Testimony (out of print)
With songs like 'The Weight', 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' and 'Up on Cripple Creek', songwriter/guitarist Robbie Robertson and his partners in The Band introduced a music lexicon, one soaked in the mythology of the Old South that has influenced countless musicians. In this remarkable memoir, Robertson weaves together his rollicking years with rockabilly Ronnie Hawkins; The Band's formation and trial-by-fire supporting Bob Dylan on his '66 world tour, and the cloistered sessions leading to their unique sound. He recounts being part of Dylan's Blonde on Blonde recording sessions (on the album he is credited as Jaime Robertson), and catapulting to fame on the release of The Band's Music From Big Pink in 1968 and takes us through the astonishing album run that culminated in The Last Waltz farewell concert, which was made into a film of the same name by Martin Scorsese. With a supporting cast that includes Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddly, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, Miles Davis, Van Morrison, Salvador Dali, Carly Simon, Marlon Brando, Allen Ginsberg and David Crosby, Testimony is the story of seismic 1960s change, of how Dylan and The Band redefined culture, and of the profound friendship between five men who created music that still fascinates us.
"Robbie Robertson's Testimony is a book of memories and wonders, a personal testament of a magical time in American music from someone who was there, at the centre of it all, playing and casting spells and writing songs that helped define those great lost years. There's history here, and anecdote, regret and reminiscence, a long fond look back at the trials and triumphs of finding your voice then holding your ground. The tone is easy, conversational, like reminiscing with a friend about things you never realized you were part of too. Robbie brings you along with him, keeps you right by his side first to last, just the way his songs do, drawing you close, spellbound by his easy sorcery. You can feel the music in every word." Martin Scorsese "Well, once I started, I couldn't put it down. It is such a well-paced, well-structured narrative. Robertson's voice is powerful and strong. He has harnessed vivid language to a clean, elegant, writing style, and the sense of honesty, openness and completeness makes it so very compelling. The personal and the historic that he bears witness to is, of course, extraordinarily special. One of the best documents of our times. And one of the best books on rock 'n' roll ever written." Jann Wenner "Nobody tells a story like Robbie Robertson. I can't think of a memoir that is more compelling, fascinating or rich in history. Across every page you can feel his love, passion and musical genius." David Geffen "The spellbinding, long-awaited, behind-the-scenes memoir from the legendary Canadian who, with The Band and Bob Dylan, created a new popular music that lit up the world and has endured for decades." Amazon
Robbie Robertson was the guitarist and principal songwriter in The Band. He has produced many movie soundtracks for Martin Scorsese and others, and continues to record as a solo artist. The Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and in 2008 Robbie Robertson and The Band received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.