I promise not to stop the endless Disney babble that comes out of this blog very often but every once in awhile, I need to pause and remember something/someone that isn't about Disney. A few days ago legendary drummer and principal vocalist for The Band passed away after a long battle with cancer. Though 4 of the members of The Band were from Canada, Levon Helm was from Arkansas and his scratchy voice with a southern twang can only be described as uniquely American. No one was able to present a sense of place and beat down emotion through the sound of a voice above the music like Levon Helm.
I actually can make a Disneyland connection if I do make a bit of a stretch. As readers of this blog know, I am a huge fan of Great Moments of Mr. Lincoln. Before the appearance of the great president himself there is a stirring pre-show highlighting the countryman vs. countryman, brother vs. brother tragedy that was a huge part of the Civil War. If the pre-show takes a slightly pro Union bias the counter to that would be Levon singing The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down. That song is never far from my mind after a viewing of Lincoln.
As I wander up Main St. on one of those rare quiet mornings in Disneyland, grabbing a cup of coffee at the Market House, I may head over to a nearby bench to grab a seat to enjoy the morning. If I had already been at Disneyland for a few days, the bench is a welcome site to take a load off for awhile. A load off? Not far from memory I'll hear Levon's voice wearily singing The Weight (below).
The people I grew up watching, listening to are dying off. Dick Clark died this past week. Most people think of him as the guy who brought in New Years Eve on TV. I remember when he was a game show host and before that, bringing music into the homes of American teenagers through his American Bandstand. What does it all mean? Life grows shorter each day, for some of us, its a little bit shorter than the rest.
Rest in Peace Levon Helm and thanks.