Bob Dylan met Helm back in the ’60s when The Band backed him at live shows under the name the Hawks.
“He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation. This is just so sad to talk about,” Dylan wrote in a statement on his website. “I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him. We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I’m going to miss him, as I’m sure a whole lot of others will too.”
Director Martin Scorsese documented The Band’s final show in 1976 San Francisco for his film The Last Waltz.
“The late Jim Carroll once said that Levon Helm was the only drummer who could make you cry, and he was absolutely right,” the Oscar-winning director told E! News. “Levon’s touch was so delicate, so deft, that he gave you more than just a beat — he gave the music a pulse. And his high, ringing voice was just as soulful. His bandmate Robbie Robertson wrote ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ for Levon to sing, and I’ll never forget how moving it was to watch him sing it during their final performance at Winterland, which is one of the high points of the movie we made from that wonderful show… I consider myself fortunate to have worked with Levon, and I am one among many, many people who will miss him.”
Other stars said their goodbyes via Twitter.
“My heart [is] heavy with sad news of Levon Helm’s passing,” wrote Sheryl Crow. “My thoughts and prayers are with Levon’s family.”
The Voice coach Adam Levine tweeted, “Levon Helm. He was the best. Music is gonna miss him. One of the humble gods of rock and roll. Rest in Peace.”
Jared Followill of Kings of Leon wrote, “S***. RIP Levon Helm. One of the great all time drummers. Music will miss you.”
Helm died last Thursday after a battle with cancer.
“Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey,” wrote his wife and daughter on his website last week. “Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration… he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage… We appreciate all the love and support and concern.”