The Band: News and Gossip
This page contains general news and updates on The Band from various sources. Please note that
not all of this information is "official" or "confirmed".
- April 2000: According to the latest ICE Magazine
(the CD newsletter), Capitol is currently
revamping all of
The Band's back catalouge on CD for a July release. The new editions will have
improved artwork and some
"extra tracks" similar to the Byrds reissues.
- The Band's guitarist Jim Weider will be
playing with Tom Pacheco and Steinar Albrigtsen at the Norwegian Grammy Awards, Friday
- The Band's photographer Elliott Landy is giving a
presentation of his classic rock images of the 60s at the
Sande Shurin Studio & Theatre in New York City,
Thursday, March 2 through Sunday, March 5, 2000.
- Rick Danko left us today, December 10th, 1999.
- October '99: Rick Danko is working on a new studio album, see
the interview with Rick at the
Woodstock Records web site.
- Press release:
Rick Danko Releases Live On Breeze Hill
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer's Latest Solo Effort Is An Inspired 11-Song
Collection to Benefit Greenpeace
WOODSTOCK, N.Y., Sept. 10 / PRNewswire / Carol Caffin
-- Rick Danko, lead singer, bass
founding member of the legendary rock group, The Band, has announced the
release of Live
On Breeze Hill, his first major solo album in several years. "I've been
wanting to record a record like this for a long time," says
Danko. "It's not often that you can get this many musicians together
and have them sound this tight. I knew it was something
special, even as we were performing. It was a positive, powerful
experience and the whole thing just feels right to me."
Danko's fans are sure to agree. Live On Breeze Hill, an 11-song
collection of inspired performances, captures the intimacy,
immediacy and excitement of Danko's live, electric shows. In addition to
creative reworkings of requisite staples ("Twilight,"
"Stagefright"), the CD also features ingenius versions of long-lost
gems ("Caledonia Mission") audience favorites ("Crazy
Mama"), singalongs ("Blaze of Glory") and classics ( "Makes No
Difference," "Shape I'm In"). In addition, the CD also includes
a bonus studio track, a new-arrangement of Danko's "Sip the Wine,"
which ardent fans will recognize from its first appearance in
The Band's farewell concert film, The Last Waltz.
"As soon as word leaked out that Rick had a new record coming, the
phone started ringing off the hook," says Quentin Ryan of
Breeze Hill Productions. "There are a lot of people out there who love
Rick, and they're excited by what he's been doing lately.
We received a number of inquiries and pre-release orders, so we set up a
toll-free number right away."
Danko is in fine form both vocally and musically on this album, which is
evidenced by, not only what the critics and fans are
saying, but by what his peers are saying as well.
When asked last week to comment on Rick's new record, Eric Clapton (who
gave The Band's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
induction speech in 1994) said, "Rick's singing has had a tremendous
influence on me, from 'Big Pink' right up to the present day.
It's only my own humble opinion," he continued, "but I think you have
to be a great musician before you can sing like that."
Richie Havens, who, like Rick, performed at the original Woodstock
festival, added that Rick is "one of the all-time great writers,
musicians and interpreters. Even after 30 years, his soulful, artistic
integrity has never wavered."
A portion of the proceeds from Live On Breeze Hill will benefit
Greenpeace, whose mission is to protect the health of the planet.
"I like what Greenpeace is doing, and what it stands for," says Danko.
"And, since music is the universal language, what better
way to heighten awareness and help save the planet than through music?"
"Rick's vibrant, fresh sound goes hand in hand with the message
Greenpeace is trying to promote," says Mark Hengstler, National
Membership Manager for Greenpeace USA. "We at Greenpeace are delighted
that Rick has chosen to donate proceeds from his
new album to our cause."
Live On Breeze Hill will be available initially through the Woodstock
Records website, (www.Woodstockrecords.com), by
mail order (Woodstock Records, PO Box 158, Woodstock 12498-0158) and by
calling Breeze Hill Productions' toll-free number,
- August 1999: Rick Danko did a world-wide interview in the second week of August with Voice of America;
performed on a live TV show on Friday 8/13 called Jersey's Talking (audience
of 2 million), did several regional interviews, and has several national
interviews in the works.
- August 1999:The upcoming film
The Adventures of Sebastian Cole features Levon Helm in a
bit part. The movie (which takes place in 1983) is about an eccentric young
man and his crossdressing father. The movie opens August 20th.
- May 1999: Rick Danko is currently working on a new album for
Woodstock Records, together
with Aaron Hurwitz and Scott Petito. Danko was in Scott Petito's studio recently, recording
one song for the the album.
- Rick Danko will soon start recording a new album together with Jonas Fjeld and Eric Andersen, according
to a January '99 interview with the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet.
The trio, who released their self-titled
debut album in 1991 and the follow-up
Ridin' on the Blinds in 1994, will record their third album
in Levon Helm's Woodstock studio.
- Congratulations to Robbie Robertson on the following Grammy
nominations in January '99:
The Grammy Awards will be held on Wednesday, February 24th, at the
Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
- Levon Helm's Classic American Cafe
"Levon Helm's Classic American Cafe" opened in New Orleans on
December 26, 1998. Read the detailed press release for more info.
- Tuesday, January 5, 1999, Robbie Robertson will appear on Late Night With
- Robbie Robertson to Join DreamWorks Records; Acclaimed Artist Will Tackle First-Of-Its-Kind Multidimensional Role
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Robbie Robertson -- who for three
decades has probed the American consciousness as singer, songwriter,
guitarist, producer and film composer -- will join DreamWorks Records in an
unprecedented capacity: The former Band member will serve as creative
plenipotentiary, with a wide-ranging mandate that will see him involved in
both artistic and executive activities at the company.
Robertson's unique role -- in essence that of "label muse" -- will also
enable him to participate in projects set in motion by DreamWorks' parent
company, DreamWorks SKG, a multifaceted entertainment studio formed in 1994 by
Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen.
"When (DreamWorks Records principal) Mo Ostin and David (Geffen) first
approached me about this, they said there was no name for what they were
proposing," Robertson explains. "David just said, 'Listen -- you like to make
records, write songs and produce music. You like to produce films, do music
for movies, supervise music for movies. Any of these things you love to do,
why don't you come here and do them with us?'" Asked about his initial
response, Robertson replies, "What's the catch?"
He soon realized, however, that there was no catch -- only limitless
possibility. "What excited me the most," he confides, "was that no one with a
musical background like mine had ever done this before. That kind of
challenge always perks me right up."
Also key in his decision to accept the post was the opportunity it would
afford him to share his prodigious experience with DreamWorks' artists. "I've
been there," he says. "I've seen the whole 360 degrees of the equation.
There's nothing an artist can't talk to me about; there's no question about
the music or the business I can't answer. I have a duty to take what I know
and pass it on so someone else can benefit from it. It's an Indian thing
(Robertson is of Mohawk descent). I was taught as a kid that what the
ancestors give you -- it's all a gift. This appreciation of the gift of life
was a constant, along with the idea that if you don't teach what you've
learned, if you don't pass on the gift, what good is it?"
Robertson views this aspect of the job as incontrovertible evidence of
DreamWorks' artist-oriented philosophy. He says the label's commitment to
artistry and artist development, as well as its family-like "we're all in this
together" attitude was a perfect fit with his own outlook. "In this day and
age, when companies are swallowing each other up like one big game of Pac Man,
DreamWorks' efforts to break down the traditional barriers between the artist
and the label is almost rebellious. What Mo Ostin, (DreamWorks Records
principals) Lenny Waronker and Michael Ostin accomplished at Warner Bros. is
truly a model."
(summary of the career of Robbie and The Band deleted from press release)
Questioned about upcoming undertakings for DreamWorks, Robertson will only
say: "I'm working on several projects with new recording artists and on
movies, soundtracks and animation. Lots of brainstorming. What really
strikes me about this work I'm doing for DreamWorks is that it feels so
natural. David and Mo insisted that I only involve myself in what I'm
absolutely passionate about, in what I think I can truly bring magic to. And
that's what I'm doing."
- The Museum of Television & Radio
are showing the original version of the Dylan/Hawks 1966 "documentary" film
Eat the Document in
New York October 8 - November 20, and in Los
Angeles October 8 - November 13. See the
museum's Dylan pages for details
- Robbie Robertson Grooves to 'Strip'
HOLLYWOOD 09.28.98 (Variety/Reuters) - Robbie Robertson has signed on to supervise
music for a film that tells an "American Graffiti"-like story about life on Los
Angeles' Sunset Strip. The film, tentatively titled "Sunset Strip" and set in
1971, focuses not on the rockers who made names for themselves in the
clubs along the strip, but on the fans and the music business scene. While
casting is under way for the film, no actors are set. Best known for his time
with The Band, Robertson has carved out a niche in movies. He oversaw
the soundtrack albums for "Phenomenon" and "Casino," and served as
film composer on such films as "Raging Bull" and "The Color of Money."
- Rick Danko is scheduled
for an interview on WCBS in New York on Friday September 18, probably around 1:20 EST.
Press release from Platinum Entertainment, 08/12/98:
The Band - with original members Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson
- will preview Jubilation, the 10th studio album of their career, with a
live "In The Studio" webchat on Saturday, August 15, 1998. Jubilation
celebrates the 30th anniversary of The Band's groundbreaking debut,
Music from Big Pink.
"Perhaps more than any other group, The Band is responsible for the
current interest in the Americana and 'No Depression' music scenes,"
says Tim Erwin, executive producer, Traveller Information Services.
"We're proud to present this opportunity for fans on the Internet to
catch a preview of Jubilation." Traveller is the Huntsville, Alabama,
ISP and webcast company presenting the event in cooperation with River
North Records and Platinum Entertainment. The associate producer is
Music fans logging on to
http://www.inthestudio.com at 5 p.m.
talk with members of The Band about Jubilation, an all-new recording
that features guest appearances by Eric Clapton and John Hiatt. Also
available for viewing is a short performance and interview film, shot on
location at The Band's studio in a converted barn in Woodstock, New
York. The chat transcript, photos and promotional video will be
archived at http://www.inthestudio.com for the next year.
As a special offer, In The Studio will offer a limited-release colored
vinyl edition of Jubilation that will not be available through any other
retail or online outlet. A link from In The Studio will allow consumers
to purchase the vinyl collector's disc at TappedInto.Com, or to
pre-order a copy of the Jubilation CD on River North Records.
The Band emerged in 1968 with Music from Big Pink, an album that
literally changed the way rock music fans listened to American roots
music. Thirty years later, Jubilation continues to explore The Band's
unique synthesis of rock, folk, country and R&B, with such potential
classics as "Last Train To Memphis" (featuring Clapton), "Don't Wait"
and "White Cadillac," inspired by rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins. The
album also includes Hiatt's "Bound By Love," featuring guest vocals by
the composer; Allen Toussaint's "You See Me"; and Paul Jost's "Book
"There might be a call back to the past in the words or merely the
titles of any number of the new songs on Jubilation," writes
Train author Greil Marcus in the album's liner notes. "But the rickety
feeling of the faster rhythms, the way voices curl together . . . is at
once old and unheard, a sound that only has to be heard for the first
time to feel as if it's being remembered."
For further information, contact Bill Paige, Platinum Entertainment,
630-769-0033, or visit In The Studio at
- A two-part piece on Robbie Robertson on "Good Morning America"
will begin airing August 13th,
Check your local listings for exact showtimes.
- The PBS special "Making a Noise: A Native American Musical Journey With
Robbie Robertson" will be aired on many radio stations in mid-August, here's a
list of dates and locations.
- An hour-long program that features music from the winners of this years
Native American Music Awards,
including life-time achievement winner Robbie Robertson, will air
on Tuesday July
28 at 1700, 2300 ET, as well as Wednesday July 29 at 0500 ET and August 1
and 2 at 1200 ET, on the Native American Network.
- Robbie Robertson will be appearing on Politically Incorrect on
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