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It's also striking how detailed some of the scenes are. One of the things that I wrote about is that my birth father's mother was renowned for her memory -- she was a bootlegger so she couldn't write down any addresses or phone numbers. There's one in New Zealand, there's one in Sweden or Norway – it's a lovely thing.My birth father went on to become a gambler and won because he was a card counter. We were in the moment – we were playing songs we had hardly played before with people from Joni Mitchell to Muddy Waters – and all we could think about was trying to rise to the occasion. We didn't have a lot of money, so Boris Levin, the production designer, went to the opera, got the set from [his historical drama about Portuguese missionaries in seventeenth century Japan].Refreshingly, though, he has no axes to grind -- even against Levon Helm, who denounced Robertson in his book.marked Robertson's retirement from touring, but not from music: Since then he's worked on most of Scorsese's soundtracks, made several critically acclaimed solo albums, and worked as a creative executive at Dream Works Records.Here, The Band's guitarist and songwriter Robbie Robertson, 70, talks about the concert and his life in music. When the record company came to me a few months ago, they said: “We have found the tapes, should we do something? I said: “Oh boy”, because when this record came out in 1972, it was extremely well received and did very well. When you know about these artists in the book, everything else in music makes sense. Parents can share things with their kids and create a bond when they know that Louis Armstrong changed music in the world. Once you know this stuff, you carry it with you for the rest of your life. The Band was really the most extreme example of picking different musicianship and putting it into a dumbbell-pot and mixing it up. We were together seven years before we made big things and in those years we were travelling throughout the South and all over the place and we were gathering gospel and rock and jazz and blues and everything. When we made our first record people were like: “Where on earth did this come from? Now the irony is that there are so many artists today who are influenced by The Band. A lot of music is fun for today but it isn’t supposed to be timeless, it’s supposed to be trendy.
That was a statement I was making, so I didn't want to say 'just kidding.' We [in the Band] had played the lowest places you could possibly play and we had played some of the biggest events in music history and it got to the point where I didn't know what else I could do besides do it as a business.I spoke to my fellow writers and they said The Band is the ultimate thing in combining all these artists but I wasn’t comfortable with that. I hope if we have a second book, we can get to all of the other tremendous artists we didn't fit in, people such as Woody Guthrie.Bob Dylan is in the book and worked with you closely. Bob Dyan is as influential as any artist that there has been. I thought it was spectacular and it was all improvised, as we had a rehearsal that night and we did two songs. He just kept it on during rehearsal, I thought maybe he was just going to use it in the show.I felt like I was in the same play every night, and I wanted to experiment.There are two TV series I'm working on right now – I'm a producer and a writer – and I'm involved in an artwork project.