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Publisher's Summary

On the 40th anniversary of The Band's legendary The Last Waltz concert, Robbie Robertson finally tells his own spellbinding story of the band that changed music history, his extraordinary personal journey, and his creative friendships with some of the greatest artists of the last half century.

Robbie Robertson's singular contributions to popular music have made him one of the most beloved songwriters and guitarists of his time. With songs like "The Weight", "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", and "Up on Cripple Creek", he and his partners in The Band fashioned a music that has endured for decades, influencing countless musicians.

In this captivating memoir, written over five years of reflection, Robbie Robertson employs his unique storyteller's voice to weave together the journey that led him to some of the most pivotal events in music history. He recounts the adventures of his half-Jewish, half-Mohawk upbringing on the Six Nations Indian Reserve and on the gritty streets of Toronto; his odyssey at 16 to the Mississippi Delta, the fountainhead of American music; the wild early years on the road with rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks; his unexpected ties to the Cosa Nostra underworld; the gripping trial-by-fire "going electric" with Bob Dylan on his 1966 world tour and their ensuing celebrated collaborations; and the formation of The Band and the forging of their unique sound, culminating with history's most famous farewell concert, brought to life for all time in Martin Scorsese's great movie The Last Waltz.

This is the story of a time and place - the moment when rock 'n' roll became life, when legends like Buddy Holly and Bo Diddley crisscrossed the circuit of clubs and roadhouses from Texas to Toronto, when The Beatles, Hendrix, The Stones, and Warhol moved through the same streets and hotel rooms. It's the story of exciting change as the world tumbled through the '60s and early '70s and a generation came of age built on music, love, and freedom. Above all it's the moving story of the profound friendship between five young men who together created a new kind of popular music.

Testimony is Robbie Robertson's story, lyrical and true, as only he could tell it.

©2016 Robbie Robertson (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Robbie Robertson's Testimony is a book of memories and wonders, a personal testament of a magical time in American music from someone who was there, at the center of it all, playing and casting spells and writing songs that helped define those great lost years." (Martin Scorsese)
"Well, once I started, I couldn't put it down. It is such a well-paced, well-structured narrative. Robertson's voice is powerful and strong. He has harnessed vivid language to a clean, elegant, writing style, and the sense of honesty, openness, and completeness makes it so very compelling." (Jann Wenner)
"Nobody tells a story like Robbie Robertson. I can't think of a memoir that is more compelling, fascinating, or rich in history. Across every page you can feel his love, passion, and musical genius." (David Geffen)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Partial Testimony

What did you like best about Testimony? What did you like least?

This is an incomplete autobiography of Robbie Robertson. There is a typical reflection on growing up but he focuses mainly on his time with The Band up until The Last Waltz. That fact is all good and fine, but his career was still rich with other credits and contributions after TLW. The story peaks at The Band's final concert - and then it just ends.Where is the remainder ? His account of meeting very famous musicians is amusing, but more depth and detail could have been achieved.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

When the book ended, the reader was disappointed that Robbie Robertson's career after The Band / The Last Waltz was not included. His 1987 solo album was fantastic and should have been discussed. His ongoing legal battle with Levon Helm should have also been fleshed out.

What does MacLeod Andrews bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

MacLeod Andrews does excellent impressions of Albert Grossman, Levon Helm and other notable characters. The pace is steady, his read is non invasive.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

you think you know The Band.

I found this audiobook book to be inspiring as a tale one could share with a family member or even a classroom. there is so much detail and depth written in these passages that one is taken back to a time of freedom that has never existed since. the band was part of the dramatic changes in America but the individuals of the band lives, like everyone else, was hard. their musical genius bought together by a one-of-a-kind story, tale produced The band that most people shouldn't but do disregard. The length of their prior story lines before they even became famous is a testament to what made them great in the end. I enjoyed this every step of the way this history lesson offered you the reader. thank you Robbie Robinson for sharing your story and your mates.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Takes you right there

Well written well spoken with spot on accents of the characters. The last chapter of love expressed for Garth, Richard,Rick and Levon is as good as it gets. That all Robbie's influences are so clearly expressed are amazing. How blessed we are to revisit the extraordinary period of time detailed in this book. Thank you

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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One of the best autobiographies I've ever read!

Great story, better than fiction! Narration is superb. Awesome ride, start to finish, the kid meets anyone who was anyone in the sixties and early seventies.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Believable?

i love the Band but this tale seems too self aggrandized by Jamie Robbie Robertson.
He is no doubt a talent and was the driving force behind the group but he's really grasping hard to tell his version of what he believes is the truth. Who am i to judge but he comes off as unbelievable. I'll read Levon's book now.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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love the history love the band

I love everything about the book until the ending I wish he had addressed and talked about Richard Manuel and Rick Danko and Levon.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathryn
  • Belleville, ON, Canada
  • 11-29-16

AT LAST!

I have waited years for this man's story, and I am far from disappointed. I laughed, cried and remembered my youth?

This is autobiography is very well written. I do find it a little hard to believe that Robbie Robertson is that nice. There is no bashing, anger, or finger pointing...I felt it was honest.

MacLeod Andrews is an awesome narrator. At first I was angry that Robbie didn't narrate his story himself. Now I'm glad he didn't. Mr. Andrews had the accents down pat, and I thought Levon was actually speaking.

Good job all the way around, and thank you.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing! In every sense .

Besides it being one of the best Rock n Roll stories ever told, MacLeod Andrews narrative is perfect in every way possible. His character voices for everyone was amazing! From Marlon Brando to Martin Scorsese! But especially the boys in The Band. The Band is dear to my heart. And Robbie Robertson is one of the best guitarist and songwriters ever. Add great storyteller to his list.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great insight to a great band, The Band

Listening to the story told by Robbie Robertson gave an insight into the saga of the "road band" making it in the music industry. The back story of his childhood and the lost family he regains, working in a road band in his teens, falling into being the road band for Dylan, the Big Pink, Last Waltz, wow. Just a great story.
The reader did a good job and was easy to listen to.
If you like band stories, this is a good one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

All you want and maybe some you dont.

I enjoyed the listen. He pretty much hits everything you would want to know about and hear. If you're looking just for the highlights this isn't it. This is the in depth study, which is cool by me. The performance is good but felt a little slow. Once I moved it up to 1.5x it seemed right down the middle and the story flew by. It paints a very vivid picture of the feel of the times not just musically but in general.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful