Levon Helm is dead. You may not know who he is. Hell, you may not even care. But God tweeted about his death.
That’s a reference to one of The Band’s most iconic songs, “The Weight,” a song about a visit to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, where Martin guitars are made. Levon was the drummer and singer.
But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Levon was one of those rare Southern white men born in the first half of the 20th century who had a clue. Maybe that came from his parents, Arkansas cotton farmers who loved music and shared that love with their children.
Arkansas during Levon’s childhood was a crossroads of musical wonders. Country met Western, Rhythm blended with Blues. And riding the back roads between those were traveling minstrel shows and Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass boys. They all came together as rock and roll. And Levon was right there.
That’s the short version. The long version is a 45 year body of work that includes some of the some of the most vibrant performers of the time, a body of work that is still influencing musicians around the world.
That’s what happened yesterday. Levon Helm died. And I decided it was time to get back to work here at AWOP.
I’ve been missing in action because my alter ego had a nasty little auto accident. Broke my clavicle and a wrist, buncha bruises and scrapes. Had surgery. Spent a few weeks heavily drugged. I’m awfully grateful that Kim and Leslie and Perry have kept things going during my convalescence.
So, I’m back.Starting tomorrow, new posts daily.
I’m thinking some changes may be in order. Not sure what they’ll be yet. It’s just that my entire life has been changing lately. AWOP can’t come away unscathed.
No worries though. We’ll still be a strong platform for progressive thought, progressive ideas and progressive change.
With a healthy dose of the irreverent.
Nunzia Rider is the nom de blog of KC Wildmoon, who blogs at The Accidental (journalist)(buddhist)(epicurean). Read about the nasty little auto accident and other obscurities there.