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Published: 2012/04/18

Robbie Robertson and Garth Hudson Comment on Levon Helm

Levon Helm’s two surviving The Band co-founders, Robbie Robertson and Garth Hudson, have both issued statements about the drummer’s condition. As previously reported, The Band drummer is “in the final stages of his battle with cancer.”

In a message on his homepage, Hudson—The Band’s keyboardist—stated, “I am too sad for words right now. Please continue praying for Levon and family.” He also posts a link to the video featured above. Hudson and Helm first met as members of Ronnie Hawkins’ Hawks and continued to perform together through the latter day Band’s final shows in the late ’90s. In recent years, the musicians have continued to collaborate at Helm’s Midnight Rambles as well as at select other dates. Earlier this year, Hudson and Helm played a special tribute to Band co-founders Rick Danko and Richard Manuel at Helm’s studio before the drummer underwent a medical procedure.

Band guitarist Robbie Robertson and Helm also started performing together in The Hawks but their relationship has been strained since The Band parted ways for the first time in the late ’70s. Though the two musicians have not performed together in years, Robertson posted the following message on his Facebook page:

Last week I was shocked and so saddened to hear that my old band mate, Levon, was in the final stages of his battle with cancer. It hit me really hard because I thought he had beaten throat cancer and had no idea that he was this ill. I spoke with his family and made arrangements to go and see him.

On Sunday I went to New York and visited him in the hospital. I sat with Levon for a good while…, and thought of the incredible and beautiful times we had together. It was heartwarming to be greeted by his lovely daughter Amy, whom I have known since she was born. Amy’s mother, Libby Titus, and her husband, Donald Fagen, were so kind to help walk me through this terrible time of sadness. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sandy.

Levon is one of the most extraordinary talented people I’ve ever known and very much like an older brother to me. I am so grateful I got to see him one last time and will miss him and love him forever.

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