“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”


DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)


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21 April 2012

LEVON HELM: ENGINE OF THE BAND DIES

One of the sweet human influences in my life, Levon Helm, has died.  A man who played them drums, and the mandolin, just the same delicate way he drove a tractor.  One of the greatest impassioned storytellers of what I believe to be rock and roll, or the folk music of my time.  I first heard him and The Band when I spun my import Big Pink fresh off the presses, and I was just a kid in the bush and the seventies were still ahead. Oh man, could he sing?

Ralph J. Gleeson was the first writer I read who got The Band.  I remember reading a review he wrote for Rolling Stone.  He'd been at a concert where Robbie was sick and had a hypnotist on on stage with him. I reckon that piece triggered the common goss that The Band was dodgy live - it followed them like a dog. I can't find a copy of that review, but click here to soak up the best rock reviewer of all time talking about the second album, and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down in particular.  

And, dammit, you'd better watch this one, too.  Not a bad opener for a farewell performance. 

Take a load off,  Levon. You hauled a lot more than your fair share.

 

1 comment:

steve said...

What a voice, a very sad day