Thursday, April 19, 2012


Legendary Woodstock, New York based rock drummer/vocalist/actor and founder of THE BAND, LEVON HELM died today of throat cancer at 71. HELM was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998 and has bravely battled his condition with treatment rocking on with his (weekly and monthly) "Midnight Ramble" shows (with many well known guests) near his studio (Woodstock, NY area "The Barn"). LEVON HELM's "Ramble" shows have raised funds for his medical expenses.

LEVON HELM founded THE BAND with Robbie Robertson and Garth Hudson often backing BOB DYLAN (first electric tour)  live. THE BAND broke up in 1976 reforming (without Robbie Robertson) in 1983. THE BAND was the subject of the critically acclaimed Martin Scorsese documentary "The Last Waltz" (with Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton ect.)

 FROM JIMMY EPARD:  Thanks for a lot of inspiration & great memories. R.I.P. brother Levon!                    FROM CHRIS SILVA (BARDAVON OPERA HOUSE-POUGHKEEPSIE, NY):  “was a very special guy, and everybody around him was touched by how special he was, and that, in a way, made all of us special.“There’s no secret that he went through a lot of difficult times where needed help, yet he was always quick to donate his time.”                                                                  FROM GARTH HUDSON (THE BAND):  LEVON HELM LEFT US TODAY AT 1:30 PM, THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2012. I AM TERRIBLY SAD. THANK YOU FOR 50 YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP AND MUSIC. MEMORIES THAT LIVE ON WITH US. NO MORE SORROWS, NO MORE TROUBLES, NO MORE PAIN. HE WENT PEACEFULLY TO THAT BEAUTIFUL MARVELOUS WONDERFUL PLACE. HE WAS BUDDY RICH'S FAVORITE ROCK DRUMMER ... AND MY FRIEND. LEVON, I'M PROUD OF YOU. Garth Hudson---                                                                                                                                FROM BOB DYLAN:  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.”                                                                                                                                            FROM SHERYL CROW:  “My heart heavy with sad news of Levon Helm’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with Levon’s family.”                                                                                        FROM ELTON JOHN:  “When I heard The Band’s Music from Big Pink, their music changed my life…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 really changed the face of music when their records came out.” FROM MARTIN SCORSESE:  The late Jim Carroll once said that Levon Helm was the only drummer who could make you cry, and he was absolutely right. Levon’s touch was so delicate, so deft, that he gave you more than just a beat – he gave the music a pulse. And his high, ringing voice was just as soulful. His bandmate Robbie Robertson wrote “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” for Levon to sing, and I’ll never forget how moving it was to watch him sing it during their final performance at Winterland, which is one of the high points of the movie we made from that show, The Last Waltz. Levon was a gentleman, a consummate artist (and, I might add, a wonderful actor – his performance as Loretta Lynn’s father in Coal Miner’s Daughter is rich, understated, and very moving), and he loved music as deeply and truly as anyone I’ve ever met. I consider myself fortunate to have worked with Levon, and I am one among many, many people who will miss him.                                                                                       FROM NEW YORK STATE U.S. REPRESENTATIVE CONGRESSIONAL 22nd DISTRICT MAURICE HINCHEY:  America has lost one of its great voices. Levon Helm wasn't just a music icon, he was an icon of our Hudson Valley community. While his music was enjoyed the world over, it had special meaning to those of us who enjoyed his Midnight Rambles and other community events. He was our neighbor, and my good friend. I will miss him dearly. Levon has gone home, but his music will live on forever.                                                                          FROM FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: 
Statement by President Clinton on the passing of Levon Helm April 19, 2012 | New York, NY | Bill Clinton | Statements “I was saddened to learn of the death of my fellow Arkansan Levon Helm. Levon was one of America’s great musicians. His music, with the Hawks, the Band, and throughout his career, and his standout performance in Coal Miner’s Daughter, touched a cord with me and with many Americans. He never forgot his roots. I was always grateful that he helped the annual Delta Blues Festival get off the ground. He will be deeply missed.”
There is a gaping hole in my life and in my heart. Your words of kindness and compassion have been a source of of great comfort to me and to the rest of the team. As Levon always said, no man is an island. The successes we have achieved over the past 9 years weren't the result of any one person's efforts. The successes came from a combination of the foundation that was built by people before me and by the people who arrived on the scene with me. Added to the formula was a fan base unlike any other. You all have stood by us through thick and thin - through voice and no voice, through illness and through health. As Levon always said, we're all partners. Let's not allow that partnership to falter. Keep following my FB posts because I have a plan - and I'd like you all to be part of it. Again, thank you so much for your strength through this very, very painful time for us. We need you.

Thanks-Stay Metal, Stay Brutal, FIND A CURE and LET's BEAT CANCER-\m/ -l-