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Boomer Love Songs: “It Makes No Difference” by The Band… with variations

Robertson: “I wrote this song specifically for Rick to sing and when we first started discovering the possibilities, it kept expanding to more levels of emotion. What Garth and I could add to finalize the statement of this song was purely instinctual.”

Rick Danko as a man in full… long before his long decline.

Another, for the sad soul solace of Danko’s voice, and the long amazing guitar coda complete with the Band’s secret weapon, Garth Hudson on sax.


Speaking of soul, here’s a cover by the king of Rock and Soul himself.


It Makes No Difference: Illustrated in case you don’t get the point.

And finally a fine cover by Morning Jacket with a huge vocal boost by the deep contralto of Brittany Howard.

And if you don’t know the lyrics by now, here’s a cheat sheet.

It makes no difference where I turn
I can’t get over you and the flame still burns
It makes no difference, night or day
The shadow never seems to fade away

And the sun don’t shine anymore
And the rains fall down on my door

Now there’s no love
As true as the love
That dies untold
But the clouds never hung so low before

It makes no difference how far I go
Like a scar, the hurt will always show
And it makes no difference who I meet

They’re just a face in the crowd on a dead-end street

And the sun don’t shine anymore
And the rains fall down on my door

These old love letters
Well, I just can’t keep
‘Cause, like the gambler says
“Read ’em and weep”

And the dawn don’t rescue me no more

Without your love I’m nothing at all
Like an empty hall, it’s a lonely fall
Since you’ve gone it’s a losing battle
Stampeding cattle, they rattle the walls

And the sun don’t shine anymore
And the rains fall down on my door

Well, I love you so much
And it’s all I can do
Just to keep myself from telling you
That I never felt so alone before

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jim Chapman September 23, 2021, 1:17 AM

    This song so inspired me that I bought a guitar when I was forty years old and leaned how to play it. I also found I could sing. Thirteen years later it stuck home when I lost my twenty-eight year old daughter was taken by a drunk driver. When I sing it now, all the memories come rushing back because it makes me feel like I never been so alone , before.

    • Dan Patterson September 23, 2021, 3:03 AM

      Blessings Jim.

    • Vanderleun September 23, 2021, 9:04 AM

      God bless and keep you and bring you back to her.

    • azlibertarian September 23, 2021, 9:28 AM

      Every now and then I hear someone at work complaining about how bad things are….”This stupid company can’t do anything right”, “Why are we doing [X]; we should be doing [Y]”.

      And then I hear about someone, like you, who carries a real burden in life, and I am very thankful for the blessings in my mine. I could, I’d give you some.

      • Bear Claw Chris Lapp September 23, 2021, 11:55 AM

        Jim I shed a tear and said a prayer for you and your family.

        The only solace I get when thinking of lost immediate family members at younger age due to cancer is to know they are in a better place and you and I are stuck here. AZ those and Jim’s experience are exactly as you said.

        Some of you may have seen the video of the guy who lost his legs that works in the tire shop. Yeah it brings me back to earth how small I am and have been. I am better at giving thanks for my blessings but not enough.

        Prayers and Blessings be upon all of us.
        Lovely song, never heard it before thank you Gerard.

  • Dan Patterson September 23, 2021, 3:16 AM

    There is a tell in The Last Waltz when Danko is on screen, but unless you’ve seen it in your mirror you might not get it.
    Levon Helm mentions both Manuel and Danko in a candid remark in I Ain’t In It For My Health, and there is some sad bitter in his message, like he too saw it coming.
    I tell myself pretty much daily “Ah shit, lighten up. Do the best you can, say thank you and I’m sorry and mean it”. I don’t want to see it coming again.

  • David Spence September 23, 2021, 5:05 AM

    Jason Isbell wrote and sings “Danko/Manuel”
    https://youtu.be/jdZVcDt5MpU

  • gwbnyc September 23, 2021, 5:54 AM

    never found it anything other than ploddingly mundane- “I spent a year there one side.” any slower it would play backwards.

    an acquaintance opened for some assemblage of them (one?) years ago, told me afterwards it was something he always wanted to do but the final impression was “nice guys, but heroin addicts”.

    so, noddingly mundane.

  • Dirk September 23, 2021, 7:29 AM

    The Last Waltz, in 1976,I was a E3 in the Navy, on convalescent orders after a serious bout with Hep A, while in Lakehurst NJ. I worked at something called Special Services at NAS / Shipyard Alameda Ca. My job was passing out pots and pans to families reporting to Alameda, with their house hold goods having not arrived yet.

    We also ran the golf course, Tickettron and navy rentals up in Lake Tahoe. I was given two free tickets to a concert on Thanksgiving Day, Nov 1976, these were courtesy tickets. Something called “The Last Waltz”at “Winterland” I’d been to Winterland many time previous to shows, Winterland was one of my favorite venues on the west coast. It was just what I thought Rock and Roll should look and sound like.
    Anyway The the food served that day was not so good, but the day was Magic. I was recovering from serious Hep A, so I could not drink, which sucked.

    My friend Jon over on WRSA, share our love of music, he sends me a lot of period correct Dead, The Band, etc etc. he’s a musician himself, I’ve had the honor of hearing his music, fantastic, it is.

    Jon, if your here, god bless, Brother.

    Dirk

    • alan potkin September 23, 2021, 12:59 PM

      I was at the LW, and the food —T’giving Dinner with all the trimmings— was catered (for maybe two thousand people?) by Narsai David (who’s still with on this planet): proprietor of the long-gone, semi-upscale and inventive “Narsai’s Restaurant” in that little municipal enclave just uphill from Berserkeley. And it was eminently edible! Then the word went out that Bob Dylan (!) had just brought in a great load of fresh Pacific salmon (before the fish-farming era), and anybody who still hungry should come back into the chow for that too. You can be sure that I did.

  • Dirk September 23, 2021, 7:40 AM

    Listened a second and now third time, simply awesome. These guys were amazing, believe I’ve got everything they ever did. Just dug out the Last Waltz double CD for my ride to Reno, only to remember the new truck didn’t come with a CD player, which sucks have hundreds of CDs

  • Chris September 25, 2021, 5:23 AM

    That isn’t Robertson playing lead guitar on that video, must be after the rift that happened between him and rest of guys after him screwing them for rights to songs. Rick’s widow has nothing. Love the song, love the Band, not a big fan of Robbie.

  • Chris September 25, 2021, 5:23 AM

    That isn’t Robertson playing lead guitar on that video, must be after the rift that happened between him and rest of guys after him screwing them for rights to songs. Rick’s widow has nothing. Love the song, love the Band, not a big fan of Robbie.

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