Back when my father and I were warring over pretty much everything, we were stuck in the same car for a very, very long drive. We had nothing to talk about that didn't make him yell and me cry. But we had one cassette tape in his truck and we listened to it several times over. It was my introduction to Levon Helm, my father's favorite musician of all time. He told me about The Band, about the The Last Waltz, about how he discovered this music that spoke to him. It was the best road trip I've ever taken. Especially when we arrived to find my mom waiting in grim anticipation of our arrival, only to see us laughing and talking as we got out of the truck.
Ever since then, I've considered Levon a member of our family. The peacemaking member.
My dad remains a fan to this day and will very likely be listening to Midnight Ramble tonight. As will I. Go in peace, Levon.