Robbie Robertson Given ‘Music for Life’ Award

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Robbie Robertson’s Testimony anthology

At the 2017 NAMM Show, songwriter-musician and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Robbie Robertson of The Band was presented with the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) “Music for Life” award for his decades of musical contributions.

The award was presented during the organization’s opening “Breakfast of Champions” session by NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond, who introduced Robertson with acknowledgement of his career: “Emerging from the melting pot of blues, jazz, folk and rock and roll, Robbie Robertson came of age during a time of great musical and social change which is still reverberating today. And with a seat at the table of some of the most memorable music moments of our lifetime, he has inspired countless to pick up an instrument and find their own voices.”

Robertson shared his perspective on what continues to drive him: “You are influenced by people you admire…No matter how long you’ve been doing something, you’re still absorbing, you’re still learning. You learn one thing and then something else comes along and it challenges you and it raises you to a new place. The challenges that make you want to wake up early is one of the greatest gifts of life.”

Related: What was it like to attend The Band’s Last Waltz concert?

In 1994, alongside longtime members Rick Danko (bass, vocals), Levon Helm (drums, mandolin, vocals), Garth Hudson (organ, horns) and Richard Manuel (piano, drums, vocals – posthumous inductee), The Band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Robertson would later go on to serve as a Creative Executive for DreamWorks Records and in 2011, release, How to Become Clairvoyant, a record inspired by a joint recording session with Eric Clapton.

The “Music for Life” award is NAMM’s highest honor and recognizes individuals or organizations that exemplify NAMM’s vision of music-making. Past recipients have included business leaders, public officials and musicians, including Stevie Wonder, Yoko Ono, Henry Mancini, Smokey Robertson and the 2016 recipient, Graham Nash. It is awarded each January during the global music products gathering, The NAMM Show, held in Anaheim, California.

Watch Robbie Robertson joining Eric Clapton onstage

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