#72454  by tcsned
 Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:15 pm
It's a bummer that bands disintegrate with in-fighting and hard feelings when they made some truly beautiful music together. They all did some good solo work, the band that toured as The Band after Robertson was a great band. They were all much better as a group. Robbie wrote some great songs for Rick and Levon's voices. The Stones and Beatles wrote all their tunes as Jagger/Richards and Lennon/McCartney though they all didn't pen every song together - seemed like an acknowledgment that tunes are a collaboration of all the parts and that writing a guitar hook in some ways is as important to a song as the lyrics and chords (Satisfaction for example). Robertson might be a jackass but none of us were there and present in the dynamics of that group and all the band members have opinions about who did what and to whom but we'll never really know for sure what happened. I've heard gossip about my band about shit that went down and it is so far from how I remember it and it supposedly came from one of my bandmates. We did a lot of partying back in those days, but I am sure shit didn't happen that way. But, reality is all perspective so it might just be my perspective that I see and other folks might have a different take. We had no where near the pressure, success, money, etc that The Band did so I'm sure that shit was amplified 100x. My point is, we'll never know for sure, but we can enjoy the great music they made before it all fell apart.

I've got a acquaintance who was Muddy Waters' guitar player in the Last Waltz, played with him for 7-8 years. Apparently Robertson wanted Muddy out of the show and Levon put his foot down and made sure he played and paid to get members of his band in too. He learned all that years later but always spoke very highly of Levon. Muddy had a heavy presence in that film and I am really glad Levon fought for him. Bob Margolin is the guy standing next to Muddy in the film, Pinetop Perkins, Muddy's piano player was also there but there was no camera on that side of the stage. We all owe Muddy Waters a lot for being a pioneer of electric blues and shaping rock and roll - he could easily be considered the King of Rock-n-Roll as much as Elvis IMHO. Bob Margolin lived here in Blacksburg for a few years back in the 80s and I got to play with him a handful of times - once he let me play his '57 Strat that he used with Muddy and in that movie, George Harrison and Eric Clapton also played that guitar on a Muddy tour of Europe. It was like holding museum piece, something I'll always remember.

The show was great for my "6 degrees of separation" to everyone in the music business :)
 #98498  by TI4-1009
 Mon May 23, 2011 1:34 pm
I like his new CD, he and Clapton are a treat to listen to. A couple of the songs relate to The Band days and breakup.
 #98508  by Charlie
 Mon May 23, 2011 11:47 pm
I really like Robbie Robertson's playing but when I listen to those old Band albums like Big Pink, well if ever a bunch of songs should qualify as group efforts, that should be them. To my ear it's the varied instrumentation the arrangements and the singing that makes them. I dunno. I guess the guys in the band with the business acumen seem to be the ones that end up with the money. The ones who aren't so savy and just want to play often don't end up with that much at all, even in well known bands.
 #132674  by tatittle
 Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:22 pm
Some pretty experienced folks have praised Robertson as one of the best guitarists they ever saw [pause] when he was young. Most of us here now can probably recall that magic gunslinging time when awe was easily felt, and the vitality of youth, testosterone, and passion was so strrong it couldnt be held back. Along with a relatively clear head (before the sins accumulated and dopamine and agonists were discovered) the fretboard seemed to be part of the body and seemingly above consciousness. In the zone so to speak. I can totally see this in Robertson, he was a flamboyant player and had a unique style...lotsa harmonics and subtle single coil touch. These things may not be sophisticated from an intellectual point of view...but they are forces to behold and worthy of respect. I was much better at the passion, heavy handed, soulful thing but have since matured to more melodic and subtle aspiration...but to be sure it is not something everyone can do. I dont think it can even be taught; theory and phrasing can be, but overwhelming the guitar with ones sheer power cannot.
Robertson pretty much showed up Clapton in the Last Waltz on Further as I remember...and Clapton is a master at this style.

As for the personality and money disputes, there are 3 sides to every story...his, yours, and then theres the truth. I dont doubt honest perceptions are being paraded, but perceptions are not reality.
 #132676  by tatittle
 Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:46 pm
The songwriting vs. performer argument is as old as copyrights I guess. My thinking is now without material to perform on the bandmember/soloist has nothing. Most record-buying folks dont care much about the mere bandmembers sad as that may be, aside from looks or projected personality. Hell most "bands" are producers with digital effects now! "The money comes from 16 year old girls who buy records to learn the words" (as that great movie 60's movie with Kirk Douglas said). An actor without a movie to play in is called an eccentric, or a waiter. That is not to say the writing is more valuable objectively, just that it is the basis for making the money usually. Writing is also tough though, it takes time and fortitude and intellect and craft, whereas playing an instrument comes pretty natural and easy for most that take the time to become good, no? One is intellectual and one is more spiritual. In the end it all comes from inspiration which by definition comes from outside ourselves though.

Obviously Levon, Rick, the mandolin (etc.) guy...they were all critical. But, if we begin to give songwriting credit for "influencing" the songs compisition where does it end? Everyone will have to pay Lenn/McCart, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and/or Goerge Jones royalties from now on.

I heard Robertson say he tried to get Helm etc to write songs but they were too busy enjoying life (or not enjoying it). I saw levon not too long before he died, fantastic American folk singer. And he let all the bandmembers get off...hell there was even a sousaphone solo! Thats the way I like things...but Im broke lol.

What a phenomenal band though....and even more phenomenal songs perhaps. LOL just saw 2008 origin, wondered why folks were saying hope they get back together. RIP.