The Daily Cut: The Band “Chest Fever”

The Band: “Chest Fever”

ALBUM: Music From Big Pink

YEAR: 1968

WRITER: Robbie Robertson

Not released as a single, but according to a source cited in Wikipedia, it’s “the …Big Pink track that has appeared on most subsequent live albums and compilations.”

Who actually wrote “Chest Fever” has been a source of much dispute between Robbie Robertson, who received sole credit, and the other members of The Band — particularly the late Levon Helm, who once asked, “What do you remember…the lyrics or the organ part?” What organist Garth Hudson recalls is the instrument he played it on and producer John Simon‘s contribution to it.

The Band’s organist, Garth Hudson says that with “Chest Fever,” the equipment he used is the first thing that comes to mind and what’s missing is the second. OC:…you hear.

“When I think of ‘Chest Fever,’ I think of a Lowery Festival Organ with 90 tubes and a Leslie 145 turned wide open and John Simon helping compose this by editing out a section. I played more than you hear.”

Today is Garth Hudson’s 80th birthday.


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