Austin Musicians Revisit The Last Waltz
On Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1976, The Band performed — what was advertised as their “farewell concert appearance” — “The Last Waltz” concert at Winterland Ballroom (where The Band had made its debut as a group in 1969) in San Francisco. On that fateful evening, The Band was joined by a virtual who’s who of 1970s rock music, including: Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters, Ronnie Wood, Bobby Charles, Neil Young and The Staple Singers. I also suspect that “The Last Waltz” was probably one of the only times in the history of rock concerts that turkey dinners were served to the audience.
At the request of The Band’s Robbie Robertson, the event was dutifully documented by Martin Scorsese whose production crew included some of the most highly regarded cinematographers in the industry (Michael Chapman, Vilmos Zsigmond and László Kovács) armed with no less than seven 35mm cameras. Touted as one of the greatest concert films of all time, Scorsese’s The Last Waltz was released in 1978. Scorsese’s documentary features performances from that iconic concert as well as footage shot on a studio soundstage and interviews by Scorsese with members of The Band.
The 3rd annual Austin event “The Last Waltz Revisited” will take place on Thanksgiving eve (November 21) at Antone’s. Scorsese’s The Last Waltz will screen from 8-10pm during which time a Thanksgiving buffet will be available. Wisebird, Cowboy & Indian, Emily Hello, King Corduroy, Jon Beckham, Guy Forsyth and Colin Fuchs will then take the stage following the film to perform a live recreation of the The Band’s “The Last Waltz” concert.
Here’s a clip from last year’s “The Last Waltz Revisited” concert: