Robertson discusses meeting Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton in new doc.
Robertson’s story with the Band is the subject of a new documentary, Once Were Brothers, which opens in New York and L.A. on February 21st. The film will also get a wide release on February 28th. In conjunction with the doc, Robertson also wrote a song, “Once Were Brothers,” which appeared on his Sinematic solo album last year.
Composer Robbie Robertson has worked with Martin Scorsese for more than 40 years (they were even roommates in the ’70s when Robertson moved into Scorsese’s house on Mulholland Drive). But for The Irishman, Scorsese’s three-and-a-half-hour gangster epic, the filmmaker gave Robertson a new, unique request: “Marty wasn’t interested in a traditional movie score. Big bum-dah-ba-dum-brrrring, you know — when they’re driving fast, it’s going bum-bum-bum, s–t like that,” Robertson, 76, tells THR. (excerpt from Billboard- to read the full article click here)
A new video shows Robbie Robertson and Ringo Starr leading musicians from 10 different countries through a version of the Band’s classic song “The Weight.”
The performances were arranged by the Playing for Change Foundation to honor a song it said “transcends time and space.” The song and video feature artists in the U.S., Italy, Japan, DR Congo, Bahrain, Spain, Hawaii, Argentina, Nepal and Jamaica.
Robertson recently explained the meaning of the title to Van Morrison. “‘I hear you paint houses’ is kind of gruesome in a way — it’s an expression for when you want to hire a killer,” Robertson says. “’Painting houses’ refers to the splattering of blood. I said, ‘Hey, you want to sing on a song about splattering blood and a guy who kills people?’ But he liked that.”
From his work with the Band and Bob Dylan through the solo albums he’s done over the last three decades, Robbie Robertson is the first to admit he generally hasn’t written much about his own life. “I used to try to avoid that,” he says. “I would hear other people singing songs about, ‘I got up this morning and had some toast and went out and got the newspapers,’ and I’d think, ‘God, you’re boring. I don’t care what you had for breakfast.’ I was going in another direction.” (Rolling Stone)
The album’s most emotive track, “Once Were Brothers,” shares a title with a documentary on Robertson and the Band and both celebrates and mourns his times with the group, three of whom are now dead. “When the curtain comes down on the final act,” Robertson sings, “And you know deep inside there’s no going back.”