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The Last Waltz (1978) Poster

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Martin Scorsese made this film for free.
During his opening guitar solo in "Further On Up the Road", Eric Clapton's guitar strap came off. To compensate while he fixed it, Robbie Robertson spontaneously played a brief solo of his own.
The infamous cocaine drop hanging from Neil Young's left nostril was airbrushed out by Martin Scorsese.
The Band's management had overbooked the show. Two days before the show, they tried to have Muddy Waters taken off the bill. Levon Helm, The Band's drummer, threatened not to play the show if Muddy Waters was asked to leave. Muddy Waters is in the final cut of the film.
Bob Dylan decided he did not want to be in the film 15 minutes before he was due on stage. His reasoning was that he did not want to have two films he was in (the other was Renaldo and Clara (1978)) competing with each other at the box office. Bill Graham, owner of the Winterland, intervened and Bob decided to play. The conditions were that only the last two songs of his performance could be filmed.
Levon Helm states in "This Wheel's On Fire" that Garth Hudson appears so eccentric in his oddly woozy interview because Martin Scorsese showed up to interview him, unannounced, at 6:00 am.
When Brian De Palma viewed a rough cut of The Last Waltz he suggested to Martin Scorsese that he should either include more interviews with the singers or remove them all together from the film.
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In the interview where Helm and Robertson talk about their first time in New York, Robertson states that they stayed in the Times Square Hotel located on 42 Street. The Times Square Hotel is actually located on W. 43 St between 7th and 8th Avenues. The building has since been renovated into apartments but the lobby and most of the building remains true to its hotel roots and is still named the Times Square.
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Shot on Thanksgiving 1976 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, Ca.
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After the concert, Martin Scorsese and Robbie Robertson moved in together in a house in Laurel Canyon, CA. It was here that most of the post-production editing happened without the help of most of the other members of The Band.
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Levon Helm was very upset that Neil Diamond got a song in the film while he was trying to get two songs on film of Muddy Waters.
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During the performance of the song "Mystery Train", performed with Paul Butterfield, the stage lights blew out, leaving only one spotlight to light the stage. When Neil Young performs "Helpless", Joni Mitchell is singing background vocals from a microphone backstage.
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Robbie Robertson's Stratocaster was bronzed for the concert.
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The opening song of the film "Baby Don't You Do It" was actually the final encore of the concert. It is also a Marvin Gaye cover.
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Robbie Robertson was impressed by Martin Scorsese's ability to recite the words to the song "Daniel and the Sacred Harp" verbatim.
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The stage decorations were borrowed from a stage performance of Gone With The Wind being done at another local San Francisco theater.
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During Muddy Waters' performance of "Mannish Boy" every camera but one ran out of film. The result is the longest cut of the film while Martin Scorsese scrambled to get the film cans reloaded.
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According to Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholson visited the set because he was friends with some of the singers. Scorsese also said that Nicholson complimented him about Taxi Driver (1976).
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The Band's recording studio Shangri-la was above Zuma Beach in Malibu, CA. It was a popular hang out spot for Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann, Keith Moon, John Lennon and Neil Diamond. Many of wives of the Band's members were against building their recording studio in Malibu, especially Kevin's wife.
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Robbie Robertson's interview comments about the road claiming its victims proved prophetic in 1986, when Richard Manuel committed suicide while on tour with a re-formed version of The Band (minus Robertson).
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