Levon Helm passed peacefully the afternoon of April 19, 2012. He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul.
In a statement on his official website, Bob Dylan has posted the following message:
“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.”
Dylan first met Levon Helm in 1965, when he tapped The Band to perform with him during his first electric tour. While Helm ended up dropping out of the tour, which was routinely met with boos from folk music purists, he returned to the fold in 1967. During a highly creative period in the Big Pink house in West Saugerties, New York, The Band and Dylan wrote and cut the songs that would end up on The Basement Tapes. Dylan and The Band later recorded Planet Waves together, and co-headlined a hugely successful tour in 1974, which is documented on the album Before The Flood.