Clips & Pix: Bob Dylan & The Band/I Shall Be Released

Yesterday (April 7) was the 40th anniversary of the release of The Last Waltz, the triple LP album by The Band and soundtrack to the 1978 concert film directed by Martin Scorsese. The album and picture document the group’s official farewell concert at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco on Thanksgiving Day in 1976.

The Bob Dylan tune I Shall Be Released was the closing number of the official show. In addition to Dylan and The Band, it featured other high caliber guests, who had performed earlier during the show, including Van Morrison, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood, Ronnie Hawkins and Neil Diamond.

Many critics have called the film one of the best rock concert movies; however, not everybody agreed. Notably, The Band’s Levon Helm charged the film portrays The Band as sidemen of Robbie Robertson. He also called it “the biggest fuckin’ rip-off that ever happened to the Band,” adding he and the other group members Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel didn’t earn a dime from the film and the soundtrack album.

Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube

One thought on “Clips & Pix: Bob Dylan & The Band/I Shall Be Released”

  1. I am a big fan of The Band- having all their albums and the two box sets they released also. Although I think The Last Waltz is a great rock and roll film I have to agree with the band members – the film certainly makes it seem that it was the Robbie Robertson Show- with the rest as back up members. Marty Scorsese and Robbie were tight friends at the time and I believe living in the same house- and partying it up big time. The thinking at the time was Robbie was going to end up being a movie star. The greatest rock concert film? I would say it is at least in the conversation. I haven’t seen it in years- should give it another viewing.

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