There’s always something to howl about

How do you say goodbye to Thanksgiving?

The Last Waltz, of course. Insider’s tip: Listen for Levon Helm to holler, “Don’t you know that I wish that I could yodle like Yoko!” Doesn’t stream, alas, so if you don’t have the DVD, you’ll have to wait for the postman to bring it to you.


8 Comments so far

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Real Estate Feeds, My REALTY. My REALTY said: How do you say goodbye to Thanksgiving?: The Last Waltz, of course. Insider’s tip: Listen for Levon Helm to holl… […]

  2. Greg Swann November 29th, 2010 11:59 am

    I got it wrong. He sings, “Yeah, yeah, you know I sure wish I could yodle like Yoko!” It’s at about 3:06 in this clip:

    There’s a lot of great music in that film — and a lot to be sad about — but the killer performance, to my ears, is the cover of the Holland-Dozier-Holland Motown classic “Don’t do it.” Here’s The Band doing that live in 1971 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (the Rock of Ages shows). Levon is at his best, and the tone-deaf Robbie Robertson doesn’t mime-sing:

    This is how The Last Waltz starts, with Levon yelling, “My biggest mistake was loving you too much!” What’s that? That’s rock ‘n’ roll…

  3. Cheryl Johnson November 29th, 2010 1:04 pm

    The Last Waltz DVD is sitting on my shelf. Haven’t watched it for a couple years. Time to get it down.

  4. Greg Swann November 29th, 2010 2:29 pm

    I was a teenage photo geek — yikes! — 35 years ago. You can’t mess with a turntable while you’re up to your elbows in photo chemistry, so I would set up side two of Before the Flood in the darkroom and play that record all night long. I wore the grooves off that thing.

  5. Sean Purcell November 29th, 2010 6:32 pm

    My brother turned me on to The Band and they quickly became one of my all-time favorites.

    Up on Cripple Creek she sends me
    If I spring a leak, she mends me
    I don’t have to speak, she defends me
    a drunkard’s dream if I ever did see one…

    Pure poetry. Didn’t know this video existed. Thanks Greg – it’s in my queue now…

  6. Greg Swann November 29th, 2010 6:55 pm

    It’s one of the best concert movies ever made, and yet it is such a thing of sadness — making it one of the best divorce movies ever made, too. Of the post-Robbie Robertson albums, High on the Hog is just so-so, but Jericho is as good as the brown album, The Band, in my opinion. Levon Helm’s two most recent discs, Dirt Farmer and Electric Dirt are excellent — but you really have to like American roots music. Robertson was a great song-writer and a blistering guitarist, but Levon was the soul of The Band. Between Levon and Garth Hudson, there must be thousands of hours of recordings we’ve never yet heard.

    Here’s Rick Danko singing about the death of Richard Manuel:

    Take Whispering Pines and It Makes No Difference and Manuel and Danko and Helm can just break your heart. Listen to the drums on The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down — and listen to Levon making Virgil Caine as real as a bloody wound. And then reflect that this music was made in the span of time that saw psychodelica, heavy metal and all those raucous hair bands. The Band is an amazing phenomenon in rock ‘n’ roll.

  7. Greg Swann November 29th, 2010 7:21 pm

    Oh, good grief. Don’t get me started, 😉

    This is me writing about seeing The Band live in 1996.

    And this is The Band from “Jericho”, covering The Boss (and burying him, I think) on Atlantic City.

    The cover of Dylan’s Blind Willie McTell on that album just kills, too.

  8. Teri Lussier November 29th, 2010 8:45 pm

    Jamie was flipping channels a couple weeks ago when he breezed right past Levon Helm on PBS. I’m shrieking like a school girl, “WAIT! It’s LEVON!!” Only caught the very last song, but man-oh-man he’s better than ever.

    My favorite part of The Last Waltz is the last waltz. It’s so lovely and lilting, but I can’t find just that last waltz anywhere, can you?