Legendary drummer Levon Helm of The Band his currently fighting through the “final stages of his battle with cancer” according to wife Sandy.
Levon’s wife and daughter Amy made the announcement on the drummers website Tuesday night and with the message they wrote:
“Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey. Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration … he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage … We appreciate all the love and support and concern.”
Born in Arkansas Helm played in a rockabilly band in the 1950s before eventually packing up and moving to Canada where he joined guitarist Robbie Robertson and three other fellow musicians to form the back-up band for Bob Dylan. The group would eventually become known as The Band and would go on to feature the drumming and vocal stylings of Levon Helm for such hits as Up on Cripple Creek and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.
The band performed its last show in 1976, that performance would be filmed by Martin Scorses and titled The Last Waltz.
Here’s a clip of Levon Helm performing on David Letterman (performance starts at 1:00):
Levon Helm is a very influential figure in the world of music and our best wishes go out to his family and friends as he continues to suffer through the final stages of cancer.