Nils Lofgren Talks Life Without Clarence Clemons and the Future of E Street
Nils Lofgren has worn many hats during his 40-plus years in the music business. When he was only in his late teens and virtually unknown, he played on Neil Young's classic album 'After the Gold Rush.' He led his own band, Grin, which made four albums during the first half of the '70s. He joined the E Street Band in 1984 and has played with Bruce Springsteen on and off since that time. And throughout all of this, he's had a career as a solo artist.
Lofgren returns to that part of his career on Dec. 6 with 'Old School,' his first album of original material in five years. True to form, the record has a nostalgic vibe to it. On the scorching title track, Lofgren is joined by former Foreigner lead singer Lou Gramm, while 'Ain't Too Many of Us Left' finds him singing with the legendary Sam Moore. '60 Is the New 18' is jazzy, upbeat and quite appropriate, as Lofgren recently hit the big 6-0. Ballads like 'When You Were Mine' and 'Irish Angel' round out a musically diverse but thematically consistent effort.
Nils recently chatted with Spinner from his home in Arizona, where he lives with his wife, Amy, and their six dogs, about 'Old School,' working with Young and the death of Clarence Clemons.
The new album is called 'Old School.' What inspired the title track and what it was like singing with Lou Gramm?
Lou and I got to be friends back in the mid-'80s. I played on his first two solo records. He's just a soulful singer and a really wonderful friend. I'm honored that he was willing to step up and sing.
The song is a very nasty bottleneck blues. I'm sure my wife, Amy, and I are two of millions and millions