Robbie Robertson Interview about New Doc about his years with The Band

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Trevordog, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. telelion

    telelion Member

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    On his second guest guitarist appearance at the HOF after the first disaster. Robbie was once again stepping all over the song with his horrible pinch harmonics, bad cliche licks, that were totally out of place. This time it was with Sir Paul performing "Let It Be." Robbie thought he was enhancing the song by his non stop back and forth licks to the vocals with Paul Shaffer frantically trying to calm Robbie down. A bit later, Robbie's guitar sound disappears from the mix to salvage the tune. I love Robbie's playing in the Band but outside of it he couldn't play in a bad dive band.
     
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  2. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    Allen Klein on line 2!
     
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  3. telelion

    telelion Member

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    Pretty common observation that Robbie was very obnoxious/pretentious in the performance/interviews and even others in The Band have brought it up as well.
     
  4. AndreasG

    AndreasG Member

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    Maybe my remark was a bit misleading...I‘m on another continent over here in europe, where you hear songs by The Band but never/rarely a song of RR...and I bet more people can sing a couple of Band tunes than RR solo tunes...but hey, to each his own opinion. Tomorrow I will listen to some RR solo album.
     
  5. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    I used to "take Levon's side"...

    ...Then I saw his movie. Larry just about begged LH to help him write. Wasn't happening.

    Here's the reality: If I tell my next-door neighbor about my vacation, or my crazy cousin, or the quaint town I grew up in, and my neighbor takes that material and writes a song about it, HE wrote a song. I didn't. HE gets credit. I don't. HE cashes the checks. I don't. That's that. And to be clear, "arranging" (i.e. adding a cool & complementary guitar solo or drum groove) doesn't count. Never did, never will.

    Robbie is a prolific writer; Levon wasn't. A song might take place in Arkansas because of a tale LH told about his upbringing...but it's RR's song. I adore Levon; cried when he died. But he was wrong on this and remained bitter way, way too long.
     
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  6. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    I bought that CD (and still have it) when it first came out. I remember thinking "This sounds like U2 and Peter Gabriel tracks with someone else singing over them. Oh, this 'Somewhere Down That Crazy River' is pretty good, but nothing else on the album sounds like it."

    I don't think I've ever heard anyone mention it since then.
     
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  7. PRW

    PRW Member

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    I prefer Storyville, IMO is a more consistent album. (I like Showdown at Big Sky though.)

    I think a lot of the unfair criticism Robbie gets is that his solo output doesn't sound like The Band. Devil's advocate question, why should he be compelled to stay stuck in that Americana-ish mode? He moved on, the others didn't. That of itself doesn't make him a bad person.
     
  8. PRW

    PRW Member

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    I think Robbie's a great player but I grant what you're saying. I think he's gotten much more restrained here recently, though. I don't know if it's age or what.
     
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  9. tim gueguen

    tim gueguen Member

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    Yeah, just like there's no way a Bay Area guy like John Fogerty wrote the lyrics to "Proud Mary" and "Born On the Bayou."
     
  10. PRW

    PRW Member

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    Robbie actually went to the library and did research and looked at back issues of American Heritage magazine before writing songs.

    This is going to come out the wrong way and cause some people to take offense but it is what it is ... a big reason this “brotherhood” reached its expiration date is that Robbie always operated on a higher intellectual plane than anyone else in the group save Garth, and always was looking for more out of life than to dope (aside from his time as Scorsese’s roommate) and jam.

    He does have a way about him that sometimes seems pretentious, I concede that. But he actually WAS in it for his health, bottom line.
     
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  11. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    Sorry. Not close to the same thing. Those Band songs were southern stories with unique depth and real character. They came from somewhere other than Canada.

    Did Robbie take some of Levon’s stories and make them into songs? Sure. Probably. But those songs are never there without those stories.
     
  12. vanderkalin

    vanderkalin Member

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    Yeah right, because Canada and the US are so different
     
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  13. vanderkalin

    vanderkalin Member

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    How many classic songs did the rest of the guys write post Robby? Just curious.
     
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  14. vanderkalin

    vanderkalin Member

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    Listen to Somwhere Down the Crazy River. I know, one song. Robbie and the Band as a whole always seemed to me willing to embrace the idea of writing and not worrying about if it was too good, at least not obsessively so, and discovering the gold among the filler. And did they ever.
     
  15. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    About the same number.

    It's as if...none of them were great songwriters by themselves.
     
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  16. PRW

    PRW Member

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  17. RL2792

    RL2792 Member

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    I grew up in the South. Still live in the South. I don't buy the argument that Robertson could not have written songs with such a southern theme without the help of Levon. I suspect, as someone else said, Robertson listened to the stories Levon and others told about the South and incorporated that into his work. Plus, he toured the South, along with the other Band members, when backing Ronnie Hawkins. So, Robertson could have picked a lot of the southern imagery up on his own.
     
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  18. PRW

    PRW Member

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  19. Vic Interceptor

    Vic Interceptor Member

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    RR - never hit a lick I liked or respected.
    LH - loved him in Shooter.
     
  20. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    Certainly Civil War era South US was very different. We are talking about historical past, not now. But I assumed that was clear.
     

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