Remembering Robbie Robertson | Canadian musician dead at 80Aug 10, 2023
We have breaking news, there are several reports that Canadian singer-songwriter Robbie Robertson has died at the age of 80. He led the Canadian American rock group, the band in the 1970s, Robertson was instrumental in creating the American musical genre. Robinson also pursued a solo career and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Robertson is also ranked 59th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists. Music commentator Eric Alper joins us now for more on this, let's talk, Eric. First of all, about your reaction to this news.
He was a big figure in the music scene. Yes. I started surprised. Like many of my colleagues I spoke to in the last 10 or 15 minutes, no one even knew he was sick. But this certainly comes as a huge blow, not only to music fans around the world, but especially here at home due to the huge and significant influence Robbie has had on the music industry and his contributions to the music, whether as a
musicianor composer. a narrator as a collaborator as a film collaborator, you know, there may not be anyone else who was cooler, more modern, who lasted as long, in the industry, drawing on American history and folklore and his own experiences to create something from literally nothing and helped create the elk country and roots folk genres in the process of this being a huge loss to the music industry and music fans around the world Eric, you know you were mentioning some of their collaborations , worked with Bob Dylan, worked with Martin Scorsese, and just completed his 14th project with Martin Scorsese.
Tell us a little more about that side of him and how he was able to go from being a guitarist and composer to someone who worked in film, yeah, for sure. I mean it does, it sounds like it's a wide berth on paper, but when you look at Robbie Robertson's bands and solo work with strong lyrics, his own ability to stir up emotions in his songs to, in a way, weave these vivid narratives throughout the process. of a three and a half minute song, it is not surprising that he ended up working with someone like Martin Scorsese or other directors on soundtracks because he had the ability to combine many musical styles and genres together and build the artistic. mediums, you know, in that earlier clip of the band playing on The Last Waltz for their last concert or working with Martin on fictional Tales um, it's not that much of a stretch to say that their experiences, their storytelling and their songs were easily led to someone more did it right behind the camera, tell us a little more about his influence as an artist.
I mean you know someone who's had his career must have had an impact on a lot of
musicians not only in Canada but elsewhere as well, oh yeah I mean he just influenced everyone, it's no exaggeration to say I think anyone who worked in the country music world and the folk world after any time from 1968 onwards influenced the Beatles and is particularly George Harrison in his last photo shoot The Beatles looked like members of the band who were dressed, you know, brown suits like the band, they grew their hair and beards, as did the band and, in fact, it extends from the Beatles to Taylor Swift.
In fact, their last two albums, including Folklore, were based on the Roots folk movement that the band helped create, so not only do you have those two giants side by side, but also the Beatles and Taylor Swift, but somewhere in between there are probably a million bands that had been influenced by the sound of the band Eric Albert, a musical commentator who joins us today. Thank you so much Eric for helping us remember Robbie Robertson.
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