Levon Helm, drummer/singer of the Band, died of throat cancer last Thursday at age 71.
The drummer backed up rockabilly star Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan before becoming a star in his own right with the Band, and later as a solo artist. The Band was inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys in 2008. Levon Helm’s solo career granted him three Grammys in the past ten years.
Levon Helm was revered by many, and will be greatly missed.
“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,” posted Bob Dylan on his website.
Robbie Robertson, guitarist from the Band visited Levon Helm at the hospital a few days before his death, reported Rolling Stone. “Levon is one of the most extraordinary talented people I’ve ever known and very much like an older brother to me. I am so grateful I got to see him one last time and will miss him and love him forever,” said Robertson in a statement.
“Levon was so sweet, so full of light. … I'm heartbroken he has moved on to 'find a place where he can lay his head.' But I hope he found it," said Rosanne Cash, who performed The Weight with Helm at an American Music Association event last year.
Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, who played with Helm occasionally, said in a statement Thursday that "Levon was an influence and an inspiration to all of us. It was an honor and a privilege to have known him. We will miss him.''