I saw Easy Rider the first time in a movie theater in Edinburgh when was in graduate school, age 21. It’s a picaresque and a pastoral combined. A dark pastoral because, hidden in the vast and gorgeous land, is a world of violent intolerance. It had a gloriously romantic effect on me that I find difficult to articulate in its complexity. Among other things, I grew a full beard and hair down to my shoulders (for many of you who have only known me in my dotage, this may come as a shock). All The Band members except Levon Helm were southwestern Ontario boys. Robbie Robertson is from Toronto. Garth Hudson is from Windsor. Richard Manuel is from Stratford. And Rick Danko was from Simcoe, where my mother grew up, just ten miles from our farm. They were local heroes, especially to my younger brother who started playing the guitar in high school. His first band was called Norfolk (after the county where we grew up). His bass player remembered being a little boy and Rick Danko feeding him raw hamburger (or sausage) over the meat counter at the butcher shop where he worked. I don’t know if this story is true anymore. But it was a story. I tell you this for no reason — it came to mind after writing tonight.