Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club recently got a privilege that few musicians ever get: to pay tribute to his family’s recording legacy by performing the tunes himself. Been’s father, Michael Been, was part of the Call, a band who in an eight-year stretch recorded seven LPs—an impressive run by any metric.
Following that hot streak in the ‘80’s, the band released a final album, 1997’s Heaven & Back, following a seven-year hiatus. The group disbanded after that release, and Michael would later go on to serve as sound engineer for the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. He died in 2010 while backstage at a festival with his son’s band.
Been and the remaining members of the Call gave Michael a hell of a tribute with their live performance, which was filmed and recorded for a proper live album release.
Jim Gordon, keyboardist and vocalist for the Call, describes the experience to PopMatters: “After 25 years, I had no idea what we would sound like, and no way of knowing how Robert would change the music. Watching the film now, I can’t believe that it all sounds so much like it did with Michael and that the lyrics are as relevant as ever—maybe more so.”
Watch the video of “I Still Believe” below.
The Call Live Tribute with Robert Levon Been will be released on CD and DVD on September 2nd through Label/Lightyear/Caroline.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times. Thanks everyone.