Silver Spring native and lifer musician Nils Lofgren joins Nestor for a candid conversation about his latest work, “Mountains,” released in the middle of a worldwide tour with Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band that comes to Oriole Park at Camden Yards this Saturday.
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Nestor Aparicio, Nils Lofgren
Nestor Aparicio 00:01
W and S T Towson Baltimore. And Baltimore positive. We are celebrating 25 years we got the cupcake out front. We’re taking the Maryland crabcake tour on the road we’re gonna have to Maryland scratch offs on the 15th. At fade Lee’s in Lexington market in the morning of celebrating our partnership with compensate it’s going to be football season the Orioles are going to be in the playoffs. And we’re going to have one Bruce Springsteen concert down but one more to go. Because Bruce’s course playing Oriole Park at Camden Yards, this great place that is electrified already before the band gets here with first place baseball as well as that at nats Park. Miss Lofgren has been my friend for 30 678 years. I don’t know Shriver Hall many, many years ago with Don Waner posts grin, and he’s still grinning, but during the East Street era, and we get together every couple of years. And I get together with him more often than he gets together with me because I’m standing behind you in Austin and Houston in Tampa and put pictures up and having a good time. He has an album, he’s in the middle of a tour. And I said, I can’t believe you’re spending half of your day off with me nails. But I appreciate your love through all the years. But it and his wife watched all of this. This has been something grueling to watch. And now you’re releasing an album and doing these things with people like me to talk about how important this album is to you. But are you rested? You look great, man.
Nils Lofgren 01:23
Well, you know, I’m loving the work. I’ve done like leaving home. Amy’s at home with our dogs, I missed him terribly. But next month is September is 55 years down the road. So I’ve found thankfully, I’m more grateful and joyful, walking out on stage with a great band. Thankfully, I love that more than ever. So you know, leaving home as part of it. But I’m loving the playing and just thrilled to be out with Bruce in the band. I don’t think I think the band and the audiences are as good as I’ve ever seen him. So that’s very exciting. And of course, you know, the last year and a half I worked on a record and got that done, which I’m really happy about because COVID kind of threw me for a loop and you know, I was not touring. And because a little clubs I play aren’t safe, weren’t safe and I go out to my studio and like I put on BB King Albert King, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, that was my top four and I just play along, you know, karaoke, jamming along. And after a while, I just thought you got to do something professionally. And touring in the little clubs wasn’t safe for me. So I challenged myself to make a record. Thus mountains. I feel good about it.
Nestor Aparicio 02:41
You went out to the desert a long time ago. I mean, I should call this a home game for you to be playing Oriole Park at Camden Yards. And you guys have played a lot of baseball stadiums I’ve seen in Philly more than a handful of times but play Oriole Park kind of new to all this McCartney Billy Joel they haven’t had a whole lot of concerts. And you know a home game for you. You grew up here looking at the same stuff we looked at you wrote bullets fever. Every time I mentioned you somebody mentioned bullets fever to me about you, but your band and what you’ve done. And then you’ve gone into Bruce land and East st world. When did you get to the desert? Because when I see mountains, you’ve traveled the world, man. I’ve traveled the world with you. I’ve seen you with two or three or four continents. I haven’t counted them up. But you see things but I know where you live. You know what I mean? I know what Scott, I know what that area is. And it’s so unique to the world that you see mountains. I would think you’re inspired every day by the beauty of it. But something drew you out there because you could live anywhere you want, right?
Nils Lofgren 03:39
Yeah, well, the truth is somewhere. I don’t know very early 80s I was playing the stone pony famous club in Asbury Park. I saw this beautiful girl talk are now hanging out with me at the princess motel we talked till 6am Her name was Amy Aiello. And, you know my boss was I’m sorry, my tour bus was going to Boston at 6am. After a great gig at the pony. She wasn’t there to see me. She was just there with some girlfriends. And I couldn’t talk when they’re coming on the bus to keep you know, talking and getting to know each other. She said she had a job. Her mom had killed her. So of course 4:30am having a few drinks. I say give me your mom’s number. I’ll call her and square it. Give me your boss’s number. I’ll work it out with him and said you’re not calling my boss and my mother at 430. And so I say goodbye. Loved her and I was in Jersey every three months playing a bar. I thought for sure she show back up because I thought she liked me. I didn’t see her for 15 years. So 15 years later, 27 years ago by in a bar the rocking horse in Scottsdale, Arizona. Great club. Again, getting ready to get on the bus to say Diego, she walks up at the end of the show says, Hey, remember me. And I remember more about the nights and she did. She had a five year old son. Both of us were almost done with divorces. And thankfully that night I got her number and we’ve been together ever since. So that’s why I wound up in Scottsdale.
Nestor Aparicio 05:17
Well, my wife says her best to Amy and I know like, during the Trump era, and then during the lockdown, I was at the last show that you played with the street that all of you played together. Before Bruce did Broadway and all of that the show in New Zealand. I left the left that night smarts that was at Mount Smart Stadium. I was in New Zealand with you guys. And wow. Yeah, yeah, I was I was at those I was at Christ Church when the whole city my city of ruins like all of that happened. I was in Brisbane with you guys. And yeah, yeah. So you know, I had seen the last East Street, I’d seen Bruce a couple of times up on Broadway. My connection to you is our friendship but Facebook and Twitter and her getting thrown off Twitter. And then me getting thrown off Twitter and Trump running the country in my city of ruins. You know what I mean? My city having Freddie Gray and the tanks and the mayors and like, and then Trump gets elected. And, you know, I see your politics. Everybody knows versus politics. i Oh, I also was in Cleveland. And like when you were campaigning for Obama, and Bruce was playing out in the streets that night. But and I’ve seen you with Jamie Raskin, right. I mean, your wife, and you the outspokenness, and what happened during Trump, and then COVID, I think really speaks to what you’re speaking to in mountains and your truth that this is your truth, and a chance to do that, and maybe not do it from a 25 or 30 year old perspective, but do it from your wisdom from seeing the world.
Nils Lofgren 06:44
Yeah, you know, I think, Well, Amy, in particular, much more than me has been very vocal fighter on on social media, Twitter and Instagram for, you know, human rights, women’s rights, children’s rights. I mean, there’s been a war on women my entire life. And basically, you know, the fact that they just decided, you know, you get three judge judges that lie under oath, and then rescind a woman’s rights to choose or having a kid. And then you know, hey, if your uncle rapes you, and you’re 11, you’re gonna have the kid, we’re not going to help you raise it. What the hell is that about? You know, it’s very, so I’ve kind of gotten more aware of thanks to Amy. And the opening track, probably one of my better songs in a long time. In fact, there’s a new video out with Ringo and Kevin McCormack and Cindy Mizel. On the song ain’t the truth enough. And there’s a prequel through the video, it’s a story about what would a fierce mother do with a husband that just came back from the insurrection of January 6. And that’s the song ain’t the truth enough. And of course, throughout mankind, you know, if the truth is not enough, you’re in trouble. And one of my better songs, but that was mountains, it was not so much about Arizona, it was just about the troubles and the new challenges we’ve all had to climb. I think everyone on earth has had PTSD, from COVID, and some kind of politics, especially in the States. And so I challenged myself to write a record, it’s just not about I don’t even call it politics, it’s just humanity. I mean, you know, being the, you know, the religion of kindness to each other, and living in the truth. We’re not doing that. And it’s funny, I’m the disease of alcohol and addiction of touch so many of us and our friends, but the addiction of greed and power and money. There’s no rehabs for that. And now you’ve got you know, we’re at kind of a turning point with climate change, and just cruelty to mankind and especially, you know, women shoulder just in general, the cruelty needed to, you know, have billionaires become trillionaires. And it’s never enough. And so now democracy’s in the way of that, and they decided to get rid of democracy. So what the hell are we going to do about it? I mean, just kind of a mad time and strangely enough, not sure. At truth enough is not a mean spirited song, and neither is the video. I’ll send it to you when we get off. But um, you know, that I had these flashbacks. I grew up in the 60s we had the Vietnam War, draft lottery, I got a low number had to go to Fort Hollenberg. All the assassinations grin. My old band grant plays to civil rights marches downtown.
Nestor Aparicio 09:34
Fort Holabird in Baltimore, Florida, I had
Nils Lofgren 09:37
to go to Fort Hollenberg for a physical and if I passed, I was going to Vietnam. It’s going to happen. I
Nestor Aparicio 09:42
mean, literally, that is that that’s my neighborhood. Yeah,
Nils Lofgren 09:45
they have what was called the lottery. And they established a lottery where you couldn’t just walk in with a note from your doctor, hey, this kid shouldn’t be in the arm, right? If you got a low number and you pack astrophysical you were going at it was a very scary times. And I felt like the Trump years and what’s going on with climate change and everything else, and the lack of rights for women’s and children. And of course, you know, African Americans, anybody that’s not white and rich, really. It’s just gave me flashbacks to that era. And that’s the mountains I speak of, you know, climbing these new challenges that in my early 70s, I was hoping we were heading to greener pastures as a civilization. And there’s all these beautiful people doing wonderful things a lot of them with nothing, no money, living in poverty, they put schools together for for girls that don’t have any rights in their country. But unfortunately, those people aren’t in charge. So we’re at a turning point now, and I just wrote whatever came out, had a lot of help from Neil Young saying on a track Nothing’s easy step you. I did a song only your smile was kind of a Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole ballad, I wrote on the piano and played it. And Ron Carter, the famous jazz bassist played on it upright, Cindy Mizel, sang beautifully. David Crosby rest, his soul cross sang with me on a song, which really I remember her name is the story of meeting Amy and having 15 years between our first and second date. So it’s really an emotional record. I feel great about it. And you know, of course, you can get it at NAU software.com. We’ve got vinyl CDs, you can download it on any of the sites. But I’m glad I got that done as a professional musician before this Torian. And I’m happy to you know, get it out there and share it because it was kind of a journey for me to feel like I was doing something besides being the house boy, because Amy runs the ship. She’s great at it. But I don’t really have any skills, past play and blues guitar. So I put it to good use. And may I think a good record, the
Nestor Aparicio 11:54
great news loft and joins us from East Street and at you know, this is fresh off of MetLife and headed to Camden Yards. And it’ll be at nats Park later in the month. Of course, the first in the band, the new Matt album is mountains. We’re discussing all aspects of that, you know, when I think of Bruce’s career, and I think of the rising and I think a 911. And a reaction to that, and that every artist and you know, you’re not the first not the only Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I had Jean Jacques on from Dundalk, from the gogos, who’s she came out out of crabcake with me recently is spent a lot more time back in Baltimore, just talking to every artist about COVID. And about that lock down period, where your home wherever you are in life’s journey, and it’s what you do. You’re right, you try to pass time you try to be creative in some way. At what point do you know you have an album? At what point is it just not screwing around and playing chords or writing a song or a couple of songs to say, Hey, this is this is a project I’m going to be doing with Nestor on Bruce’s tour when I go out, we’re gonna release an album. Because you don’t have to do this at this point in your life. This is clearly you’re an artist and I guess it it always inspires me to see all of you get together and play. Because it’s tough to go out on the road and the money and all that what it cost us to go. But you have to love it to do it. You have to be fully committed to do it. And to put an album out at this point, there’s got to be an on off switch to say, maybe that’s a little too much, or hey, let’s I want to do that again.
Nils Lofgren 13:24
Well, you know, what happens is, first of all, I got a gift I did not ask for. I didn’t create to give between my parents DNA and some kind of higher power and I’m not talking about religion. Personally, I’m a recovering Catholic. I had a really bad experience with the Catholic Church. So you know, I think most religions are kind of cults. That was my experience of I’m talking about a higher power some kind of God’s Fine with me, but you know, there’s something more than us out there. And I got a gift I didn’t ask for when I realized you know, home with COVID Just playing blues guitar to BB King Albert King Muddy Waters Halliwell. If that wasn’t enough, I had to use my gift, or it starts making you a little ill inside. And so since I couldn’t tour safely, I challenged myself to write a record. And way back when I was a teenager, we come out to Baltimore UMBC the blues that play it all the time we were up in Baltimore constantly. It’s certainly just to me as much home as DC. And you know, I remember this was a while ago and I still had a home in gaithersburg which we don’t have any more. We took Dylan my son and a couple of his buddies out to the Baltimore we stayed at the end of the harbor. So that beautiful aquarium we went to a ballgame. And it started dumping rain to the point where they call the game send us all out of the stadium. We we were laughing because we were walking back to the hotel. We’re just like, buckets of rain, but just you know, it’s just a great place. I love coming back back there, I love that we have a show outdoors there in the stadium. But you know, back to mountains, you know, again, if you have this gift, and you ignore it long enough, you start getting ill inside. And that’s what was happening thing for me. I mean, I love being home with me and our dogs, Dylan’s down the road, he come over regularly, but I wasn’t exercising his gift. And after three years of not touring, you know, I said, Man, you better write a record, do something professional, and that’s mountains. And it helped me, you know, it helped me cope with all the crazy we’re all dealing with and still are like, and we’re gonna have a democracy in a couple of years. I don’t know, I don’t want to move. I don’t want to move to Europe, or Denmark, or Sweden, or Norway or Finland, beautiful place I, I want to live in America. But I wanted to be, you know, it seemed like we were heading towards a promise of looking out for people and being a real democracy and letting everyone have a vote, a voice and a vote. Then all of a sudden, now we got these trillionaires who don’t have enough money, and they’ve decided, look, unless you’re, you know, super wealthy and white, you’re less than us, you don’t count. And the war on women is just insane. I mean, you know, it’s not quite as bad as some of the countries in the world where I don’t I don’t know, Nestor. I mean, I shouldn’t be judging people’s harshly. But, you know, just because you know, you’re nervous asking a girl to dance. As you’re lusting after her, you’re attracting and you’re too nervous, you don’t know how to handle it. The next step isn’t throwing a sheet on her making her a slave and taking away all your rights in your country. That’s not the next step. The next step is going on to say, Hey, can I talk to you for a minute, and let it go from there. And I mean, men have done a pretty shit job of running the world. At this point, we got a lot of problems, I think we ought to turn it over to the Web, give them a shot at it, because I think they do a better job. I think they have a reverence for life. Giving birth, in general men kind of lose as parents along the way and get wrapped up in money. And now with TV and the Internet, man, it’s, it’s challenging. We’re not policing it properly. And, you know, it’s just a crazy time with the album, like back to your question, because I talk a lot. Rather than write 30 songs and agonize over what might be an album, I just wrote an album. When I had 10 songs, I learned how to play and sing them live. I didn’t want to piece the album together, I wanted to play and sing live. Then when you have the core of a performance, it’s fun to add touches, or, you know, hey, asked Neil Young, will you sing on this? Yeah, I’d love to. That’s fun them. So I made sure I had a record. I felt strong about it. I could sing and play it live with each performer performances. And then, you know, build nice touches around it got a lot of great, how
Nestor Aparicio 17:48
do you go back to old notebooks from something you wrote on a tour bus back on a tunnel of love tour, you know, or just say, hey, maybe that was a piece of a song to bring in? Or is it all completely blank sheet of paper and say I’m going to do an album, I got piece, one song or two songs right here now, because I would think, as a writer, myself, I have notes and notes and notes and notes of just things that I want to say at some point in life, and I haven’t gone back and grabbed it again to pull it together.
Nils Lofgren 18:16
You’re right. It’s all of the above. Most of these songs are new, but I went through all my notebooks seven or eight notebooks looking for something that might be like a lot of times I’ll have some like hate the truth and up that that idea came to me. I wanted it to be a much deeper subject matter. So I came up with the idea I mentioned a fierce mom dealing with a husband just home from the January 6 insurrection and went from there, Cindy Mizel was the woman’s voice represented she sang her ass off. But yes, I go through my old notebooks. A lot of my songs are like, not completing two days ain’t the truth enough, two or three days it was done. I love those songs. But most of them are kind of jigsaw puzzles. I’ll chip away at them sometimes for months, sometimes for years. And then I’d like I need a bridge. That songs over I’m sealing this part and I plug it in a couple of songs like that. Angel blues, you know the idea. There’s angels among us, there’s angels above us. And we’re making them weary, not taking good, good enough care of the human race. So that was an old song. I completed it on the piano. You know, I just love the idea of comforting each other like leaving your weary halo on my wing and let the peace calm. There’s angels all around us doing great work. We got to help each other and like I think it was 100 I think Amy told me years ago one of the Dalai Lama is or maybe the Dalai Lama said My religion is kindness. That’s what we need man. We just need to be kind we can we be crazy and go to football games and how I played football and basketball well under my adulthood. Had to stop to tackle football because we all started getting hurt. When I played bass Come all the way up to I needed to metal hips 50 years ago
Nestor Aparicio 20:04
believes it did that man Come on It was a tramp move did that right? Yeah, it
Nils Lofgren 20:08
was that but jumping off jumping off a train. Yeah, jumping off the trampoline with a guitar, doing backflips jumping off drum risers pa stacks for 40 years, but most of it really was playing I played about 20 hours of basketball in city courts every week, you know, asphalt courts. I’ve only 535
Nestor Aparicio 20:30
I’m seeing a little Mugsy boom see a little sparkplug. I’m seeing a little blink are kind of thing a little bit right you got
Nils Lofgren 20:36
it. I go to the pickup games. I love three on three. That’s my favorite game because you’re always passing shoot and driven playing defense. But I get some heavier games, five on five better players, but they let me play because I was a great passer. I prefer to pass the ball and I was good at it. And I was hellacious defensive player. You know, most of the guys at the park. They don’t want to play defense that hard. They put me on the best player who was way better than me, but I hassle the hell out of them. Sometimes they’d almost you know, I get almost beat up. But I have sold the hell out of their best player and keep them from getting the ball and I was valuable as a defensive player. And yeah, point guard. Pass the ball around. I was great at that. I still miss flying but with two metal hips. You can’t really play hellacious three on three.
Nestor Aparicio 21:28
Well, I’m sure Bruce loves having you in his own his team as well knows Lofgren is here from the E Street Band. The new album is mountains you can find all out in those lofton.com There’s videos, there’s stuff, there’s information, all of that, as well as you know, all the charity work that you’ve done over the years where I said, Hey, nails, can you leave me tickets in, in in Brisbane? And you know, I all the stuff you’ve done, but song writing, there was something you said to me. You and I sat down many times I got four or five different long form. You would need BS and about all sorts of things over the years at St. Paul’s and whatnot. You said something about I’m in a band with the greatest songwriter ever. Right? Like seeing that and seeing his work. And then there’s Neil Young and then you name your child Dylan. Right. So you know, there’s being a songwriter and trying to know when a song is done knowing when it’s good enough knowing when it’s good enough for you. What have you learned about songwriting in 2020 as a 60 something year old guy versus when you were doing this for grant in the 70s? Well, you
Nils Lofgren 22:33
know, it’s 2023 of 72 hanging around for look between Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, and of course, Bob Dylan there, they might be our three greatest writers to me. There’s dozens and dozens of incredible writers, but to me, those are probably the best three and hanging around to be
Nestor Aparicio 22:51
able to go from the Beatles to I’m just gonna throw the I just gotta put
Nils Lofgren 22:57
Ringo, Ringo, Ringo was kind enough to play his ass off on a truth enough. And he let me use one of his vocals where he goes peace and love and another song of what? We better find it. And you know, I just learned that you stick with it until you know it’s done and you don’t overthink it. That’s what I do this record. I mean, no, not yet. Not yet, but you keep chipping away. I usually get up in the dark. When I’m off the road. I get up at the crack of dawn, sneak out of the room rows are 105 pound Nick’s dog comes out keeps me company as I wrote this record, and I chip away at it, but I’d say at it. So each song was complete. And I’m sure by osmosis. I mean look, I’ve been flying with Neil Young and Crazy Horse on and off for 52 years with Bruce 40 years next year, like fun. I’ve got 90 years in to those two bands during the first two Ringo Starr All Star Tours, what a gift you know to be in a band with one of the Beatles because I was playing classical accordion and it was the Beatles that got me off the accordion into you know picking up rock and roll just as a hobby for fun. And the Beatles stones the British Invasion the American counterpart it was through them that I discovered Stax vote Motown, Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Richard all of it through the Beatles and stones, but you know, to get to be in a band with Ringo was just to join, of course, the first band. You know, I met him in 85. On the board, he was paid tour. At his home birthday party jam with him. It was great. I sat around having some drinks. And the night he gave me his phone numbers and stay in touch. I called him every three, four weeks, and I lived in LA and was she had a home too, and he’s still there. So an 89 It’s a fun story. He was speaking of font stories. I mean,
Nestor Aparicio 24:51
you’re meandering, I’m writing them all down. Go ahead. So 100
Nils Lofgren 24:55
So I’ve got this new thing because people like my story. So my website Right now there’s, there’s something called Rock reality. It’s my reality and rock and roll, I tell stories and then I play a little music at the end, you can check them out, there’s three episodes three more common. I’m just going to tell the stories and make them available. But an 89 called Rock ality. But anyway, at 89, Ringo calls, and he says, Look, you know, I don’t need all this money and fame, I’ve got it. I’m not good inside because I’m not playing I’m not a musician, I have to find a way to go play like I was talking about earlier. If you got a gift that you don’t use, starts making you ill. So instead, I’ve got an idea for a band, all star band. Well, we all is a round robin, we all take turns doing two or three of our own songs, I can run up and sing some of his his photograph, you know, don’t come easy songs like that. You’re 16. But I want to play drums, the night back and everybody else ups. And I want you in the band, picking my favorite musicians. And I was like so honored. And I was out of my mind. We’re going to be four months, pick your songs. Here’s the date, count me in. I’m elated. And I go to say goodbye. And Ringo says, Wait a minute, don’t you want to know who’s in the band? And I said, Well, you’re in the band. Say I am they said well, that’s enough for me. And we both laughed. He said, Well, let me tell you anyway, you and Joe Walsh are on guitars. Dr. John’s on piano Billy Preston’s on Oregon. Jim calendars on drums, livan Helm, and Rick Danko are in the band. And Clarence Clemons is playing sax. And I was like, You got to be kidding me, man. That’s the greatest assembly probably a pure talent in history. And he agrees and bless his heart. He’s been doing it 32 years now. And he’s still out. He’s going out this fall at 83. It’s a great inspiration. The body of work, The Beatles have left to me the greatest body of recorded music in history. And of course, it’s a great honor to call them friend and keep having them come out and sing and play for us. And obviously, appearing on my record was a beautiful thing.
Nestor Aparicio 27:02
I put this question out on Facebook, just to be clever. You know, I’m the old music critic. I said, What’s the greatest song ever written. And the reason I put it out was just I bought an old school iPod back in January, like has a cord no Wi Fi, none of that, or the old school or classic? And I just was wondering, like, if there’s 50 songs that would show up and I’d be like, oh, yeah, or hey, I should give that another listen. And my friend Dave shine. And he writes for The Washington Post writes baseball covers the Olympics. And he’s a musician as well as a great song that we use this our new bed music here. And in St. He wrote that he wrote on there, I think, Sarah and I’m like, oh, man, that’s a great song Fleetwood Mac, and I’m thinking Stevie Nicks, and we get together it’s like, no, no, no, Dylan, Sarah. I got the wrong song. So for you what, what makes a great song, and in your mind, I can take a crack at it. What’s the greatest song ever written?
Nils Lofgren 27:56
Well, you know, obviously, a great song is a combination of music and lyric, regardless of who sings it. Melody cores. And lyric is the bottom ingredients. And there’s been hundreds of great, great songs written but I guess if I had to be put on the spot, I don’t know. I pick blown in the wind by Bob Dylan is the greatest song ever written. close second would be wonderful world by Louis Armstrong. Not sure who wrote that. But those are, you know, some of the top two for me, but there’s just endless great songs. I mean, in your eyes, Peter Gabriel, when I first was talking to Amy for the second time, because I went on the road, we talked three hours a day, I was worried, well, what’s your take on music, and I brought up music because of course, I have to have that in common with someone. And right like that she recited the entire lyrics in your eyes by Peter Gabriel. So I knew I had somebody passionate about music to get to know and fall in love with. We’ve often if Peter wasn’t playing and finished, we take a trip to the Santa Monica bowl saw him there. I just saw recently in Europe, he’s still as good as ever. Basically the same for Bama new cache, you know Tony Levin on bass, just amazing. But you know, you couldn’t
Nestor Aparicio 29:15
get the ball to go around around the stage anymore, right? It didn’t do that trick not
Nils Lofgren 29:19
know but there’s incredible he found these in great every song. He get a visual artist to do the video and backdrop for that song, brilliant people. So like each song was a movie. And it was a visual assault. It really was
Nestor Aparicio 29:35
sledgehammer and all of that in the 80s. But but he’s playing in a couple of weeks. He’s playing America right now. And I’m putting a night together to try to see him in Philly or DC or New York because I mean, he’s sensational all the time.
Nils Lofgren 29:49
And you know, I mean, it’s just apples and oranges. I mentioned those two songs you got in your eyes. Bruce probably could throw in a dozen songs in there. You know if I should fall behind. What are the greatest vows love songs in history and just just not just you know your partner, but just the idea of like, hey, somebody falls behind you wait for him. That’s what the world needs. Yeah, like Dionne Warwick saying what the world needs now is love sweet love. That’s another classic. I mean, there’s 100, hundreds on you could debate as the best. Those are just the two I throughout, but extraordinary writing and then the Beatles, I mean Jesus, there’s probably a dozen from The Beatles that would you know, let it be. I mean, look, the world needs kindness, man, we got to be kind to each other and stop with this lying spinning crap. And just find a way to live in the truth and start healing each other our planet nature. I mean, you know, we got to get these greedy bastards that are running the world out and get people that focus on kindness. That was the theory, originally of government, some countries are still doing quite well. But man, we only have one Earth, we got to start caretaking it you know, we’re not going to live on Mars. So what the hell I mean, I hope everyone starts mainly people like the 100 million people that don’t vote if any of you are listening to me and that store that Sir, we’re in trouble. Go vote. All right, just register and vote. I’m hoping the youth is paying attention to the madness and going these adults are really screwing things up, man, we got all registered. Some people in there that are focused on you know, healing kindness, health care, climate, all of that stuff. Just common sense. And the funny thing is now, Sir, there’s solutions. There’s a lot of solutions, but to the trillionaires in charge, they don’t want to be bothered, and they can still keep their money. That when you want a beautiful planet to be a big shot on. Why not? Well, because you’re addicted to the greed. You know, the addicted to the addiction of greed and corruption in mind. That’s sad. But we we can change it, we got to do it. That’s the task at hand.
Nestor Aparicio 32:03
No, so often is our guest from the E Street Band. His new album is mountains other playing this month in and around and hopefully forever. I know they’ve rescheduled dates for Philadelphia next summer, because we had some illness couple of weeks. So I know they’re still in the you know, over the hill in August. Well, Billy, I have to ask you this because you’re fresh back from Europe. And people ask me all the time how many times you’ve seen Bruce and I’m like, more than 100 less than 200 I really don’t know. But it’s probably in the 130s 140s that I’ve gone all over the world seeing you guys mostly why and I’m like, what we went to Australia I’ve seen you the last few times you played in Brisbane and in Sydney, and over in Christchurch and up in Auckland, and I went to New Zealand and this is us traveling the world and getting to see the world and meeting other people going to China going to Japan to see you to go into Korea to see you to come over to Europe to see you guys in different places. But we went to this trip in New Zealand when we left you in Christchurch before the last show up in Auckland, we went down to the bottom of New Zealand and we went out onto this doubtful sound we went saw the glow worms, all of these crazy things at the bottom of the world below Queenstown which is one of the most beautiful places on earth. And we went over these fjords and into the water and there was an unknown that elderly an older man he was in his 60s, not No offense, but he was older than me, right? And he told us that he looked up on the mountaintops that we’re at the bottom of the physical planet at the bottom of New Zealand. And he said this is the first time in my life I’ve been able to see the top of any of this because the snows melting through the first 55 years of my life. I couldn’t see that now. We’re you know at these edges of the world how the climate is changing the planet. When you go see this for yourself and you it’s no longer anecdotal or I’m somewhere getting something from the internet or a news source of mainstream media or the it this is me having people tell me how much their worlds changing at the bottom of the world it’s frightening in that way and to see hurricanes taking out making storms that take out Lahaina you know just hurricanes coming into Los Angeles. I mean, it’s it’s a crazy time for people not believing truth in science. And they’ll say,
Nils Lofgren 34:16
Well look the the addiction of money power, greed is is destroying the earth. It just simply is and like you said, those things are available, the information is available. There’s a way there’s great solutions to turn the ship around that allow, you know, billionaires to keep their money. They’re just not there to mentally ill to realize the danger we’re in as a planet. You know, it’s not just oh, I’ve got my little you know, castle for all my family. Why should I care about anyone else? Well, because if you don’t have the earth, I mean when there’s, you know, 10 million climate refugees because of climate where people can’t live safely. In many places on Earth, and they come for you, what are you going to do? What are you going to say? Saying the guest house? You gotta kill them all? No. And it’s just amazing. The blindness, you know, that comes with that addiction. And we’re in it, man, we got to the only way. I mean, really? Now, like I said it again 100 million people in America that don’t vote, go register and vote, man. And right now, I mean, I’m an independent. I don’t think either party has done that great. But, you know, right now we got a party that wants to end democracy. So we just got to vote them out. And get, you know, people in there that are like minded and think about solutions and are serious about it. And right now, there’s only one side even talking about that. Yes, they’re both flawed, they both have mistakes. But we’ve got one party now that wants end democracy. So they’re rich donors can get richer, having a few trillion dollars is enough. If you don’t think it is, go to a psychiatrist, you know. Talk to some people that do charity work, get your head on straight, but you know, I mean, I’m, I’m just kind of figuratively complaining about these people because they’re destroying a beautiful planet. And they don’t there’s no need to there’s solutions.
Nestor Aparicio 36:13
I saw you out eating Scottsdale, best pizza with with Jamie Raskin who’s been on the program from time to time. So, you know, I knew you were discussing democracy there at that point, just to the tour and where you are in the band and the album. And I don’t know if you’re going to come in and play ramshead At some point, or you’re thinking about doing that after being on the road so long with the street but you know, I guess goals for the album. And then the near short term. Have you got some Bruce shows, you’re going up to Canada, you’re playing around, you’re gonna be out in LA Christmastime, I’m going to try to come out and see the show once or twice. You’ve been playing the same setlist. And I know that’s been great controversy as to how many shows that I’ve seen it five times. Now how many times you want to see it, but you guys are working man every other day. You’re in stadiums here for a little while. And then arenas, this has been just like, Bruce, right, like he’ll charging at this point in all of your careers to have this kind of an ambitious tour.
Nils Lofgren 37:09
Yeah, I mean, I think there’s 90 shows this year. And we got about 24, or five left to get to the middle of December. And I will say I mean, I understand that, you know, we went through a period where it was fun, it was reckless. I mean, Bruce would call 1012 audibles a night, he wouldn’t know what’s next. But it never allows you to get too deep in any one song because I don’t know, I don’t care how good you are. If you play a song once, yeah, it’s going to be fine. Because everyone’s a great musician, you play 1020 times, as you get a deeper focus, everybody starts reacting each other in a deeper way. And honestly, I think just you know, we’ve been out to one year, not quite, I think we played like 65 different songs, comparatively, most fans never play 65 different songs. And you know, what I’m feeling up there is so magical, that my thing is, you know, Bruce gives me a list, he wants to call it out whatever he wants to do, I want to help them project it. Because if we’re all down in it together, spreading a lot of love and joy, and kindness and healing. And that’s the name of the game. I understand the complaints. But, you know, I respect Bruce for whatever the hell he wants to do. And, you know, I’ve been there hundreds of hundreds of nights, where he’s walked up and call it a different song. And he and we just do it. And if you know, we could play the next thing on the list, you kill it, you get down deep in it. And most people feel the connection, feel the love and feel the joy and hopefully that lingers as they leave the whatever their sports arena, the stadium that lingers in their lives. And that’s, you know what we’re doing? We’re still doing a great, that’s my opinion. I’m feeling it every night. So yeah, man, come see us. Mountains. Of course, selfishly, I want this to last as long as Bruce is comfortable singing and playing. Hell, I’d like Neil Young to take crazy courses out and play with them. I miss doing that. I want to do that. And of course, inevitably, health permitting, the world permitting, at some point where I have free time, and I’ll look at getting back out doing our own tours in England, Europe and the States of course, but right now I’m deep down in this very grateful about it. Well, I would
Nestor Aparicio 39:23
just say this, I gotta get Bobby gene one of these nights, man. I mean, come on. I missed the ones in Europe. But it is interesting that all of our relationship all these years, there have been many, many nights where you have left me backstage passes in the street lounge before the show, and I get a text from you saying can’t can’t come in tonight. I got homework, and then I go out in Brisbane and you guys open a show with stayed alive and then break out an album that you hadn’t done in 25 years. It Shake says to me in the room that night he’s like You better hold on tonight. We’re gonna be doing stuff that has never been done. And next thing I know you’re doing Sandy and you You’re doing all of this stuff that had never and I did the specialness of it. But how hard it was for you guys to have to learn music at two in the afternoon because Bruce gives you three songs you haven’t done in 30 years. Yeah or he
Nils Lofgren 40:12
may mentioned five or six to be on top of you might play all of them or none of them. It’s funny you say that because last night was the first time all year I got to the Eastery lounge all year see to see you know, some some really good friend Branford Marsalis incredible musician, sax player, a dear friend from Amnesty tour nada, he came down, we hung out one of my dear friends, a doctor in New York City, Dr. Howard share was out of his family. First time I went to the lounge, so I don’t even go there anymore. Because I’ve got homework. And even if you’re there’s like five new songs to brush up on, I just have stuff to do, to feel as right as I tend to walk out there. And that’s a joy to have that freedom. And you know, going down to visit with 100 100 strangers that want to picture an autograph. I mean, that’s a kind thing to do. But it’s to me, counterproductive to the show and preparing for it. You know, in my own shows, which is 85% of a 55 year career. If I see a title I don’t like I don’t sing it with Bruce whenever he calls we do. So I like to be prepared. And the goal is to prepare enough. So when I walk out, I like to turn my mind off. Just Chuck’s trust the musical instinct, I have a gift I didn’t ask for and just let it work through me. Whatever I feel playing because it works. And that’s one of the beauties alive. You know, you check in with your family. Amy’s Okay, Dylan’s Alright, the dogs are good. You leave the phone off stage, you walk out there, nobody taps on the shoulder, let’s try a different arrangement. And for three hours, man, you just fly. And you let a gift you didn’t ask for take over and whatever it tells you to play you play. And that’s the beauty of the live and I’m still doing it and I gotta say like Ringo learned it’s a gift. I got to exercise it and he figured out how to do it. God bless his heart. He’s going out at 83 this fall and hopefully I’ll get to go see him play because he’s a incredible inspiration.
Nestor Aparicio 42:10
I love your asked Me series out there I’m glad that you played asked me here with me for a little while. No. Mountains The tour is Eastery you know all about it get down to either the stadiums earlier in Oriole Park and of course it nats Park and then back in Philly next year. And you know, you’ll see me on the road somewhere sometime. I’ll say, Hey, man, I’m in town tonight. You know, and you come into the street lounge. But status is so great. And it really is inspirational for all of you to come out and what is church for a lot of us right which is which is a place to come and let loose for three hours or two hours and 48 minutes however long it’s going to be and if you’re playing kitties back in honor of my dear late great, awesome feline a calico kitty, who I named after the song many years ago, then it’s a good night in Baltimore and else
Nils Lofgren 43:02
yeah, man, I love the stadium and Baltimore is going to be rockin we’re going to do a great show the audience is there have always been spectacular. I’m excited to come your way and play and yeah, I mean it’s it’s it’s a church of sorts of you know, music, joy, kindness, inspiration. And that’s what we want to hit you with and send you out and you won’t give it to us too. So excited to come there and play it. It’s always great to talk to you and that’s
Nestor Aparicio 43:26
going to be some sweet sounds coming down those loft. Enjoy. That’s it mountains is the album please go check it out. Always always appreciative of our time. Our friendship Our story today. I didn’t even ask you about bullets fever. And I made a point in this interview for anybody that’s all the way through it. He and I have had hours of stuff up at Baltimore positive.com in the audio vault, it wn st classic. It’s on YouTube. If you want more Bruce, if you want more, Clarence if you want two days before they went on stage in Tampa at the Super Bowl, there’s an hour that all of that stuff is out there. I’m Nestor we’re wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stopped talking they’re harder rock and roll with local guys and Baltimore positive stay with us.
Nils Lofgren 44:11
Thanks No, sir.