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I am moved to comment as I have just came across what must be one Levon Holme's last public performances of the song - on which it appears that he can no longer sing -with friends. On February 15th 1969, at a local club in Fort Myers, Florida a hairdresser named Vickie Jones was arrested for impersonating Aretha Franklin during a concert. Jone's performance was so good, that not one patron asked for a refund...

And the very next day on February 16th, Aretha's covered version of "The Weight" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #52; four weeks later on March 16th it would peak at #19 and it stayed on the chart for 7 weeks... One month later on March 9th "The Weight's" B-side, a cover of the Miracles' "Tracks of My Tears", debut on the Top 100 for a six week stay, peaking at #71 on March 30th, 1969...

If memory serves, Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones guitarist after Brian Jones and before Ronnie Wood) was eventually booted from the band over his constant carping about not getting writing credits for the various Jagger-Richards songs that he collaborated on (and, yes, his drug use didn't help).

You think he doesn't wish he had a nickel for every million dollars Ronnie Wood earned playing guitar for the Stones over the past 40 years!

But no doubt Ricky was impressioned by Fanny and Crazy Chester.Aretha Louise Franklin will celebrate her 74th birthday come next month on March 25th .On September 7th 1969, "The Weight" by the Supremes and the Temptations entered the Hot Top 100 chart at position #69; and on September 21st, 1969 it peaked at #46 and spent 5 weeks on the Top 100... The pairing of the two super groups also produced two more Top 100 records; "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" and "I'll Try Something New" .. Just a little background on the characters origins in this song. A neighbour of his was Chester, and when Ricky was old enough worked on the tobacco farm that Chester owned.Or it could have multiple meanings, and I think it probably does, though I suspect the significance of the other-than-primary meaning is or was kept to The Band's members.I believe the primary meaning was that it was a way to convey in a uniquely American cultural idiom the 'high points' of the New Testament.Chester dies about 2 yrs ago, so pretty sure we will never know!It's entirely possible that this song is 'only' about Nazareth, PA and some of the members of The Band's friends.I am a long time Pennsylvania musician who resides fairly close to the town of Nazareth Pa.I have attended VIP tours by invitation at the Martin guitar factory.Eg, stanza 1: he pulls into Nazareth, half past dead (born knowing he is doomed to die young for man's sins, etc.) and just wants a place to sleep, but there isn't one. Or how about Carmen and the devil-- remember the temptations in the desert? The final stanza is of course about the final sacrifice by crucifixion.I think The Band has denied they wrote a sort of tribute song to Jesus because it wasn't PC at the time and in their circle to do so, and they may be maintaining this claim to this day. Not really sure what the song is all about, even after reading all these comments.


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