20 April 2012

In Memoriam: Levon Helm

The Band has always had a presence in my life, since I was a kid. Never perhaps the group I listened to the most, and time may often pass between listening to their albums, but nevertheless always there in the background, a very important element in the complex tapestry of music that made me who I am today. Their sound was, for lack of a better word, unique, during their time, and still remains so to this day.

So I was saddened to hear of the passing of Levon Helm, The Band's drummer and frequent vocalist. I can't say I really knew much about him as an individual, but he always seemed like a nice person, and certainly a talented musician.

It's strange to think that only two of The Band's five members are now left alive. Time's a funny thing. And slowly it's catching up with the first generations of rock'n'roll, I guess. Some bands have been so important in my life that I don't think I really even realise, unless I stop to think about it, that I have indeed been listening to their music for decades. Changes must happen in such a long time period. People come and people go. People grow old, and pass away. It is inevitable.

No more comebacks for The Band, then. Even if Robbie and Garth should get together, with all their talent, there would be no more The Band, not without so many of them, certainly not without Levon. It would be impossible to picture The Band without him hunched over those drums, face turned towards the microphone...

But the music lives on.

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