Inbox: Love for Levon

We braced for contentious responses to last issue’s cover story, “Levon Helm: the South’s most charming drummer and his fabled life,” (Mar/Apr, page 19). A legend in the Americana community, Helm’s colorful, seldom-heard backstory could have been read as heresy by the Helmland faithful, but here’s what some readers who knew the man personally had to say:

…Finally a story that tells it like it is from all sides in an honest, respectful, non-judgmental way. Enough with the hagiography already.
—Joe Fitz
A prominent figure in the Hudson Valley music scene, Fitz leads Big Joe Fitz and the Lo-Fi’s, and hosts a popular blues program on WDST Radio Woodstock.

Man, that choked me up. You told all sides of the story. I appreciate that. You did an incredible job.
—Boxcar Joe
A friend of Helm’s, Boxcar Joe Laing was the sound man at New York’s Lone Star Café, where the Band frequently played.

The photo on the cover truly shows deeply into the many internal, flapping frames of his psyche, and shows his insecurity in a way I’ve never noticed before. Far out that you used it.
—Elliott Landy
A legendary rock photographer and the official photographer of Woodstock, Landy shot photos of Helm and the Band for Music from Big Pink and their self-titled album, including the photo used on cover of Elmore‘s Mar/Apr issue.

I read the article last night and found it to be one of the most in-depth on Lee concerning the complexities of his private persona. Knowing Elmore as I do, you sure as heck weren’t going to do a fluff piece on him, or anybody for that matter.
—Bob Girouard
Helm friend and fellow drummer

You did a good job, struck a good balance between POV’s and painted an accurate picture.
—Kay Cordtz
Longtime friend of Helm’s

Levon was one of a kind and irreplaceable, and you captured it in your article. Playing with him was as honest and real as it gets. It is such a big hole with him gone.
—Dave Keyes
Leader of the Dave Keyes Band, Keyes has played the Ramble with the Levon Helm Band

Inbox: Love for Levon

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