Levon’s casket was layed out, closed, on the Ramble stage, next to his drums, as it should be, and when you filed past you could see a slide show of photos of Levon being displayed on a large screen. I’m sure if you stayed there long enough, there’d have been all sorts of pictures, including ones of Levon on stage. There’d have to be! But when I got to the designated spot, the part of the slideshow that was playing was all pictures of Levon with his grandson, Lavon. The joy in that man’s eyes was so evident in those pictures! He always had that, but this was something special! He obviously loved that little boy and got so much joy from him! It was amazing and beautiful to see, and it made me so happy that in his final years, besides the historic comeback he engineered, with the help of manager, Barbara O’Brian, he also got to have this beautiful personal happiness! And how lucky Lavon was to have got to spend time with the world’s coolest grandpa!
But now that he is gone, I predict that his fame, his popularity as a recording artist and actor, and his legend as an American and international cultural icon will grow larger than life! And I really hope that The Levon Helm Band will carry on. They are simply too good to pass with Levon! The band has become adept at singing most of the songs in the repertoire in the years Levon battled cancer and his voice fell victim to it. They could simply carry on! They have the perfect drummer to fill the giant chair Levon vacated in Randy Ciarlante, who also is a singing drummer, like Levon, who also has a great, soulful voice, like Levon, who has a similar drumming style to Levon’s, who previously was a member of The Band, and who was already in The LHB playing double drums with Levon! The Levon Helm Band is one of the greatest musical units, and one of the greatest personal accomplishments, in musical history! Play on! Please?
They could continue on as The Levon Helm Band. After all, they are The Levon Helm Band. But that could confuse people who might somehow think that Levon, himself, is actually appearing, so I have a suggestion for the name of the Levonless Levon Helm Band – Live on! Or some combination or permutation thereof. Maybe The Live on Band, or Live on Helm Band. I don’t know. You know, something like that. Whaddya think? I think I like it. Ask me again next week and I’ll tell you for sure. Anyway, the important thing is just for this great rockin’ band, and the amazing music it plays, to live on under any name! I hope Larry and Amy agree.
I’m not really recommending much live music this week. I’m still real depressed about Levon. And all of the good music this week’s in the city. Well, maybe not all. There were a lot of shows this week that normally would have been weekly picks, but I just still didn’t feel like recommending anything, so I skipped all but the best. And the local bands that I do like (you know who you are) never send me their gigs (hint hint) so it’s hard to pick ‘em!
Thursday, May 3 – CHARLIE MUSSLEWHITE AND JOHN HAMMOND JR. at BB King’s. Two Blues legends on a double bill.
Friday, May 4 – JUNIOR MURVIN, who did the original “Police and Thieves”, which The Clash covered, is at BB King’s. At least, I think it’s Junior Murvin. It’s billed as “Junior Marvin”, but I’m assuming that’s a typo.
The RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS have become one of our best, most innovative, and smartest bands around. Tonight they start a two day run at The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, which, of course, concludes tomorrow, Saturday, May 5.
Tuesday, May 8 – This event at BB King’s is being billed as “A TRIBUTE TO LEVON HELM WITH THE THE BAND BAND”. Get it? The, The Band, Band. These guys do the catalog of The Band, and they do it very well, and tonight should be a very special night worth traveling for
Wednesday, May 9 – THE BEACH BOYS are doing a 50th anniversary tour this summer WITH Brian Wilson. To me, that’s exciting. Tonight they’re at The Beacon Theater.
May next week be better than the last two.