Robbie Robertson: July 5, 1943 – August 9, 2023


Well-known member
I'm cross-posting this from my posts on the "What are you listening to?" thread because I believe Robbie Robertson is worth more attention than might be gotten on that thread.


With the passing of Robbie Robertson on August 9 at the age of 80 co-founder, songwriter, and guitarist of The Band, I had to give a listen to them again. They were a fantastic group and he was the frontman and primary songwriter. Although the group was initially founded in Canada, their music evokes early American music rooted in the South: folk, blues, R&B, country, jazz, rock & roll, etc... Robertson, was initially a member of The Hawks, the backing group for Ronnie Hawkins. The group was later hired by Bob Dylan for his 1965/66 concerts where he first went electric. They were introduced then as "the band". After Dylan was injured in a motorcycle accident, he and the band went into semi-seclusion in Woodstock, New York where they recorded a good number of tracks that were released years later as "The Basement Tapes". The Band eventually rented their own house known as "The Big Pink" in Woodstock where they began recording their first album, Music from Big Pink. The Band recorded 8 albums (not including the "Basement Tapes" and Planet Waves with Bob Dylan, and the live recordings from The Last Waltz) before disbanding in 1977 after their final concert, documented in Martin Scorsese's film, The Last Waltz. Robertson carried on recording several solo albums including a good number of soundtracks for Scorsese.



RIP :cry: ❤️ to one of the greats.
Love that song! Which brings up the question, is the chorus "Take a load off Annie" or "Take a load off Fanny"? Because in the last stanza they say "Regards to Miss Annie (Fanny) cuz she's the only one...." I've heard it both ways. A burning question. I've actually seen college boys throw down at a keg party over this.
The two women at the end singing (somewhere I read it was outside of Bob Marley's house) clearly enunciate "Fanny".
This doc was made in 2019, and was really good, and so I recommend seeking it out if you like The Band.

Once Were Brothers

Of course they were great - all American apple pie classic rock and rollers and part of the “soundtrack of my life” as they say. I wasn’t fanatical about them or anything but I did own a CD called, “Robbie Robertson & The Red Road Ensemble.” It was a collaboration with Native artists and a way to pay tribute to his Mohawk descendants. It combined traditional music with modern sounds and I suppose I’d say it’s kind of deep and soulful. Haunting. Think I’ll find the tracks somewhere online tomorrow and listen to them while I’m painting….

Oh, and “the red road” is a Native expression for “a good life.”

So yeah.
Farewell RR and thanks for the memories and the excellent art.
If you wish to hear everything The Band can do, play the album The Last Waltz. It is their last concert, and they play with all kinds of other masterful musicians of the time.

Dr John will knock your socks off.