Astronomy Picture of the Day

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Amy Helm

.... ain't that good news!

Deja vu, just keeps coming back to me....

Long Ago

about 40 years ago,
I was in high school, ouch, that hurt.
We lived in
Nowheresville, or Squareville, or Not Chi town or NYC or LA which was hip,
No we lived in little old Edwardsville, Illinois.
Crossroads of the flat lands, Route 66 right through the heart of town.
They started a University there and the cultural blend of
the original settler farmers, laborers, miners, immigrants and
University people was an interesting mix to say the least.
One thing everyone had in common was a love of Ethanol and a love of Music.
The Mississippi River Festival was born out of an inspiration
explained in this book (pictured with a book about the Cahokia Mounds people)
Levon Helm mentions this in his book, This Wheel's on Fire.
(He thought he was in Missouri, I think), It is actually Illinois.
bear with me i have a point somewhere in here
Back then, The Band did a concert there. I missed that one because I was too just a tiny bit.
People do however still talk about that concert, circa 1975??
(I sent Donna back the book that she loaned to me).

There were a million concerts there it seemed, all big names, solid stars even now.
A delightful outdoor venue with perfect acoustics, natural amphitheater and energetic booking staff.
With all that, they still talk about that "The Band" concert.
That is because Bob Dylan stayed at a $5 a night flea bag motel just outside of town and in perfect stealth mode, was undetected by the throng of fans. He hitched a ride to the concert?
 or is that part of the myth?
He went and walked on stage with The Band,
and the drummer was Levon Helm,
Amy Helm's father.

Forever after that, we would drive by the motel and think about how these guys
all had fun with us for a change. Raising their level of fame in our hearts, our adoration of them.
They walked among us, they know the common man, we breathe the same air.
Just like their music did...

Fast forward to
we never thought past 2001 space odyssey,

Fred and I reminisice on Levon concerts we have been to, the Rambles, grateful we went ahead and made the leap to buy tickets we could not afford to see the greatest show on Earth, the Midnight Rambles at Levon's barn, house, studio in Woodstock, NY, the epicenter of what came after the Mississippi River Festival which gave me, a flatlander, a shot in the arm and Nowheresville became somewhere we wanted to be.

In 1981 I moved up here, to beautiful Vermont.
Always aching for shows like those I saw as a teenager at the MRF.
We found them and more...with The Midnight Rambles and Levon Helm concerts.
We even saw The Band at a local barn.

The Rambles, foot tapping, clapping, smiling, laughing,
me remembering the sights and sounds of acoustically perfect night,
Levon's infectious smile and dedication, drive, inspiration.
Behind all that, that fragile man of steel,
Amy Helm.
We saw her last night, in a small venue
Higher Ground, in South Burlington, Vermont, USA.
We knew she was coming because we follow her on fb as well as
and the midnight ramble news on
We love her Dad so much.
We love that Amy loved him so much and helped him do what he wanted to do, Sing.
and Byron Isaacs, the Bass/Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter,
he used to look at Levon with an outward beam of Loving energy-
we saw it close up.
We saw Amy's concern and caring for him
which made all the difference.
Last night we heard and saw Amy doing that thing her Dad did.
She was putting it all together, the glue, the looks,
the sound,
all together.
No one competing,
A special night. Byron there too,
humble talented people.
As a man went up on stage I thought he was someone of fame,
feeling ignorant again of even locally famous people of music that
I have had no connections to at all. (correction by indirect remote association :) my husband went to grade school with Mr. Lavoie, the harmonica player. I did not know Aaron Flinn
 or the Phish bass player Gordon)
All I know is this will be a concert talked about for a long time,
and people may wonder how we happened to stumble onto front row seats,
and all I can say is thanks to the Universe for last night.
We will always remember it.


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