Artists have been paying tribute to drummer Levon Helm, both in words and songs, since his passing last Thursday after a long battle with throat cancer. Helm was 71.
Former Band member Robbie Robertson visited Helm on the Sunday before his passing and shared these words on Facebook: “I sat with Levon for a good while and thought of the incredible and beautiful times we had together. It was heartwarming to be greeted by his lovely daughter Amy, whom I have known since she was born. Amy’s mother, Libby Titus, and her husband, Donald Fagen, were so kind to help walk me through this terrible time of sadness. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sandy.”
On his own site, Bob Dylan wrote: “He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation. This is just so sad to talk about. I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him. We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I’m going to miss him, as I’m sure a whole lot of others will too.”
But the tributes weren’t limited to members of Helm’s generation. At Coachella, Bon Iver performed Band classic “Ophelia,” while the Black Keys and John Fogerty partnered up on “The Weight.” Both are playing below. Drive-By Truckers and Megafaun also performed “The Weight” at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC, and Trampled By Turtles covered “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” at D.C.’s 9:30 Club. The Felice Brothers and Diamond Doves also covered “Dixie” at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA.
Bon Iver: “Ophelia”
Black Keys with John Fogerty: “The Weight”