Gordon Lightfoot Book, Music and More!

The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

Music Feature: The Band - And the Band played on

The Band (without Robertson)
For defunct rock groups, 1983 has become the year of the reunion. Among the acts from rock’s golden years re-forming are The Guess Who, The Animals, The Hollies and Simon and Garfunkel. But the most unexpected return is that of The Band, Canada’s most celebrated rock ensemble. Its farewell concert seven years ago was so lavish and final that it made any suggestion of reunion seem dishonest. Now, with a two-week, 11-city Canadian tour which began in Halifax and ends in Vancouver on July 18, The Band is back, although without the services of guitarist Robbie Robertson. From the heady days of the southern Ontario bar circuit in the 1960s to Martin Scorsese’s touching movie tribute, The Last Wal...
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Music Feature: Robbie Robertson - Songs of a native son

robbierobertson-bigsky
Stepping off a Greyhound bus from Toronto in 1961, a 17-year-old boy found himself in West Helena, Ark., by the banks of the Mississippi River, unable to believe his senses. “It smelled different and moved different,” Robbie Robertson recently recalled. “The people talked and dressed different. And the air was filled with thick and funky music.” The experience left an indelible impression on the budding guitarist and songwriter. Years later, Robertson drew on it to write some of rock’s most evocative songs—including “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” And he performed them with his group, The Band, which critic Greil Marcus has called “the best rock ’n’ roll band...
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The Band, a marijuana bust and the Ed Sullivan Show

Levon and the Hawks to the Band on Ed Sullivan
In early 1965, Toronto's Levon & the Hawks were having a hard time with the law. Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel, along with their road manager Bill Avis, were charged with possession of marijuana, after being arrested at Toronto's airport by RCMP officers. With bail set at $10,000 apiece and a court case likely to drag on for months, the pot bust threatened to detrail the momentum of the group that would soon become world famous as the Band. The charges were all a set up. A jealous boyfriend of a girl Danko was seeing told the cops that the group was smuggling in a trunkful of pot into Canada. In fact, Danko had an ounce of Panama Red in his jac...
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Bob Dylan & The Band - The Complete Basement Tapes

Of all Dylan’s bootlegs—official and unofficial, none has been more attracted more mystique and allure than the over 100 diverse recordings he made with The Band during the summer of ’67. Now they’ve been exhaustively restored and compiled in six- and two-disc collections, including 30 never-bootlegged tracks like the rollicking roadhouse blues “Dress It Up, Better Have It All,” that represents the roots-rock mother lode.
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Music Review: 25 Essential Music DVDs

1. The Last Waltz The Band’s elegant swansong is the ultimate rock concert movie. Director Martin Scorcese’s discreet camerawork and superb sound captures inspired performances from Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and others. Scorcese keeps his focus almost exclusively on the stage. Beneath three massive chandeliers, the Band pays tribute to its influences with such friends as Muddy Water (an explosive “Mannish Boy”), Neil Young (a wistful “Helpless”) and Bob Dylan (a stirring group finale on “I Shall Be Released”). But the highlight is “The Weight,” performed with gospel’s Staples family, which ranks among the most exquisite music sequences ever committed to film.     2....
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