Levon Helm, singer and drummer for the Band, died on April 19th in New York of throat cancer. He was 71.
“He passed away peacefully at 1:30 this afternoon surrounded by his
friends and bandmates,” Helm’s longtime guitarist Larry Campbell tells Rolling Stone. “All
his friends were there, and it seemed like Levon was waiting for them.
Ten minutes after they left we sat there and he just faded away. He did
it with dignity. It was even two days ago they thought it would happen
within hours, but he held on. It seems like he was Levon up to the end,
doing it the way he wanted to do it. He loved us, we loved him.”
In the late Nineties, Helm – whose singing anchored Band classics
like “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Up on Cripple Creek,” “Rag
Mama Rag,” and “The Weight” – was diagnosed with throat cancer and
underwent 28 radiation treatments, eventually recovering his voice.