At Levon Helm's Barn, Fans and Friends Say Goodbye
At Levon Helm's Barn, Fans and Friends Say Goodbye

Fans poured into Levon Helm's barn and concert space in Woodstock, N.Y., Thursday to pay tribute to the late drummer, mandolinist and songwriter who died of cancer last week.

A school bus company that shuttled mourners to Helm's home told reporters they had driven nearly 2,000 people to the wake. Helm's drum kit and a piano flanked his closed casket. "When I saw the drum set, I got emotional," fan Connie Kirch of Woodstock told the local Daily Freeman. "It was absolutely beautiful."

Family members were on hand to greet mourners, who walked down a hall filled with Helm's Grammy awards, photos and memorabilia from his days with Bob Dylan, the Band and as a solo artist. A family photo slideshow was beamed in an upstairs area where the coffin lay.

Helm will be buried Friday in Woodstock Cemetery next to Rick Danko, the Band's singer and bassist, who died in 1999.

Helm had used the barn as a concert space since 2005 when he made a return to performing after suffering from throat cancer. With his cancer in remission, he made two albums, "Dirt Farmer" and "Electric Dirt," and toured the country, yielding the live album "Ramble at the Ryman." He died April 19 at the age of 71.

Roland Mousaa, a local folk musician, told the AP, "The greatness of Levon Helm was the impact he had on people."