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This Wheel's on Fire: Levon Helm and the Story of the Band Hardcover – 31 Dec 1993
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"One of the most insightful and intelligent rock bios in recent memory." -- Entertainment Weekly
"wisdom and humor roaring off of every page, expertly written by one of the true heroes of my generation" -- Bob Dylan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
An engrossing and stimulating read; makes you want to play all the albums again. That's the sign of a job well done. And Helm's STILL rockin'!
I could not put this down - a great life story, well-written, and interesting history on the development of his genre, going way back to the development of the blues and rock and roll and 'country rock'.
The Last Waltz is still one of the best albums and rock films ever made - interesting seeing it now with the perspective of the book.
Here, Levon Helm (writer, drummer, singer, mandolin player) tells the story of their musical journey, beginning with his own childhood in rural Arkansas (the rest of the group came from Canada, which added to The Band's sense of other-worldliness), his early attraction to music as a way of getting out of the chores on his family's farm, joining up with singer Ronnie Hawkins, and the evolution of Hawkins' backing group into The Band. He describes the relentless hours of playing and practicing that were the groundwork for their selection by Dylan and their apparently effortless debut, and the way in which they gradually lost momentum, culminating in their farewell concert (captured on film by Martin Scorcese as "The Last Waltz").
This is a very well-written memoir. Helm takes you along on his remarkable journey, introducing you to all the characters that he met along the way, and telling you what happened to them. Along the way, he shows you some extraordinary scenes, including The Band jamming with a very impressed Sonny Boy Williamson shortly before his death, Rick Danko trying to skin roadkill, Robbie Robertson singing "so powerfully" into a switched-off microphone in "The Last Waltz", and the lonely, tragic death of Richard Manuel. I don't think I've read such an interesting, entertaining biography in any field (let alone just that of music) in a long time.
How good music was born, how it could associate so many American cultural facets : blues, gospel, rockabilly, country.
How a Canadian band can sing a song about the defeat of the Southern states in the secession war.
After reading the book I hear the Band's 4 singers individual voices better. And I hear their instruments better.
I'm actually reading it again.
Levon still runs his Midnight Rambles in Woodstock and plays a few gigs and is the great Hubert Sumlin's preferred accompanist.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
fantastic book all about the Band, Bob Dylan. a must read for all music lovers. written by Levon Helm. brilliant inside into The Band.Published on 4 July 2014 by briansaxjones