Remembering The Last Waltz
37 years ago today, 5,400 packed into Bill Graham's Winterland Ballroom on Thanksgiving night in San Francisco to witness the final chapter of one of rock music's most influential acts. The Band decided to call it quits in 1976 after having to cancel tour dates due to Richard Manuel suffering a severe neck injury, among general road weariness. With that, The Last Waltz was born. A one time only, farewell event to be held in San Francisco to send the group off in grand fashion.
The end result, as you know, is one of the most legendary concerts ever--featuring a dream lineup chock-full of musicians with extensive credentials on their own. As the likes of Young, Clapton, Dylan, Starr, Morrison, and more shared the stage with The Band, any other reunion show or following tour would've felt cheap. The Last Waltz redefined the way bands say goodbye, and firmly cemented The Band in history forever.
All future breakup or final show/tour announcements will be followed by a "best of" list for that very category. All aforementioned lists will be topped by The Last Waltz. It is a pipe dream night for every music fan that only grew more epic as time went on. Now, we look back on The Last Waltz as the last time musicians of that caliber will ever be on stage together. Who knows what the future holds, but The Band's finale certainly left it's mark. Listen to the full show below.