The mythic “Band” we hoped never would end

Once Were Brothers

The Band were a roots, rock group.

Their original members were four Canadians and one American.

The American was Rick Danko (bass guitar, vocals, fiddle).

The other four were Garth Hudson (keyboards, accordion, saxophone), Richard Manuel (keyboards, drums, vocals), Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals), and Levon Helm (drums, vocals, mandolin, guitar).

The Band was different, one of the first who fused country music and early rock and roll plus there was a Motown or STAX style blues mixed in. Robbie is credited as writer or co-writer of the majority of the Band's songs (that would later cause problems) because he received most of the songwriting royalties generated from the music.

Only Robbie and Garth are still with us.

Once Were Brothers is a tell-all film or sorts, a 2019 Canadian documentary film, directed by Daniel Roher. A portrait of the influential roots rock group The Band, the film is based in part on Robbie Robertson's 2017 memoir Testimony.

The semi-documentary serves as a confessional, cautionary, and occasionally humorous tale of Robbie's young life and the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music, The Band.

I was especially interested in tales from the Big Pink, which was a house in West Saugerties, New York, which was the location where Bob Dylan and The Band recorded The Basement Tapes, and The Band wrote their album Music from Big Pink.

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