I spent most of my twenty-sixth birthday watching “The Last Waltz.”
To be completely honest, I watched the film two-and-a-half times during the a span of 24 hours.
It’s a special documentary that captures The Band’s final performance and pieces the event together with cut-scenes from interviews before and after the event.
On November 25, 1976, The Band hosted their big finale at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. They were joined by a long list of special guests and good friends. Musical geniuses like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Wood, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison (to name a few) all performed a couple of songs to give the fans an unequaled final show.
The documentary follows the same formula as “Festival Express” or “The Rolling Stone’s Rock and Roll Circus” but it is not as flamboyant as the latter or as adventurous as the former.
“The Last Waltz” is a simple documentary with a simple message but this message is buried between the music.
What I learned is that a band cannot stand alone and be expected to do great things from their own genius.
A band, very much like the individual, is reliant and susceptible to encounters with other great people.
It felt natural to bide my time watching “The Last Waltz” for a second time at 4AM on Sunday morning.
It’s as simple as this; I’m grateful for my friends and family. I would be a different man without their eternal support, critical judgment, progressive conversation and the creativity of my comrades and kin.
I thank you all and I hope this twenty-sixth year of mine is as rich and productive as my twenty-fifth.