Levon Helm, American rock multi-instrumentalist, drummer, frequent lead and backing vocalist for The Band died in New York City today, succumbing to a long battle (since the ’90s) with throat cancer. Helm, aside from being one of the most gifted vocalists that worked a trap kit was also an actor who appeared in numerous television shows and films.
In September 1976, Mr. (Robbie) Robertson decided to declare the end of the Band’s touring career with a grand finale: “The Last Waltz,” (above and below) an all-star concert at Winterland on Thanksgiving 1976. Recorded for an album, it was also filmed by Martin Scorsese and released under the same title. Mr. Helm hated the film, believing that it glorified Mr. Robertson and slighted the rest of the Band. After “The Last Waltz,” the original Band lineup returned to the studio for one last album, the desultory “Islands,“ which completed its Capitol contract.
- The New York Times: Levon Helm, Drummer in the Band, Dies at 71
- Rolling Stone: Levon Helm, Drummer and Singer of the Band, Dead at 71