Bob Dylan Pays Tribute to Robbie Robertson

Bob Dylan Pays Tribute to Robbie Robertson | Society Of Rock Videos

Robbie Robertson, celebrated as the lead guitarist and songwriter who played a key role in shaping the iconic American folk-rock ensemble known as The Band, passed away on August 9. The news of his demise, occurring at the age of 80 following an extended illness, was shared by his longtime manager, Jared Levine.

With his passing, the only surviving member of the group, hailing from both Canada and America, is the keyboardist Garth Hudson, who celebrated his 86th birthday on August 2. Robertson was preceded in death by his fellow bandmates Levon Helm (2012), Rick Danko (1999), and Richard Manuel (1986).

Family, Music, and Community Support

“Robbie was surrounded by his family at the time of his death, including his wife, Janet, his ex-wife, Dominique, and her partner Nicholas, as well as his children Alexandra, Sebastian, Delphine, and Delphine’s partner Kenny,” says the statement announcing Robertson’s death.

His grandkids Angelica, Donovan, Dominic, Gabriel, and Seraphina are also left behind. Killers of the Flower Moon, his 14th cinematic music production with regular partner Martin Scorsese, has just finished. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in favor of the Six Nations of the Grand River’s new cultural center.

Robbie Robertson’s Journey to The Band

Having celebrated his 80th birthday on July 5, Robertson played a central role in a 2019 documentary named Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band. This film chronicles his journey from early life in Toronto to his experiences on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve in Southern Ontario, tracing his evolution as a proficient guitarist and songwriter.

The documentary delves into his collaborations with drummer Levon Helm, keyboardists Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel, and bassist Rick Danko. The group initially served as touring musicians for singer Ronnie Hawkins and later backed Bob Dylan in 1965 and 1966. These experiences paved the way for the five musicians to come together and form their own band.

Musical Icons Pay Their Respects

Robertson’s passing prompted tributes from various figures in the music world. Albert Grossman, a significant figure in Robertson’s career, saw potential in the young photographer Elliott Landy and tasked him with capturing images in Toronto. Landy, in a heartfelt tribute upon Robertson’s passing, expressed deep gratitude for the opportunity to photograph The Band and underscored the lasting impact of their collaboration on his life and work.

Bob Dylan, a close friend of Robertson, expressed shock at the news and emphasized the void left by his passing. He said:

“This is shocking news. Robbie was a lifelong friend. His passing leaves a vacancy in the world.”

Other music luminaries such as Bruce Hornsby, Robert Hilburn, Randy Bachman, Keifer Sutherland, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid their respects to Robertson’s musical legacy and contributions.

Remembering Robbie Robertson

In addition to his musical accomplishments, Robertson was remembered for his solo career and his involvement in producing film music for various projects, many of which were in collaboration with Martin Scorsese. Despite his departure from The Band’s reunions, he pursued a fulfilling solo career, releasing multiple albums and making significant contributions to the realm of film soundtracks.

Born as Jaime Royal Robertson on July 5, 1943, in Toronto, the artist known as Robertson embarked on his musical journey as a guitarist from a young age. He ventured into different bands and eventually joined forces with fellow musicians to establish The Band, a group that made a profound impact on the world of music. Robertson’s influence and contributions will be remembered and cherished by countless fans and fellow artists worldwide.

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