No apologies here for going back to the dark old days of 1973, another world really when it was still legal to discriminate against half of the UK population on the grounds that they were women. No apologies either for the dodgy quality of this classic clip which I’ve chosen in order to recognise a man who, in my opinion, has been a pioneer, a stalwart, an indispensable side man and a great artist in his own right to boot, ever since I grew ears.
Probably the first time most of us heard of Nils Lofgren was when he appeared on Neil Young’s ‘After The Goldrush’ album. He was 19 at the time and had his own band, Grin. Their four albums, released in the wake of ‘After The Goldrush’ are all recommended but it was when Lofgren delivered his first solo album in 1975 that he really took off. Bedecked in rock’n’roll gypsy clothing, an ace guitarist (who also played accordion and piano) and who used his high school gymnastics background on stage when he would play a guitar solo while somersaulting on a trampoline, his live shows were quite spectacular. Nils remains a close affiliate of Young and Crazy Horse, but he’s also been an integral part of Springsteen’s E Street Band since around 1984 while he has continued to deliver his own albums which never fail to delight.
The original intention here was to proffer a shot of Lofgren on The Old Grey Whistle Test, a programme he appeared on several times but, while Googling, this came up. A clip I’d never seen before of Grin playing live which shows the man in his youthful pomp, and yes, there’s a trampoline involved.
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