Robbie Robertson, lead guitarist and songwriter of The Band, dies

Entertainment

Robbie Robertson, lead guitarist and songwriter of The Band, has died aged 80.

Robertson was behind such classics as The Weight, Up On Cripple Creek, and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.

He died surrounded by his family, a statement from his manager said.

The Band initially served as Bob Dylan’s backing group – before becoming highly influential in the 1960s and 70s. They played at Woodstock in 1969.

Bob Dylan and Robbie Robertson performing at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970. Pic: Mike Walker/Shutterstock
Image:
Bob Dylan and Robbie Robertson performing at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970. Pic: Mike Walker/Shutterstock

Besides Robertson, who was born in Canada, the group featured drummer-singer Mark “Levon” Helm and bassist-singer-songwriter Rick Danko, keyboardist singer-songwriter Richard Manuel and all-around musical wizard Garth Hudson.

The Band are still defined by their first two albums, Music From Big Pink and the self-titled The Band, both released in the late 1960s.

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Director Martin Scorsese and Robbie Robertson. Pic: AP
Image:
Director Martin Scorsese and Robbie Robertson. Pic: AP

Robertson also frequently collaborated with Martin Scorsese, including on the director’s latest movie Killers Of The Flower Moon.

The Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

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