Ain't in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm

Ain't in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm (Kino Lorber)

Rock & Roll DVDs

Ain't in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm

(Kino Lorber)

Early in Jacob Hatley's 2010 documentary of Levon Helm, the singing, drumming backbone of the Band shuffles uneasily through his Woodstock farmhouse, home from tour for a couple days, tired and hurting. The image is striking in the revelation of Helm's gaunt, cancer-stricken body, legs thin, head bowed. Hatley doesn't shy away from following Helm into the hospitals, the moments fighting to recover his voice and facing his own mortality and bills, yet that's not the portrait the director ultimately leaves us with. Released now on DVD, Ain't in It for My Health intimately chronicle's Helm's brief but brilliant resurgence following 2007 LP Dirt Farmer, touching sparingly on Band history, but only enough to elucidate the conflicted pride and bitterness the subject holds for his legacy. Harrowing and heartfelt, oscillating between Helm's harsh coughs and brilliant smile, the film concludes with him eschewing Grammy recognition for another "Midnight Ramble," surrounded by family and friends instead to celebrate the birth of his grandson.

More Levon Helm
ACL Music Fest Saturday Reviews
Levon Helm

Margaret Moser, Oct. 2, 2009

Phases & Stages
Levon Helm
Dirt Farmer (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 28, 2007

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
The Relatives
Goodbye World (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, May 13, 2016

SXSW Record Reviews
Daddy Long Legs
Rides Tonight – Recorded Live!, "The Stranger Rides Tonight" b / w "Evil Eye (Acoustic Version)" (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, March 18, 2016

More by Doug Freeman
Texas Platters
Jack Ingram
Midnight Motel (Record Review)

July 15, 2016

Texas Platters
Strahan & the Good Neighbors
Strahan & the Good Neighbors (Record Review)

June 24, 2016


Levon Helm

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)