The 5 Best Quotes From Robbie Robertson's Zoomer Magazine Profile

In this month's issue of Zoomer Magazine — which hits news stands today! — the magazine profiles legendary Canadian musician Robbie Robertson, who cuts a cool figure on its June 2011 cover shot by photographer and fellow rocker Bryan Adams.

 

The profile — written by former Rolling Stone contributor/current "Empty NesterMarni Jackson — mines Robertson's astounding fifty years in rock n' roll, from his start in the 1960s on that neon Yonge Street strip, to that "Big Pink" detour with The Band, their subsequent "Last Waltz", and now, a critically-acclaimed new album entitled How to Become Clairvoyant.

 

The "Native Son" profile isn't available online, but we were lucky to secure an exclusive preview. It's a fantastic read, so make sure to pick up that subscription today if you haven't already.


On the Lou Myles suits Ronnie Hawkins ordered for his then-Hawks lead guitarist to wear: "Oh yeah, those suit jackets had an inside pocket with a slit beside it, just the right size for a blackjack. There was a little strap that you would leave hanging out so when you had to, you could pull it out quickly," he said making a whacking gesture, "and bingo! Ronnie told us, you see this spot on the collarbone," he continued, tapping a finger on his neck, "well, if you hit somebody really hard on that collarbone, it doesn't matter if he's Rocky Marciano, he's going down." Robertson gives a semi-apologetic chuckle. "This was all part of our education back then."
 
Related: [ZOOMER RADIO] Vintage Favourites: Yonge Street & "The Toronto Sound"

On the semi-autobiographical song "He Don't Live Here Anymore": "We weren't unique," Robertson says about the lifestyle that took down many of his peers. "It was all around us then, part of the culture. A lot of people went into that tunnel and found out it was very dark in there. Some came out and some didn't."
 
On how he survived the sex, drugs & rock n' roll: "I do remember at one point in L.A., there was a period where it had become dangerous and so unhealthy that a doctor actually said to Martin [Scorscese] and me, 'So, have you done all your best work? Because if not, you have to change right now.' I thought, whoa, we have to get off that train."

On being cast as the 'Yoko Ono' in The Band's breakup: "I know that's the perception. But remember, there were five of us. Nobody ever said, 'I'm leaving' or 'Let's call it quits.' It just happened naturally. We didn’t do The Last Waltz to break up. We did it to close a chapter we had been living for 16 years, playing on the road. The idea was to take a break, and maybe open up a new chapter, get something fresh and creative going. But then everyone went their separate ways... and we just never got back together again.”

On "When The Night Was Young", a song about the 1960s idealism"I do miss the unity of that time," he says. "Music was the voice of that generation, when the feeling was we have to stand up and make a difference. Now everything is so fragmented, it's hard to know what people believe in."


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Tags: 2011, 60s, bryan adams, canadian, exclusive, how to become clairvoyant, june, marni jackson, martin scorscese, music, More…musician, robbie, robbie robertson, robertson, rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rolling stone, ronnie hawkins, superfans, the band, yonge street, zoomer magazine, zoomermag

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