The Band – The Last Waltz (2-disc edition)
The Last Waltz was a concert by the Canadian-American rock group The Band, held on American Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1976, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The Last Waltz was advertised as The Band’s “farewell concert appearance”,and the concert had The Band joined by more than a dozen special guests, including their previous employers Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan, as well as Paul Butterfield, Bobby Charles, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Emmylou Harris, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters, Ronnie Wood, and Neil Young. The musical director for the concert was The Band’s original record producer, John Simon.
The concert was produced and managed by Bill Graham and was filmed by director Martin Scorsese, who made it into a documentary of the same title, released in 1978. Jonathan Taplin, who was The Band’s tour manager from 1969 to 1972 and later produced Scorsese’s film Mean Streets, suggested that Scorsese would be the ideal director for the project, and introduced Robbie Robertson and Scorsese. Taplin served as executive producer. The film features concert performances, intermittent song renditions shot on a studio soundstage, and interviews by Scorsese with members of The Band. The soundtrack and DVD were later released.
The Last Waltz is hailed as one of the greatest documentary concert films ever made. In 2019, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
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