By Andy Doerschuk Published December 12, 2010
UPDATE: Levon Helm was released from the hospital last Thursday after doctors gave him a clean bill of health. He was well enough to get back behind the drum kit for last weekend’s Midnight Ramble show, which takes place every Saturday at his studio in Woodstock, New York. Another drumming legend, Steve Jordan, played alongside Helm on a second drum kit.
Helm’s representatives issued the following statement: “Legendary music icon and three-time Grammy winner, Levon Helm returned home Thursday night after nearly a week-long hospital stay. Helm caught a slight cold, which was complicated by his COPD condition. As a precautionary measure, he was admitted into the hospital. All tests were clear! He’s home and doing great!”
Solo artist, actor, Grammy Award winner, and former drummer for The Band Levon Helm was hospitalized in New York City on Saturday. After coming down with a cold, his conditioned worsened into COPO (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) – a narrowing of the airways that leads to a limitation of the flow of air to and from the lungs causing shortness of breath. His condition was announced at last night’s Midnight Ramble – a weekly concert series at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York. Helm would normally man the drum throne at the Ramble, but his chief engineer Justin Guip sat in for last night’s show. According to a report in yesterday’s Poughkeepsie Journal, Helm’s manager, Barbara O' Brien, told the audience, “Levon came down with a little bit of a cold this week and because he's got COPD, a little bit of a cold to you and me is a lot more serious for him. We took him to the hospital today. He's going to be fine. He's in the city. He's with his specialist, but he's not going to be here tonight … He is so upset that he can't be here.”