever released.And if so where can i find it. thanks

Thu Dec 3 05:25:28 MET 1998

Pat Brennan

From: USA

Dave, Marty Grebb was in The Buckinghams and Bonnie Raitt's 70's era bands. He actually did some very interesting Hammond organ work with the Buckinghams. I believe the Tractors are a veteran bunch from Oklahoma.

Wed Dec 2 23:34:45 MET 1998


From: Leipzig

JUST WONDERING: Ever notice a similarity between the Band and Glen Miller. The latter also had a train song called " Chattanooga Choo-Choo". Keep on Wandering!

Wed Dec 2 17:03:10 MET 1998

Just Wonderin'

From: South Texas

David Powell: I too love Roseanne Cash. Great performer. Anyone notice any similarity between the Band and The Tractors? They also have a train song. "Baby Likes to Rock It" has that train rocking motion.

Wed Dec 2 16:35:38 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

While listening to a Rosanne Cash CD last night, I noticed two names listed in the liner notes, John Hiatt & Marty Grebb, who also contributed on the Band's _Jubilation_. Ms. Cash's album, _Retrospective_, released by Columbia/Sony in 1995, contains a collection of songs that she recorded from 1982 to 1995.

She covers two John Hiatt songs, "It Hasn't Happened Yet" and "Pink Bedroom." Marty Grebb, who co-wrote "Kentucky Downpour" on _Jubilation_, plays the saxophones on Ms. Cash's version of "It Hasn't Happened Yet." The multi-talented John Hiatt also appears on Ms. Cash's album, singing harmony on her rocking version of the train song "707".

Like her daddy Johnny, daughter Rosanne seems to have trains running in her blood. On the album, she also covers John Stewart's classic "Runaway Train." (Although not on this album, some of you may recall that Ms. Cash had a hit a while back with a song called "My Baby Thinks He's A Train.") Also on _Retrospective_ are great cover versions of Elvis Costello's "Our Little Angel," Lennon / McCartney's "I'm Only Sleeping," and the Doc Pomus / Mort Shuman chesnut "I Count The Tears."

Ms. Cash is a talented songwriter herself, and the CD reflects this with six original tunes. These songs, which she either wrote or co-wrote include "On The Surface," "The Wheel," "Sleeping In Paris," "On The Inside," "What We Really Want," and "Seventh Avenue." With these songs, Ms. Cash displays an uncanny ability to probe deep into human emotions with sophistication as well as understanding. Like many other talented artists, her music is hard to pin down stylistically. It goes beyond the narrow categories & genres that radio programers use to pigeon-hole their playlists. I recommend that those of you who love the Band's music go out & pick up some of Ms. Cash's albums. The _Retrospective_ CD is a good place to start.

Wed Dec 2 15:19:23 MET 1998

Click Here to go to Pepper's Web TV


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Wed Dec 2 13:04:30 MET 1998


From: Kamloops, BC Canada

Just found this site and read the "history" sections. Having grown up in southern Ontario, I fondly remember Sunday nights at the "Summer Gardens" in Port Dover (on Lake Erie). The headliners were usually, but not always, Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks. After the dance, there would usually be a party at one of the local hotels where most of the group would be in attendance. Some years later, while stationed in Ottawa, I took in a Bob Dylan concert, and was astounded to find his back-up band "The Crackers" was actually The Hawks (minus Ronnie). I've not seen them live since then, but managed to catch Hawkins in Calgary several years ago with his (then) group "Crowbar". It may be interesting to note that, for one summer at least (1962 I think) the group consisted of Ronnie, Robbie, Rick, Richard, Levon, Garth AND Jerry (on sax). Back then, their music was mostly R&B - not rockability. Covers of Jimmy Reed, Ray Charles, and Sam Cooke tunes made up at least half their show. Cheers... from a big Hawks/Band fan... Earl

Wed Dec 2 11:43:27 MET 1998

Antti Koistinen



Wed Dec 2 09:34:46 MET 1998

Jan H.

From: Halden, Norway


Robbie's solo version of "Christmas Must Be Tonight" first appeared on record on the 1988 soundtrack album from the film Scrooged. It's also included on the 1995 various-artists CD Winter, Fire & Snow: Songs for the Holiday Season.

Wed Dec 2 09:09:58 MET 1998


From: Under the Northern Lights

About 'Old Dixie' - One thing I surely miss is the moaning sound of a banjo. It happens - especially after a glass of Bourbon - that I do some banjo pickin' myself while listening to this song. The banjo sounds great, at least in my OWN ears!

Wed Dec 2 08:29:55 MET 1998

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland Tx

Minor note. The Robbie version of Christmas Must Be is on one of those Starbucks albums. It was first on the Scrooged soundtrack.....

Wed Dec 2 06:14:02 MET 1998

Pat Brennan

From: USA

Donald Joseph, not exactly on your line but somewhere nearby. I once wrote to the great author and Civil War historian Shelby Foote. In essence, I told him that I pulled out his description of the battle of Chickamauga and read it when I was sitting on the battlefield with the sun setting, listening to The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. I told him it was the closest I ever felt to really experienceing the emotions of the Civil War. He wrote back, saying "thanks for the kind words, and I do love The Band."

Wed Dec 2 06:05:29 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: Near Chicago

Ragtime is right: C.B.Pinkerschmitt's spelling is so bad he doesn't even get his own middle name right. Yet his syntax & content & jibes at "pretentiousness" make me wonder if the misspellings are just to put us off the scent. And his tale gets progressively wilder until it becomes obvious it's a put-on. I wonder if there's a little truth in it somewhere: The Boss has covered Tom Waits! I'm certainly up for his satirical take on "Cripple Creek." Perhaps his reading will have Spike Jones on his Irish nanny's box.

Has this website suddenly changed color on you? My screen is almost unreadable because the colors no longer contrast. What's up?

In about 1980, I took a summer course for yucks at a local university; I took an English Dep't class called "The Frontier in American Literature." We read stuff like James Fenimore Cooper, "Shane," & Berger's "Little Big Man." We could write our paper on any medium. I wrote mine on song: "Across the Great Divide." I transcribed the words because I assumed the prof., who was an old dude, didn't know the tune, & then I analyzed the lyrics as consistent weitht e frontier theme in Am.Lit. I got an A-; I still think deserved an A+, but the prof. had never heard of the Band. Since I was taking the class more for fun than anything, I just wanted to write on my favorite topic. I wish I could find that damn paper -- I'd post it over to Jan for the website; you all would get a kick out of the analysis of the tune as consistent with the frontier myth theme in American lit. Unfortunately, since this was 18 years ago, I can't reproduce much of the paper now, but I'm sure it'd stand up even to Viney's prolix screeds!

That reminds me that my brother once did a high school paper on "The Weight." I remember advising him to choose an easier tune, but he wanted the challenge. I don't think I ever read it. While I was an English major, he is now a professor of Electrical Engineering, so I doubt his analysis of "The Weight" was that good, but maybe he's muti-talented.

Can any of you all get your hands on papers that were submitted for credit on Band songs? It'd be fun to read them, if they are posted verbatim, together with letter grades & professors' comments!

Wed Dec 2 04:38:14 MET 1998


From: New Jersey, USA

hello, can anybody tell me where i can find the solo version of "christmas must be tonight" ? (not the version from "islands") I heard it played on an FM station several years ago, but have not been able to find it anywhere. The disc-jocky said it was a robbie robertson solo album, yet i do not see it listed anywhere. my e-mail address is THANKS!

Wed Dec 2 04:23:10 MET 1998

Jonathan Katz

From: Columbia, MD

Goldmine, Vol. 24, No. 25, Dec. 4, 1998 has a review of Jubilation. Also a pic of Garth on the TOC and a pic of Levon on the page with the review. The review is mixed with some positives but some negative statements. It also promotes a rumor that Robbie "recently agreed to do some writing for the Band and maybe do a few duets." Sounds doubtful, though [duets?]. Anyway - check it out.

Wed Dec 2 00:48:16 MET 1998


From: the spelling department

Sorry, it's Ilkka, not Illka, isn't it? Donald could teach me too!

Wed Dec 2 00:32:54 MET 1998

Ragtime Willie

From: the Dutch forests

Illka: you really are an asset to this guestbook. Forests... deers... I can hear the jingle bells passing by when you're standing by your window (not in pain)... Christmas must be tonight... Re Old Dixie: I just listened to the four versions in the reversed order. Pity you don't have a proper recording of the Last Waltz, because this is the version wherein the tuba closely follows the base line. A rather nervous version too. Levon's singing is passionate & much alike the Before The Flood version. That one goes without the brass, but features Garth's organ. Rock Of Ages has the brass and I can imagine it's your favourite from a bass player's point of view. But my all-time favourite remains the studio version on the Brown album: this really is "chamber rock" as Jens Magnus so aptly mentioned. It's this quality that made The Band for me (on the first 3 albums). Please note Levon's far more resignated (but still powerful) singing on this one and ROA. BTW: when I listen to Band songs like Old Dixie & The Unfaithful Servant & King Harvest I get images of places I've never been just like they are real. The same with the Dutch mountains: if you want to see them, they are there. C.B. Pinkersmith: Donald should teach his little brother how to spell. I look forward to your decisive Cripple Creek article.

Tue Dec 1 21:36:50 MET 1998

Chris Dougherty

From: Southern New Jersey

I just got back from a long drive to Trenton.Ilistened to The Band all the way. I'm thirtysix,been listening to them since I was fourteen and it just keeps sounding better.I'm a new comer to this website but I love it!

Tue Dec 1 21:32:44 MET 1998

Tenor Sax Man 15

From: Up North

Thanks for FF for the birthday wishes. I'm excited about seeing you too. I'm more excited about driving your car though ;)

-- TSaxMan14

Tue Dec 1 19:12:19 MET 1998

Charles Barthelomew Pinkerschmitt

From: P.U.{pretentiousness university}

Mr Powell my good fellow, excellent job of connecting Pee Wee, George micheal and Bill Clinton. All three are miscreants and pathetic cretins. Ah but the mind is a terrible thing to waste and my reason for posting here today is of a much more loftier purpose. Long Distance Operator is indeed a blues composition of the highest order and a wonderful vehicle for the quite soulful Richard Manuel, a man with a voice of almost golden versatility but sadly flawed in the arena of life. I had the esteemed honor of hearing a live cover version of LDO by the always engaging Mr Bruce Springsteen. This did not occur in Ashbury Park but surprisingly on the Emerald Isle, about 20 miles outside of Dublin. My wife and I were there to interview a lovely young lass for the position of nanny for our twins and as a "companion" for myself as my wife travels extensively and is very liberal concerning our relationship. We hired Eileen and i must tell you she was most definately not an unfaithfull servent. To refresh ourselves and to celebrate we all adjourned to the local pub and lo and behold ther was the Boss himself. Seems he was there on holiday and had a need to play. To see and hear Bruce sing with the local lads{irish ballads,waltzes,reels}was quite stirring and provocative. After a round or two of Mr Jamisons finest, the music took on a most agreeable bluesy turn. After a few of the standard blues pieces,Bruce shocked us with the aforementioned LDO. It was a very rough version but quite enchanting. I requested Ain't No More Cain on the Brazos and the Boss without hesitation tore into it as if it was planned. Unforgettable and at the time almost mythical. Eileen with the smiling Irish eyes left to pursue other interests. Such is life. But life is good thanks to Eileen,the Band,the Boss and my persute of academic excellence. If any of you would like I will work on and submit a piece dedicated to the higher meaning of Up on Cripple Creek. C.B.P.

Tue Dec 1 17:44:27 MET 1998


From: The snowy forests in Northern Europe

The rabbits and deers are running outside my window. Yes. the Christmas time is coming! - But this is to you, Ragtime. You asked about the bass line in "Old Dixie". I have listened to four different versions. The Band: bass line is melodious, peaceful and uncomplicated. I can almost hear my elementary school teacher play a hymn with a harmonium. Rock of Ages: this is my favourite, because Rick's playing is so powerful, discinplined and concentrated, which is hard to do in concerts. Before The Flood: this is a jumping and nervous version. I can imagine, that in a concert like this, it is difficult to hear your own instrument. You should be a half a mile away, really. The Last Waltz: unfortunately I have only a low quality tape recording (plus a video tape), so I have not much to say about it. - By the way, I have been in the Netherlands a couple of times but never seen the Dutch mountains!

Tue Dec 1 16:57:37 MET 1998

David Powell

From: Georgia on my mind

The sad story of Catherine Evelyn Smith has once again resurfaced. The E-Channel biography on the late John Belushi incorrectly identified Ms. Smith as a background singer for the Band when they appeared on SNL. Was this one-time groupie/singer/tour bus driver/drug supplier merely just another hanger-on in the insular world of rock music? She ended up serving time for her part in administering speedballs for Belushi only after she sold her sordid story to a tabloid. Bob Woodward's book _Wired_ does mention Ms. Smith alleged "connection" with various Band members.

One should ask why or if any of this really matters. In this age of so-called "tell all" journalism, where should one draw the line between the art and the private life of the artist? Does the knowledge of every sordid detail of someone's private life actually convey any insight into that person's work or art?

It's ironic that Mr. Woodward, who first gained fame for his coverage of political scandal, then ventured into the world of entertainment, recently has come back full circle into writing about current Presidential scandals. This tell-all tabloid journalism that now permeates the airwaves, newspapers & magazines thrives on the latest alleged misdeeds of every rock star, movie star, and politician that they can dig up. From Pee Wee Herman to George Michael to Bill Clinton, everyone is fair game, and Kenneth Anger's infamous _Hollywood Babylon_ has become the textbook for today's breed of journalists. It's no longer who, what, when & where but who did what to whom & where did they do it.

Excuse me for getting off on this tangent. Let us now return to the musical portion of our program.

Tue Dec 1 15:45:48 MET 1998


Fulco Ottervanger: Yes! Finally! An under-aged Band fan! So we're not all dynosaurs. En nog uit Nederland ook! Het kan niet mooier.

Tue Dec 1 12:20:48 MET 1998

Fulco Ottervanger

From: The netherlands


Tue Dec 1 12:08:39 MET 1998

Freddy Fishstick

From: Amagansett

Cathy Smith of earlier note was the subject of "Sundown", Gordon Lightfoot's tune. Popular gal.

On a more important note, Happy Birthday to my favorite "Sax Man" from way uptown. Lookin forward to seeing you and yours real soon.

Tue Dec 1 12:02:07 MET 1998

Jan Høiberg

From: Norway, hoping to go to New Orleans
Home page:

And we have passed the half-megabyte mark for the first time: The Band guestbook script generated 515K of text and HTML in November '98. These entries have now been moved to a separate file.

Tue Dec 1 11:16:59 MET 1998

Jens Magnus

From: Norway

To Donald Joseph/Chamber rock Thank you for info about this blues band recording with chamber orchestra. Sorry you interpreted my message as cryptic. When I use the phrase chamber, I simply imply a smaller form, a not so loud expression; as for instance in classical music, the chamber music seldom contains more than 13 musicians, to keep it apart from symphonic music. Same thing happens in jazz; Basie's big bands are far from chamber jazz, but smaller combos, prying into the more subtle changes in music, are "chamber". Of course The Band can be rolling and tumbling as any major rock group, but they also have a "chamber" way of playing, acoustic, not beating drums but playing drums. See what I mean? Growing older, I tend to love chamber rock more than the average noisy rock and roll. The Band have their special way!

Tue Dec 1 05:47:02 MET 1998

Donald Joseph

From: World Famous in Cincinnati

Lord Beatle, Jr.: Excellent, definitive analysis of "Unfaithful Servant."

I didn't know Wolf covered the Ode. I know Katie Webster quite successfully does a Dire Straits tune, and at least 2 bluesmen have covered Alias's "Meet Me in the Morning": Theodis Ealy (great new l.p.), and, I think, Freddie King. Buddy Guy's recent Silvertone sell-out albums contain unexpected covers, such as of Hiatt tunes. I've always waited for a blues guy to cover Richard's Alias-penned "Long Distance Operator." This is a true blues tune. I've even thought of suggesting it to Lazy Lester, although it's not his swamp-blues style. Anyone ever heard of a blues cover of it?

Tue Dec 1 05:44:58 MET 1998

Pat Brennan

From: USA

What's Goin On--Band connection? One of Rick's favorite bass players, the late great James Jamerson, in the pocket. BTW, Marvin Gaye on piano. One of the five greatest achievements of all time.

Tue Dec 1 05:41:26 MET 1998


From: Phila

To Franko from Boston

I did not see the E special on Belushi, however, I am of the understanding (I believe from the Bob Woodward book WIRED) that Cathy Smith was the girlfriend of (in order, over time), Levon, Rick and Richard. Apparently, Belushi had met her when she was with Levon during their 1976 appearance on SNL.

Tue Dec 1 05:02:09 MET 1998


From: N.J.

Does anyone know when if ever the film "Something is Happening" will be available? I'm sure I'm not the only person who would love to see uninterupted performances by Dylan and the Hawks. On the tapes Robbie really burns and the whole band pushes Dylan and each other to great heights.Thanks in advance. God bless The Band.

Tue Dec 1 04:40:38 MET 1998

Danny Lopez

From: Iowa

Just got back from Newport, Rhode Island. Happened to see a store called "Rags and Bones." Hmm. I didn't have time to stop and inquire. Also to those from upstate New York, I'll be in Schenactady in January. How far is that from Woodstock? I might have time to check out Big Pink.

Tue Dec 1 04:29:53 MET 1998


From: Ca

Peter Viney: Fine job as usual on your new article. As for Wolf doing OtBJ, never heard it. Your on your own. Good luck.

Tue Dec 1 04:24:25 MET 1998


From: boston

Tonight I caught the last few minutes of an E! special on John Belushi. The first thing I saw after turning my TV on I was a picture of The Band - it looked like a shot from one of their SNL appearances. Immediately after that the narrator spoke of Cathy Smith and the last few days of Belushi's life, speedball, etc. Did anyone see the show? In what context were the boys mentioned?

Tue Dec 1 02:37:57 MET 1998

Eric Davis

From: Oakville, Ontario, Canada

The "Music From Big Pink" CD is no longer available in Canada. I'd heard it was being remastered and will be available again. Does anyone know if this is true and a release date?

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