LEVON HELM AND THE BAND
In the 1980's, the place to go was The Misty Moon in Halifax. Many famous bands played there: Three Dog Night, Edgar Winter, Tower of Power, Long John Baldry and many more. Levon Helm played there with The Cate Brothers and I was fortunate to meet them all.
The owner of the Misty Moon, Terry Panagiotakos, approached me in the crowd and said in his Greek accent, "Pan, you want meet Levon?" Of course I agreed and Terry led me to their dressing room. Apparently Levon had asked Terry if he knew where he could get a puff and Terry immediately thought of me. In those days, we were allowed to smoke weed right in the bar if we kept it down to a dull roar. Levon was such a gentleman, offered me a chair, introduced me to everyone and chatted awhile. Then he leaned over and said in his soft Arkansas accent, "Hey Pam, you wouldn't have a toke for a good friend, would ya?" I am usually prepared for such instances, and this was no exception. Levon was delighted.
We talked shop, of course, and it was a thrill and an honor to be sitting there chatting with Levon about The Band, their last performance together, The Last Waltz and all the other artists who appeared at that concert/movie, including Van Morrison. Levon told me that he really liked the Maritimes and was blown away by the level of musicianship in Halifax. He heard a few of our local acts and said that these groups would be very successful on the States circuit.
Levon and the Cates came back to play the Moon several times and then a most ecxiting thing happened. The Band - THE BAND - was getting back together to tour, the only one change was that one of The Cates was replacing Robbie Robertson. They had been rehearsing and Levon thought that the Moon was the best place to kick off the tour!!!!
There they were....... Levon, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Rick Danko and they opened with "Life is a Carnival".......WOW!!! The place was packed and I think Levon knew that the Halifax audience would be just the ticket. I got to meet them briefly on a break. My - what a lucky girl I am!!!
The Misty Moon moved from Kempt Road to Brunswick Street and I next saw Levon there with the Cate Brothers again. The Band had toured successfully for awhile until tragedy struck. Richard Manuel had died. When I first saw Levon I said that I was so sorry to hear about Richard's passing. He shook his head and proceeded to tell me the sad tale and that he had spent a couple of hours with Richard that night after the gig and he seemed to be really happy with the tour and playing with the boys again.
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