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Arkansas-born Helm, drummer for classic-rock outfit The Band, and Davis ( Fleetwood ) here present a down-home account of the quintet's development. Whereas Barney Hoskyns's recent Across the Great Divide: The Band and America (Nonfiction Forecasts, June 7) portrayed the group as aesthetes squirreled away in Woodstock, N.Y., this firsthand chronicle highlights earthier episodes: the musicians' lowbrow rockabilly antics in Canada and the South, their incarnation as Bob Dylan's much-maligned backup band in the '60s and guitarist Robbie Robertson's estrangement from them in the late '70s. While Hoskyns quotes Robertson almost exclusively, the guitarist is rarely heard from here. Helm denounces notions that he and his fellows were smug: "Calling it The Band seemed a little on the pretentious, even blowhard side--burdened by greatness--but we never intended it that way." Although Helm and Davis open on the predictable downbeat--band member Richard Manuel's suicide--they close positively, with kind words from Dylan and the hope of a comeback. Of the two books, this plainspoken effort proves less dry and doesn't put its subjects on too high a pedestal. Photos not seen by PW .
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Enjoyable history of a seminal late-60's rock group, told by the group's drummer with the help of Davis (coauthor, Fleetwood, 1990, etc.). The Band were an anomaly among groups of the era: Neither psychedelic nor commercial, their music harked back to the folk and blues roots of rock 'n' roll--and band members even looked like they'd just stepped out of a tintype. Working in seclusion in Woodstock, New York, with their sometime employer Bob Dylan, the group crafted a music that eerily captured the spirit of America's past. Here, Helm draws on his own memories of this heady time, along with interviews with surviving Band-men (other than Robbie Robertson, with whom he's had a nasty falling out), to give a fairly honest appraisal of the music and the times. Unlike some other celebrity rock-star memoirists, Helm doesn't concentrate on the sex and drugs that seem to be an integral part of any legitimate rock memoir, but describes as well the making of each album and the genesis of the songs. He also gives a scathing portrait of the making of The Last Waltz, the film of the group's last megaconcert, given in 1976--a film in which, Helm says, director Martin Scorsese glorified Robertson to the detriment of the group's other members. Helm's folksy manner can grate (``Memory lane can be a pretty painful address at times''); overall, though, a readable and evenhanded account that will appeal to Band fans and 60's nostalgists (though Barney Hoskyns's Across the Great Divide, p. 643, covers much of the same ground). (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
The book is a look inside the inner workings of a legendary band,no punches are pulled here,Levon was one of a kind.Published on Nov. 13 2013 by A J
wicked read. would recomend this book to anyone. it is a wonderfully written stories straight from the horses mouth. cool pictures too!Published on April 27 2013 by Neila
2 weeks past end of expected delivery period, sorry not from these guys again.I am only reviewing the reliability of the delivery...still haven't seen the item!Published on Oct. 12 2011 by rob
Very informative and great insight about The Band. Is a little bias but he seems down to earth and was great!Published on Feb. 12 2009 by Jeffrey Rice
Let's get one thing straight: I don't have anything against drug-taking rock stars (are there any other kind? Read morePublished on Nov. 20 2003
Although Levon Helm's anger very apparent this is one of the funniest books I've read. His story telling is great.Published on Nov. 8 2003 by Amazon Customer
...you must read this book.
Levon's down-home personality floods every page, and makes you wish you'd known him and his family growing up. Read more
Levon Helms story of the band is more american history than just a rock and roll war story . he spins a tale that takes you to the delta and all over our world . Read morePublished on Dec 12 2001 by Paul F. Schmitz