Rick Danko first picked up the bass when he was playing rhythm guitar in rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkin’s band The Hawks. Ronnie fired his bassist then asked Rick to switch to bass. We’re compressing the timeline a bit but The Hawks would eventually evolve into The Band, backing Bob Dylan along the way.
The Band’s greatest moment was also their last: the concert movie The Last Waltz directed by Martin Scorsese. Shot at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco on 26 November 1976, the movie finds Danko and the band in top form, joined by friends like Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and Muddy Waters. Check out Rick’s bass intro on Don’t Do It.