Robbie Robertson knows he made the right decision, said Stephen Rodrick in Rolling Stone. The singer and guitarist, 67, is still blamed for breaking up The Band, the legendary rock group he formed with Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, and Richard Manuel in the mid 1960s. Back in 1978, Robertson made the unilateral decision that, after 16 years, The Band should stop touring, leading to its eventual demise. Every member of the group, including Robertson, was struggling with drugs or alcohol or both, and they no longer got along. “Our musical ability was disappearing before my eyes,” he says. “You’re in a place and it’s on fire and you say, ‘I’ve got to get out of here.’”

The concert film The Last Waltz, which documents The Band’s final show, reveals the members as emaciated, wan specters. “Richard would say, ‘Listen, my hands are shaking, I need to have some medicine so my hands won’t shake.’”

Tragedy followed. Manuel hung himself in 1986. Danko died of heart failure in 1999. Robertson and Helm, who used to be the best of friends, have only spoken once since 1978. “Levon’s always been pissed off at either the manager, the agent, or the lawyer,” Robertson sighs. “When those guys weren’t around, it was me.”