For musical performance artist Leon Redbone, the past was all the material he needed, except his own, which he replaced with a persona. “I don’t have a past,” he said. “The past begins tomorrow.” Strange enough to earn comparisons to Frank Zappa and Tom Waits, Redbone often got shelved in record stores’ rock sections, even though rock, as one of his band members said, was “the one style of music he didn’t play.” Redbone passed away on May 30, and this profile unravels some mysteries while deepening others.
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