Rick Danko and Bob Dylan (22 Photos and 5 Videos)

Rick Danko and Bob Dylan (22 Photos and 5 Videos)

Sources : expectingrain.com,www.edlis.org/cafe,google images,pinterest,facebook

Credits: 

Karl Erik Andersen (expectingrain.com)

https://www.expectingrain.com/dok/who/d/dankorick.html

This is originally a usenet post

Peter Stone Brown

Original article link  : https://theband.hiof.no/articles/psb_danko.html

 

23- Bob Dylan Rick Danko

Fairly rare photograph of Dylan on piano in Chicago on 3rd. January 1974. With Rick Danko & Garth Hudson by J. P. Laffont.

 

rick-danko

“Then we got tired of the motel, and I went house hunting and found Big Pink. It was a pink suburban-looking split-level with three bedrooms and a long view of Overlook Mountain. It came with a hundred acres of woods and fields and had a pond. So, Richard, Garth and I moved in. Robbie rented a house on the Glasco Turnpike in Woodstock with his beautiful French girlfriend, Dominique.

“Big Pink was our clubhouse. Richard did all the cooking, Garth washed all the dishes (he didn’t trust anyone else to do them because he wanted them clean), and I took the garbage to the dump, personally, and kept the fireplace going with split logs. That’s how we settled in. We were paid a weekly retainer by Bob, and it was the first time in our lives where we had a chance to relax. We’d been on the road nonstop for six years at that point, and for the first time we didn’t have to play joints to stay alive anymore.”
~ Rick Danko

Extract Levon’s This Wheel’s on Fire.

Photo Credit: Elliott Landy.

 

1-

1- Rick Danko and Bob Dylan, 1966.

The first time I saw Rick Danko was in 1965 in Newark, New
Jersey.. He was a member of The Hawks and was backing up Bob
Dylan. It was my fourth Bob Dylan show and my second electric
Dylan show. Somehow I had a front row center seat I’d bought at
the theater that afternoon. I really didn’t know who the Hawks
were. I didn’t know who Rick Danko was. They weren’t introduced
and there was no program book. I found out a few days later when
I saw the program from the show the night before in New York at
Carnegie Hall, and I realized that most of those guys (not Danko)
were on this John Hammond album I had. I remember there were
guards at either side of the stage and this band didn’t look at
all like Dylan. They were all wearing suits and had really short
hair. There was like a wall of Fender showman amps running
across the stage and it was loud. I remember Danko and Robertson
were moving like mad and every time there was a solo Dylan would
turns towards them. I didn’t know when I left the hall that
night that it would be almost four very long years before I would
see that band again and almost nine years before I would see Bob
Dylan again.

2-

2- With Bob Dylan

 All I had to tide me over was the flipside of the single, "I Want
You," a live version of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" that I
would play every chance I got at top volume.

Finally as the spring of 1968 turned to summer, there was word
that that band, now called The Band was putting out an album, and
soon the FM rock stations were playing a song called "The
Weight," but since the album wasn't out, you didn't know that and
thought it was called "Take A Load Off Fanny."  And then that
album appeared just in time to be a birthday present.  I'd never
heard anything like it, or seen anything like it. From Dylan's
crazy child-like cover painting to the next of kin photo to that
photo of these outlaw-looking guys who looked like they just
stepped in from the last century with the upstate New York hills
behind them.  And though it didn't say on the cover, somehow I
knew who was who and who was singing each song.  It was a
life-changing album, and sounded nothing like what I'd remembered
from long ago in 1965.  It was country and blues and rock and
roll and gospel and in its own way weird psychedelic all wrapped
up in one with songs that were new but somehow sounded like you'd
heard them all your life.  It was tough, and funky and singers
shouted out the songs with guts in a way I'd never heard before
and they could play!

 

 And one of the first songs to really hit me and it still hits me
31 years later was "Caledonia Mission" sung by Rick Danko.  Those
first words, "She reads the leaves..." it was country but it was
more than that.  It was just so incredibly soulful and full of
feeling.  And then there was his verse in "The Weight," still my
favorite verse, "Crazy Chester followed me.... " I'd never heard
anyone sing like that.  Blew me away.  And on the other side,
"Long Black Veil," and then "This Wheels On Fire," one of two Bob
Dylan collaborations with Garth's wild keyboards and Robbie's
totally crazy guitar and Danko's always-on-top-of-it thumping
bass.  And soon musicians all over the place were stopping what
they were doing and getting back to real rock and roll.  Clapton
decided he wanted no more of Cream and pronounced The Band the
greatest thing he'd ever heard.  He even wanted to join them.
Satanic Majesties and Sgt. Peppers Mystery Tours left in the
dust. It was like no one noticed how truly weird "Chest Fever"
was.

3-

3- Bob Dylan. Rick Danko

 

 And everyone couldn't wait to see them, but within two months of
the album's release Rick Danko broke his neck in a car crash and
everything was on hold.  It was a too-familiar scenario.

It was a long wait made slightly easier by the appearance of what
was called The Basement Tapes sometime during the winter.  My
first copy was on reel-to-reel tape, and getting one was a
clandestine operation, almost like buying dope.  I was visiting
someone in Philly who knew someone who had one, and I took a
lonesome trolley car out to some neighborhood I'd never been in
at night, and was kept outside waiting. It was like Big Pink but
different, like John Wesley Harding, but different.  Many of the
songs were mournful and spooky and others like "Million Dollar
Bash" were hysterical.  "Wheels On Fire" unlike the Big Pink
version was slow and scary as any Robert Johnson song.

4-

4- Rick Danko and Bob Dylan

 Finally in the spring of '69, they were perfoming first in San
Francisco, an opening night disaster with Robertson sick and a
hypnotist conducting him on-stage.

And then at last they came to the Fillmore East.  And it was a
strange set-up with Garth's organ back where the drums should be
and Levon on the right.  They didn't say anything except thank
you, but played just about all of Big Pink and some other songs
as well, songs that would eventually appear on the Basement Tapes
like "Ain't No More Cane," and a song that never appeared on
record that they'd learned from Levon's dad called, "Little
Birdies," and then a Four Tops song, "Lovin' You Is Sweeter Than
Ever." But they got that sound on stage.  The Big Pink sound. 
The Band sound. And they were tight, tightest band I ever saw. 
Tight like James Brown's Famous Flames or Booker T.  They left no
doubt that they knew exactly what they were doing.  And they
switched instruments too.  Rick would play acoustic and Robbie
would play bass.  Richard would play drums and Levon played
mandolin, and Garth would play piano, accordion and sax.

5-

5-Rick Danko and Bob Dylan

 That fall I got to see them again, this time in Boston at a very
crazy Halloween show with Van Morrison.  Two shows.  Nobody knew
who Van Morrison was and he was crazy drunk that night, lying
down on the stage of the Boston Academy of Music doing songs from
Astral Weeks and the then un-released "Moondance."  I'd gone to
the show with him.  After the show we went to the Band party at
the Boston Sheraton, but only Danko showed up.  There were all
kinds of people there from the Boston folk community like Maria
Muldaur and the Band's road-manager Jon Taplin who I used to
listen to on the radio every Sunday night from Princeton.  I was
18 and trying to make myself as invisible as possible.  The
Band's second album had just come out and was just as remarkable
if not more remarkable than the first.  They were going to be on
Ed Sullivan the next night, and Rick was saying, "I'm gonna shake
Ed Sullivan's hand man."  I watched it the next night of course,
and sure enough when "Cripple Creek" was over, Danko made sure he
shook Ed Sullivan's hand.

6-

6- Rick Danko and Bob Dylan

 I saw the Band as much as possible over the next few years and
bought all their albums the day they came out.  They moved from
theaters to arenas and their sound got harder and tougher and
louder, but they never lost that tightness.

7-

7 -Rick Danko and Bob Dylan

 One day in the fall of '73, I got out of bed, went down to the
kitchen to get some coffee and my roommate says to me, "They just
announced in on the radio, Dylan and the Band are going to tour."
 I think they put a chair under me.

8-

8- Rick Danko, Bob Dylan and Robbie Robertson, 1966.

 It wasn't going to be for a couple of months.  "Knocking on
Heaven's Door" was a big hit at the time, but Dylan had left
Columbia and The Band had been inactive for awhile.  The tickets
were by mail order only to some weird address called "Box Lunch."
 They were eight bucks, the most expensive ticket anyone had ever
heard of at the time.  They had to be postmarked on a certain
date.  I went down to the main post office at midnight.

9-

band-corbis-650-80

 Finally the day came, Dylan walking on-stage in a dumpy sports
jacket and scarf, switching to a white shirt-jacket for the
acoustic set.  The Band was the Band, blasting out their own
special brand of Dylan rock behind him, and then turning into The
Band for their own set and back again.

10-

Bob Dylan performs live on stage with Rick Danko and Robbie Robertson of The Band at Madison Square Garden New York

 The next time I saw Rick Danko was in the fall of '75 in
Hartford.  By some stroke of magic, a friend of a friend had
gotten a few tickets to the Rolling Thunder Revue.  We borrowed
someone's parents car and made the 200 mile trip.  Somehow this
friend's friend knew who we were and slipped us a little white
rolled up piece of paper.  Properly inspired, we took our rather
excellent seats.  I sat down and looked around and sitting right
there in the next section was Rick Danko without his moustache. 
Sometime during the first half he appeared on-stage and sang, "It
Makes No Difference," with Allen Ginsberg on tambourine.
Northern-Light Southern Cross wasn't out yet.

11-

Bob Dylan with Robbie Robertson and Rick Danko of The Band

 The next year The Band toured again.  They were still great and
even had a little horn section with Larry Packard on fiddle. 
They did an incredible "Acadian Driftwood," but something was
missing.  Something wasn't right.  Richard Manuel was having
trouble on-stage and the old magic wasn't quite there.  Within a
couple of weeks came the announcement of the Last Waltz.

12-

Bob Dylan, Rick Danko and Neil Young at S.N.A.C.K. Sunday in San Francisco, 1975

 
A couple of years later, while being a volunteer disc-jockey at a
local college station I got to interview Rick Danko while he was
on tour promoting his first solo album.  He was playing a club
which was something special in those days.  One of his roadies
led me out to his tour bus.  It was maybe my third interview and
I was pretty damn nervous.  I go into his little private room at
the back of the bus, he's sitting there wearing glasses and
reading.  I introduce myself, and he puts on this big grin,
sticks out his hand and says, "Smoke a joint of some really good
Mexican, man!"  He talked to me for an hour.  We went through the
whole history of the Band, Ronnie Hawkins, Sonny Boy Williamson,
his new album, right up the '66 World Tour... "and then we went
around the world with Bob," and I'm just about to say, "and what
was that like," when he says, "I gotta get ready to go on-stage
man."

13-

Bootleg Bonanza Bob Dylan, Levon Helm, Rick Danko

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOdlolh9cZw

 I went back to the club to watch the second set and had barely
taken my seat when a roadie appeared, saying, "You forgot this
man."  It was my notebook.  I was always touched that Danko
noticed and sent it back out to me.

14-

Levon Helm, Bob Dylan, Rick Danko w. Shredni Volper, Lone Star Cafe, NYC

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