Yesterday, April 19, 2012, the music world lost a legend, Levon Helm. This loss was a personal one in our home. Not only do my husband and I have a strong bond to the music of The Band, but our children both share that love. Part of the soundtrack of our lives, Levon and The Band will forever make us feel the love. That down home sound crawled its way into our home in a big way.
A few memories to honor the man who helped shape the sound we loved:
1. The first album I ever owned was The Band, Music from Big Pink. My older brother, who was a strong influence on my formative musical tastes, bought this for me as a birthday gift when I was still in elementary school. While the other kids were listening to The Archies and The 1910 Fruitgum Company, my bro made sure I was a cool little kid.
3. A few summers ago I was fortunate enough to stumble into the end of a counselor’s day off from the camp my kids attend. My son and his friends rolled into the restaurant we were in and as luck would have it there was a band playing. Out of nowhere all the boys broke into a rendition of The Weight that will forever remained burned in my memory.
4. But the highlight memory of Levon Helm for me will remain attending The Ramble last December 3rd. It was one of those special nights where the music wrapped itself around everyone in that barn and held us in its embrace all night long. For those who are not familiar with the Midnight Ramble, it is a concert series in a barn/studio that is part of Levon’s home. There are scheduled guests, but this particular night had a host of drop bys that blew us away. Spanning the years of my adolescence to one of my favorite new bands of today, we were treated to Jimmy Vivino, Garth Hudson, Donald Fagan, Jackson Browne and Dawes.
Thank you Levon, for a great run. For the passion. For the joy in your face when you banged those drums even after the cruelty of fate robbed you of your singing voice.
And most of all, for the music.
Photo: This image is from the downstairs bathroom at the Midnight Ramble. I hope the Helm family will forgive me the ‘no pictures’ rule for this one, I simply could not resist.