Neil Young On Losing His Band Member To Bruce Springsteen

At 77, Neil Young’s getting ready for another tour, but it looks like his band will be missing a member. During a recent chat with Rick Rubin, Young discussed how he had lost Nils Lofgren to Bruce Springsteen and talked about his previous works with the musician.

Every member of Neil’s band is essential for his live gigs since his music features various instruments. So, when Rubin questioned how Young and his band managed to play these multi-instrumental tracks live, Neil joked that he was surprised too that they worked. Then, Young referred to Nils Lofgren, who will be touring with Bruce Springsteen instead of Neil’s band. With this, Neil was curious how things would turn out without Lofgren.

“I would be [surprised] too. I would be,” told Young as he emphasized his curiosity to play all these multi-instrumental tracks live. He added, “But things move along and move on, you know, and Nils is part of the E Street Band. So, Bruce is probably going on a mega tour. So, Nils is gone, and Nils is like, ‘What? I can’t be in two places at once.’ because he was, you know, really into this.”

The singer mentioned Lofgren’s wish to play with them, but his commitment to Bruce was understandable. Neil continued, “I mean, we were all really into it. So, I actually feel for Nils a little bit because I know he wants to be here with us. But you know, he’s with Bruce, and Bruce’s been there for him for years and years, and that’s an old, old thing now.”

When Rubin questioned if Young had worked with Lofgren before Bruce Springsteen collaborated with the musician, Young confirmed that the pair went way back. He said, “Nils is on ‘After the Gold Rush.’ He plays piano on ‘After the Gold Rush.”

Rubin then noted that Young had made Nils play the piano as he had no idea how to play. Neil discussed the fun story by saying, “Yeah, well, he played accordion. So, I knew he could play piano. And I knew, you know, his music, he’s everything. I just didn’t want him to sound like he knew what he was doing, so sure of himself because that wouldn’t go with everybody else.”

It seems like even though Young had worked with Nils Lofgren before Bruce Springsteen did, the musician understood Nils’ commitment to E Street and respected his decision to tour with the band. Young’s appreciation and support of Lofgren are admirable.