By: Gary Graff
Besides overseeing The Band's new box set "Live at the Academy of Music 1971," Robbie Robertson has been busy with a new book, "Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music That Changed the World" -- which is designed to introduce young readers to music legends such as Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Buddy Holly, the Rolling Stones and more.
Robertson is one of four authors who worked on the project, and he tells us why he felt it was such an important endeavor:
"Right now there's a lot of disposable music and that's fine, but for young people to have a foundation to know what's really good and where it came from is meaningful for the rest of their lives. Once you establish a foundation of knowing what the greatest recording artists of all time were...Wouldn't you want your kids to know this stuff? And for a kid to say, `What are you talking about? When I was nine years old I knew who Johnny Cash was. I knew who Billie Holiday was...And it's because of this book that we've tried to do in such a special way and really with the idea of sharing it and the gift to young people that it became that important to us. And we spent years working on this, trying to get it to this place."
Robertson begins each chapter of the book with his own reminiscences about the artists, many of whom he's had personal relationships.
He's also proud of the two CDs that accompany the book and feature music from each of the artists included in it:
"It's impossible to clear these songs. It's an impossibility. The people, the artists in this book, they just say, ‘No, unless you write me a big check.’ That's the way it works. They don't give permission to do this. But because of the soul of this idea, nobody said no. It took some time, but everybody said yes."
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