July 30, 2009 – 4:11 am

When he recorded 1977’s Rick Danko, he was aiming for Big Pink’s rustic sound that 10 years ago swooned British music royalty. It bombed.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

RICK DANKO (1942-1999)
The Roxy 1978 [no label, 1CD]

Live at The Roxy, Los Angeles, CA, March 1, 1978, the late show. Ex- SBD stereo, a bit muddy.

You’d be confused too. One minute The Band were sharing the stage with Bob Dylan on one of the most successful tours at the time in 1973. Then they played their last gig in 1976 as musical theatre with The Last Waltz, filmed and sold as an epic rock concert with superstar guests.

But when Rick Danko walked into a solo career and recorded his debut Rick Danko album, capturing the essential elements of The Band, the album did not sell. His record label, Arista, dropped him and never released his second album, though it was half-completed. It finally saw the light of day in 2005 as Cryin’ Heart Blues on an indie label. By then, Danko had been dead for five years. Such is the fickleness of fame.

This erratic phenomenon can be heard at this show. After a short set showcasing his Rick Danko album, an insecure Danko shouts several times from the stage for his former bandmates to come onstage to jam. The most telling of these shout-outs is for Robbie Robertson. He calls, he yells, he stammers and he practically pleads for Robertson to show himself. Danko isn’t even sure Robertson is in the room yet he will call out to his friend. Finally after about five minutes, Danko’s band, augmented by Richard Manuel, Levon Helm and possible Dr John or Garth Hudson (it’s hard to tell), the band play on.

They hold on to the next three songs like legless men on crutches. It’s three heavyweight tunes from The Band - Stage Fright, The Shape I’m In and The Weight. All played with hazard lights on and Danko’s constant stage banter like a drill sergeant hollering to keep morale high. He wants the drums to thunder ‘cos Levon’s playing now. And so on.

When Rick Danko joined the Ronnie Hawkins band, the leader was impressed by his bass playing. Later in The Band, Danko showed himself an adept singer with When You Awake and The Unfaithful Servant. He had a mournful voice that blended well with Manuel’s soulful style. The whole of The Band was always greater than the sum of the parts. It was this synergy that Robbie Robertson did not understand when he pushed for The Last Waltz.

In later years, the venues got smaller and even the backing band was sometimes a trio or less. Each member of The Band had to bear with this loss of stature. Some handled it better than others. Although Danko has several solo albums to his credit, with the exception of the debut album, the rest were live or compilations of outtakes and live recordings.

Thanks to Jerry Moore for recording this show. This is said to be sourced from a promo recording done for radio broadcast. This is from Moore’s second generation reel copy and shared by Rob Berger. An exemplery show of the post-Band, band.
- The Savage Hippo

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Sip The Wine+ (9.4MB)
Track 02. New Mexicoe+ (7.7MB)
Track 03. The Wheel’s On Fire (7.8MB)
Track 04. Once Upon A Time+ (6.1MB)
Track 05. What A Town+ (15.2MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 06. Stage Fright* (9.1MB)
Track 07. The Shape I’m In* (6.4MB)
Click here if you reside in the United States
Click here if you reside outside the United States
Track 08. The Weight* (9.0MB)

+ These songs all come from his debut album, Rick Danko.
* joined by Richard Manuel, Levon Helm and Garth Hudson(?).

The best solo album remains the self-titled debut by Rick Danko. Buy the 1977 album here.

  1. 7 Responses to “GOT LIVE IF YOU WANT IT - PART 5 (RICK DANKO)”

  2. Another classic from The Band-member.
    Thanks :-)

    By Rochacrimson on Jul 30, 2009

  3. thanks! next best to the real thing! God Bless,your in our hearts forever! We love you RIP, Rick!!!!

    By mary kemmerle on Aug 1, 2009

  4. Check on, there are pictures of this date in which Robbie does appear with the group for at least some songs….making this the last time that the original 5 members played onstage for an audience……quite a treasure here!!!!!

    By MarrymeRick on Aug 2, 2009

  5. Thanks for this post!

    I was fortunate enough to buy the original solo LP when it came out… well worth it for any fan of the Band.

    By John C. on Aug 2, 2009

  6. The solo tracks with his own band (1-5) are a lot tighter than the attempted reunion with the Band here.

    By Don Thieme on Aug 4, 2009

  7. Nice share. I have the album and it’s not bad at all.

    By Matt on Aug 5, 2009

  8. Any chance we could get this again? Most of the files are coming up no found!

    By Donald Bartenstein on Sep 7, 2018

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