I love a lot of things. Very high on the list of those things include Woodstock, NY, The Band, Levon Helm, and Rick Danko. Tonight we are going to see Ain’t In It For My Health, the movie about Levon. I am prepared to bawl my eyes out.
In August of 2000, literally immediately after my sweet Granny’s funeral, I booked it up to Woodstock (something I did quite often back then). I went to the now-defunct Joyous Lake bar (not nearly as good as the sadly long-defunct Tinker Street Cafe, former Cafe Espresso and downstairs neighbor to Bob Dylan. Now THAT was a bar). There I saw Levon drum with his band at the time, The Barn Burners. I went up to him during a break, giddy and nervous and probably a little drunk, and said hi and how much I dug the band and blah blah blah. He was SO nice. I asked if we could get a picture and I can still hear his voice to this day: “Why, SURE!” (But “sure” sounded like “shore.”) So we took the pic and he said, “Now, how ’bout a kiss for good luck?” He went in for a kiss on the lips and I was so nervous and dumbstruck that I moved my face away. He said, “Now, let’s try that again.” And I kissed Levon Helm. It was a sweet peck on the lips and he KNEW he just rocked my world. He made me feel like I was the only chick in the room. Oh, Levon. I love you. I just remembered that the next night I saw Garth Hudson playat the same bar. Epic weekend, man.
When he passed away, I wept. I truly did. I loved him. He was just an awesome, awesome guy and fantastic musician. I expect to do some weeping tonight as well.
I went up to Woodstock in October to see Levon again. I also said hello to the lovely and amazing Rick Danko, whom we also lost too soon.
I’ll let you all know how many boxes of tissues my Band friend Shari and I go through tonight. There is also a producer Q & A, so it should be really amazing.
On one of the pics of Levon’s resting place you will see a green little girl’s hair clippie. Hazel took that out of her hair and left it for Levon, unprompted. It was magical. Not that she knew what she was doing…I think she saw all the other trinkets on the ground and wanted to leave something, too. Hazel. Named not only after Chris’ great aunt Hazel, but also this Hazel.