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Thread: Ain't in it for my health; a film about Levon Helm

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Ain't in it for my health; a film about Levon Helm

    A pretty moving documentary, Levon plays mandolin at the 52 minute mark as well as the end in a very touching scene.


    Last edited by Charles E.; Nov-08-2022 at 7:50pm.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ain't in it for my health; a film about Levon Helm

    Wow, happy to see this is on YT. I watched it on Netflix when it came out and it is awesome. Plenty in there for Larry Campbell fans as well. And a cameo of Billy Bob Thornton at the kitchen table.
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    Default Re: Ain't in it for my health; a film about Levon Helm

    Have an ad blocker on my browser so it played without ads. Otherwise, it's full of ads. Great look into part of Levon's life.
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    TBI survivor Richard J's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ain't in it for my health; a film about Levon Helm

    The Band Room
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    TBI survivor Richard J's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ain't in it for my health; a film about Levon Helm

    There is also a link to it in the The Band Room social group page. please add additional news about The Band, Levon and others members, on the The Band Room group page.
    I think, therefore, I pick.

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ain't in it for my health; a film about Levon Helm

    I enjoyed the documentary. However, I was reminded of an interview that I heard with a music journalist. He was asked about his memories of interviewing, who had impressed him and who had disappointed him, etc. To the disappointment question, he named an elderly singer-songwriter, and said: She was so bitter; she's done so much that she should be celebrating, but she's wrapped up in bitterness over the past. I sometimes felt the same way about Levon, a man about the age then that I am now, still bitter over things that happened in his twenties and thirties. A couple of his bandmates in the documentary were clearly uncomfortable with this attitude. It's a bit like hearing a seventy-year-old griping continually about their ex-spouse of forty years ago. I'm not suggesting that he didn't have reason to be bitter, but there's a point where you have to move on -- I've been there. Still, it was wonderful seeing and hearing Levon, so full of life force despite his physical limitations ("I spend three days on the road, and three in bed"). For all its heaviness, the documentary is worth seeing through to the end, which is quite moving.
    Last edited by Ranald; Nov-22-2022 at 3:33pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ain't in it for my health; a film about Levon Helm

    After reading this thread, I went back and watched the film. Hadn't seen it since it came out. Wow, it is so sad. However it was interesting to watch Levon play mando with just his fingers, no pick.
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    Default Re: Ain't in it for my health; a film about Levon Helm

    Well, it was a documentary film and my opinion is that the editing probably focused more on the sense of injustice around The Band songwriting/publishing rights, and their impact on his current situation, or at least how many saw that. Quite possibly it was outsized to the way his daily life was, but he did have health and financial problems, which probably skewed his personal outlook, too.

    When i think about the origin of the folks in that group, LH being the only one from America and The South, and listen to the lyrics of so many of those tunes, I have a hard time believing he did not have a significant role, so I do side with the "somebody done somebody wrong" crowd. Hard to say if he'd have ended up any different if there had been a bigger share of the $ flowing his way, though - plenty of examples from the 70s where it didn't help!

    But, yeah, how you react to all those things that are done and gone will make a difference in the end, and my observation is that the happy oldsters in my crowd and not reeling off events of the past, but enjoying the present and looking forward.
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    Default Re: Ain't in it for my health; a film about Levon Helm

    Robertson needed Levon & the rest of the Band to create those songs.

    He WAS an inspired composer and skilled player but like one reviewer said,
    "Levon was his muse and his voice."

    After the split neither the Band or Robertson produced anything even
    approaching their work as a unit. Robertson needed these guys.

    All that talent (Helm, Hudson, Danko, Manuel) and Robertson should get the lion's share simply because he can?

    We all make mistakes in life, and money is often involved.

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ain't in it for my health; a film about Levon Helm

    In truth, I would have been happy to hear a few songs about life in southwest Ontario where 4/5 of The Band, and I, grew up -- well, not exactly, Robbie was from Toronto. However, I won't comment on the Band's songwriting process not having been there except to say that Robbie and the others spent a great deal of time in the South with Ronnie and Levon, so Robbie was no stranger to southern culture. A friend from Missouri and Louisiana heard Levon and Garth on the radio in the 1990's, and said to me, "I thought you told me Garth Hudson was Canadian. He sounds like he's from down home." Generally, the system of royalties gives the "songwriter" credit, but none to the other folks in the room. It's an easy system to misunderstand or exploit while a band's together (was the person who added the unforgettable bass line, a song-writer?.) When the band breaks up, royalties might be bought and sold like stocks. Rob Bowman, a musicologist, once did a presentation about Otis Redding and "Try A Little Tenderness," showing how Otis totally recreated this old song. Everyone who recorded it after Otis, played a variation on his version. However, the royalties go to the owners of the copyright for the original and not to Otis's estate. (Listen to Bing Crosby's take on "Try A Little Tenderness" to see how much Otis changed the song.) Many in the music business were treated badly, but as I said about Levon (above): "I'm not suggesting that he didn't have reason to be bitter, but there's a point where you have to move on."
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ain't in it for my health; a film about Levon Helm

    Quote Originally Posted by thumbknuckle View Post
    Robertson needed Levon & the rest of the Band to create those songs.
    And, conversely, those four guys wouldn't have gone far without Robertson's songs. It worked well for all of them. Until it didn't anymore.
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
    --Leslie Daniel, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die."

    Some tunes: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa1...SV2qtug/videos

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