Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Last Waltz:

I bought The Last Waltz on DVD (which I previously had on tape) and watched the whole thing again plus the additional features interviewing Robbie Robertson and Martin Scorsese about making the documentary.

Apparently, they played for a long time (like 7 hours) and ran out of film for certain parts of the show that limited Scorsese's ability to choose which songs to feature (obviously he'd include their big ones like "The Weight," "Up on Cripple Creek"; he almost missed getting Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy").

My biggest criticism after reviewing it was it didn't feature enough Richard Manuel on lead vocals. Manuel, Rick Danko and Levon Helm pretty much equally split lead vocals and wonderfully harmonized together. But, I agree with Eric Clapton (also featured in the documentary), that:

For me he was the true light of the Band. The other guys were fantastic talents, of course, but there was something of the holy madman about Richard. He was raw. When he sang in that high falsetto the hair on my neck would stand on end. Not many people can do that.

Rick and Levon got much more time on lead vocals on The Last Waltz.

Something else that struck me: Hair and fashion trends, as we all know, change with the times. But it's hard to keep reinventing the wheel. Trends go in and out. But when they come back, they come back tweaked, not quite the same as they looked before. Most people disagree with me, but I am SURE that the mullet will come back. Around 1990 people thought I was NUTS when I insisted sideburns would come back. And then next year, Beverly Hills 90210 hit the scene and male sideburns have never left.

Well it seems like the 1978 hairstyles that Rick Danko and Robbie Robertson wear have come back. It's neither short nor long hair, but at the "midpoint." It's kind of a mop or bowl look, grown out over the ears till the ends split a little.

Here is Rick Danko doing "It Makes No Difference."

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