Donate Now Menu

Robbie Robertson

Lifetime (2003)

For Robbie Robertson life has been more than a carnival. This Mohawk from the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario is one of the most influential musicians of our times. When legend Bob Dylan made the historic decision to synthesize folk and rock music, it was Robertson and The Band he turned to for backup. Robertson toured the world in 1965-66 with Dylan and recorded the legendary Basement Tapes with the undisputed prince of folk-rock. “I had no idea that we were entering into not only another world but a music revolution. This was a time and a music that was going to change the course of music forever,” he remembers today. Separately, Robertson’s group The Band released Music From Big Pink, featuring hits such as The Weight and I Shall Be Released and were soon a force on their own. Later, Robertson was the driving force behind the Martin Scorsese directed film The Last Waltz, the Band’s 1976 farewell concert that was turned into one of the greatest rock movies of all time. As a solo artist, Robertson began to explore his Aboriginal roots as no other rock musician of his stature had done before. At the 2002 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremonies in Salt Lake City, Robertson – along with Rita Coolidge, Sadie Buck and Jackie Bird – brought Aboriginal talent to the world by performing The Stomp Dance (Unity Song) for an audience of three billion people. “My education is my upbringing,” he says of his Aboriginal roots. “But basically I’m still just that kid from Six Nations who had a lot of big dreams.” And so much more.