Imagine if you will a pickup game of kickball in your elementary school playground. The players line up and sides are picked. I will spot your team John Lennon, Beethoven, Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix and just to make things fair, you can also have God himself (relax it is called hyperbole folks) The five guys I pick for my team? Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Mr. Levon Helm. My team wins every time. Yes your team is solid, they can kick the ball a mile, but my team knows how to win. My guys not only can kick it really far but they also kick the ball to positions, towards the girl or that kid who eats his boogers in the outfield. My team also has numerous tricks such as dropping a fly ball on purpose to turn a double play, and acting like they are going to kick the ball into the stratosphere only to tap it after everyone on defense backs up twenty feet. While this is admittedly the worst use of metaphor, or even figurative language in general, since the movie Avatar, the point remains; The Band is the greatest group to ever grace your turntable, tape deck, CD player or Ipod.
What’s that? You don’t believe me? Watch some of the videos in this post and then go out and buy “The Last Waltz.” Any self-respecting man needs to like The Band. I do not even know where to start on this one. The drummer is a lead singer, which is awesome. They are so good that they can even make two Canadian guys sound great, which is awesome. They were Bob Dylan’s backup band for a time, which is awesome. That’s right, Adam Duritz is not even good enough to be in Bob Dylan’s back up band. Also, they named themselves, “The Band” which is both insanely egomaniacal but also continues to confuse people to this day. I dare you to select any album that they created, put it in your car and start driving on a Summer day, and not be a happier person because of it.
You have heard The Weight but you need to know The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Ophelia, Unfaithful Servant, When I Paint My Masterpiece, When You Awake, Rockin Chair, and Up On Cripple Creek just to name a few.
Go buy everything that they ever made, now. And I know what you are asking right now, “are they better than them?” The answer is, when considering the group in relation to the music they created, not in how prolific but in overall greatness, a resounding yes.
Okay Okay, I guess I can’t write a post about The Band and not include this one
Go home after work today, fire up the grill, sit by the pool, turn on a baseball game, apply a liberal amount of The Band, and enjoy your long weekend.