Robbie Robertson Gets Deep About ‘The Irishman,’ Scorsese, and ‘Once Were Brothers’

Variety | 10/29/2019 | Jem Aswad
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As guitarist and chief songwriter with the Band, one of the most influential groups of the 1960s and ’70s, Robbie Robertson’s legacy was established long ago. After its early days with blues singer Ronnie Hawkins and a tumultuous stint as Bob Dylan’s backing band at the peak of his near-hysterical mid-1960s fame, the Band began its own career in 1968. The galvanizing “Music From Big Pink” was an album so influential it rubbed off on the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and inspired Eric Clapton to visit them in an unfulfilled hope that they’d ask him to join. At the center of the group’s fusion of blues, rock, folk, soul and other genres were Robertson’s cinematic songs, including “The Weight,” “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” which are filled with epic stories and unusual characters.

In the 40-plus years since the original incarnation of the Band played itself off with the 1976 “Last Waltz” concert and film, Robertson has released several solo albums, but primarily he’s plied a related path, working in just about every film-music role under the sun. His IMDb profile includes credits as music consultant, music producer, executive music producer, soundtrack producer and, presumably as a catch-all involving scoring, simply “musician.” His work, most prominently with Martin Scorsese, ranges from “Raging Bull” and “Casino” to “The Color of Money” and the forthcoming “The Irishman.” He even took on multiple roles as co-screenwriter, co-producer and co-star, alongside Jodie Foster and Gary Busey, in the 1978 film “Carny.”

Robertson - Variety - Credits - Movies - Task

“I just say, ‘Whatever you want to call it,’” Robertson laughs of his wide variety of credits. “In all these movies the task could be completely different. Sometimes it’s writing original music, sometimes it’s [music supervision], sometimes it’s collaborative. I don’t read or write music, so I...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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