Robbie Robertson

Robbie Robertson Artistfacts

  • July 5, 1943
  • Robbie Robertson once starred in a film with Gary Busy and Jodie Foster. Carny, released in 1980, told the story of a young waitress who quits her job to join a traveling carnival. Robertson also co-wrote, produced, and composed source music for the film.
  • In February 2002, Robbie Robertson performed at the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. Robertson's mother is Mohawk and the singer performed his song "Stomp Dance (Unity)" as a tribute to the many Native Americans living in the Salt Lake City area.
  • Robbie Robertson is famous for his work in The Band, whose song "The Weight" is considered one of the greatest songs of the '60s. Rolling Stone listed the track at #41 on its list of the Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004, while Pitchfork placed the tune at #13 on its list of the Best Songs of the '60s. Countless artists have re-recorded and played the song live over the years, including The Grateful Dead, Weezer, The Allman Brothers Band, Panic! At the Disco, John Denver, and Jack White.
  • Robbie Robertson and film director Martin Scorsese are very good friends. Since the '70s, Robertson has worked on a number of Scorsese films as composer, producer, and music supervisor. Their collaborations include Raging Bull, The Color of Money, Casino, The Departed, Shutter Island, and Gangs of New York. Scorsese also directed Robertson in the 1978 movie The Last Waltz, a concert film about Robertson and The Band's final show, which took place in San Francisco in 1976.
  • Robbie Robertson is a Canadian music icon. In 2003, he was received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto, Ontario. In 2011, his image was immortalized in a stamp collection called "Canadian Recording Artists" which also included Ginette Reno, Bruce Cockburn, and Kate & Anna McGarrigle.
  • Robbie Robertson's 2011 song "This Is Where I Get Off" is about his departure from The Band in 1976. Although Robertson had done numerous other musical projects since leaving the group, this song was the first time that he'd ever written about it. Robertson explained that the subject matter wasn't intentional, saying "I never had in mind to do that. When I was writing the song, I didn't know what I was writing about. As it went along, it started to unveil itself."
  • Some rumors floating around say that legendary guitarist Eric Clapton came to Woodstock in 1969 and asked Robbie Robertson if he could join The Band, but Robertson says the rumors simply aren't true. When The Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Robertson joked with Clapton (who by then was a good friend), asking "Were you coming to take my job or were you insinuating that we needed two guitar players?" Clapton later admitted that he "never worked up the nerve" to ask Robertson if he could join.
  • Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave/The Nightwatchman guitarist Tom Morello makes a cameo on the Robbie Robertson song "Axman," which appears on Robertson's 2011 album How To Become Clairvoyant. When asked why Morello was the perfect fit for the track, Robertson said, "I wanted to pay homage to a lot of great guitar players that aren't with us anymore and I was thinking who I would do it with and Tom Morello - the bell went off for me, that's who I want to do it with."

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