A farewell to Levon Helm, a Canadian, who saw more in music from south of the border than most people who live south of the border. A fantastic singer who played drums at the same time. To have that combination -- a singer drummer --was very rare in the world. Performing with The Band, he helped create the most authentic, modern day interpretation of American history, dating back to the 1860s. They had one of the most incredible historical songs that has been written in the world of rock and roll - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. I am pleased that I am one of the many voices, including Levon's, recorded for Amnesty International -- Toast to Freedom -- which is coming out soon.
But this week the music world lost another one, Dick Clark, someone I admired for many years. I remember like yesterday sitting on the 8th floor of the Holiday Inn hotel in Birmingham, Alabama, with Dick, who was visiting the area. Through our balcony you could see over the fence to the ghetto next door. I didn't know him well enough then, and as we sat quiet I turned towards him and ask: "As an American, what do you think of this?" His answer was "Well, it's just a shame that our country can't deal with this and change this." Getting to know him, I felt kind of stupid afterwards, you know? I found out that Dick was actually fighting the good fight. He was one of the few TV promoters that was colorblind. He had black and white artists on his shows. In his audiences were black kids amongst white kids.