Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Levon, our friend

The news just came flying in our house. That Levon Helm, the worlds greatest drummer and member of The Band, is facing the final stages of cancer.

He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998 and underwent serveral radiation treatments which caused a terrible damage to his voice. Medical bills threatened his house as his barn in Woodstock became the setting of the weekly held Midnight Ramble, a party he'd host, drumming the night away with musical friends coming over and dancing the whole night through. This was not only a great way to pay the bills with but also it became a weekly event my boyfriend and I were so excited and would have loved to join this summer.

During this period he slowly regained his voice which has changed into a raspy sort of sound. 

Every time I listen to his music I honestly couldn't get enough of it. 
I highly recommend all of you diving into those songs.

Just like he did. Being on stage with his friends; 

From the beginning on until now.

Dylan and Levon Helm play ping-pong
Bob and Levon playing ping pong, found here
 From left to right: Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, Levon Helm,
 Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, found here.

Levon Helm at a younger age, circa 1976, found here

Levon Helm performs, circa 1994, found here.

2011, found here.

Hang around, Willie Boy
Don't you raise the sails anymore
It's for sure, I've spent my whole life at sea
And I'm pushin' age seventy three
Now there's only one place that was meant for me

Oh, to be home again
Down in old Virginny
With my very best friend
They call him Ragtime Willie
We're gonna soothe away the rest of our years
We're gonna put away all of our tears
That big rockin' chair won't go nowhere

Slow down, Willie Boy
Your heart's gonna give right out on you
It's true, and I believe I know what we should do
Turn the stern and point to shore
The seven seas won't carry us no more

Oh, to be home again
Down in old Virginny
With my very best friend
They call him Ragtime Willie
I can't wait to sniff that air
Dip'n snuff, I won't have no care
That big Rockin' Chair won't go nowhere

Hear the sound, Willie Boy
The Flyin' Dutchman's on the reef
It's my belief
We've used up all our time
This hill's to steep to climb
And the days that remain ain't worth a dime

Oh, to be home again
Down in old Virginny
With my very best friend
They call him Ragtime Willie
Would-a-been nice just t'see the folks
listen once again to the stale jokes
That big Rockin' Chair won't go nowhere

I can hear something calling on me
And you know where I want to be
Oh Willie don't you hear that sound
Oh to be home again down in old Virginny
I just want to get my feet back on the ground
Oh to be home again down in old Virginny
I'd love to see my very best friend
They call him Rag-time Willie
I believe old rockin chair's got me
Oh to be home again 
Rockin' Chair - The Band

I'm sad beyond measure. 
Not only because I will never get the chance to feel and listen to his music while facing his grace and eventually thanking him in person for all that he'd done for so many people but also because the moment he'll return home
we will have lost one of the most gifted and joyful person there probabely ever was.
Hang on to those true music souls.
There are only a few of them left.
Dear Friends,
Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.

Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration... he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage...

We appreciate all the love and support and concern.
From his daughter Amy, and wife Sandy 

[found here: Levon Helm's Offical website]


1 comment:

  1. Hey there, I just found your beautiful blog through Free People's post about Levon...he has a special place in my heart as well and I also posted about him on Wednesday. I was lucky enough to see him once, though not at a Midnight Ramble. What an energy..


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