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Nils Lofgren Talks About Playing Epic Three-Hour Marathons With Bruce Springsteen

Nils Lofgren
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Even though the core of Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band is over 60, they are still able to play more than three hours every night with more energy than bands half – check that – one-third their age. Except, of course, when the ruffians get shut down by the police for being out too late. In a new interview, guitarist Nils Lofgren describes what it’s like at the end of those marathons.

“Basically, this is something that has not changed since I joined the band 28 years ago,” he told Rolling Stone. “At the end of every show, I remain exhausted and exhilarated…One of the things I kind of love about Bruce is that he wants you to feel the deep kind of songs that might bring a tear to your eye and really make you feel some uncomfortable things … At the same time, it’s just as valuable and critical that you have the foolishness and silliness and the hilarity of rock & roll in the same evening.”

Lofgren, who had hip replacement surgery in 2008, marvels at the way his boss – “the Boss” – has to do even more than just play and sing in that time. “He’s doing the heavy lifting,” he continued. “He’s out there on five podiums in the stadiums, getting out there and letting people grab him, paw him, scratch his arms, rip his wristbands off, whatever, play tug of war with him.”

If Springsteen’s current tour, as expected, extends into the fall, there’s a possibility that Steven Van Zandt’s shooting schedule for his television show, ‘Lilyhammer,’ will cause him to miss some shows. Lofgren laughed off the suggestion, saying, “I don’t buy it…This tour depends on all 18 of us. Nobody can walk away from this without hurting the show.”

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