Nils Lofgren of The E Street Band (INTERVIEW)

Nils Lofgren has his hands full. Not only has he recently released a new solo CD called Old School but he is preparing to hit the highway with his E Street band-mates on a highly anticipated tour. “We’re starting rehearsals,” Lofgren said before our interview last month while he was in New Jersey. “We’ve got some shows at the end of March and into the summer in Europe;” as well as a pit stop in New Orleans for the city’s legendary Jazz Fest, a first for Lofgren. “I’m excited to go there with the E Street Band to perform. That’ll be great,” Lofgren said happily. “I’ve been in New Orleans many times and I actually went to my first Super Bowl with my wife Amy there when Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl”.

Lofgren has been playing music for over 40 years and is relishing the time he gets to perform for fans, maybe now more than ever, as displayed amongst the grooves of his latest recording. With lyrics expressing his feelings about growing older while not giving in to age, his album is an amalgamation of happy, sentimental, contemplative and frisky emotions that a man in love with life and music can attest to. Recorded in his home studio, with his six dogs lending moral support and a few friends stopping by to share their talents, Lofgren feels that this is his most revelatory recording.

This is not something new for you. You’ve done solo CDs before. But what makes this one different and more special than your other ones?

Well, I think a number of things. First of all, the E Street Band made two albums and tours back-to-back, so I was out working very hard and was kept sharp musically by the magic of the Working On A Dream album and tour, which is a good thing as a musician. So when I got off the road, in addition to the excitement of my next project, my next batch of songs, I was not musically rusty. I was excited about it and had some pretty sharp musical skills to bring into the project in addition to a nice break from making my own music.

Also, I was coming up on the big 6-0. It’s a pretty monumental number that you can’t really spin very well. For a kid who is still young at heart, that loves to perform for people, that started forty-three years ago when I was seventeen, it was kind of a little bit of a twilight zone type number to come up on as far as a birthday. I tried to start writing songs and just have the record reflect an authentic batch of songs that were not all good and not all bad. I just kind of presented the authentic experience of someone that is young at heart, that loves playing music and that has been blessed with a great long career. Nevertheless, I got to say, as a sixty year old man, there are some surprising fears and anxieties when you look at the planet that you’re on. I mean, no matter how you stunt your growth with rock & roll or enhance it or both of those things, there is some legitimate anxieties. You look around and realize that the planet is in trouble and we got a lot of crazy stuff happening. So I wanted it to be an authentic reflection of those things in addition to the gratitude and of course, having a great wife and family. We have six dogs, I got a wonderful wife Amy that I’ve been with for sixteen years and of course I’m homesick leaving home, which as she describes it, is a champagne problem, meaning I’m blessed to have a home I miss. Some musicians have no home, no wife, no family, no dogs, no friends; they’re just on the road. So I have a lot of be grateful for. And I wanted the record to reflect that. I look at my planet and my fellow human beings with hopefully some wisdom and experience at sixty years of age.

These songs must be very special to you at this point in your life.

Yeah, I’m really not ashamed to be honest about the things that are exciting me or scaring me because I think something to impart is to just not pretend that you have it together and that you know it all, which I don’t. I never did (laughs) but more than anything I think I guess I’m comfortable sharing these different good and bad things that are going on from my perspective in my head and heart and there’s a lot of them, good and bad. I just wanted the record to be a reflection of that.

What was the recording process like this time around?

I made it at home. I took my time. I kept the studio doors open, it’s just a garage turned into a home studio across the yard, so the dogs can come and go and visit me. You know on the road you have that really kind of tunnel vision you get in to do the job. I love to perform for people and I don’t like leaving home and you have to leave home to perform, so it’s given me a new gratitude. I’ve been out on the road promoting and doing my own shows for the last couple of years, and in particular this last five or six months playing songs from the new record. Now that it’s out, I’m of course playing more of them. But I have a new appreciation, I think, and gratitude for people that go through the hassle of coming into a club in the middle of nowhere for me or two thousand miles, three thousand miles, from home and they’re there tonight hoping I’ll sing and play well and entertain them and hopefully inspire them. That’s a great challenge that I’m very grateful for and I feel like that is where I’m at my best.

Making records takes a bit of patience and I never had it (laughs) but I of course work at it to make records. I took my time to make this record. I encouraged Amy to interrupt me if one of the dogs had to go to the vet or she wanted me to make the grocery run; to just participate in my family, to be there and not do the “oh I’m being creative so don’t bother me for 13 hours even though I’m right across the yard, even though I haven’t been home for two years”. So I tried to find a healthy balance and I think I did a pretty good job of being available for my family; not touring too much but getting out there to sing and play enough to stay sharp and that kind of gives me some confidence and some ideas on the road too. But, hey, when you’re performing in a city away from home, you’re away from home, and that’s just the deal. I’m lucky to have a great home that I miss and a wife and six great dogs that run around and keep us company and that are part of our family. You know my mom is still around, my four brothers, a lot of nieces and nephews; I’ve got a lot to be grateful for.

At the same time, before Clarence (Clemons) passed away I wrote this song “Miss You Ray”. Ray Charles is one of my musical heroes and that was a big loss. It was just a metaphor for life, meaning if you get to live long enough you start having to say goodbye to family and friends and it’s rough. Hopefully, your life is grand enough, meaning there’s family and friends left, and in my case have to put a little extra energy into focusing on the people that are left that you love because you can get pretty wore out and worn down by having to bury friends and family more and more as you get older.

Speaking of your dogs, there is a photo on the inside of your CD with you and the dogs.

Yeah, those are our six dogs on our property and I was shocked and stunned that I got them all to look at me (laughs). We always take pictures with our phone and, you know, they don’t pose for you. But to get six dogs to all at once look at you, that was shocking and I felt like that had to go on the album. We’re big dog lovers. We had two cats that made it to eleven and sadly on the last E Street Band tour they both passed away while I was on the road trying to get home. It was awful but, hey, that’s the deal. You have animals you take care of them, they bring so much love and joy into your life and your home and they’re very valuable members of our family.

So what were you like growing up?

Well, I was born on the south side of Chicago, near Midway Airport. Grew up there for eight years and then my dad took a job in Washington DC so we moved to Maryland, right outside of Washington. But as a kid I was like most kids. I played football, basketball, baseball, liked sports, goofed around in the empty yards or we would play when they were building houses, we’d play war in the lots. I actually got hit by a car when I was five, just before I took my first accordion lesson. For some reason everyone played accordion on the block. I thought it might be fun so I asked my mom and dad if they’d finance accordion lessons but that was postponed a few weeks. I didn’t get too hurt but I did get hit by a car chasing somebody I was supposed to be guarding while we were playing war. Just silly little kids playing in the empty lot we’re not supposed to be in. One of my buddies had to run down the street and burst in on my parents and give them the bad news. But you know, it was a scary thing but I wasn’t that injured fortunately.

But I started accordion lessons, fell in love with the study of music and after all the waltzes and polkas you either move into jazz or classical. So my teachers had me studying classical accordion. I really took it seriously and loved it and it was a great musical education. I took lessons for almost ten years. Entered contests in my early teens, really serious contests, and at that point, not that I got tired of the study of music but I think a function of age and being thirteen or whatever, I fell in love with the British invasion. The Beatles, the Stones, and through them I discovered their heroes like the Motown and Stax Records, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King, Albert King and Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, that whole just massive amount of great music in the 60’s. A lot of it was from the 40’s and 50’s but we discovered it in the 60’s. I remember at my ninth grade variety show I played Beatles medleys on my accordion and actually saw some of the ninth grade band playing, met them and got to be friends with them and I joined the band as an accordion player.

Pretty soon after that, at fourteen or fifteen, I got the bug to start playing guitar just as a hobby and just playing blues rock & roll for fun. My brother Tommy actually had been playing a bit and he gave me my first lessons and started helping me learn some chords. And to this day, Tommy still plays with me and joined my band Grin after I got to be a professional at seventeen. I spent many, many countless times on the road with Tommy and my bands and my solo bands and in Grin and had a ball. My brothers are great and they’re my best friends. They all play but Tommy was the professional and still is.

How did your parents feel about you playing music?

My mom and dad danced, that was their hobby. They danced all the time. So although not musicians per se they loved music, they were very aware of the healing therapeutic properties and qualities of music and they played music all the time in the house. Fortunately, they were always very encouraging with my accordion lessons, even my guitar lessons. They were happy to encourage their children to enjoy the gift of music, which was a huge help.

Who was the first guitar player to really blow you away?

I used to watch the Lawrence Welk Show and see my accordion hero Myron Floren play all the time on the Lawrence Welk Show, which was pretty middle-of-the-road big band stuff but still I loved his accordion playing. But it’s probably got to be, the very initial contact, was through The Beatles and the Stones. So right out of the gate it was George Harrison and John Lennon and Keith Richards. And really through The Beatles and the Stones I discovered quickly The Who’s Pete Townshend, all those great guitar players and Eric Clapton. But originally it was The Beatles and George Harrison and the Stones and Keith Richards that really got me excited about guitar playing. Through them I discovered all those other great players we discussed.

I started learning guitar, I studied for a few months, I took lessons locally through some rock teachers after Tommy got me going. It was very useful and helpful. Then after that I carried on on my own and it was just a hobby, you know. But as soon as he made it onto the landscape, Jimi Hendrix, to me, was by far the greatest guitar player of all time. I always thought Jeff Beck was out there with Jimi. Those two just seemed to be in their own place of amazing playing and soulful communicating through that instrument.
I used to follow Hendrix around and see him play whenever I could. It really was just a hobby and it was after seeing the Jimi Hendrix Experience when I was sixteen in the club the Ambassador Theatre in Washington that I kind of got possessed by his performance with the idea that maybe I wanted to do that for a living. And that really was not a common theme in the mid-60’s. We were in middle America so everyone was worried about college and SAT scores and just like now, kids don’t know what the hell they want to be when they’re 16. What a crazy pressure to put on people. It’s just ridiculous. But it was ridiculous then, it’s ridiculous now (laughs). I had no idea what I wanted to do and that night I saw Jimi Hendrix, this passionate hobby for a couple years now seemed like a dream of wanting to pursue that as a career and I did. At 17 I hit the road, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of big adventure. I hit the road as a quote professional guitarist who knew nothing about show business at  17 in 1968. And now I’m working on my 44th year on the road and I’m grateful to be alive and well and singing and playing.

What was it like seeing Hendrix?

It was amazing. My heroes, the Jeff Beck Group and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, I followed them around the East Coast, went to see them a lot. Fast-forward a couple of years and my band Grin, we’d been on the road for a couple of years, at nineteen we had our first record made and just about to come out. So we started opening shows for anybody and everybody all over the country and our booking agent got us a job to be the opening act for the Jimi Hendrix Experience in three different cities in California. So as you can imagine to go from being a little ole groupie fan following them around the clubs on the East Coast to all of a sudden being the opening act, we were out of our mind happy. The night we opened for Jimi Hendrix in Ventura was my nineteenth birthday, June 21, 1970. I got to go back and knock on the Winnebago door and shake his hand and thank him for letting us be his opening act, which he probably had nothing to do with (laughs) and just let him know how much his music and playing meant to me. Before I became a pest I just said “Thank you” and walked away and went to the side of the stage and got to sit there and watch him play for us.

Lucky you

Lucky me (laughs). I’ve been very blessed, had a lot of ups and downs, but the highlights have been spectacular, getting to see all those bands. I’m not sure what year it was but it was the late 60’s, we all went down to Constitution Hall to see The Who, Herman’s Hermits and the Blues Magoos. And of course this was the original Who in a 2000 seat hall and they were amazing. Then we all rushed over to see the late Jimi Hendrix show and Pete Townshend rushed over with us and he was sitting in the audience and we all watched Jimi Hendrix play for us. Pretty amazing stuff back then and of course being a teenager, I ran around and soaked it up everywhere I could and I had a pretty formidable dance card when it comes to going to see live concerts back then.

Would you say that seeing Hendrix was one of your favorite concerts?

There were many great artists. I got to see Ray Charles; there is nobody greater than Ray Charles way back then. I went to this little club, The Cellar Door, all the time. I saw BB King a lot, spectacular shows, Tim Hardin, one of the great folk artists that died on us very young. Just so many bands came through there. I saw Muddy Waters twice. I snuck backstage and asked Mr Waters if I could watch him play cards. They were just sitting there throwing cards on the table and shouting at each other. He let me stand in the corner and watch (laughs). Then I went down and saw him play two shows. So these were very powerful visceral imprints on me musically.

That’s where I met Neil Young. I snuck into his dressing room and he was nice to me and got me a cheeseburger and coke and I watched four shows over two days. My band Grin at this point was on our way to LA in three weeks to look for a record deal and Neil said, “Look me up when you get there” and I did and that led to his producer David Briggs taking us under his wing and producing all four of our records. As we were navigating our early showbiz music career with David looking after us, at eighteen years of age, Neil did the After The Gold Rush record and asked me to play guitar and piano and to sing on it, which I did. Look, for an eighteen year old starting my second year as a professional musician, that was just an enormous experience for me to make an album with Neil Young. It’s just a very powerful visceral imprint on me musically and we went and played everywhere, anywhere we could. I mean, obviously, it would be nice to make 50 bucks but if we had to play for free, we played for free. Opening for Jimi Hendrix we probably lost money but we didn’t care. We were like, we’re going to be there, we’re going to play and sing (laughs). If our paycheck is five cents we don’t care and I’m sure if they said it’d cost you a few hundred bucks to open we would have scrounged the money up somehow to pay the fee.

Back then we were just lucky to be teenagers and have a band with original music and get to not only open for a lot of our musical heroes but learn from them too. Even before that, I wound up going backstage whenever I could asking for advice. For the Jeff Beck Band, I snuck backstage and befriended Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart, who were very nice to me and kind. And two years later, much like the Hendrix story, I was opening for the Small Faces, my band Grin was an opening act for them. By now they had joined the Small Faces, so there was Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart again and they remembered me as that kid that followed them around with the Jeff Beck Group tour and now I was their opening act. They were very friendly and kind and always have been.
I was lucky. It was a great time to be in a band and working hard and making your way in a profession you didn’t know much about and you bump into people like that who are friendly and kind and not only want to help you out or answer your questions but were always very encouraging. It was really powerful stuff. Back then there was no internet, there was no video, there was no iPhones, which was not bad but the only thing you could do back then if you wanted anything musically you had to learn how to play in front of people. You couldn’t craft it in a home computer, you couldn’t make a great record and not know how to play in front of people. There’s nothing wrong with that, people make great records thanks to technology now, but it was a good experience to have to learn how to play for people and everything that goes with that: playing a teen club, playing free, playing at teen centers or being an opening act for anybody, playing at coffee houses. It was a really good education in what works and what doesn’t work and to this day I still learn more in front of an audience than anywhere else. Even making my last record, going out and playing, going on the road for a few weeks and singing songs acoustically or with some electric guitar in a very intimate club setting, is very useful for me crafting this last record I made. It’s what I enjoy the most, performing.

You’ve played with all these great people. What do you think you’ve learned the most about being a performer from watching them?

Well, I learned a few years in, or five years in, that I do love to perform live. Otherwise, after a while, if you don’t like performing for people or singing and playing, then you find a way to get off the road cause it wears on you. First thing, I’m blessed to be someone who loves to perform for people so it makes all the other issues, like being homesick, not finding good food, being in a lousy hotel and all the other things that go along with it, make it part of the job I want to be able to handle well and cope with. But also, watching all these great acts, I realize you got to really be in the moment and follow your instincts and not be reckless but be free and try to get out of your head, kind of shut your mind off.

To me, you need to really prepare during the day, do your homework and that’s not just musical homework, that’s physical homework. Like you can’t stagger out falling over drunk, you’ve got to be sharp and you’ve got to be in shape. If you get excited by an audience you want to be able to run at your trampoline and do a backflip and jump off the drum riser and not kill yourself (laughs) and I’ve been doing that for forty years. Of course now the trampoline is in the closet cause I did destroy the hip. But, you want to stay in the moment, you want to really be able to push yourself when you get an idea to take a long solo and go crazy with it, you want to be able to be efficient on your instrument and in good enough shape to do that and take those chances and be able to deliver physically and emotionally and musically. It’s fun and exciting but it does require some practice and preparation. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. For me, my forte is being in a band on a stage in front of an audience.

What about recording? Does that come just as natural to you?

Making records is harder work for me. I don’t have patience. Some musicians I know love to sit there and try different amps and sounds and microphones and they’ll twiddle away for weeks and the idea of having to get in front of an audience and perform doesn’t appeal to them and I get it. I’m just the opposite. I love the live performance thing and I struggle with the studio thing a little bit. I work hard at the patience to make a good record. This last one in particular, I didn’t even start recording until I could sing and play the songs live. I went for live vocals and I got ten of them out of the twelve. You know, you find ways to see what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are and then you kind of trick yourself into keeping the weak parts to a minimum and improve on them or work around them and play to your strengths.

How early did you start writing songs?

It’s kind of funny. I was still a teenage accordion player, falling in love with rock & roll, still playing rock on the accordion, and I started this local band called The Renegades. It was a great cover band (laughs) and there were a lot of cover bands doing the top 10 or 20 back then, which was amazing. It was The Beatles, the Stones, The Yardbirds, the Kinks, The Who, Herman’s Hermits, R&B, Stax, Motown. It was just amazing great songs that people covered. So anyway, there was this band called The Renegades and when I was in North Bethesda Junior High School, I kind of approached them. I’d go see them at teen centers and I saw one of the guitar players, Rolf Hanson, once in the schoolyard and I went up and started talking to him.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I struck a deal where I’d come borrow my dad’s Ford station wagon and I’d come and help. I’d pack up all their gear, load it into the car, and I’d drive it to the gig and schlep it into the building in return for letting me come in with them and watch the show and kind of hang out with them backstage or whatever. It was just kind of a bid I did. I was probably fourteen and I was being a roadie now for a local band and I wrote a song on the accordion and I was too embarrassed to approach them personally so I sent it anonymously in a letter, written out with the words and lyrics musically as a suggestion for them as an original song. Some ridiculous, crazy, corny little pop thing, rock thing; I think it was called “She’s So Rightly” or some ridiculous title I came up with (laughs). Even as a young kid, before I picked up guitar, I was technically writing probably terrible songs for local bands that I submitted anonymously through the mail.

Years later I picked up the guitar, I got to be a hot shot local guitar player and I started playing with some of the guys in The Renegades, now the Crystal Mesh. Instead of being a roadie here I was in the band playing guitar and writing songs for them, we were starting to do original music, so it was just a natural progression and evolution like any field. You start off strictly as a fan, you don’t have many ideas of your own. Then you get a little better and instead of playing the Eric Clapton lick and the Jimmy Page lick and the Jimi Hendrix lick and the BB King lick, all of a sudden they’re your licks. They’re still all based in the blues and those guys are still my heroes but now when I play I don’t think of them, I just play what I feel. I’ve been blessed with finally getting good enough on playing instruments to where I was able to hit the road at seventeen and play rock & roll professionally.

I’ve never had a hit record but I keep making records. This new record, Old School, I think is as great a record I ever made. I feel great about it. I’m at peace with it. I parted ways with music record companies 16 years ago cause it just wasn’t a good fit. They weren’t making money off of me. I’m an old guy so they had no interest in me anyway. So thanks to the internet and technology I can make music I’m proud of, I can put it out, I can go play and sing wherever I want, I don’t need anyone’s permission and I have nobody looking over my shoulder. Yeah, it’s grass roots, the numbers are a lot smaller, but so what. I’m making music I’m proud of and I can put it out to share. I go sing and play, which I’ve been doing regularly for a couple of years and now I’ve got this new album. I was just about to start booking myself all through the year and we got this beautiful call that Bruce wanted to put the band back together and go play with a new record and it’s very, very exciting stuff. So I’m hoping to continue promoting Old School and once I get a more specific schedule for the year, maybe I can find some windows where I can go out and do a couple shows on my own. It’s been a great journey, working on my forty-fourth year as a professional musician and singer and writer and I’m very grateful for that.

Speaking of your CD, on the song “Ain’t Too Many Of Us Left” you seem like you’re really just letting loose and breaking free.

That’s a great story that song. I was just a couple days out of surgery with two new hips. I was really beat up, appropriately doped up to avoid terrible pain cause they had to keep moving me every four hours to keep the hips going. My wife Amy moved into the hospital with me and the phone rang and she put the phone up to my head and it was Neil Young, a dear old friend, a great mentor and still to me as great a singer-songwriter-player that we’ve ever had. He was just giving me a pep talk, seeing how I was doing, and he told me, “Hey, man, get well and heal because there ain’t too many of us left” and even at that moment I recognized that would be a great song down the road. So I feel like I had to get it on this record.

I wrote it and asked the great Sam Moore, who is a local buddy and of course is one of the great iconic singers from Sam & Dave and is still around singing great, and he was kind enough to come in the studio and sing live with me. Again, that was a track that I did my part live in the studio and keeping with that I used my old 1961 Fender Strat, a wood strat, so for the lead solo I thought, let me try to play as live as possible. I got out this old 1952 Goldtop Les Paul that I used with Neil Young on the Trans tour and just got this searing sound and just tried to jam for all five minutes and have a go at it and have fun with it, which I did. I did a few takes and I’d take big sections from one take or another but it was really live in my home. Then with Sam, we stood across from each other in the studio and sang all those bits live and it was a very powerful reminder, like in the old days where there is a five minute song and there’s a lot of jamming on guitar and you don’t have some A&R guy saying, “Oh, you can’t have a long song like that, after the vocals are done you need to fade out and keep it to three minutes”. I don’t have a record company so I don’t have those problems and that was a perfect vehicle, especially in light of the subject matter of there ain’t too many of us left, to go back to two guitars just going to town with each other for five minutes and have fun with it.

What about “Dream Big”? That has an unusual story behind its conception.

As someone that likes to keep learning, my wife Amy gave me a harp, an actual harp, two Christmases ago. I started going in to watch the football games cause I love football, and instead of sitting down with the harp leaning against your shoulder like you’re supposed to, I’m sitting there watching the Tv and it’s off to my right. So I start playing it backwards and I come up with this riff. I had started tap dancing as a hobby after my hips healed, just cause I love tap dancing, and the guy I was working with, Greg Varlotta, is a great tap dancer, so he taught me how and I do it as a hobby for fun. So I started playing the harp with one hand, tapping a rhythm with my feet and I was just singing this little riff and that led to this song.

It’s kind of a little more ominous dark thing where as you get older you got to find ways to be inspired. You’re going to be in trouble cause you can just sit there and wither away and lament all the friends you’ve buried and that’s what that song is about. It’s like, hey, you better dance a lot at any age, you can even dance in a wheelchair, dance in your heart, dance in your head. Find something that excites you and it gets more critical to do that as you get older I feel. And that is what that song is about. Even if you’re miserable on the couch, which we’ve all probably been, take your dog and walk around the block. If that’s all you do, then you can go and lay back on the couch and watch Nick At Night and be miserable. But take your dog and walk around the block or get a dog or something, just find something that will engage you and excite you. That’s life. We all got to work harder at it as we get older but that is what that’s about.

Last question: What was cooler? You being on The Simpsons or you playing with Ringo Starr?

You know what? That is a tough one (laughs). They’re neck and neck. Of course, the Ringo Starr tour was four months and twice instead of one day in the studio with Bart Simpson. It’s funny, I thought BB King might be one of the only living guitarists that could be in this same class. So I asked BB King recently when we saw him in Phoenix, “BB King, have you ever played with Cab Calloway?” cause I’ve seen BB King play with Bart Simpson. And he said, “You know what, I never got to play with Cab.” Well, I got to play with Cab Calloway in a big band on a Tv show the year before he died. So I’m the only guy in history who got to play with Bart Simpson and Cab Calloway on the planet Earth (laughs).

It was the Paula Poundstone show, we did it in LA, and they cancelled it right away. She was a wonderful comedienne to work with but I was like a musical director with no house band and I just liaisoned with bands coming in. I was living in LA at the time, and long story short, Cab comes in, I put a band together for him with the old Doc Severinsen guys from Johnny Carson. He loved the band and I asked the manager if I could stick myself in the band as a guitarist, cause he didn’t need a guitarist, and the manager said, “Well, you can do it but if Cab doesn’t like you he’ll fire you on the spot”. I said, “Well, he can’t fire me but he’ll throw me off the bandstand, I get it”. So I put myself in the band and Cab liked me and I got to play with him and it was one of the highlights of my life. So between Bart Simpson, Ringo Starr and Cab Calloway, that certainly puts me in an elite group of one (laughs)

Rip Magazine was once the metal fan’s Garden of Eden for news and interviews of the genre’s favorite musicians. And Lonn Friend was the man who put it all together. In next week’s edition, we get a peek inside the mind and memories of one of the most envied rock journalists in the history of rock & roll.

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