Levon Helm, drummer, singer, songwriter, actor, etc.
May 26, 1940-April 19, 2012
Live, 2/12, Woodstock, NY (Levon’s home)
“When I Go Away,” recording (Electric Dirt, 2009)
Levon Helm will always hold a special place in my heart. He was as great of an actor as a musician. For me watching him play the role of my daddy in Coal Miner’s Daughter is a memory I will always treasure.
When I heard The Band’s Music from Big Pink, their music changed my life. And Levon was a big part of that band. Nigel Olson, my drummer, will tell you that every drummer that heard him was influenced by him. He was the greatest drummer and a wonderful singer and just a part of my life that was magical. They once flew down to see me in Philadelphia and I couldn’t believe it. They were one of the greatest bands of all time. They really changed the face of music when their records came out. I had no idea he was sick so I’m very dismayed and shocked that he died so quickly. But now my son [Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John] has his name.
He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation. This is just so sad to talk about. I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him. We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I’m going to miss him, as I’m sure a whole lot of others will too.