Friday, March 4, 2011

RIP Richard Manuel

Richard Manuel, pianist and co-lead vocalist of The Band, died 25 years ago today. Richard's voice was the most soulful and versatile of The Band's three lead singers, and his early songwriting contributions are few but definitive. "In A Station," "Lonesome Suzie," "We Can Talk," "Jawbone," "Tears of Rage," "Whispering Pines," and others will forever stand out in The Band's bottomlessly monumental catalogue. Richard's drug abuse and alcoholism took his voice slowly but surely during the 70s, and tragically stole his life when he hung himself in a motel room on this day in 1986. His impact on The Band is as obvious as is that of any of the other four members. His impact on rock'n'roll cannot be understated; but, unfortunately, it always is. Here's to hoping Richard and Rick Danko are living in a big pink house in heaven, jamming out until their three buddies make it up.

Let the waves rush in
Let the seagulls cry
For if I live again
These hopes will never die

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