The Band Woodstock

The Band Woodstock

It was still Sunday and The Band came on around 10 PM. The weekend’s most persistent rumor had been that Bob Dylan would show up. He didn’t, of course, but having having The Band was a close and satisfactory second.

They would play for about 55 minutes.

Personnel:

The Band Woodstock

  • Robbie Robertson: guitar, vocals

The Band Woodstock

  • Garth Hudson: organ, keyboard, saxophone

The Band Woodstock

  • Richard Manuel: piano
  • Rick Danko: bass, vocals

The Band Woodstock

  • Levon Helm: drums, mandolin

The Band Woodstock

Setlist:

  • Chest Fever
  • Don’t Do It
  • Tears of Rage
  • We Can Talk
  • Long Black Veil
  • Don’t You Tell Henry
  • Ain’t No More Cane on the Brazos
  • This Wheel’s on Fire
  • I Shall Be Released
  • The Weight
  • Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever
The Band Woodstock

Chest Fever

Written by Robbie Robertson and featuring Garth Brooks on organ at the start, the song was one of several in the set that had been on their only album to that point, Music From Big Pink which Capital Records had released on July 1, 1968. Bob Dylan had done the cover artwork.

I know she’s a tracker
Any style that would back her
They say she’s a chooser
But I just can’t refuse her
She was just there, but then she can’t be here no more
And as my mind unweaves
I feel the freeze down in my knees
But just before she leaves, she receives
She’s been down in the dunes
And she’s dealt with the goons
Now she drinks from a bitter cup
I’m trying to get her to give it up
She was just here, I fear she can’t be there no more
And as my mind unweaves
I feel the freeze down in my knees
But just before she leaves, she receives
It’s long, long when she’s gone
I get weary holding on
Now I’m coldly fading fast
I don’t think I’m gonna last very much longer
“She’s stoned, ” said the Swede
And the moon calf agreed
But I’m like a viper in shock
With my eyes in the clock
She was just there somewhere and here I am again
And as my mind unweaves
I feel the freeze down in my knees
But just before she leaves, she receives
The Band Woodstock

Don’t Do It

A Band cover. Motown composers Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, and  Edward Holland originally wrote and intended the for the Supremes, but eventually reassigned to Marvin Gaye to record and he had a hit with it.

From WikipediaThe Band recorded the song numerous times under the title “Don’t Do It”.  Different versions, both studio and live, appear on several of their albums and box sets, including the 1972 live release Rock of Ages.

” “Don’t Do It” was the encore performed by The Band in Martin Scorsese‘s 1976 concert film The Last Waltz, though it was featured first in the film. Although it was not included on the 1978 soundtrack album, the track was included in the 2002 box set edition of The Last Waltz soundtrack.

“The version of “Don’t Do It” from Rock of Ages was issued as a single, reaching #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the autumn of 1972; the track was the second – following “Up on Cripple Creek” – and final Top 40 single for the Band. Billboard called this version a “dynamite dance treatment.”

Baby, don’t you do it, don’t do it
Don’t you break my heart, please don’t do it
Don’t you break my heart
I sacrifice to make you happy
Get nothin’ for myself
Now you wanna leave me
For the love of someone else
My pride is all gone, whether right or wrong
I need you, baby, girl, just keep on keepin’ on
And you know I tried to do my best
Well, I try to do my best
Don’t do it
Don’t you break my heart
Please don’t do it
Don’t you break my heart
My biggest mistake was lovin’ you too much
And lettin’ you know
Now you’ve got me where you want me
You won’t let me go, no, no
My heart was made of glass
Well, then you’ll surely see
Heartaches and misery
Girl, you’ve been causin’ me
Well, I’ve been tryin’ to do my best
Well, I try to do my best
Don’t do it
Don’t you break my heart
Please don’t do it
Don’t you break my heart
Go down to the river and there I’ll be
I’m gonna jump in, girl
‘Cause you don’t care about me
Open up your eyes, can’t you see I love you?
Open up your heart, girl
Can’t you see I need you?
Oh baby, don’t do it, do it, do it
Don’t you break my heart
Please don’t do it
Don’t you break my heart
My biggest mistake was loving you too much
And letting you know
How you got me where you want me
You won’t let me go, no, no
If my heart was made of glass
Well, then you’ll surely see
How much heartaches and misery
You’ve been causin’ me
Well, I’ve been tryin’ to do my best
Well, I try to do my best
Don’t do it
Don’t you break my heart
Please, don’t do it
Don’t you break my heart
The Band Woodstock

Tears of Rage

Also from Big Pink, Bob Dylan and Richard Manual co-wrote the tune.

We carried you in our arms
On Independence Day
And now you’d put us all aside
And put us on our way
Oh, what dear daughter ‘neath the sun
Could treat a father so
To wait upon him hand and foot
Yet always tell him, “No?”
Tears of rage, tears of grief
Why must I always be the thief?
Come to me now, you know
We’re so alone
And life is brief,
It was all very, very painless
When you ran out to receive
All that false instruction
Which we never could believe
And now the heart is filled with gold
As if it was a purse
But oh, what kind of love is this
Which goes from bad to worse?
Tears of rage, tears of grief
Why must I always be the thief?
Come to me now, you know
We’re so alone
And life is brief,
We pointed you, the way to go
And scratched your name in sand
Though you just thought that it was nothing more
Than a place for you to stand
Now I want you to know that while you watched
Discovered that there was no one true
That I myself  was among the ones
Who thought It was just a childish thing to do
Tears of rage, tears of grief
Why am I always the one who must be the thief?
Come to me now, you know
We’re so alone
And life is brief
The Band Woodstock

A trickle…

Chip Monch pauses the performance for a few moments because there is an PA issue. A bit of “Testing one two” and Chip again asks those on the light tower to get down and to stay away from the tower’s guy wires as “there is [an electrical] trickle in that area.”

The interruption lasted a few minutes.

We Can Talk

The third song from Big Pink. From Wikipedia:We Can Talk” shows unrelated snippets of conversation between members of The Band. Levon Helm wrote in his autobiography “It’s a funny song that really captures the way we spoke to one another; lots of outrageous rhymes and corny puns.”

We can talk about it now
It’s that same old riddle, only starts from the middle
I’d fix it but I don’t know how
Well, we could try to reason, but you might think it’s treason
One voice for all
Echoing (echoing) echoing along the hall
Don’t give up on father’s clock
We can talk about it now
Come, let me show you how
To keep the wheels turnin’ you got to keep the engine churnin’
Well, did ya ever milk a cow? (Milk a cow?)
Well, I had the chance one day but I was all dressed up for Sunday!
Everybody, everywhere:
Do you really care?
Well, then pick up your heads and walk
We can talk about it now
It seems to me we’ve been holding something
Underneath our tongues
I’m afraid if you ever got a pat on the back
It would likely burst your lungs
Whoa, stop me, if I should sound kinda
Down in the mouth
But I’d rather be burned in Canada
Than to freeze here in the South!
Pulling that eternal plough
We got to find a sharper blade, or have a new one made
Rest awhile and cool your brow
Don’t ya see, there’s no need to slave, the whip is in the grave
No salt, no trance
It’s safe now (you know it’s safe) to take a backward glance
Because the grains have turned to chow!
We can talk about it now,
We can talk about it now
The Band Woodstock

Long Black Veil

The fourth song from Big Pink, but a cove a 1959 country ballad, written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin and originally recorded by Lefty Frizzell.

Ten years ago, on a cool dark night
There was someone killed ‘neath the town hall light
There were few at the scene and they all did agree
That the man who ran looked a lot like me
The judge said, “son, what is your alibi?”
“If you were somewhere else, then you won’t have to die”
I spoke not a word, though it meant my life
I had been in the arms of my best friend’s wife
She walks these hills in a long black veil
She visits my grave where the night winds wail
Nobody knows, no, and nobody sees
Nobody knows but me
The scaffold was high and eternity neared
She stood in the crowd and shed not a tear
But sometimes at night when the cold wind moans
In a long black veil, she cries over my bones
She walks these hills in a long black veil
She visits my grave where the night winds wail
Nobody knows, no, and nobody sees
Nobody knows but me
The Band Woodstock

Don’t You Tell Henry

Someone calls out “Where’s Dylan!” Another says, “We want Dylan.” He’s not there of course, but some of his songs were. Like this one. A Dylan UK site has a lot to say about the song.

Yes, I went down to the river on a Saturday morn
I was lookin’ around just to see who’s born
I spied a little chicken down on his knees
I went up and yelled to him
“Please, please, please!”
He said, “Don’t ya tell Henry
Don’t ya tell Henry
Don’t ya tell Henry
Apple’s got your fly”
Yes, I went down to the beanery at half past twelve
I was lookin’ around just to see myself
I looked high and  low, I looked above
Well who did I see but the one I love
She said, “Don’t ya tell Henry
Don’t ya tell Henry
Don’t ya tell Henry
Apple’s got your fly”
Yeah, I went down to the whorehouse the other night
I was lookin’ around, I was outta sight
I looked at a horse and I saw a mule
I looked for a cow and I saw me a few
They said, “Don’t ya tell Henry
Don’t ya tell Henry
Don’t ya tell Henry
Apple’s got your fly”
Yeah, I went down to the river on a Saturday morn
A-lookin’ around just to see who was born
I saw a little chicken down on his knees
I went up and yelled to him
“Please, please, please!”
He said, “Don’t ya tell Henry
Don’t ya tell Henry
Don’t ya tell Henry
Apple’s got your fly”
The Band Woodstock

Ain’t No More Cane on the Brazos

Ain’t No More… is a cover of a traditional work song and sometimes attributed to Huddie Ledbetter (Lead Belly), but no references can be found for that idea, nor can ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax find that connection.

Ain’t no more cane on the Brazos
Oh, oh, oh-oh
It’s all been ground down to molasses
Oh, oh, oh-oh
You shoulda been on the river in ninteen-and-ten
Oh, oh, oh-oh
They were driving the women just like they drove the men
Oh, oh, oh-oh
Go down old Hannah, don’cha rise no more
Oh, oh, oh-oh
Don’t you rise up til Judgment Day is for sure
Oh, oh, oh-oh
Ain’t no more cane on the Brazos
Oh, oh, oh-oh
It’s all been ground down to molasses
Oh, oh, oh-oh
Captain, don’t you do me like you done poor old Shine
Oh, oh, oh-oh
Well ya drove that bully ’till he went stone blind
Oh, oh, oh-oh
Wake up on a lifetime, hold up your own head
Oh, oh, oh-oh
Well you may get a pardon and then you might drop dead
Oh, oh, oh-oh
Ain’t no more cane on the Brazos
Oh, oh, oh-oh
It’s all been ground down to molasses
Oh, oh, oh-oh
The Band Woodstock

This Wheel’s on Fire

Fifth song from Big Pink and another Dylan collaboration, this with Rick Danko.

If your memory serves you well
We’re going to meet again and wait
So I’m going to unpack all my things
And sit before it gets too late
No man alive will come to you
With another tale to tell
And you know that we shall meet again
If your memory serves you well
This wheel’s on fire, rolling down the road
Best notify my next of kin
This wheel shall explode
If your memory serves you well, I was going to confiscate your lace
And wrap it up in a sailor’s knot and hide it in your case
If I knew for sure that it was yours, and it was oh so hard to tell
And you know that we shall meet again if your memory serves you well
This wheel’s on fire, rolling down the road
Best notify my next of kin
This wheel shall explode
If your memory serves you well, you’ll remember that you’re the one
Who called on them to call on me to get you your favours done
And after every plan had failed and there was nothing more to tell
And you know that we shall meet again if your memory serves you well
This wheel’s on fire, rolling down the road
Best notify my next of kin
This wheel shall explode

 

The Band Woodstock

I Shall Be Released

Sixth song from Big Pink and another Dylan song.

They say everything can be replaced
They say every distance is not near
So I remember every face
Of every man who put me here
I see my light come shining
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released
They say every man needs protection
They say that every man must fall
Yet I swear I see my reflection
Somewhere so high above this wall
I see my light come shining
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released
Now, yonder stands a man in this lonely crowd
A man who swears he’s not to blame
All day long I hear him shouting so loud
Just crying out that he was framed
I see my light come shining
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released
The Band Woodstock

The Weight

The seventh from Big Pink and arguably the best and best known song by the Band, a Robbie Robertson composition.

I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin’ about half past dead
I just need some place where I can lay my head
“Hey, mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed?”
He just grinned and shook my hand, “no” was all he said
Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you put the load right on me
(You put the load right on me)
I picked up my bag, I went lookin’ for a place to hide
When I saw Carmen and the Devil walkin’ side by side
I said, “Hey, Carmen, come on let’s go downtown”
She said, “I gotta go but my friend can stick around”
Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you put the load right on me
(You put the load right on me)
Go down, Miss Moses, there’s nothin’ you can say
It’s just ol’ Luke and Luke’s waitin’ on the Judgment Day
“Well, Luke, my friend, what about young Anna Lee?”
He said, “Do me a favor, son, won’tcha stay and keep Anna Lee company?”
Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you put the load right on me
(You put the load right on me)
Crazy Chester followed me and he caught me in the fog
He said, “I will fix your rack if you’ll take Jack, my dog”
I said, “Wait a minute, Chester, you know I’m a peaceful man”
He said, “That’s okay, boy, won’t you feed him when you can”
Yeah, take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you put the load right on me
(You put the load right on me)
Catch a cannon ball now to take me down the line
My bag is sinkin’ low and I do believe it’s time
To get back to Miss Fanny, you know she’s the only one
Who sent me here with her regards for everyone
Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you put the load right on me
(You put the load right on me)
The Band Woodstock

Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever

After Chip Monck says that he thinks the crowd will have to convince them and the crowd responding enthusiastically, The Band’s encore was another Motown-based song, “Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever.” a 1966 song written by Ivy Jo Hunter and Stevie Wonder and performed by the Four Tops

I remember yet before we met
That every night and day
I had to live the life of a lonely woman
I remember meeting you
Discovering love can be so true
When it’s shared by two instead of one
When you said you love me (when you said you love me)
We could not be parted (we could not be parted)
And I built my world around you (I built my world around you)
I’m so thankful that I found you
And loving you is sweeter than ever
(I ain’t never felt like this before)
Loving you has made my life sweeter than ever, sweeter than ever
Each night I pray we’d never part
For the love within my heart grows stronger
From day to day
As best I can, and how I try
To reassure and satisfy
‘Cause I’d be lost if you went away
‘Cause I really need you (really really need you)
And I need for you to need me too
(If you don’t go breaking my heart)
I have built my world around you
(I have built my world around you)
Baby I’m so thankful that I’ve found you
And loving you has made my life sweeter than ever before
(I ain’t never felt like this before)
And loving you has made my life sweeter than ever
So much sweeter
That’s what loving you (loving you)
‘Cause I really love (really really love you)
And I’m thankful that you love me too
(Thankful that you love me too)
I have built my world around you
(I have built my world around you)
I am truly glad, I am truly glad
That loving you has made my life sweeter than ever
(You don’t know how much this means to me)
When I’m loving you
Me, you, us
Sweeter than ever (tell me about it)
Loving you has made my life sweeter than ever
(You don’t know how much this means to me)
I’m loving you, you made my life sweeter than ever
(You’re sweeter than ever baby)
Sweeter than ever (sweeter than ever)
So much sweeter (sweeter than ever)
Loving you
Loving you is sweeter than ever…
The Band Woodstock