Ain't In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm [Blu-ray]
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Top Customer Reviews
He played a decent guitar and a distinctive mandolin, but that voice! Levon was the voice of the American heartland, an iconic, craggy, lusty voice whether singing, acting and narrating, or just telling stories. And, oh yes, he was one the the very best drummers in the world. But his post-Band career, while artistically rich, left him ultimately broke, and in the late nineties cancer took his voice.
To pay the rent and medical bills, and just to play, he began hosting Midnight Rambles at his home in Woodstock, where he had a studio in his beautiful barn. Playing for a couple hundred people on Saturday nights, Levon came all the way back to the top, and along the way his voice came back. Sort of.
This beautiful and powerful documentary, filmed with Levon's full cooperation around 2008, finds him at home with his family and friends, learning of his nomination for a Grammy for his new album (he would win it, along with two more), laughing and telling stories with his friends and bandmates, and playing with some of the best musicians on the planet both in his barn and on tour.Read more ›
There are now 3 classic documentaries available that tell the story of The Band or members thereof and which all fans of this American institution should be sure are in pride of place in their collections.
The Last Waltz (Special Edition)
Dylan, Bob - Down In The Flood
Ain't In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm
I loved the Band's music and think Levon was a fabulous drummer and superb singer. To the extent that one hopes to get to really know the person one knows only through a media filter, this film delivers a pretty straight ahead portrait of a man who was pretty straight ahead. The sense that what you saw was what he was is pretty much confirmed here.
Its a sobering unblinking look at illness, dying, perseverance and a man in some ways trying to come to terms with the vagaries of existence.
At one time the Band was one of the most popular Rock & Roll groups in the country, and imo certainly the best white band this country (or Canada) ever produced. They must have made untold millions.
Here we come upon Levon whose medical expenses have driven him to the brink of home foreclosure, (if it can happen to him, who's safe?) and one can't help but wonder how the hell that happened?
Well it apparently is all in the song publishing rights and Robbie Robertson got most of those. Levon is justifiably bitter.
This is not how I'd choose to remember Levon Helm as a sick, suffering albeit game, septuagenarian, but I'm glad to have had the opportunity to see how things were towards the end.
As a documentary I'd have to give it high marks.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Levon was my friend...but still this is great on so many levels.Published 3 months ago by ed wilson
I couldn't wait to play this the minutes I got it for my birthday. Levon is one of my drumming heroes. For many Ringo was their man. For me Levon was my Ringo. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Twango Bango
I am a huge The Band and Levon Helm fan, and while this video was very interesting about his life after the band, it kind of left me sad and I almost wish I had not seen it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by CC