“I Ain’t Got No Home” - Bob Dylan & The Band, Carnegie Hall, NYC, January 20, 1968
Since it’s Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday today, here’s his most famous acolyte paying tribute with a truly great cover. This performance sits very comfortably next to the contemporaneous Basement Tapes sessions.
About 18 minutes of footage of THE BAND at Pittsburgh’s Syria Mosque in November 1970. Great stuff.
R.I.P. Levon Helm
The Band, performing live at The Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA, November 1st, 1970.
"I pulled into Nazareth…
was feelin’ ‘bout half past dead…”
—-The Weight by The Band
It’s not too well known a fact that the reference to Nazareth in The Weight is not a Biblical reference, but a nod to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, which is the home to the Martin Guitar factory. Robbie Robertson has told the story in a few documentaries about how a simple trip begets friends asking for favors, making a burden out of a brief trip, and that led to the writing of the tune.
PBS’ America Revealed visits the C.F. Martin & Co. factory in the Wednesday night show that closes out its 4-episode run. The series has been examining different systems in the United States, from how we get our food, to air traffic control, to manufacturing. Yul Kwon, winner of the Cook Islands edition of Survivor, is the host of the program, which is a fascinating look at how America works. It’s airing Wednesday night on most PBS stations, but as always… check your local listings.
For more info, including catching up on past episodes, visit http://www.pbs.org/america-revealed
It’s funny how this popped up so soon after Levon’s passing.
FULL DISCLOSURE : Playmixt works for PBS.
David Bianculli’s ticket from a Dylan/The Band concert on Jan 19th 1974.
The man who belted out The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down during The Last Waltz is gone. This might be my all-time favorite photo of the late Levon Helm.
Please keep Levon Helm in your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for all the music, Levon.
CLAPTON, WINWOOD, REZNOR on 5th SOLO ALBUM
FROM THE BAND’S ROBBIE ROBERTSON.
How To Become Clairvoyant sounds like it could be the followup to his self-titled debut I’ve been hankering for since that one came out. That album, Robbie Robertson, featured great cameos by U2 and Peter Gabriel among others. This one sounds intriguing too, especially as there’s a song about his departure from The Band.
The ever-fine Blurt Online has the story here.
I have never heard of this, and am immediately fascinated/frustrated by its unavailability!
The Band’s soundtrack for the 1969 X Rated Film “Last Summer”
“A clip from the rare film Last Summer (1969.) You can hear the songs “Magnetic Mama” and “Temptation, Lust and Laziness” in the background - they were recorded by various members of The Band, plus other studio musicians. The movie had an original soundtrack produced by John Simon, of The Band, and featuring members of The Band including Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson. The soundtrack is extremely rare and is almost a “secret” album by The Band, in that it features most of their members in some combination. A VERY young Bruce Davison can be seen here (the taller of the two blond boys.) The film also stars Barbara Hershey, Catherine Burns and Richard Thomas.”
Down South In New Orleans (with Bobby Charles)
Damn it. It’s been a week for music deaths: Teddy Pendergrass, Jay Reatard, and now… Bobby Charles. You might not be that familiar with the name, but I can guarantee you’re likely to have heard one of his songs.
I don’t know too much about Bobby. He was mostly known as a songwriter, and The Band - whom I love dearly - held him in high enough esteem to bring him onstage with them at The Last Waltz concert for a smashing rendition of his song Down South In New Orleans. That song sadly isn’t in the film, but has been on every release of the soundtrack album - and for my money may be the quintessential song to capture the fun of New Orleans.
Bobby Charles got himself on the music map far earlier than that 1976 concert, though. Even just for writing the following two songs, he deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…
See You Later, Alligator - a hit for Bobby, but a massive hit for a combo that shook the world pretty hard: Bill Haley & the Comets
Walking To New Orleans - another smash hit, this time for Fats Domino
Bobby went up to Woodstock in the early ’70s to record a solo record entitled Bobby Charles. Backing him was a local group - The Band. That record was out of print for ages, but it’s now available on iTunes.
I’ve never been able to find an original recording of Down South In New Orleans, so have wondered for ages where The Band knew the song from. It’s not on the record they did with him. Here, for your listening pleasure, is the version from The Last Waltz in honor of the late Bobby Charles.
"Hazel," by Bob Dylan & The Band
Outtake footage from The Last Waltz concert. The footage isn’t that great, but it’s a fine performance of this tune from Planet Waves. This recording is included in the CD set - part of the medley of tunes Dylan did at the show. This was sandwiched between “Baby Let Me Follow You Down,” and “Forever Young,” which I quoted in a toast to my brother and his bride on their wedding day.
Posting this to welcome my brand-new niece, Hazel, into the world as of yesterday!
It’s Thanksgiving Day in the United States. On this date in 1976, The Band decided to call it quits with some friends at a concert they entitled The Last Waltz at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. They served turkey dinners to the crowd of 5,000. At 9pm, they took the stage and kicked into this number, Up On Cripple Creek. That night, they - along with director Martin Scorsese - made one of the greatest concert films of all time. If you’ve not seen or heard Dylan’s performance of a medley of tracks towards the end of the film, you’re really missing out.
It’s not a film that’s often thought of in terms of “Thanksgiving” films, but it’s definitely going to be part of my day. Put this movie or the soundtrack on while cooking (or until your game comes on) and your day will get a lot better.
The Hold Steady’s tune Chips Ahoy! is almost an update of this story - in both songs, the characters go to the track and one picks a winner.