Nils Lofgren Recalls Neil Young Taking Him ‘Under His Wing’

After putting together his three-piece band Grin, Nils Lofgren’s breakthrough came soon after a chance encounter with Neil Young during his gig in a D.C. club. Nils recalled meeting Young, that changed the trajectory of the band as he explained:

“[Grin] became a big local band. We were about to head to Los Angeles to look for a record deal, and just before we left, I snuck backstage and saw Neil Young and Crazy Horse in a D.C. club. Neil was kind enough to give me some time. I spent a couple of days with them. He said to look him up when I got to California, which I did, and his producer, David Briggs, took us under his wing, so I got to really stay in the circle of musicians.”

Neil opened many doors for Lofgren. Grin was not only able to work with Briggs on their debut album, but Nils also played the piano and acoustic guitar on Young’s ‘After The Goldrush’ album. Later down the line, he also became part of Young’s band before joining Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

So, just last year, Nils chose to tour with Bruce and couldn’t be a part of Young’s band. Although Neil gave him his start in the industry, he also understood Nils’ commitment to E Street Band and Springsteen. In late December 2022, he said the following on the Broken Record Podcast:

“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.’ 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.”

You can read Nils Lofgren’s interview with Goldmine here and listen to his interview with Broken Record Podcast below.