Levon Helm in final stages of cancer

Levon Helm is dying.

This note appeared on his website today.

Dear Friends,

Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.

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.

From his daughter Amy, and wife Sandy

Helm, the drummer for The Band, made his last appearance in Minnesota at the Zoo, where he showed throat cancer hadn’t kept him from playing a lick or two. (Alternate version: Same song a few weeks later at the Greek Theater)

The notice was posted on the website after Helm canceled an appearance at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

It was Helm, a member of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, who helped Bob Dylan “go electric.” Dylan signed Helm and his musicians to tour with him, but the folk scene rebelled against the new Dylan. They eventually retired to upstate New York to write new material. The locals referred to them as “The Band,” and the name stuck.

(h/t: Rolling Stone)