“He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation,” Dylan wrote. “This is just so sad to talk about. I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him. We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I’m going to miss him, as I’m sure a whole lot of others will too.”
As a member of The Band, Helm played as part of Dylan’s backing band in 1965 and 1966, a pivotal period in which the songwriter transitioned from folk to electric rock. The group would collaborate with Dylan on a series of recordings that would eventually become known as The Basement Tapes.