November 24, 2016

"This is a progressive disease. And I thought, 'We've gotta deal with this, and we've gotta get out of the way to deal with it.'"

"So we came up with the idea of 'The Last Waltz.'"



40 Thanksgivings ago.

28 comments:

Gahrie said...

Happy Thanksgiving to all...hopefully it will be a day of healing.

DrMaturin said...

Holy crap, that was 40 years ago?!?!

robinintn said...

The Staple Singers just push this already great song into a new dimension.

AReasonableMan said...

This is by some margin the best rock movie I have ever seen. It has only one flaw, the overemphasis on Robbie Robertson and the downplaying of the other members in the band, who are in general better musicians and certainly better singers.

Laslo Spatula said...

"It has only one flaw, the overemphasis on Robbie Robertson..."

Scorcese always has a man crush in his films.

DeNiro, DiCaprio, etc. He fetishizes them, often with lingering exposed torso shots.

With "The Last Waltz" he was in the thrall of Robertson's sweaty open-shirted mystique and his elegant scarf-wearing panache.

Scorcese also has a thing for rough trade -- see: Harvey Keitel -- but that would be for a different post.

I am Laslo.

EDH said...

Now Blackbird Present’s “The Last Waltz 40 Tour: A Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of The Last Waltz” will showcase a number of these artists across multiple US cities led by musical director Warren Haynes and Don Was, with Michael McDonald, Jamey Johnson, John Medeski, and Terence Higgins, along with the original horn arrangements of Allen Toussaint.

https://blackbirdpresents.com/the-last-waltz-40-tour/

Laslo Spatula said...

Scorsese to DeNiro, while directing "Mean Streets":

"I don't know... I don't think I can do it, Marty."

"Bobbie, the anal sex scene is essential to understanding the torment of your character.Without it you're just a run-of-the-mill hoodlum with anger issues."


Scorsese to DeNiro, while directing "Taxi Driver":

"I don't know... I don't think I can do it, Marty."

"Bobbie, the anal sex scene is essential to understanding the torment of your character.Without it you're just a run-of-the-mill taxi driver with anger issues."


Scorsese to DeNiro, while directing "Raging Bull":

"I don't know... I don't think I can do it, Marty."

"Bobbie, the anal sex scene is essential to understanding the torment of your character.Without it you're just a run-of-the-mill boxer with anger issues."


Scorsese to DiCaprio, while directing "The Aviator":

"I don't know... I don't think I can do it, Marty."

"Leo, the anal sex scene is essential to understanding the torment of your character.Without it you're just a run-of-the-mill rich guy with germ issues."


Scorsese to DiCaprio, while directing "The Wolf of Wall Street":

"I don't know... I don't think I can do it, Marty."

"Leo, the anal sex scene is essential to understanding the torment of your character.Without it you're just a run-of-the-mill rich guy with morality issues."


Scorsese to Dafoe, while directing "The Last Temptation of Christ":

"I don't know... I don't think I can do it, Marty."

"Willie, the anal sex scene is essential to understanding the torment of your character.Without it you're just a run-of-the-mill savior with messiah issues."

Of course the Film Studios made Scorcese cut the scenes, the bastards. Now they only exist on a Special Reel in Scorcese's Home Theater, where Marty watches them alone, with his Special Towel of Memories...

I am Laslo.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Peschel said...

Vanity Fair also published an excerpt from Robbie's memoirs, now out in stores.

It answered the question for me as to why Neil Diamond was there. Compared to Dylan, Mitchel, Neil Young, he clearly did not belong there.

Turns out he co-wrote a song with RR.

It's probably a pretty good doc -- better than a lot of shaky-cam concerts out there, but I think I'd like The Who's better, with "Stop Making Sense" at the top.

BTW, I remember a midnight showing of a CSNY movie. Details are real hazy, except it had documentary footage of cross-country America, and the subtitle was "A Taut, Gripping Film." Anyone remember, or did I hallucinate it?

Laslo Spatula said...

Scorsese to DeNiro, while directing "Taxi Driver":

"I don't know... I don't think I can do it, Marty."

"Bobbie, the anal sex scene is essential to understanding the torment of your character.Without it you're just a run-of-the-mill taxi driver with anger issues."

"But Marty: if the scene is so important why wasn't it in the script I was given?"

"Bobbie, Bobbie. You know if I put that scene in the script the Studio would have me take it out. What is important is that I knew it was in the script."

"You ARE an artist, Marty..."

"So are YOU, Bobbie: so are YOU. You gotta trust me on this one. And don't worry: I'll film it in a gritty yet sensitive style, I assure you."

"So, Marty, am I... uh... giving, or receiving?"

"What does the Character tell you, Bobbie? Let the character speak to you, and you will know."

"I guess I'm giving?"

"Bobbie: TRUST the Character. Reach deeper, Bobbie: reach deeper..."

"So I'm... receiving?"

"THAT'S the Bobbie I know! The Actor, True and Fearless."

"I just never pictured Travis Bickle, you know, being rammed in the ass, that's all..."

"After Kietel fucks you in the ass the audience will feel even more of a connection when you kill him at the end."

"I don't know: me and Harvey go back, you know? I can't quite see me bent over with him behind me. Can't we use a stunt double?"

"Stunt double, Bobbie? Stunt Double? We're making ART here, Bobbie: we're making ART!"

"I'm just having a hard time with this, Marty..."

"Bobbie, True Art requires a Hard Time. You don't want me to have to get Travolta for this part, do you?"

"Travolta?"

"Yeah. His people reached out to me. He said he'd blow Harvey on-screen if that was what it took to get the role..."

"Wow: I didn't know that Travolta was THAT much of an Artist."

"The kid's got talent, Bobbie. He's not just "Welcome Back, Kotter."

"Okay, Marty, I'll do it. But can I keep my shirt on?"

"Bobbie: remember -- Trust the Character. Would he REALLY get banged in the asshole while wearing a shirt?"

"You got a point, Marty."

"Good, Bobbie, good! Now let's go Make Some ART...!"

I am Laslo.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sally327 said...

I know this is some kind of heresy, or is it blasphemy? but my favorite performance in The Last Waltz is Neil Diamond. Followed closely by Emmylou Harris singing Evangeline even though they filmed that part without the crowd. Because Emmylou Harris is a goddess. And that's not heresy or blasphemy. My least favorite performance was Joni Mitchell. I find her disturbing.

Paul said...

"This is by some margin the best rock movie I have ever seen. It has only one flaw, the overemphasis on Robbie Robertson and the downplaying of the other members in the band, who are in general better musicians and certainly better singers."

Ah yes. Watching Robbie sing his heart out in that show. Except his mic was turned off. It was all an affectation. I highly recommend Levon's autobiography, "This Wheel's On Fire". Besides being a fascinating read it tells the real story about The Last Waltz, the end of The Band, and the treachery of Robbie Robertson and Albert Grossman.

Bob R said...

@Paul - As much as I love Levon as an artist, but "This Wheel's on Fire" tells HIS story. Might be the real story. Might not. None of those guys was clear-headed enough to be a reliable narrator.

surfed said...

The Staples were used on the wrong song. They should have been arranged on "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" It would have been transcendant.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"It Ain't About The Money" is a documentary about Levon. Very bitter man doing cocaine bumps at 70 years old, fascination unbound.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I knew my mem'ry done went and got itself shot.

Damnit.

"Ain't in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm (2010)"

Johnny Sokko said...

Van Morrison doing Carvalho is also pretty good in TLW.

Paul said...

"@Paul - As much as I love Levon as an artist, but "This Wheel's on Fire" tells HIS story. Might be the real story. Might not. None of those guys was clear-headed enough to be a reliable narrator."

Sorry but you are totally off base here.

I played with Levon in his All Star band and became good friends with him. He was extremely clear headed and a stand up guy. He'd would give you the shirt off his back. Until you crossed him. Then there was no coming back. A true southern gentleman with old school ethics about friendship, team work, and loyalty.

I also knew and played with Danko and Garth and trust me when I tell you that they confirmed Levon's story.

Robbie was a snake, and he and Albert Grossman conspired to cheat the other four guys out of the publishing and millions of dollars.

eddie willers said...

Whispering Pines off the second album is one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded.

I hate that Richard ever came into contact with drugs and alcohol.

Valentine Smith said...

Can see Robertson's oily urban coolness no doubt his is the treachery here. And I loved him in the day. Danko and Manuel were stoned all the time, Hudson probably never (Hudson's possessions were sold off by his Kingston NY landlord in 2013). How can such an obviously collaborative band not share credit? Byrne did it with the Talking Heads.

My vote goes to the late great Levon . Who else in the R&R firmament would play in Rockaway (he must have loved the name)? Authenticity will always shine through and no one's got it like Helm.

Paul said...

"Danko and Manuel were stoned all the time"

I never met Richard Manuel, he died before I met these guys, but I could tell you stories about Danko and the unreal amount of intoxicating substances he would take throughout the day. Enough to kill a normal person.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Dude's name is Robbie Robertson and you want the world to unaccept caveat emptor too.

Ain't happening. At least we weren't aborted so we have opportunities for complaint lodging.

Music deal goes bad, dog bites woman.

Cocaine had nothing to do with any of it of course, ain't the legal now 'course.

LYNNDH said...

Thanks, a great song. A mix of Rock, R&B, and Black Gospel. Very good.
I read somewhere, don't know if it is true, that the drummer in The Band was in a movie called "Shooter". He played an expert on guns, a real backwoods guy in TN.

bettiwettiwoo said...

@ Bill Peschel
'BTW, I remember a midnight showing of a CSNY movie. Details are real hazy, except it had documentary footage of cross-country America, and the subtitle was "A Taut, Gripping Film." Anyone remember, or did I hallucinate it?'

Might it be Journey Through the Past, which was directed by Neil Young and (partly) produced by Taunt & Gripping, Inc?

donald said...

There's a really bad, grainy video of Emmy Lou and Gram Parsons doing Big Mouth Blues on YouTube she's young, beautiful, banging on a tambourine dancing her ass off. I can watch it endlessly.

JAORE said...

"Holy crap, that was 40 years ago?!?!"

Doc, I get those flashes too. Then I walk by a mirror and say, "Oh.... yeah".

George Leroy Tirebiter said...

Barney Hoskyns's brand new "Small Town Talk" covers the 60s & beyond music era of the overgrown village of Woodstock. Mostly via by Albert Grossman, who was introduced to the town by Peter Yarrow and few other folkies. Grossman brought Dylan and went from there. Lots of Band related stories, etc. Just finished it yesterday; as with Hoskyns's other music themed books, a fun read and pretty balanced. He has a prior book on the Band which I plan on reading soon. And fwiw, Levon Helm's book gets 2 thumbs up from me.