Rod Stewart has vowed to honour The Band’s Robbie Robertson at his arena show in Seattle on Friday.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and songwriter died on Wednesday at the age of 80. He was surrounded by his family after battling a long illness.
Taking to his Instagram page, the Maggie May singer, who is on a world tour, posted a black and white snap of the late star performing in his heyday and wrote alongside it: “So sad to hear of dear Robbie Robertson passing. I’ll be dedicating #brokenarrow to this legendary guitarist at my show in Seattle on Friday.”
Broken Arrow was written by Robertson and released in 1987. It was then covered by Sir Rod in 1991.
Robertson was also behind the classics The Weight, Up On Cripple Creek, and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.
Read more… Robbie Robertson fought to help bandmates through addiction struggles
His manager of 34 years, Jared Levine confirmed the musician’s death in a statement on Thursday, which read: “Robbie was surrounded by his family at the time of his death, including his wife, Janet, his ex-wife, Dominique, her partner Nicholas, and his children Alexandra, Sebastian, Delphine, and Delphine’s partner Kenny.
“He is also survived by his grandchildren Angelica, Donovan, Dominic, Gabriel and Seraphina…
“In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Six Nations of the Grand River to support the building of their new cultural centre.”
A slew of tributes from his famous pals and fellow musicians have since poured in.
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Neil Diamond, whose 1976 album Beautiful Noise was produced by Robertson, wrote on Twitter: “The music world lost a great one with the passing of Robbie Robertson… Keep making that Beautiful Noise in the sky, Robbie. I’ll miss you.”
The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood shared: “Such sad news about Robbie Robertson – he was a lovely man, a great friend and will be dearly missed.”
Former US president Bill Clinton said that Robertson was “a brilliant songwriter, guitarist, and composer whose gifts changed music forever.
“I’m grateful for all the good memories he gave me—going back to his time in the Hawks when I was a teenager—and for his kindness through the years,” he added. “I’ll miss him.”
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A post shared by Sir Rod Stewart (@sirrodstewart)
The legendary Joni Mitchell stated: “Rest in peace Robbie Robertson, legendary lead guitarist of The Band, fellow Canadian, and cherished collaborator of Joni’s. May his legacy and musical harmony resonate for generations to come.”
While the E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt called Robertson “a good friend and a genius,” adding, “The Band’s music shocked the excess out of the Renaissance and were an essential part of the final back-to-the-roots trend of ‘60s.
“He was an underrated brilliant guitar player adding greatly to Bob Dylan’s best tour & best album.”
Singer Bryan Adams wrote on Twitter: “RIP Robbie Robertson. Thanks for the amazing music and the great hangs, especially photographing you in LA not so long ago. We’ll keep Anna Lee company for you…”
Kiefer Sutherland echoed: “The loss of Robbie Robertson is heartbreaking. Canada has lost an icon, and music has lost a poet and a scholar.”
And Kings of Leon’s Nathan Followill said: “RIP Robbie Robertson. The Band will forever be one of my biggest influences.”
The Band had started out as the backing group for Bob Dylan before becoming its own highly influential entity in the 1960s and 70s even playing at the legendary Woodstock festival in 1969.
Their first two albums, Music From Big Pink and the self-titled The Band, were both released in the late 60s.
Robertson, whose bandmates were drummer-singer Mark “Levon” Helm, bassist-singer-songwriter Rick Danko, keyboardist singer-songwriter Richard Manuel and all-rounder Garth Hudson, also frequently worked with filmmaker Martin Scorsese.
He collaborated on films including The Colour Of Money, The King Of Comedy, The Departed, The Irishman and the director’s latest movie Killers Of The Flower Moon.
The Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
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