Cover image for This wheel's on fire : Levon Helm and the story of the Band
This wheel's on fire : Levon Helm and the story of the Band
Helm, Levon.
Personal Author:
[Second edition, partly revised].
Publication Information:
Chicago : A Cappella, [2000]

Physical Description:
330 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Originally published: New York : W. Morrow, 1993. With new afterword.
Personal Subject:
Corporate Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library ML419.H42 A3 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The Band, who backed Bob Dylan when he went electric in 1965 and then turned out a half-dozen albums of beautifully crafted, image-rich songs, is now regarded as one of the most influential rock groups of the '60s. But while their music evoked a Southern mythology, only their Arkansawyer drummer, Levon Helm, was the genuine article. From the cotton fields to Woodstock, from seeing Sonny Boy Williamson and Elvis Presley to playing for President Clinton, This Wheel's on Fire replays the tumultuous history of our times in Levon's own unforgettable folksy drawl. This edition is expanded with a new afterword by the authors.

Author Notes

Stephen Davis is the author of numerous books, including "The New York Times" bestsellers "Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga" & "Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith", & coauthor of "Fleetwood", the memoirs of Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood. His journalism has appeared in "Rolling Stone", "The New York Times", "The Boston Globe", & many other publications. He lives in New England.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Arkansas-born Helm, drummer for classic-rock outfit The Band, and Davis ( Fleetwood ) here present a down-home account of the quintet's development. Whereas Barney Hoskyns's recent Across the Great Divide: The Band and America (Nonfiction Forecasts, June 7) portrayed the group as aesthetes squirreled away in Woodstock, N.Y., this firsthand chronicle highlights earthier episodes: the musicians' lowbrow rockabilly antics in Canada and the South, their incarnation as Bob Dylan's much-maligned backup band in the '60s and guitarist Robbie Robertson's estrangement from them in the late '70s. While Hoskyns quotes Robertson almost exclusively, the guitarist is rarely heard from here. Helm denounces notions that he and his fellows were smug: ``Calling it The Band seemed a little on the pretentious, even blowhard side--burdened by greatness--but we never intended it that way.'' Although Helm and Davis open on the predictable downbeat--band member Richard Manuel's suicide--they close positively, with kind words from Dylan and the hope of a comeback. Of the two books, this plainspoken effort proves less dry and doesn't put its subjects on too high a pedestal. Photos not seen by PW . (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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