RARELY SLOW TO BLOW his own trumpet, The Band’s Robbie Robertson waxes lyrical upon the unique qualities of his legendary combo in this exclusive new clip heralding the release of their Academy Of Music box set. The box collects performances from the shows the group played at the New York venue on December 28, 29, 30 and 31, 1971, culminating in a guest spot from their former employer Bob Dylan, shows previously cherry-picked for their 1972 live album Rock Of Ages. In the clip, an interview with guitarist Robertson is intercut with filmed footage from the December 30 show that features on the DVD element of the 5-disc package. Marvelling at the performances – two discs of which have been remixed by Bob Clearmountain whilst two are the soundboard mixes – Robertson claims, “Nobody else had a group that had any similarity to this… With The Band, what made it The Band was that it was a real band.”
The footage, shot by music-on-film mavens Howard Alk and Murray Lerner, is some of the best ever captured of The Band, but it very nearly failed to emerge, as Robertson explains in the sleevenote.
“It was just an experiment,” writes Robertson, “because to do a full shoot at the Academy you had to set it up with the Unions. I think some Union guys even showed up and threatened to destroy our equipment and break cameras if it wasn’t organized through them.”
The Band’s Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 [4CD/1DVD] is out now.