Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A legend visits our neck of the woods...

Levon Helm at the Tennessee Theatre, April 8, 2008.

More photos here.


Josh said...

I was at this show, I am a Knoxville resident, and got to go backstage and meet Mr. Helm. Let me tell you that the man is a class act. He was one of the most genuine and sincere people I have had the pleasure of meeting. Here is an account of the curcumstances of my getting to meet him that I posted on another message board that explains why Levon was so great:

"First of all, they put on a killer show with Levon playing drums most of the night and let me tell you, the man still has that killer groove behind the skins that you hear on the old Band classics. His voice has weathered a bit, but he is 60+ years old and has survived throat cancer for crying out loud! I was actually surprised by how good he still sounded.

Now then, to the reason that I got to meet him and the reason I now have even more respect for the man as a human being than I did before:

The drummer and singer in my band, The Hotshot Freight Train, both teach middle school. One of the English teachers at the school does a project with her kids where they write letters to celebrities that they like/respect with the intentions of teaching the kids how to properly write a business style letter. Most of the celebs will send a photo or something back, which is cool. Well, the teacher, Kay Norris, also writes one as an example for the students. She wrote her's to Levon. He calls the school last week asking for her, tells her how much he respects teachers and that they are overworked and underpaid, gives her his phone number(!), and gives her 24 free tickets to the show and backstage passes!!! We get to the show and in the middle of it all, he dedicates the entire show to Kay Norris and the Clinton Middle School staff! Aferwards, we get backstage and meet the band and Levon comes out, takes the time to talk to everyone one of us and is increadibly gracious. I just shook his hand and told him how much I greatly appreciated his contribution to the world of music and just how much his music really means to me. Since there were so many people, I didn't bother with the autograph/picture routine as I'm sure he was tired and had already done more than enough for us. I had already felt blessed enough just to meet the man. Anyways, He then talks more with Kay and tells him to call her to set up a conference style call for her classroom so he can speak to all of her students!! I was in awe!!

In an age where so many celebrities are total jerks and seem to have no gratitude for their fans, it was refreshing to meet a man who is a legend in the music industry and have him be so kind, thankful and just seem to be such a genuinely good person. I came away from the meeting with a tremendous amount of respect for Mr. Helm."

I love your blog. Please keep it up!!

John Louis Kerns said...

Great, great story. That concert will go down as one of the best I will ever see - maybe the favorite.

I'm glad Mr. Helm did so much for you and your group. It's good to hear things like that...