Yesterday (August 9), it was announced that influential guitar player Robbie Robertson had passed away at the age of 80.
The guitarist/songwriter left an indelible mark on the music world, and through his work with the Band – both when they backed Bob Dylan and embarked on their own extraordinary career – helped shape the sound of popular Americana music (despite his Canadian heritage).
Though he was present for some of music’s most memorable moments throughout the decades – including Bob Dylan’s infamous Manchester Free Trade Hall show in 1966 – Robertson’s talents spanned far beyond the fretboard, with the versatile musician building a celebrated portfolio in the film score industry.
Following his passing, musicians, creatives and world leaders alike have all flocked to social media to pay tribute to Robertson and his profound legacy.
Film director Martin Scorsese, who worked with Robertson on his upcoming film Killers of the Flower Moon – as well as many of his previous classics, such as King of Comedy and The Wolf of Wall Street – led the tributes, writing in an emotional statement to Pitchfork, “It goes without saying that he was a giant, that his effect on the art form was profound and lasting.
“There’s never enough time with anyone you love,” he added. “And I loved Robbie.”
On social media, Jason Isbell offered an equally touching tribute, writing, “I think it’s safe to say that without his influence the music we love and the music we make would be very different from what it is.”
Further tributes from Joe Bonamassa, Jimi Hendrix, Stephen Stills, Ringo Starr and more can be found below.
- “Playing with Bob Dylan was like entering The Twilight Zone of music. You thought, ‘They’re going to wake me up tomorrow because all of this is impossible’”: Robbie Robertson reflects on his remarkable career and the end of the Band
Rest in peace Robbie Robertson, legendary lead guitarist of The Band, fellow Canadian, and cherished collaborator of Joni's. May his legacy and musical harmony resonate for generations to come.Photo from the Michael Ochs Archives pic.twitter.com/1rdu7tihjSAugust 9, 2023
Such sad news about Robbie Robertson - he was a lovely man, a great friend and will be dearly missed xx RPhotographs from The Last Waltz pic.twitter.com/I7IHXGJyYjAugust 9, 2023
My heart breaks for the family of @r0bbier0berts0n, and I think it’s safe to say that without his influence the music we love and the music we make would be very different from what it is.August 9, 2023
God bless Robbie Robertson, peace and love to all his family peace and love. Ringo 😎✌️🌟❤️🌻🌈🎶☮️August 10, 2023
The music world lost a great one with the passing of Robbie Robertson. Keep making that Beautiful Noise in the sky, Robbie. I’ll miss you.August 9, 2023
RIP Robbie Robertson. Thanks for the amazing music and the great hangs, especially photographing you in LA not so long ago. We'll keep Anna Lee company for you... pic.twitter.com/0IqVibzVZmAugust 9, 2023
RIP Robbie Robertson. A good friend and a genius. The Band’s music shocked the excess out of the Renaissance and were an essential part of the final back-to-the-roots trend of ‘60s. He was an underrated brilliant guitar player adding greatly to Bob Dylan’s best tour & best album.August 9, 2023
Always kind and generous. Rest in peace, Robbie Robertson. @r0bbier0berts0n pic.twitter.com/5jh36cPfVQAugust 9, 2023
Fly on sweet angel.RIP. Robbie RobertsonJuly 5, 1943 – August 9, 2023Thank you for all the music. pic.twitter.com/0hOIeUorvmAugust 9, 2023
RIP Robbie Robertson. The Band will forever be one of my biggest influences. 😥August 9, 2023
The loss of Robbie Robertson is heartbreaking. Canada has lost an icon, and music has lost a poet and a scholar.August 9, 2023
(1/4) In Memoriam: The architect and primary songwriter of The Band, 1994 Inductee Robbie Robertson changed the course of popular music in the late 1960s. Though born and raised in Canada, Robertson found poetry in America’s history and mythology, and with a fusion of pic.twitter.com/c0XSCqRz0yAugust 9, 2023
Guitarist. Songwriter. Storyteller. Robbie Robertson was a big part of Canada’s outsized contributions to the arts. I’m thinking of his family, friends, and fans who are mourning his loss. Thank you for the music and the memories, Robbie. pic.twitter.com/36UuOq8vhJAugust 10, 2023