Robbie Robertson on his new book, "Legends, Icons and Rebels"


(CBS News) For six years, The Band was one of the most influential groups to come out of the Woodstock era. The band's principal songwriter, Robbie Robertson, born and raised in Toronto, wrote songs rooted in U.S. history and tradition.

Critics and fans seemed drawn to the group's true musicianship. Talent pooled earlier from years on the road as the backing band for Ronnie Hawkins and then later Bob Dylan.

It was with Dylan where they found themselves at the center of a rock and roll controversy. Dylan had just gone electric, and the group had to endure constant booing from audiences. At one gig an audience member shouted "Judas!" Dylan responded by telling The Band to play louder.

After parting with Dylan, the band's original lineup went on to release seven records over seven years before they called it quits in a final concert commemorated in the Martin Scorsese film 'The Last Waltz." The original Band's final show featured a who's who of rock and roll.

In the last moment of the film, Robertson explained some of the reasons he was walking away:

"The road has taken a lot of the great ones: Hank Williams, Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Janis, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis. It's a goddamn impossible way of life."

After his time with The Band, Robertson moved into film, writing the music for Scorsese's "Raging Bull" and co-writing Eric Clapton's hit for "The Color of Money."

Robertson would also record five critically acclaimed solo albums, but his years with The Band continued to call him back. He recently produced "Live at the Academy 1971," a collection of The Band's now-legendary New Year's Eve shows.

Robertson has just released a new book on rock and roll, "Legends, Icons and Rebels: Music That Changed the World," along with a CD box set.

However, he chose to not put The Band in his book. He told "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-host Anthony Mason that he didn't want to put the attention on himself.

"I didn't want that distraction in it; I didn't want it to be like I was tooting my own horn," he said, "and we're hoping that we can continue with this and that there will be a volume two because there are so many people that we didn't get the opportunity to pay homage to."