- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reprint edition (October 3, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307889793
- ISBN-13: 978-0307889799
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 480 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Testimony Paperback – October 3, 2017
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A Rolling Stone Top 10 Music Book of 2016
"Robertson’s book is written with a full range of literary devices… his strong point of view is offset by the tenderness he shows, and his stress on his own experience is set within a craftsman’s effort to tell the story whole — an effort to do justice to their adventures as young men, talented, stylish, successful and lucky, who knew the joy of creative friendship… Testimony is high-spirited, hugely enjoyable and generous from start to finish.” —New York Times Book Review
“Robust, wry, gritty and wise.” —The Wall Street Journal
"Confident and well oiled. At times it has the mythic sweep of an early Terrence Malick movie."—New York Times
"Robertson has the same knack for cinematic storytelling that he displays in his songs…Testimony reads like one long, grand adventure through rock's golden age, as told by a world-class raconteur."—Billboard
"Captivating... this is essential reading."—Rolling Stone
"Testimony proves that Robertson is an immensely capable storyteller and a keen observer of the gifts of others."—New Yorker
"Astonishing... [Testimony is full of] detail and remarkable intimacy."—Esquire
"A riveting memoir from the Band guitarist, who chronicles his journey from the Six Nations Indian Reserve to the heart of rock and roll."—People Magazine
"Mr. Robertson is a natural storyteller...Testimony shines."—Pittsburgh Post Gazette
"There's a lot of rock and roll history in the life and times of Robbie Robertson...Robertson delves deeply into [the Band's] tale in his memoir Testimony, tracing their evolution from bar band to Rock and Roll Hall of Famers"—New York Daily News
“Robertson recalls all the key moments of an eventful life with a songwriter's eye for detail… Essential for any devotee of the Band, Dylan, or rock music in the last half of the 20th century.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"This long-awaited and colorfully told memoir paints a masterpiece of a life in rock and roll." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Robertson is a masterful and engaging storyteller who brings his genius for hitting the right note in the right place to his melodious and riveting memoir...." —No Depression
“Robbie Robertson’s Testimony is a book of memories and wonders, a personal testament of a magical time in American music from someone who was there, at the center of it all, playing and casting spells and writing songs that helped define those great lost years. There’s history here, and anecdote, regret and reminiscence, a long fond look back at the trials and triumphs of finding your voice then holding your ground. The tone is easy, conversational, like reminiscing with a friend about things you never realized you were part of too. Robbie brings you along with him, keeps you right by his side first to last, just the way his songs do, drawing you close, spellbound by his easy sorcery. You can feel the music in every word.” —Martin Scorsese
"Well, once I started, I couldn’t put it down. It is such a well-paced, well-structured narrative. Robertson's voice is powerful and strong. He has harnessed vivid language to a clean, elegant, writing style, and the sense of honesty, openness, and completeness makes it so very compelling. The personal and the historic that he bears witness to is, of course, extraordinarily special. One of the best documents of our times. And one of the best books on rock and roll ever written." —Jann Wenner
"Nobody tells a story like Robbie Robertson. I can’t think of a memoir that is more compelling, fascinating, or rich in history. Across every page you can feel his love, passion, and musical genius.” —David Geffen
About the Author
ROBBIE ROBERTSON was the guitarist and principal songwriter in the Band. He has produced many movie soundtracks for Martin Scorsese and others, and continues to record as a solo artist. His most recent record, How to Become Clairvoyant, came out in 2011.
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Robertson’s version of how the other members sold off their publishing rights to him is simply laughable...and horribly sad.
The fact that Robertson was a “no show” at Richard’s memorial service speaks volumes...
Of most importance to many people who will read this book is Robertson's time with Dylan--both on and off stage. His penchant for details paints a fairly vivid picture of the people and those times when so much was happening all around him. Robertson's writing style is straightforward but captivating as he describes the events and people from his viewpoint. He writes about his time with his band mates--both good and bad--and his time with Dylan and others (like the doomed Edie Sedgwick who introduced Robertson to using "special" shots, or the "almost" bank robbery), along with others from that era.
Robertson also writes about his long time feud with fellow band member Levon Helm over songwriting credits/royalties, but for whatever reason never fully delves into the matter. This bitter feud lasted up through Helm's death (read "The Last Waltz" for another look at the feud), but since this is Robertson's story he chose not to go to deeply into their disagreements. But his feelings for Helm and his fellow band members apparently still runs deep.
No matter your feelings on the feud this book is well worth your time reading from Robertson's viewpoint. For just about anyone interested in late '60s/'70s rock music or (especially) if you're a fan of The Band and Dylan and their slog around the world playing Dylan's "new" game-changing music, this book is worth your time. Robertson's way with words and phrases really brings out the flavor of both Robertson himself and that whole era. A good addition to most anyone's music shelf of good books.
And for those who may wonder how I can review a book that's just been released, I'm lucky to have access to books before the sale date.