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Levon Helm

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  • If you feel like you're getting into a rut with a song, a night off usually fixes it.

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  • I like walking on the edge.

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  • The way to do it is to put as much life into the song as I can. You can either get it to breathe or you can't.

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  • Most of our stuff was trial and error. You live with a tape recorder, you turn it on, you play the song and you listen to it.

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  • If things are going slow, I'm itchy.

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  • Anytime I switch to another instrument, I immediately turn it into another kind of drum so that I can understand it better.

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  • Forever Young, by Dylan, is one of my favorite songs.

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  • When the second record came out, they started calling it The Band. I voted to call it The Crackers. I'm no fool.

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  • A friend of mine took me to Memphis advised me that I should get in the musicians' union. He gave me a set of drums and said, Stay on the job, son.

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  • Conway Twitty was always our local hero while I was growing up. He had a series of good bands. I wanted to sit in, if Conway would let me. And he did a couple of times.

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  • The crowd is just as important as the group. It takes everything to make it work.

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  • The Band never really played big concert tours. We never sold millions and millions of albums.

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  • I've had all the lessons I could get. I've learned from everybody I've ever met.

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  • My dad and I played music. He teaches me a song or two every time I'm home.

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  • With horns and a full rhythm section, the drums always looked like the best seat in the house.

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  • We all love musical architecture; there's no doubt about that.

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  • Good times don't last long sometimes.

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  • I like to get within handshaking distance of the crowd. If it happens, they know it, we know it, and that's all we came here for.

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  • If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out.

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  • There were no rules, other than that the song should sound good and be fun to play.

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  • You can either make it come around or you can't. By the time we would be ready to record a song, we would know for sure that it was the best way we could do it.

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  • Drums usually seem to tune themselves.

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  • Don't we all want what's best for each other?

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  • The Jungle Bush Beaters didn't last too long as a group, but we had a pretty good time while we did.

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  • Well, somebody's got to sing. They won't hire you unless you sing.

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  • By the time The Band did The Last Waltz, the chemistry had changed, and it wasn't a thrill anymore to live that studio kind of life.

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  • Dad and mom would have preferred that I be a doctor, a lawyer, a scientist, or a great humanitarian.

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  • I played some Yamaha drums that I like a lot. And I like the Yamaha people a lot too. They've been really nice to me and The Band.

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  • We're all dealt with the same hand here, so to speak. I feel like I've had it a lot better than most people. I've had the opportunity to travel and play music all my life.

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  • Drums just always sounded like the most fun part of that good music for me.

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