Robbie Robertson died proud he backed Bob Dylan when he went electric
In an interview reprinted to honour The Band guitarist’s legacy, Robbie Robertson said he died proud he supported Bob Dylan when he went electric.
Robbie Robertson died proud he supported Bob Dylan when he went electric.
The Band guitarist was part of Bob’s backing group known as The Hawks when the “Like a Rolling Stone’ singer was famously booed by fans at gigs in the mid-1960s for ditching his acoustic folk style for rock.
Robbie, whose death aged 80 was announced on Wednesday (09.08.23), said in a 2017 chat with Mojo that has been reprinted by the magazine in honour of his legacy: “(Bob Dylan and The Hawks) got booed all over North America, Australia, Europe, and people were saying this isn’t working and we kept on and Bob didn’t budge.
“We got to a place where we would listen to these tapes and say, ‘You know what? They’re wrong. And we’re right.’
“Eight years later, we do a tour, the (1974) Dylan/Band tour. We play the same way, same intensity and everybody says, ‘Wow, that was amazing.’
“The world came around – we didn’t change a note.”
Robbie added about Bob, 82, praising his guitar style as so precise it seemed “mathematical”: “It’s having a structure (that’s) improvised and at the same time you have a sense of dynamics – when to rise, when to fall, when to shimmer, when to growl.
“When The Hawks hooked up with Dylan, he found this explosive, dynamic thing.
“Because of his intensity, it raised everything up and we didn’t come down enough and people were saying this music is so loud we can’t hear the words. “Part of that was he wanted that raging spirit on these songs.”
Along with writing The Band’s most iconic hits including ‘The Weight’, the guitar icon recorded a string of solo albums, wrote children’s books and worked with Martin Scorsese scoring more than a dozen of his films.
Robbie’s manager of 34 years Jared Levine announced his death by saying in a statement: “Robbie was surrounded by his family at the time of his death, including his wife, Janet, his ex-wife, Dominique, her partner Nicholas, and his children Alexandra, Sebastian, Delphine and Delphine’s partner Kenny.
“He is also survived by his grandchildren Angelica, Donovan, Dominic, Gabriel and Seraphina.”
Instead of flowers, the guitarist’s family asked fans to make any donations they wished to the Six Nations of the Grand River to “support a new Woodland Cultural Center”.