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William C. Altreuter
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Levon Helm is near the end. Outside Counsel joins the voices saluting him for his contribution to what is decent in American culture, and thanking him for reminding us about the things that we all share in common.

Helm was the only American member of The Band, and it was his presence that made the group American. The remaining members were sons of Ontario, and you could argue that it was because they were Canadian that they understood the US as well as they did. Any discussion of the greatest rock and roll bands from America has to include The Band, I think. Bob Dylan soaks up a lot of influences, but he seldom collaborated with anyone in the way that he worked with this group, and I think it is fair to say that Greil Marcus's idea about Dylan invoking "the old weird America" has its foundations in that collaboration.

All that, and he was great in "Coal Miner's Daughter" too. Thanks, Leon. (Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks from If Charlie Parker was a Gunslinger)

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