Fans gather to honor Helm in Woodstock
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2012 8:00 pm
WOODSTOCK, N.Y. (AP) — By the busload, hundreds of friends and fans of Levon Helm are traveling to his Woodstock home to say goodbye to the influential singer and drummer for The Band, who died of cancer last week.
Thursday’s public memorial was at the barn where Helm held his Saturday night Midnight Ramble concerts in New York’s Hudson Valley. His closed casket was surrounded by flowers and flanked by his drum kit at one end and a piano at the other.
Friends, neighbors and fans filed silently past the coffin, which was on the second floor of the barn and set against a backdrop of a family photo slideshow. Nearby, family members greeted visitors.
Mourners — a crowd of mostly middle-aged people with a smattering of aging hippies and a few young people — were quietly encouraged to keep the line moving. Some carried flowers, and a few pressed handkerchiefs to their faces.
After a private funeral today, Helm was to be buried in Woodstock Cemetery next to Rick Danko, The Band’s singer and bassist who died in 1999.
Helm, Danko, Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson and Richard Manuel’s first album as The Band was 1968’s “Music From Big Pink.” Songs including “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Up on Cripple Creek” are rock standards.
Published in The Messenger 4.27.12