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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.


There are 19 comments associated with this post

Forgiveness April 18, 2012, 12:23:12

it’s good to hear that Robertson had a chance to visit Levon one last time. I hope they were able to settle their differences. It’s too bad their riff lasted as long as it did. Life’s too short to hold grudges folks. God bless Levon and his family. He will be missed

Gary Winokur April 18, 2012, 14:14:40

Levon Helm’s legacy will not only include his work with The Band, but also his creation of Ramble-a way for fans to see their favorite artists perform in the most intimate setting imaginable. Levon embodies the spirit of music he and his contemporaries have given us. I am sorry to hear of his poor health, but grateful for his contribution to the world.

Richard April 18, 2012, 15:04:15

I true American icon\treasure\hero. Go peacefully Levon, the angels are waiting to guide you..Say hi to Jerry..

MC GRAMMAR April 18, 2012, 15:21:10

It’s twice today that you clearly haven’t proofread your posting. First paragraph, they both issues statements. Get it together if you want this visitor to keep returning.

Person April 18, 2012, 16:04:40

Cancer is a horrible disease.. Levon is loved and will be truly be missed. I hope we can all keep the man in our thoughts and prayers today. @Grammer: I don’t think anyone would mind if you didn’t return to post about grammatical errors in light of such a serious topic and situation for some.

Rob B April 18, 2012, 17:55:42

Levon’s passing is so sad and only reminds me that life is too short and we need to continue to try and do the things that make us happy. I’ve been saying for the last few years to my closest friends who also love Levon and the Band that we need to get to Woodstock for one of those very special Midnight Rambles. And now it’s too late. I am just so happy to hear that Robbie made the trek to NY to see him and hopefully reconcile before he passed. I was not old enough to see them together with Robbie, but I will always remember all the special times that Levon and the Band songs were played with all the special people in my life! RIP Levon and hopefully you Richard and Rick will be making music together again in the music heavens!

tennjed April 18, 2012, 20:12:16

McGrammer you are obviously a pathetic boring person who has no life! God Bless Levon & thank you for all the power & fun he brought to so many lives!

Debbie Petraitis April 19, 2012, 10:04:57

I had tickets for his last Midnight Ramble but the studio made a personal call to me to cancel, and even said to call back to make sure I got their message. This is a fine example of the wonderful people that Levon was surrounded with. I was so close to seeing him in one of the most personal of venues, his studio/home. I’ve been tearful for days now, he has been a real treasure. God speed, Levon!

Timmy April 19, 2012, 11:32:33

Very classy Robbie. God bless Levon and his family.

Larry Mooney April 19, 2012, 18:36:56

To Levon’s family, I am so sorry for your loss, I love Levon and his music, everything he did. The Band is the most awesome group ever and a wonderful slice of America! (and Canada) Sandy, Amy, please accept my condolences as I go to honor Levon by listening to a night of his music. Rock on Levon, God Bless You! (Go catch up with your lost bandmates now)

Dan Crehan April 19, 2012, 21:51:16

It’s too bad that sleezebag Robertson made life so difficult for the other four members of The Band.

rock n roller April 19, 2012, 22:31:34

I saw Levon and “the Band” in Greenville SC years ago. Like today it is one I will always remember. To the Helms family, my prayers are with you. To Levon, I love you and will see you one day again.

MB April 19, 2012, 23:05:01

Robbie Robertson + Karma = fu@@ed

william sculley April 26, 2012, 14:26:31

My first The Band album was “Rock of Ages”. They will be viewed in music history as a truly great contributor to American and Canadian music. We’re all getting a little older.

Becca Glaser April 28, 2012, 20:07:46

Tonight, after dark, go outside and look to the heavens. There will be one star that is
brighter than all of the rest. It is Levon looking down at us telling us that he is at peace.
My heart goes out to Levon’s wife and daughter. I cannot imagine the grief in their hearts and hope they mend with time

Glenn May 13, 2012, 16:37:48

It has been a few weeks….and not any easier to imagine the world without Levon Helm….I was fortunate enough to see the Band live and to attend a Midnight Ramble just a few years ago….Levon was an amazing musician….he had a feel for music…a true love of entertaining…...It is good that he is no longer suffering….but he will be sorely missed…...

Mike Hillsley February 28, 2013, 14:07:08

Thank you Levon, The first time Isaw Levon play was with Ronnie Hawkins at the summer gardans in Port Dover back in the early sixties. He had the best seat in the house then, and I’m sure he has the best seat still.Loved ya then and love ya now. Short Fat Fannie is still one of the best old rockers you ever sang, and when ever I hear the song I think of Levon. Mike

bob smith June 29, 2013, 18:23:35

Levon was the best of men, along with Rick, Richard, and garth. May the creator bless all of you as they have bless all of us with there existence. If the hack Mr. Robertson wants to see the heaven that his three band mates now stay in he will pay the families to money he should have long ago. Bless you Garth and your three true band mates. You changed the world for the better. Long live your memories and your families. Levon ,Richard, Rick, and Garth will always be THE BAND!!!

James Anthony Pecchia August 10, 2015, 14:40:58

I had the pleasure of having Chinese food with Levon in Kingston at Dollar Bills..We where the opening act for Levon and the Cate brothers in the late 70s.Great guy..He shared a bottle of Sake wine..Great memory of one of the greats!!!!!..

James Anthony Pecchia August 10, 2015, 14:41:49

I had the pleasure of having Chinese food with Levon in Kingston at Dollar Bills..We where the opening act for Levon and the Cate brothers in the late 70s.Great guy..He shared a bottle of Sake wine..Great memory of one of the greats!!!!!..

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