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AIN’T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH: A Film About Levon Helm
Rock ’n’ roll takes a lot out of those in the profession, few more so than the members of the legendary group The Band. Their first releases “Music from Big Pink” (1968) and “The Band” (1969) rank 34th and 45th respectively in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 best rock ’n’ roll albums of all time, and Martin Scorsese’s documentary “The Last Waltz” (1978), about their final performance, is among the best concert films ever made.
But tragedy has been the lot of most of them. Richard Manuel committed suicide in 1986 at age 42; Rick Danko died of heart failure in 1999 at 56. And Levon Helm, shrunken and ghostlike in Jacob Hatley’s bittersweet, frustratingly impressionistic documentary, has battled bankruptcy, illness, and heartbreak.