That Thin Wild Mercury Sound
The Band, Saint Paul Minnesota, 1971
Levon Helm returned to Saint Paul last night, almost thirty eight years after the picture above was taken. Life for a musician is never easy, Levon and his "Band"-mates have had their share of trials. Richard Manuel (not pictured) and Rick Danko are both gone, while guitarist Robbie Robertson has been MIA for years. Garth Hudson gigs from time to time- session work with Norah Jones and others- but Levon is still drumming and playing in a band, whether at his place in upstate New York or out on the road. A bout with throat cancer left him mute for several years, he's recovered enough to be able to sing again. His reputation secure, he can play when and what he wants to now. Old time, Band tunes, even the stuff the Band played with Dylan:
"It's that thin, that wild mercury sound.
It's metallic and bright gold,
with whatever that conjures up."
Whatever that conjures up indeed. A lifetime of magic.