Crown ArchetypeRobbie Robertson, guitarist and main songwriter of The Band, published an autobiography this week called Testimony. The 73-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer tells ABC Radio that writing the self-penned book, which took him about five years, was probably the hardest thing he’s ever done.

“It takes a certain kind of concentration over such a period of time…that you go in and out,” Robertson explains. “One day I would think, ‘I hate this,’ and the next day I would say, ‘This is giving me the most pleasure of anything I’ve ever worked on.'”

Robbie says that writing Testimony, which he did longhand with pen and paper, allowed him to revisit “places that I never thought I would go again,” and to reflect on the many “pivotal events” he experienced.

“I thought, ‘How in the world did I end up on all of these corners of stuff that was happening — historic musical things that the world has never gotten over?'” Robertson notes. “And I thought, ‘Gee, I must be very lucky or there must be some kind of magic going on here.'”

Among the momentous experiences Robbie recounts in Testimony are backing Bob Dylan on the singer/songwriter’s first “electric” tour in 1966, recording the legendary “Basement Tapes” with Dylan, playing the Woodstock festival and The Band’s historic 1976 farewell concert, The Last Waltz.

Robertson says among his “real pleasures” in writing Testimony was getting to explain in detail how The Band developed their unique sound after years of honing their craft.

“This is what happens when you really, really care about the sensibilities of the sound that you’re making, the stories you’re telling…the experiences that you’re bringing with this,” he explains to ABC Radio. “And it just showed, we were on such a different planet than anything else.”

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