I hate to post another "R.I.P." topic, but

… since nobody else has.

Droppin’ it and leavin’ it …


… and for those who never heard of Robbie Robertson.

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I saw The Band twice. The first time was with Dylan when he did his ‘comeback’ tour after his early recluse years (who knew that would become never ending). This tour is on the Before The Flood recording. Amazing show.

Shortly after that I moved to San Francisco. When The Band announced their own tour a year or so later I badgered all my friends into getting tickets - telling them how great The Band was live. Then they announced they were breaking up and our show morphed into The Last Waltz except we had to exchange our tickets for new ones and pay the price difference. At that time tickets normally ran in the $2-5 range (with $5 seen as very pricey) and these cost $25 which caused some to have second thoughts. I believe this triggered the transition to steep ticket prices. Bill Graham was never specific about who was going to be on the show, just that it would have an amazing lineup and to trust him. I guess if you are going to trust anyone about booking a show - Bill Graham is a good choice.

Winterland was fairly small for an arena style venue. We sat in the balcony (vs standing on the floor for 6+ hours) - with the stage at noon, we were at about 2PM. This turned out to be an excellent location as we could see back into the stage-right wings. In the movie there’s a scene where Joni Mitchel is singing backstage, out of sight to most in the audience - but not us. Also recall spotting then governor Jerry Brown in the wings. He was dating Linda Ronstadt at the time.

Besides the performers in the main show there were a lot of others who were mostly there to party and then join them for the finale and after-show jam. The jam was exactly what you’d expect from a bunch of very stoned rock stars who’ve been drinking all day. One of these was Ringo in his prime substance abuse days. I was watching him through binoculars when a funny thing happened. He was playing a ride cymbal with one hand when the drumstick went tumbling out of his hand landing a few feet in front of his kit. Except Ringo didn’t initially notice the stick was missing and continued to ‘play’ without it until he slowly becomes aware of the situation as he stares at his empty but still moving hand. I’ve always wondered if that got caught on film and is sitting in storage somewhere.

I’m either in the circle below, or visiting the restroom.


That’s awesome, raino! Thanks for sharing.


Fabulous recollection, Raino. I never saw them live. That doesn’t mean I don’t do a lot of covers of Robbie Robertson and the Band these days.

I was able to (finally) find a Last Waltz artifact I have. At the time I was a student working evenings at a t-shirt silkscreen print shop. Bill Graham had his own high volume print shop that did most of the shirts for his shows. However we sometimes did overflow work for them and also small specialty runs - which is what this is.

When the silk screeners were setting up they would initially do some test prints on cloth napkins. This shirt was made for the performers & crew who were staying at a hotel in the nearby Japan Center. It shows everyone’s name and room number(s) so they can find each other. Presumably this facilitated the legendary partying.


Oh, my … ! That’s incredible! Thanks for sharing more of your history. These little gems are fascinating to me. I was just thinking about Kinky Friedman this morning, and … there he is on the list! :sunglasses: