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Publisher's Summary

A dazzling, epic biography of Levon Helm - the beloved, legendary drummer and singer of The Band.

He sang the anthems of a generation: "The Weight", "Up on Cripple Creek", and "Life Is a Carnival", Levon Helm's story - told here through sweeping research and interviews with close friends and fellow musicians - is the rollicking story of American popular music itself.

In the Arkansas Delta, a young Levon witnessed "blues, country, and gospel hit in a head-on collision", as he put it. The result was rock 'n' roll. As a teenager, he joined the raucous Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks, then helped merge a hard-driving electric sound with Bob Dylan's folk roots, and revolutionized American rock with The Band. Helm not only provided perfect "in the pocket" rhythm and unforgettable vocals, he was The Band's soul.

Levon traces a rebellious life on the road, from being booed with Bob Dylan to the creative cauldron of Big Pink, the Woodstock Festival, world tours, The Last Waltz, and beyond with the man Dylan called "one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation".

©2020 Sandra B. Tooze (P)2021 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • Daisy Hill
  • 20-03-2021

Great!

I have always been a fan...now I feel like I knew the man! A must read.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Foobin
  • 01-05-2021

Great stories, excellent narration

It took forever to read as I found myself rewinding parts of the book to hear it again, or stopping to look up and listen to a song. You really get a sense of what humble, down to earth, generally good guys the members of the band were, VERY unlike Roberton's delusional account in his book "testimony", where robbie portrays himself as the one with the solution to every problem, the hero in every situation, The one who always manages to save the day.....so boring. If your going to read one book about the Band, it should be this one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jeff
  • 17-08-2021

A book worthy of the man

This is such a beautiful book...beautifully written and masterfully read. My eyes are tearing up like the day I heard the news. God blessed Levon as much Levon blessed us.

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  • Vince Pienaar
  • 08-08-2021

Shoot the producer!

Why is it that producers insist that the narrator adds a pseudo accent for dialogue? When I read a book I decide what the character sounds like. When you add a fake accent, you decide for me what the character sounds like.
This is only marginally (marginally!) acceptable in fiction. It is totally unacceptable in non-fiction.
LEVON is a great example. I know what Levon Helm sounds like (as does everybody who has ever watched any movie or voice clip that has his voice on) and he sure as hell doesn't sound like that weird accent the narrator adds.
And I'm really struggling to listen to the book and I don't want to abandon it.
What makes it really bad, is that Rosemary Benson has a delightful voice and she reads the story beautifully. She's great! Except, somebody told her to do accents. Why? Why, why why?
It's a book, goddamnit, it's not a play.

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