Home Music Robbie Robertson, guitarist for The Band and Bob Dylan, has died at 80 : NPR

Robbie Robertson, guitarist for The Band and Bob Dylan, has died at 80 : NPR

Robbie Robertson, guitarist for The Band and Bob Dylan, has died at 80 : NPR


Robbie Robertson.

Stephen Shugerman/Getty Pictures

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Stephen Shugerman/Getty Pictures

Robbie Robertson.

Stephen Shugerman/Getty Pictures

Robbie Robertson, the lead guitarist and the first songwriter for Canadian rock luminaries The Band, has died at age 80.

Member of the family Daybreak Robertson confirmed the information to NPR.

The Rock and Roll Corridor of Famer’s songwriting credit embody a number of touchstone songs that might go on to determine the blueprint of Americana music, together with “The Weight,” “Up On Cripple Creek” and the controversial “The Night time They Drove Outdated Dixie Down,” a tune narrated from the angle of Accomplice troopers.

Robertson and The Band, who shaped as a backing group for rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins, initially gained acclaim because the reside backing unit for Bob Dylan, who first took them on tour in 1965 once they had been nonetheless referred to as The Hawks. The group quickly turned stars of their very own because of basic albums, Music From Massive Pink, launched in 1968, and The Band, launched in 1969. Robertson would additionally immortalize The Band with the assistance of director Martin Scorsese in 1976 once they recorded a guest-star-studded efficiency introduced as The Band’s remaining present. Scorsese’s live performance movie, The Final Waltz, could be launched in theaters in 1978.


Members of The Band would reunite many instances within the a long time that adopted, however Robertson by no means rejoined the group. He recorded music for soundtracks to Scorsese movies like Raging Bull and The Colour of Cash and launched a handful of solo albums. His final, Sinematic, got here out in 2019.

Robertson is the fourth member of The Band to die, following Richard Manuel in 1986, Rick Danko in 1999 and vocalist/drummer Levon Helm in 2012. Keyboardist and organist Garth Hudson is now the group’s solely dwelling member.

Earlier than he was Robbie Robertson, the longer term rock star was born Jaime Royal Robertson, the son of a Mohawk mom who was raised on the Six Nations reserve in Ontario. He discovered later in life that his organic father, Alexander Klegerman, was a Jewish member of the Toronto underworld who was identified for his playing.

Based on Hawkins, who appeared within the documentary As soon as Have been Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, “Robbie’s actual dad was a Hebrew gangster.”

Neda Ulaby contributed reporting to this story.



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