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Home FR Robbie Robertson, iconic songwriter and guitarist of The Band, dies at 80

Robbie Robertson, iconic songwriter and guitarist of The Band, dies at 80


From collaborating with Bob Dylan to crafting timeless rock classics, the Canadian-born musician helped reshape American music.

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Robbie Robertson, guitarist and principal songwriter of the seminal rock group The Band, has died, the commerce publication Selection mentioned Wednesday, August 9, citing his supervisor. He was 80 years outdated.

Because the ringleader of the Canadian-American group, Robertson penned The Band’s most iconic songs together with “The Weight,” “The Evening They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down” and “Up On Cripple Creek.”

His supervisor mentioned he was surrounded by household on the time of his demise, with out citing a trigger.

Previous to his work and management with The Band, Robertson was a key collaborator with none aside from Bob Dylan, touring with him and enjoying on the album “Blonde on Blonde.”

Born July 5, 1943, in Toronto, Canada to a Native American mom, Robertson labored on touring carnivals in his early teenage years, earlier than becoming a member of, and beginning, quite a lot of bands. “I have been enjoying guitar for thus lengthy I am unable to keep in mind once I began,” he informed Rolling Stone journal in 1968. “I assume I bought into rock and roll like everyone else.”

He joined the backing band of Ronnie Hawkins, a rockabilly star, when he was simply 16, the place he finally met fellow musicians Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Levon Helm.

The group fashioned a robust bond, they usually turned Dylan’s backing band within the mid-Nineteen Sixties for his notorious first electrical tour. In addition they performed with the icon on his much-bootlegged “basement tapes.”

‘The Final Waltz’

After a number of identify adjustments, the musicians turned often called The Band. Robertson’s history-minded compositions have been masterful yarns that evoked the wilds of America and the characters who coloured them, and specifically, targeted on the American South.

“The Weight” is a daily on all-time biggest songs lists – a folks tune with nation and gospel parts in addition to Biblical allusion, it is thought-about a traditional of the American songbook. The group performed Woodstock and reduce a string of albums together with “Music from Massive Pink,” “The Band” and “Cahoots.”

The Band break up up in 1976 with a farewell live performance in San Francisco, immortalized on movie by director Martin Scorsese in “The Final Waltz.” The movie, theatrically launched in 1978, has turn out to be often called a critically acclaimed pioneering rock documentary.

It additionally ushered in Robertson’s longtime collaboration and friendship with Scorsese, who employed the guitarist as a musical supervisor on a string of his movies together with “On line casino” and “Gangs of New York.”

Robertson did not tour once more after “The Final Waltz” however did launch a string of solo albums beginning in 1987, when he dropped “Robbie Robertson.” He remained a beloved determine of American rock and folks, each for his guitar chops and his poetry.

“I considered a few phrases that led to some extra,” he informed Rolling Stone in 1969, requested how he penned the traditional “The Weight.” “The following factor I do know I wrote the track,” Robertson continued. “We simply figured it was a easy track, and when it got here up we gave it a attempt to recorded it three or 4 instances.” “We did not even know if we have been going to make use of it.”

Le Monde with AFP

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