Of all the many approaching Bay Area rock anniversaries, few can rival The Last Waltz of November 25, 1976. Between the evening itself – the SF Opera’s set from La Traviata, the incredible range of guests, and The Band itself -- and Martin Scorsese’s epic film, it was simply one of the great music history moments ever. This Thanksgiving will mark the 40th anniversary...
One classy way to celebrate will be the Rex Foundation’s concert with the Ramble Band (Amy Helm, Larry Campbell, Theresa Williams – once the late Levon Helms’ band) at the Fillmore Auditorium on December 3rd (well, Winterland’s long gone, after all). What’s the Grateful Dead’s Rex Foundation got to do with The Band, you say?
Glad you asked. The connections run deep. Early in 1969, as the songwriting duo of Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia were on the cusp of the creative explosion that would result in Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty, Robert Hunter spent some very special quality time with The Band’s first album, Big Pink. You can hear the influence.
And so over recent years there’s been a considerable cross-band friendship, with Amy, Larry, and Theresa taking part in the American Beauty Project, and then this spring, when the Rex Foundation gave Levon the Ralph Gleason award in honor not only of his playing but his long involvement in community-based musical events. Now it’s time for the Dead Heads to make them welcome…it will be a special night.