Fans remember Levon Helm as he faces final stages of cancer

Levon Helm performs at the 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Story highlights

  • Fans flock to his Facebook page to share memories
  • His family asks for prayers as Helm, 71, "makes his way through this part of his journey"
  • He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998
  • The Band drummer rose to fame in the late 1960s and 1970s; fell on hard times in 1990s
Within hours of the announcement that Levon Helm was in the final stages of cancer, fans flooded his Facebook page with messages of support and fond recollections of the drummer and backbone of The Band.
By early Wednesday, more than 7,000 comments were posted.
"Truly one of our greatest musicians," said Kip Millwee. "May he find his way absent of pain and in an ocean of peace."
"We'll keep dancing to your beat," posted Joan Gummels. "Thanks for all the good times."
"When I had the privilege to feel your energy at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival ... You rocked my world," Courtney Anne Steeves said. "Keep on shining."
Some fans shared memories from decades past.
"I was at Woodstock and heard you play!" Sarah James recalled. "It was so marvelous and a memory I will have till I leave this earth."
Helm's wife, Sandy, and daughter Amy posted a message to the artist's website regarding his condition on Tuesday.
"Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey," his wife, Sandy, and daughter Amy wrote in a message posted to the artist's website.
"Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration ... he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage," they said.
During an induction speech Saturday at the