The Band FAQ: All That’s Left To Know About The Fathers Of Americana...review

Lovingly forensic fans-angle exploration

Cover art for The Band FAQ: All That’s Left To Know About The Fathers Of Americana

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The Band have been well served book-wise by Barney Hoskyns’s definitive account and Woodstock tome, along with Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson’s autobiographies. Now it’s the trainspotters’ turn as Peter Aaron fills in the gaps by exploring every remaining crevice of their remarkable story, leaving no stone left unturned or dusty trail unexplored.

Happy Traum’s up-close-and-personal foreword sets the scene perfectly for a book that enthrals relentlessly through its deep research and eloquent writing, grounded by living in the same mountains The Band came down from. Aaron rightly positions Richard Manuel as The Band’s heart, Helm as its soul, Robertson as conceptualist, Rick Danko a loose cannon and Garth Hudson as the brain whose unique keyboard alchemy turned their sound into something unique and special.

Tracks, musical influences, collaborations, film appearances and post-Band activities all come under the microscope in what has to be the consummate final word on this fabled group.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!