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Robbie Robertson, 1943-2023

11 Aug 2023

Eric Clapton and Robbie Robertson, Crossroads Festival, Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois, Chicago, 28 July, 2007 
Genesis is sad to learn of the passing of Robbie Robertson, guitarist and songwriter for Canadian-American group The Band. He died aged 80 after a long illness on Wednesday 9th August, surrounded by his family.
The Band began backing Bob Dylan in 1966 and grew on to reach international success with a string of hits and musically tight and complex instrumentation. Robertson wrote some of their best-known songs, including 'The Weight' and 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down'. Their final performance on Thanksgiving in 1976 was documented by Martin Scorsese in The Last Waltz, which was released in 1978 and is widely considered one of the greatest documentary concert films ever made. 
Revered and loved by fellow musicians for his songwriting skills, unique voice and guitar sound, the weight of Robbie Robertson's impact cannot be overstated, from the force of The Band, collaborations with legends like Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Joni Mitchell, to his work with Martin Scorsese on The Last Waltz and a number of other films since, including their recently-completed fourteenth film music project, Killers of the Flower Moon.

Robbie was one of the signatories and guitarists featured in our limited edition with Eric Clapton and Friends about The Crossroads Guitar Festivals, Sunshine of Your Love. In the book, Eric Clapton describes their first meeting:

'Robbie and I first met at a friend's house in Los Angeles in the Sixties and I knew I'd met someone I'd want to know through my life. He was a serious guy, a great musician. He was out there in some respects, and I wanted to be around him and see what was going on.' 

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Six Nations of the Grand River to support a new Woodland Cultural Centre.

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