The Band.

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as in the guys who backed bob dylan etc. you know the story.

is there already a thread? you can imagined what happened when i did a title search for "the band"? (they are cursed in that way, much like the band "love." perhaps they should invent special search strings for such bands...)

thinking about them (again) this week because i skimmed the most recent copy of the wire, and saw a joe boyd interview in which boyd confirmed what i had long suspected, that the band (the band "the band") and especially their second record helped to define a certain subgenre of rock music which i suppose can be called "rootsy"--not just in attitude but also in their specific approach to recording and mixing which was (oh! inverted world) quite modern by most standards, making careful use of stereo and in certain cases utitilzing quite modern equipment (synthesizers, fancy mics) to obtain an "old fashioned" sound. but it's the overall sound-presence of that LP that i feel, instinctively, was quite crucial as an influence not just on the british folk-rock guys but by succeeding generations of likeminded musicians and producers in england, america, canada, etc.

can you guys help to pin this down further for me?

thoughts?

amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 19:56 (sixteen years ago) link

I think they're one of those bands whose noted influence (ha where is mark s) appeals to me more than them themselves. It's no stretch to say that the Walkabouts, of whom am I thoroughly and completely fond, had them as a partial role-model -- but I'd rather listen to the Walkabouts any day of the week.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 19:58 (sixteen years ago) link

this is like the third time you've responded in such a fashion--"i like them, but the walkabouts do it better"

that's not a criticism

i haven't been terribly excited by the walkabouts stuff i've heard, but maybe i should listen again

amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:07 (sixteen years ago) link

i can't stand bob dylan. but i love the band... why is this?

cutty (mcutt), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:09 (sixteen years ago) link

atrophying of brain tissue?

amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:11 (sixteen years ago) link

I think the influence on 50s-60s r&b and soul isn't given enough props in most writings about The Band. I think those influences are as important as the stripped down folk/country part of their sound.

earlnash, Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:12 (sixteen years ago) link

that's not a criticism

It could simply be a reflection of a private passion, but at their best the Walkabouts synthesize so much in such a striking way that I'm in quiet awe (and consequently frustrated at how other bands in theoretically similar veins just don't work as well).

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:12 (sixteen years ago) link

Just to clarify, it should read "the influence of..." not "influence on".

earlnash, Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:15 (sixteen years ago) link

First two records are so great & the soul thing is their most interesting quality. I can't think of any band ever that connects the dots so well between black soul and white country.

Mark (MarkR), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:20 (sixteen years ago) link

i thought you were going to make a revolutionary argument about he influence of robbie robertson's guitar style on curtis mayfield which relied on new theories of the time space continuum formulated in quantum physics

damn

amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:22 (sixteen years ago) link

"atrophying of brain tissue?
-- amateur!st"

no i would attribute it to bob dylan's horrendous voice

cutty (mcutt), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:22 (sixteen years ago) link

Charlie Rich is an interesting one-man equivalent, though. (Not to Amateurist's equation, admittedly.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:22 (sixteen years ago) link

no i would attribute it to bob dylan's horrendous voice

Ah, friend!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:23 (sixteen years ago) link

oh i'm floating in a sea of fools baaaaby

charlie rich seemed genuinely uncomfortable with genre categories and that hampered his music as much as it helped it i think

the band were without doubt a 'rock' band--whether or not thats endemic of the time in which they were recording, they were comfortable with the label

but yes i agree that mixture of sensibilites is really exciting

better still that the soul influence and country influence is somehow sublimated in such a fashion where it becomes exceptionally difficult to parse the songs for evidence of discrete influence

amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:27 (sixteen years ago) link

more like "the Bland"

Gear! (Gear!), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:32 (sixteen years ago) link

no wait, I like them.

Gear! (Gear!), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 20:33 (sixteen years ago) link

'First two records are so great & the soul thing is their most interesting quality. I can't think of any band ever that connects the dots so well between black soul and white country.'

Yep that's it. Let's face it the 'grizzled old-timer' thing wouldn't have lasted. It's the extraordinary blend of soul, country, funk, rock n roll, wurlitzer/jug-band weirdness, and it all sounds uncalculated.

pete s, Tuesday, 10 February 2004 21:56 (sixteen years ago) link

i guess they're interesting in that they were mostly canadians getting deeper into americana than americans. i love both the big pink building shot and the family portrait album covers. I think they were trying to create a "what if the beatles never happened" musical scenario ... drawing a line between The Sun Sessions and 1969... CCR were a more punk rock version of the same idea. other than "basement tapes" i find them a little stiff.

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 22:04 (sixteen years ago) link

Heh Amateurist not only is there another Band thread you were the last person to post to it!

Classic Or Dud: The Band

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 22:12 (sixteen years ago) link

The Band were so funky. White man's funk.

Debito (Debito), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 04:13 (sixteen years ago) link

how embarassing, I said the same thing on the other thread.

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 04:18 (sixteen years ago) link

"i thought you were going to make a revolutionary argument"

Well Aretha Franklin did record a great version of "The Weight".

earlnash, Wednesday, 11 February 2004 04:24 (sixteen years ago) link

The phrase 'white man's funk' is sort of embarrassing, but they were funky.

Debito (Debito), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 04:25 (sixteen years ago) link

Take up the white man's funkness
Send forth the best ye stank

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 04:26 (sixteen years ago) link

Christ, they were good. Sad how they will never be again...
The Band=classic
Drugs and depression=dud

Speedy Gonzalas (Speedy Gonzalas), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 04:39 (sixteen years ago) link

Because they sounded out of tune so often while backing Dylan, I fell in love with them. It was like they were playing for the amateurs in all of us.

jim wentworth (wench), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 06:06 (sixteen years ago) link

I like the Band lots, and Robbie is maybe the greatest guitar player ever who is not one of the greatest guitar players ever, but I don't often have much use for them. Why? Because they never made an album (alone at least) concomitant with their potential? How about because they're often a little too slow for music that moves? The gentility in their tunes is the source of a good part of their charm, but is inherently limiting, perhaps.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 06:31 (sixteen years ago) link

please don't throw rocks, but i always thought The Band was like the Grateful Dead in their least-inspired moments.

Orbit (Orbit), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 06:32 (sixteen years ago) link

They were, perhaps, out of sync. in many ways. I enjoyed their sound, but they didn't blow me away. I used to own a 3 record promo box set (Warner Bros.?) of The Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Steve Miller, and... gave it to a friend. Probably in exchange for a buzz. They made their mark with Dylan.

jim wentworth (wench), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 07:00 (sixteen years ago) link

please don't throw rocks, but i always thought The Band was like the Grateful Dead in their least-inspired moments.

There's a similarity in the vocals at times (I think Rick Danko is the most Garcia-like one?), but the Band never wanked off quite like the Dead...

"Music From the Big Pink" is just about perfect, the rest a bit hit-and-miss.

no opinion, Wednesday, 11 February 2004 07:13 (sixteen years ago) link

The Avalanches throw the uber-corny "Life is a Carnival" into their mixsets.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 07:18 (sixteen years ago) link

The Band are one of my parents' bands that I've never known where to get started with. (cf. Allman Bros., CCR)

"The Weight" is, of course, great - is it representative of the rest of their material. Can I just buy whatever album that's on and be set for a start?

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 07:26 (sixteen years ago) link

Since that album is "Music From the Big Pink," the answer is yes, buy it.

no opinion, Wednesday, 11 February 2004 07:27 (sixteen years ago) link

Only marginally on-topic, but I interviewed Levon Helm's daughter the other week. She's in this new gospel-rock outfit called Ollabelle. She was very nice and remarkably well adjusted ("remarkably" if you know anything about Levon Helm), spoke well of her dad. She's got a heck of a nice voice too, kind of a brassy R&B growl.

I like the Band a lot, but I admit I like them best on The Basement Tapes. Their first several albums are all classics, though. When I was a kid, I was always put off by their muddy, murky sound. Now that's one of the things I love about them.

spittle (spittle), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 08:10 (sixteen years ago) link

Several people otm here (mark (country/soul is spot on), pete, debito). Their albums were played a lot by my parents and I didn't hear them again until I bought Music from Big Pink two years ago. Listening to it got me hooked again right away, I remembered so much after ~15 years.

Yes miloauckerman, get Big Pink, it's awesome. I always found it much better than their self-titled second album, more diverse, less "reactionary" I suppose. "Life is a Carnival" from Cahoots is a party of a song, no wonder the Avalanches use it. Wouldn't qualify it as "corny" though...

willem (willem), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 08:36 (sixteen years ago) link

ned's post made me laugh like a schoolgirl (like ned flanders, as it were)

how embarassing, I said the same thing on the other thread.

i feel this doubly

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 09:50 (sixteen years ago) link

what i mean to say is that i'm doublt embarrassed for fritz

fritz, shame on you

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 09:51 (sixteen years ago) link

How do I fit in to this embarrassment?

Debito (Debito), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 10:15 (sixteen years ago) link

These accusations that The Band started 'retro-rock' or were concerned with 'authenticity' are wildly off-target, considering how much modern (at the time) stuff they absorbed into their sound. Others have mentioned synths and funky rhythm sections as proof that they weren't a bunch of burnt out hippies trying to be Doc Watson, but I also want to bring up the years with Ronnie Hawkins. When they had been playing fifties style rock & roll mixed with country and folk up through into the early sixties, why would they give up playing what they enjoyed doing and go psych? Seems like people want to blame them for not abandoning the direction of their entire career as a group, which would have produced much duller music than those first two albums.

And I can't believe you dissed "The Last Waltz" on the other thread, Matos - everybody knows the guest spots are mostly cack (they should have instituted a ban on performances by anyone named Neil) and Robbie was a douche, but "Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" should be proof enough that Fleetwood Mac AND Outkast together are not fit to lick Levon Helm's boots when it comes to adding brass bands to your sound for fun and profit(!!! Yeeeahh)

Dave M. (rotten03), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 10:33 (sixteen years ago) link

Oops, strike them parenthesis. < / Dean >

Dave M. (rotten03), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 10:34 (sixteen years ago) link

'The Band' is a perfect album... and 'whispering pines' is just about the most beautiful, desolate song i've ever heard in my life, it never fails to move me to tears. (i have an MP3 of elliott smith stumbling through it somewhere, and it is chilling)

stevie (stevie), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 10:52 (sixteen years ago) link

These accusations that The Band started 'retro-rock' or were concerned with 'authenticity' are wildly off-target

this isn't what i was trying to say, exactly; i was asserting (as i guess i had done on the other thread, but i forgot about that) that without having an ideological program necessarily they had a specific approach to arranging and recording and mixing which later became identified with a certain subgenre of rock music that is often called "rootsy"

i dunno about "authenticity" (a power word that doesn't really clear anything up) but robertson et al were certainly going for a certain "rooted" sense of americana, a music with a strong sense of history, and like ccr they were selfconsciously tapping into an existing mythology, adding to it besides (ccr was both more monomaniacal and i think even more successful in this regard)

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 12:31 (sixteen years ago) link

i contradicted myself

i guess there was a kind of low-key program at work, perhaps not charged with the reactionary values that much subsequent "rootsy" music has adopted but purposeful and willful nonetheless

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 12:32 (sixteen years ago) link

i dunno about "authenticity" (a power word that doesn't really clear anything up) but robertson et al were certainly going for a certain "rooted" sense of americana, a music with a strong sense of history, and like ccr they were selfconsciously tapping into an existing mythology, adding to it besides (ccr was both more monomaniacal and i think even more successful in this regard)

there's an interesting dynamic involved, however, that Barney Hoskins' Band book explored, that to the members of the Band, the cultures they were tapping in their music were both alien and natural to them, and the extent to which they were scholarly exploring these genres and musics, and simultaneously the closeness they felt to them (thinking mostly here of levon's arkansas roots). so their music was simultaneously an exercise in attempted authenticity, and imaginative explorations of genres they revered.

stevie (stevie), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 12:40 (sixteen years ago) link

five years pass...

lately i've been spinning 'Rockin' Chair' a lot - love the heartsick, pleading sound of manuel's vocals, the absence of drums, the entwined mandolin and guitar, and the way the lyrics shift between 'downhome' nostalgia and a kind of resigned dread: these lines are especially devastating

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.

god i love the band soo much

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 12:43 (eleven years ago) link

Great song

Aw naw, no' Annoni oan an' aw noo (Tom D.), Tuesday, 25 August 2009 12:48 (eleven years ago) link

eight months pass...

so is this really the only thread? or just a impediment of searching "The Band"?

i've been rather obsessed lately, mostly w/ the first three records. but i'm thinking of digging around for the others on the cheap. challop: Stage Fright is every bit as good as the first two. "The Rumor" and "Sleeping" are heartbreakingly awesome.

and hey, anyone remember this POS?: http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/videos/robbie-robertson/485778-811823-1

(will) (will), Thursday, 29 April 2010 14:30 (ten years ago) link

certainly some of the most creative and breathtaking uses of time signature changes in rock/popular music imo.

(will) (will), Thursday, 29 April 2010 14:41 (ten years ago) link

<3<3<3Levon @ 2:58 - "maybe they won't, you know i sure hope they don't"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8Pt_ZkGg8I

(will) (will), Thursday, 29 April 2010 14:42 (ten years ago) link

this other thread is mentioned above: Classic Or Dud: The Band
certainly some of the most creative and breathtaking uses of time signature changes in rock/popular music imo.
this is otm -- for being known as such a "down-home, authentic, straightahead" their songs are hard as fuck to play. i mean, there's straight up rockabilly, but also new orleans + appalachian + country rhythms going on, sometimes all in the same song.

tylerw, Thursday, 29 April 2010 14:57 (ten years ago) link

It's been forever since I've read but I remember loving Barney Hoskyns's Across The Great Divide, which I should probably re-read

great and v sad book.

Just a few slices of apple, Servant. Thank you. How delicious. (stevie), Friday, 18 September 2020 15:20 (four days ago) link

Other things I've read by him seemed good, but since he got that wrong about Dylan and Tiny Tim having just met, when Dylan's contradiction is right there in Chronicles, makes me wonder what else he got wrong.
xp Festival Express, yes! Forgot about that--wiki sez: The train journey between cities ultimately became a combination of non-stop jam sessions and partying fueled by alcohol. One highlight of the documentary is a drunken jam session featuring The Band's Rick Danko, the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, New Riders of the Purple Sage's John Dawson, as well as Janis Joplin.[4][6]
Been listening to the 50th Anniversary WD, which sounds great, and now can hear def. Band-compatible sonic etc. sensibilities, though of course still much more spare than Big Pink---Dead were on best behavior after financial blowout of prev studio adventures. "Black Peter," climbing and then slamming into and through those choruses, seems Bandworthy as Hell. Though they did credit Croz and maybe Nash with teaching them to sing harmonies, so also that in the sound, without getting too sweet.

dow, Friday, 18 September 2020 16:01 (four days ago) link

Greil Marcus mentioned, maybe in Mystery Train, somebody else's article, from late 60s or early 70s, re Manuel, "measuring him for a straitjacket," so word was already getting out, to some extent, however pre-Behind The Music in delivery.

dow, Friday, 18 September 2020 16:09 (four days ago) link

xpost Oh, yeah, Fairport for sure, though (sensibly) from a distinctly British perspective, with the exception, perhaps, of the Bunch album.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 18 September 2020 16:26 (four days ago) link

Right, that’s what RT says, they were trying to do a British version.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 18 September 2020 16:27 (four days ago) link

I think the most remarkable thing about the Band was their impact on a lot of their *British* peers. Like, iirc, the Beatles and Eric Clapton/Derek & the Dominos, acts who obviously heard something unique in the Band but couldn't quite put their finger on it (or, like most, including even the Band after a short bit, pull it off).

― Josh in Chicago, Friday, September 18, 2020 10:56 AM (two hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

So many UK bands wanted to be the Band...or, in Clapton's case, be in the Band (he asked to join). The impact of the Band in general, and Big Pink in particular, on the UK scene was pretty massive: Clapton broke up Cream and formed Blind Faith, the Beatles' did the Get Back thing, Traffic holed up together in a thatched-roof cottage, Jack Bruce's "Theme From An Imaginary Western," the Small Faces' "The Autumn Stone," Humble Pie's Town & Country, about half of Let It Bleed, the Kinks' Muswell Hillbillies...can't think of an obviously Band-influenced Who record, though (maybe "Let's See Action"). Hell, even Roger Waters claimed Big Pink "affected Pink Floyd deeply, deeply, deeply." I don't hear it, but that's on me, not them.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:36 (four days ago) link

i can hear a tiny bit of big pink influence in atom heart mother, now that i think about it.

i got a homogenic björk wine farmer permabanned (voodoo chili), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:38 (four days ago) link

Workingman's Dead was definitely Band-influenced, and was actually released prior to the Festival Express tour.

"...And the Gods Socially Distanced" (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:51 (four days ago) link

can't think of an obviously Band-influenced Who record, though (maybe "Let's See Action")

Those post-Tommy, pre/post-Who's Next songs "Water", "Naked Eye", "Join Together" might be some Band influence

chr1sb3singer, Friday, 18 September 2020 18:36 (four days ago) link

the who covered marvin gaye's "don't do it," also covered by the band, but i'm not sure who covered it first

i got a homogenic björk wine farmer permabanned (voodoo chili), Friday, 18 September 2020 18:40 (four days ago) link

I was thinking that too but I'd bet that both bands played it back in their R&B days as High Numbers or the Hawks

chr1sb3singer, Friday, 18 September 2020 18:42 (four days ago) link

Also any Band influence on the Who was probably all second hand Townshend aping Clapton

chr1sb3singer, Friday, 18 September 2020 18:43 (four days ago) link

Don't forget Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, which incl. (though maybe not at the same time?) all of the soon-to-be Derek and the Dominoes, and their crucial "Layla" guest, Duane Allman, also George Harrison, Leon Russell, Dave Mason, Rita Coolidge (wiki adds King Curtis, though I don't remember him on the live tracks I've heard). No Band members that I know of (they were good w Bobby Charles and Ringo, Garth later w Marianne Faithfull, although solos could go on a while).
Seems like there was a fair amount of Band-ish influence in Clapton's 70s solo albums, a taste that also led him to songs of JJ Cale, Don Williams, even John Martyn ("May You Never"). Oh yeah, and Sign Language, which sounded pretty good at the time---haven't heard it since---and, as wiki sez:
The album was recorded at The Band's Shangri-la Studios in March 1976, and included involvement from all five members of The Band; Rick Danko shared vocals with Clapton on "All Our Past Times," which he co-wrote with Clapton. The album also includes a duet with Bob Dylan on his otherwise unreleased song "Sign Language."

dow, Friday, 18 September 2020 19:23 (four days ago) link

"Dominos," sorry!

dow, Friday, 18 September 2020 19:24 (four days ago) link

I'm sorry, I meant No Reason To Cry, Clapton album w Band members.

dow, Friday, 18 September 2020 19:28 (four days ago) link

I always forget that Rick, Levon, and Garth were all in the first Ringo All-Star band.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 18 September 2020 19:30 (four days ago) link

Those post-Tommy, pre/post-Who's Next songs "Water", "Naked Eye", "Join Together" might be some Band influence

― chr1sb3singer, Friday, September 18, 2020 2:36 PM (fifty-six minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

the who covered marvin gaye's "don't do it," also covered by the band, but i'm not sure who covered it first

― i got a homogenic björk wine farmer permabanned (voodoo chili), Friday, September 18, 2020 2:40 PM (fifty-two minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

I was thinking that too but I'd bet that both bands played it back in their R&B days as High Numbers or the Hawks

― chr1sb3singer, Friday, September 18, 2020 2:42 PM (fifty-one minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

"Join Together" does have a slight Band resemblance, and yep, the Who covered "Baby Don't You Do It" in 1964 (as the High Numbers), and in 1971. But the post-Tommy songs for the unreleased EP don't strike me as particularly Band-like. "Time Is Passing" and "Love Ain't For Keeping" seem to show some Band influence, though.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 18 September 2020 19:36 (four days ago) link

Perhaps this will refresh your memory.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 18 September 2020 19:36 (four days ago) link

Not to mention this

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 18 September 2020 19:38 (four days ago) link

Doesn’t work on zing though:(

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 18 September 2020 19:45 (four days ago) link

robbie has barely played live in 45 years; he appeared on SNL in 87 to promote the first album, was at some Stratocaster fest in europe with other big shots in the 90s, and he showed up and played (not very well) "Don't Do it" at one of those Last Waltz reconstructions in Nashville with one of those neo-Outlaw guys (jamey Johnson?) with Don Was on bass. He has never toured for one of his records… when someone way upthread said he doesn't seem "charming," it's more that he seems too charming… he's a HUGE schmoozer, an oily/slick networker; one would think for the past 40 years or so, Dylan would prefer the company of the other guys in the Band… and in terms of his playing, it seems like it was him and Bloomfield in the U.S. and Canada that you could put in the mid 60s white blues company of EC, Beck, Peter green… and it is especially unusual in that doc that Domninique, from whom he has been divorced for at least 35 years, is a character witness (my god is she gorgeous)…

as it've said before, maybe on this thread, the 2016 book, as well as the doc and the 2005 box set, has him trying to clear his name and to go over his version of the history of the band over and over again… he doesn't like to say that the other guys got back together… in any case, his life after the Last Waltz would be pretty fucking interesting to hear about… I hope he lets go of this shit now and moves on to the events of the last 45 goddamn years

veronica moser, Friday, 18 September 2020 20:37 (four days ago) link

Watching the Once Were Brothers now. So far pretty conventional– Jann Wenner is one of the talking heads!– unlike, say, the Other Music doc.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 19 September 2020 23:36 (three days ago) link

Okay, things just got a little interesting when Ronnie Hawkins showed up with teenage Levon in tow.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 19 September 2020 23:37 (three days ago) link

Hadn't known about this Geffen/Asylum interlude. Hadn't know that John P Hammond had a different middle initial from his father John H. Hammond. The way John P. Hammond tells the story, Dylan wanted the whole Band right away but I thought there was another version where he at first he only wanted Robbie but Robbie held out and said "Levon's got to come too" (and maybe all the rest of the guys as well) but I don't remember where I heard that.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 01:01 (two days ago) link

For that Forest Hills show Dylan did in 65 the band was Robbie, Levon, Al Kooper and Harvey Brooks. Thought this was some sort of tryout for Robbie and Levon.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 01:03 (two days ago) link

Okay, the longer version of this last thing is in Robbie's book.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 01:40 (two days ago) link

Watched all the credits roll and saw that Rob Bowman got one which is good, that guy is pretty thorough.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 01:41 (two days ago) link

This turned out to be worth seeing. It's very clearly from Robbie's point of view but has some other voices to balance it out even if they don't contradict him. Who knew that two of the most important ones would be Ronnie Hawkins and, as mentioned upthread, Robbie's ex-wife, Dominique.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 01:46 (two days ago) link

Their son Sebastian has a very long Wikipedia entry, which includes mention of his friend Daniel Davies, son of Dave. Perhaps they could form some kind of supergroup with Rufus Wainwright and Teddy Thompson.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 01:48 (two days ago) link

John P was often billed as John Jr. while his father was still around, maybe so no semi-informed would think the old man was gonna play.
I also heard that it was Mary Martin, not the Peter Pan star/Larry Hagman's Mom alas, but Grossman's associate, who got Dylan to go see the Hawks, as Wiki sez, with sources noted re all this (caveat on top: "This article needs additional citations...," but this section seems okay):

As Dylan finished the sessions for his 1965 "Positively 4th Street" single, he wanted to reproduce on-stage the same sound that he had polished in the studio.[1] He soon began to gather a pick-up band, with several musicians, such as bassist Harvey Brooks and organist Al Kooper, that had played during the sessions for Highway 61 Revisited.[1] However, the bulk of the players came from Ronnie Hawkins' former backing group, Levon and the Hawks. They impressed Dylan when he saw them play in Toronto, at the direction of Albert Grossman's staffer, Mary Martin, who told him to visit the group at Le Coq d'Or Tavern, a Yonge Street club. (Robbie Robertson recalled that it was the Friar's Tavern, a nearby establishment.)[2] An alternate version of the first meeting, put forward by Williamson, suggests that he saw them in a Jersey Shore club.[1] Drummer Levon Helm and guitarist Robbie Robertson were quickly invited to join Dylan's backing group.[2] Only two shows into the initial tour in North America, Kooper left the band due to stress and safety concerns.[3][4] He and Brooks were promptly replaced by the remaining Hawks (bassist Rick Danko, pianist Richard Manuel and organist Garth Hudson). Drummer Levon Helm, too, disillusioned by the constantly hostile reception from audiences, jumped ship in November, getting replaced by session drummer Bobby Gregg.[2][5] Gregg eventually left the band as the tour progressed, and Sandy Konikoff replaced him on drums, but Konikoff also left when Dylan traveled to Australia.[2] Former Johnny Rivers drummer Mickey Jones remained with the band throughout the rest of the tour.
---from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Dylan_World_Tour_1966

dow, Sunday, 20 September 2020 03:33 (two days ago) link

Of course, just because she told him to check out the whole group, doesn't mean that younger John *didn't* take Robertson to meet him during sessions or whatever it was. Maybe that meeting inclined D. to follow her advice, even though she was just, like, a woman.

dow, Sunday, 20 September 2020 03:37 (two days ago) link

Mary Martin honored by the Country Music Hall of Fame:
...Jay Orr, a museum staff member who hosted the program, listed a few of Martin’s important achievements in his introduction. “She played a key role in connecting Bob Dylan with the Band; she managed Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, Rodney Crowell, and Vince Gill at crucial stages of their careers; she signed Emmylou Harris to Warner Bros. Records at the outset of her illustrious Hall of Fame run. Then Mary came to Nashville where she touched lives inside and outside the music business.”
---from https://countrymusichalloffame.org/plan-your-visit/exhibits-activities/public-programs/the-louise-scruggs-memorial-forum/mary-martin/

dow, Sunday, 20 September 2020 03:43 (two days ago) link

Robbie’s version of the story as told in Testimony is that they first met Dylan briefly through Hammond, that Mary Martin was working in the Grossman office and pushing for the Hawks, at some point Robbie was asked to come to meet Dylan at the office, they then took some guitars from the Grossman office and went to Grossman’s house to play a few tunes together, Robbie realized this was an audition and said “but I already have my own band!” Then there was a further meeting with some other management in which a full band audition was discussed and Robbie mentioned the Toronto gig, so Dylan- and Sara! - flew up to Toronto. Dylan came to a couple of gigs and after the customers left they all played Dylan material together to see how it went.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 10:56 (two days ago) link

His version is sufficiently detailed to have the ring of truth, mostly, factoring whatever Robbie-centricity one attributes to him.

In the documentary they only mention Mickey Jones, no Bobby Gregg as a Levon substitute, never mind Sandy Stranger, which was confusing.

Couldn’t figure out who that Williamson was, James Williamson?

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 11:00 (two days ago) link

One of my favorite Robertson bullshit anecdotes, related by Heylin, is that during the Basement Tapes period, Robertson claimed he got Dylan to realize that the early Sun Records recordings had a certain sound, man. Like Dylan wasn't familiar with Sun Records for more than 10 years at that point having grown up on that stuff.

James Gandolfini the Grey (PBKR), Sunday, 20 September 2020 13:01 (two days ago) link

There's a bunch of stuff like that in Testimony, can't recall any others right now.
Reminds me that Dion DiMucci sometimes makes some similar claims, believe he says he is the one who gave Dylan the idea to go electric.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 14:41 (two days ago) link

Watched about a half-hour of that Louise Scruggs Mary Martin event. Good stuff. She confirms The Band's car-wrecking propensity, just in case we didn't already have enough evidence. Also tells a good story aboutLeonard Cohen doing a demo tape in her bathtub, presumably not the same tub Sylvia Tyson used to write her most famous composition, for which Garth Hudson prepared some really ornate lead sheets that she wishes she still had.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 14:44 (two days ago) link

'The Band' is a perfect album... and 'whispering pines' is just about the most beautiful, desolate song i've ever heard in my life, it never fails to move me to tears. (i have an MP3 of elliott smith stumbling through it somewhere, and it is chilling)
― stevie (stevie), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 10:52 (sixteen years ago)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngaiJPJ6ySk

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 16:06 (two days ago) link

That 1970 footage linked me to this 76 show - Manuel's voice seems a bit shot, but kinda surprised how much all of them are still putting into the performance - the clothes have got much worse

That link is broken, maybe it was this show?
The Band Live At The Casino Arena 7/20/76 Complete Concert
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qnCB3fkoXA

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 16:27 (two days ago) link

Haven’t gotten to this part of the Mary Martin interview yet:
In her job capacity, Martin also saw several rock bands, including the New York Dolls and the Ramones. She regrets not bringing Tom Verlaine’s band Television to Warner Bros

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 16:47 (two days ago) link

Sandy Stranger
By which I mean Sandy Konikoff. Who, when he arrived in NYC "looked like a beatnik from central casting," says Robbie, even though he was being trained by Ronnie Hawkins to replace Levon. Hawkins, annoyed at losing another band member to Dylan, threatened to break his legs, according to Konikoff. He, along with another guy from Buffalo with a Band connection, Stan Szelest, was also in the band Grinder's Switch with Garland Jeffries, which backed up John Cale on Vintage Violence before releasing their own album.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 18:50 (two days ago) link

I guess he is mentioned in that Wikipedia article dow posted last night.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 18:51 (two days ago) link

You mean you didn't read it?! Awww---yeah, Stan was in the Hawks before Manuel, came back to the Band after Manuel's suicide, then he himself died of a heart attack. His song "Too Soon Gone" was finished by Jules Shear, and included on Jericho, with dedications to Szelest and Manuel (found this when I was looking for backstory on Vintage Violence):https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Szelest

dow, Sunday, 20 September 2020 19:27 (two days ago) link

I did read it, last night! But in the morning I act like I never have read.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 19:34 (two days ago) link

let’s get you two on a throbbing gristle thread and call it the dow james industrial

budo jeru, Sunday, 20 September 2020 20:52 (two days ago) link

Heh. You could also just post that here: Create a Super-ILXer!

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 September 2020 21:32 (two days ago) link

You’re still there, huh?

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 21 September 2020 17:59 (yesterday) link

Robbie’s version of the story as told in Testimony is that they first met Dylan briefly through Hammond, that Mary Martin was working in the Grossman office and pushing for the Hawks, at some point Robbie was asked to come to meet Dylan at the office, they then took some guitars from the Grossman office and went to Grossman’s house to play a few tunes together, Robbie realized this was an audition and said “but I already have my own band!” Then there was a further meeting with some other management in which a full band audition was discussed and Robbie mentioned the Toronto gig, so Dylan- and Sara! - flew up to Toronto. Dylan came to a couple of gigs and after the customers left they all played Dylan material together to see how it went.

― ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, September 20, 2020 5:56 AM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

His version is sufficiently detailed to have the ring of truth, mostly, factoring whatever Robbie-centricity one attributes to him...
― ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs)

Yeah, and seems plausible to have this kind of process: Dylan took chances, but as calculated risks, often enough. He knew these road vets had mad skillz, but that they were from all around the boondocks, and, in at least one interview I've Robertson freely copped to their not really knowing much about him, and esp, not knowing that they were about to be "going around the world getting booed"---so he didn't warn them? Maybe he was hoping it wouldn't be so bad (and/or not wanting to think about it), and maybe it wasn't really *so* bad (by some eyewitness accounts, also earwitness to bootlegs of the show, Newport was a bit of a hype, booing-wise).
But apparently they weren't expecting it, and it became more predictable than a rando night in a rando dive past Moose Jaw, where there might at least be chicken wire giving them some sense of stage security---no, this was the Big Time!

dow, Monday, 21 September 2020 23:26 (yesterday) link

“Big Time, Bill, Big Time!”

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 21 September 2020 23:32 (yesterday) link

Finally figured out he was talking to Bill Graham.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 22 September 2020 00:19 (sixteen hours ago) link


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