Roger Waters and Graham Nash on The Band.

I’ve just started reading the new book Levon Helm: Rock, Roll & Ramble; The Inside Story Of The Man, The Music, and The Midnight Ramble by John W. Barry (with a forward by Ringo Starr). I’m only on page 25 of the first chapter, and already I have read something I found very surprising:

Roger Waters: "Big Pink changed everything, overnight." (What have I been telling ya’ll? ;-). He continues: "It was sonic. It was the sound that they made all playing together. It was what they created. It was just completely different than anything I had heard before and it was remarkable. They (sic) were great songs as well. When I heard the record I went ’Wow, what was that?’ What a great band they were." No sh*t Sherlock.

Not as surprising is what I read in the paragraphs immediately preceding that of Waters, that being:

"When they served as opening act for the 1974 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young stadium tour, said Graham Nash: ’I would watch their set with great interest, of course.’

"But even though The Band was opening for CSNY, Nash remained in awe of them and, as a result, was too shy to approach any of the guys or chat them up."

’I should have, of course. I’m not particularly un-famous myself. But I was just too shy. They were too incredible a band in my mind...I mean holy sh*t, they were The Band...they were incredible. They were the best band in the world apart from The Beatles, as far as I was concerned. I was just a fan.’

Every good musician I knew felt just as did Roger and Graham, and still do. The best self-contained band (writing, singing, and playing) in the entire history of Rock ’n’ Roll. You see, Graham had the order reversed ;-) . When Abbey Road came out, it sounded like yesterdays news to me. The Band’s first two albums had completely changed the rules of the game. Those two albums still sound fresh, like they were recorded today. Abbey Road sounded dated to me on release day.


@skyscraper: There's a great video on YouTube, in which the current owner of the Big Pink house is visited by Garth Hudson. I gotta go there before I die.

An old friend (one of the guys who saw Dylan & The Hawks) and I were in the early stage of planning a trip to Levon's barn to attend a Midnight Ramble, but Levon past away before we made the pilgrimage. Damnit.

@bdp24 Greedy bastard indeed, well said

Too many stories of mismanagement and financial abuse over the decades

A long soiled history in the industry of hustlers and legal sharks filling their bank accounts from the creative minds of the artists

Would be curious to know what Grossman's estate still earns annually from a single song like The Weight

So @boxcarman, are you asking people to put more stock in your opinion than that of Graham Nash? And Roger Waters? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or as my momma useta say, "Each to her own said the lady as she kissed the cow." A very old expression.

Bdp24, sorry you missed your chance to see Levon at his Midnight Ramble. Levon’s passing was a great loss. The Band, when together, put on a terrific show. I was lucky enough to have caught a concert of theirs at C.W. Post College on Long Island back in 1970 or thereabouts.

I’ll look for that Garth Hudson YouTube video you mentioned.