Gibson Tribute Levon Helm With Classic Interview
In 2000, not long after Capitol Records reissued The Band's entire catalog, Helm's agreed to be interviewed about the making of the group's second album, titled, simply, The Band. A masterpiece that weaved folk, gospel, country and R&B into a seamless tapestry, the album also was an epic portrait-in-song about frontier America. In the interview, Helm talked about The Band's musical dynamic and their work with Bob Dylan, and shared his feelings about the group's legacy. As a tribute to the memory of a great artist, we present that interview here in its entirety, for the very first time.
You recorded The Band in Los Angeles at Sammy Davis Jr.'s house. That must have been a strange experience. We liked how we had worked at the Big Pink [a house shared by Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson in West Saugerties, New York]. The Basement Tapes, Music from Big Pink and probably the better part of a couple of other albums for Bob [Dylan] all came out of those Basement Tapes sessions. That was such a fun, kind of "workshop" situation that we always looked to do that again, as opposed to going into a cold studio, where the clock is ticking away. It's better to create your own space.
We went out to California and rented Sammy Davis Jr.'s house, which had a pool house, and we turned the pool house into a studio. It wasn't hard to do that. We boxed in some of the windows, and taped down the metal fireplace so it wouldn't rattle, and brought in some tape machines and other gear. We didn't perform for a long time. We cut Music from Big Pink, and then we went right ahead and started cutting The Band, and just about the same thing with the third album. We played shows a bit between the second and third album, but not much. Read the full interview here.
Gibson.com is an official news provider for the antiMusic.com.