HomePoliticsRobbie Robertson, the revolutionary leader of The Band, dies at 80

Robbie Robertson, the revolutionary leader of The Band, dies at 80

Let me be completely honest. I have no clue of what it was like to be born in the rock and roll generation, I was born nearly 5 decades after. My generation was witnessing the surge of pp and hip-hop. And it wasn’t until I was 12 that I first heard an Elvis Presley song, You Were Always On My Mind. It took another seven years when I turned 19, the year I had my first relationship/breakup, that I was gifted an encyclopedia on rock and roll by my esteemed mother and the storehouse of knowledge it is that today I will be writing an article on rock and roll, a subject that is now closer to my heart than I would have thought.

Elvis in Jailhouse Rock

Rock and Roll was called the Devil’s music in the erstwhile America of the 50s where it first originated, credited to DJ Alan Freed who, barring his payola scandal, invented the term itself as we know it today. The explosive nature of rock and roll did not come to the peak until the pompadour haired, lithe Elvis broke onto the scene in 1956 and soon had legions of screaming fans, mostly girls that wanted him and boys as well, who wanted to be like him. The late 50s included the visionaries of this form like Chuck Berry who with his addictive hooks and trademark duck walk, the thickly bespectacled, hiccuping Buddy Holly, the more upbeat, teenage hopefulness personified Eddie Cochran and others, they laid down the foundation. It is worth noting that they didn’t manage to live to ripe old age like Berry, and instead died inglorious deaths while in their 20s.

It was in the more sober, wisecracking 60s that spawned bands like the Beatles, Rolling Stones that one by the name of The Band( yes that is the actual name) made their mark. Their songs were about angst, loneliness and a sort of existentialism that would have made Albert Camus proud, which made them stand apart for nearly all their career, until 1994 when they were inducted into the hall of fame for rock and roll and then it finally ended much more amicably than most in 1999. They were men of the 20th century and they enjoyed a more than good quarter of it.

Robbie Robertson, the perfect hippie looking leader of this band has passed away at the age of 80, but with a legacy few could ask for and fewer have earned. He stood by his philosophies in the ever crazed world of rock and roll, led a sober life as compared to the outrageous showmanship as shown by Marc Bolan or Prince, collected his dues quietly and left.

Not sure what more a man can ask for, in a world of trends, he remains a classic.

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