Levon Helm, drummer and vocalist for The Band, is nearing the end of his battle with cancer. A note posted on Helm’s website by his wife Sandy and his daughter Amy confirmed this:
“Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.
Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration…he loved nothing more than to play, to fill up the room with music, lay down the backbeat, and make people dance! He did so every time he took the stage…
We appreciate all the love and support and concern.”
Helm was scheduled to play the Wellmont Theater in New Jersey April 6, but that show was postponed because of a back injury. The following day, the Ramble, Helm’s regular house concert, was also canceled, and Elmore staffers Erik Spooner and Suzanne Cadgene shared a subdued dinner in Woodstock with Helm’s friends and scheduled opening act, the Alexis J. Suter Band.
Helm’s performing and songwriting contributions to American music throughout his solo career and with the Band, cannot be overstated. His generosity and tight bonds with other musicians remain unparalleled. Levon Helm Band members Larry Campbell, Amy Helm, Teresa Williams, Brian Mitchell, Jim Weider, Erik Lawrence, Steven Bernstein, Mike Merritt, Jimmy Vivino and many others have been enriched by his music, and, in turn, will continue to enrich us all. Our hearts go out to Levon and his extended Helmland family at this time.