Levon Helm, a founder member of The Band, is close to death’s door.
A website message posted yesterday (April 17) by his daughter, Amy, and wife, Sandy, says:
“Dear friends, Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.
“Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration… He has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage…
“We appreciate all the love and support and concern.”
Helm, 71, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998. The disease damaged his voice, reducing it to a whisper.
Besides drumming Helm lent his soulful Southern tones to Band classics like The Weight and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.