E Street Band Guitarist Reflects On Bruce Springsteen And Neil Young’s Similarities

Having worked with both Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young, Nils Lofgren recently talked about the rock icons and claimed they are alike. According to Lofgren, they are both very hands-off band leaders and leave the decisions up to the musicians in the band.

Lofgren started playing the guitar for Neil Young around the ’60s, at the age of 19. Afterward, he established a successful solo career and joined the E Street Band in 1984. As he had the chance to work with both rock icons during his career, Nils Lofgren is the best person to ask about Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.

During his recent interview, Lofgren discussed his experience working with Young and Springsteen and addressed their similarities. The guitarist revealed that both Springsteen and Young let the band members do whatever they feel like while composing music, as they start singing and don’t meddle in their bandmates’ work.

Even though they are the band leaders and have the final say, they prefer to let their bandmates find their own sound. They both would present the vocals and lyrics, and give an idea of the song and leave the band members to it. However, they might make a suggestion if they have an idea in mind. Nils added that if they had to control and tell everyone what to play, it would be ‘exhausting.’

Here are Nils Lofgren’s words about Springsteen and Young:

“With Bruce and Neil, they’re very hands-off. They don’t micromanage what you’re playing. A lot of times, they don’t even recommend an instrument. They just start singing a song, and you get an idea, and you pick up that instrument. Usually, it works out. Sometimes they may say, ‘Hey, why don’t you try this one, see how it feels?’ Look, it’s exhausting if you have to tell everyone what to play.

That’s just not a good situation for the type of freeform music and bands that both these bands are. There are no rules. Whether you’re caught off guard or having something be planned and rehearsed, either approach does not keep it from being a brilliant and emotional music experience as long as you’re with people you love and the music’s great.”

Lofgren is still an active member of the E Street Band. Springsteen released his album, ‘Letter to You’ in 2020, yet the highly anticipated promotion tour couldn’t happen due to the pandemic and its restrictions. The fans are looking forward to the tour and hoping that it will happen sometime in 2022.