On April 19th two years ago, Levon Helm passed away. Here is his final resting place, at the Woodstock Cemetery. Like almost all final resting places, there is something ineffable about his, an inadequate valediction that only goes to show how gloriously rich and complex life is. After all, what could you put here that would memorialize him even half as much as one of Levon’s performances would, in all its evanescence?
On Friday, April 11, Rizzoli Bookstore, a small capital of civilization and culture on West 57th Street, closed its doors. A victim of rising rents and falling readership, Rizzoli was a great place to kill time; it always made one feel connected to larger, smarter, more beautiful world. Rizzoli’s owners hope to resurrect the store in another locale; we devoutly hope for their successs.
On Sunday April 6th, a rather glorious day, I drove up to Woodstock to attend the Biographers Panel at the Woodstock Writers Festival, where my friend Henry Bushkin was holding forth about his memoir Johnny Carson. The panel, which was hosted by Will Hermes, a music writer who is working on a biography of Lou Reed, and included J. Michael Lennon, author of a biography of the Norman Mailer; Holly George Warren, the biographer of Alex Chilton; and Tom Folsom, author of a biography of Dennis Hopper. A lively and informative panel!
Dave Jensen and I saw Phil Lesh and Friends at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester last night. Pretty good show, undermined by a gabby crowd that kept yakking whenever the band turned mellow, jazzy or trippy. Lesh, the bassist for the Grateful Dead, was accompanied by John Kadlecik, Jeff Chimenti, Joe Russo, a fabulous violinist whose name was something like Tynsdale, and our friends Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams. Highlights: Friend of the Devil, Tennessee Jed, Not Fade Away, and Teresa’s powerful River Deep, Mountain High.