Woodstock Playhouse

AP Photo/Mike Groll

Fans and friends of Levon Helm had a chance to say goodbye to the beloved singer and drummer of the Band on Thursday.

A public memorial was held at the Woodstock, N.Y., home of the late musician, who passed away last week at the age of 71 from cancer.

The service took place in the barn where Helm had held his famous Midnight Ramble concerts since 2007.

According to the Times Herald-Record, which has been blogging from the service since it began this morning, nearly 1,000 people came to pay their respects, walk past Helm's closed casket and share memories of the music icon.

"He was just real down-to-earth," said one fan. "A guy who, when he sat down at the drums and smiled at the crowd, you couldn't help but smile back. It makes sense that that sort of guy, even in death, would have people over to his home."

A private funeral will take place on Friday, and Helm will be laid to rest at the Woodstock Cemetery next to fellow Band member Rick Danko, who died in 1999.

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