Guest Author - Lizz Shepherd
The Band never reached the kind of popularity that The Beatles and The Who enjoyed, but they were an influence on both as well as on many of the most popular bands of the late 60s and early to mid-70s. The Beatles, Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Grateful Dead have all admitted being influenced by the Band. The sound of The Beatles' last album, Let It Be, was said to have been largely the result of The Band's musical influence.
The Band was a group of five musicians- one American and four Canadians. The group, made up of Richard Manuel, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Levon Helm and Rick Danko had a back-to-basics sound that was a refreshing change for many from the increasingly complex music coming out of most late-60s bands. The group was known as the Canadian Squires when they first released a single in 1965. Following the single, they were asked to play along with Bob Dylan on his 1965 and 1966 concert tours.
The name "The Band" was what the group was popularly called while on tour with Bob Dylan, and the name stuck. They later played on Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes. Their popularity continued to grow until they broke up temporarily in 1976. In 1983, Manual committed suicide, making a complete reunion impossible. But in 1986 the remaining members, minus Robbie Robertson, assembled again and remained a group until 1999.
Bob Dylan and The Band singing Mrs. Henry:
The Band continues to inspire today. The era of the Basement Tapes has become a part of Bob Dylan's mythology and legend.