Nils Lofgren visited the UK earlier in the year for another of his super successful tours, and now he’s back on these shores again. Lucky us.
The legendary American songwriter, virtuoso guitarist and pianist returns to The Stables on Wednesday evening.
And he told me he is looking forward to his Wavendon visit: “We’re excited to return to The Stables where we’ve always found welcoming, appreciative audiences.
“We plan to add some different song choices from the 10 disc, Face the Music box set, a 45 year retrospective, and keep a fair amount of inspired improv in the playing and singing.
Expect “Lot’s of guitars, singing, keyboards, trumpet, tap dance percussion. A colourful, inspired show...thanks to the loyal crowd that keeps showing up.”
And one thing is for sure – no matter how loud and lairy the show becomes, it won’t be on a par with a particularly troublesome stateside bash some years ago. Thankfully.
“My solo band was playing two shows at a mob-owned, seaside nightclub in Misquamicut, Rhode Island,” Nils recalled. “In between shows our crew had some heated disagreement with the bouncers that got ugly and dangerous.
“We were going to pack up and leave but the police came, promising protection for the remainder of the night and encouraged us to finish the second show for a full house of a rowdy beach crowd.
“We did, and at the night end, the police disappeared (they were on the club payroll) and during loadout a nasty fight broke out.
“We were heavily out-numbered and it was bad.
“I kept yelling and got things to stop.
“We planned to go to the hospital to get one of our crew patched up, file charges at a police station, then get out of town.
“The club owner’s lawyer, a smooth talking ‘man of reason’ assured me filing charges was a bad idea as his client was already under serious felony charges and couldn’t afford another one.
“The lawyer said if I did that, the club owner would send a gang to MD and kill my family so please reconsider! Wow!
“Anyway, we got patched up at the local hospital and went to the police station, just filing a report, not charges, in hopes it might help put this club owner away later.
“The police captain was a pal of the club owner and dangerously adversarial with us. “Fortunately, a kind policeman that had my Cry Tough album escorted us to the State line and got us out of there safely. Rough night!”
That was a hell of a night out, but then Nils has racked up plenty of memorable performances, both in his own right, and as a member of Springsteen’s E Street Band.
As The Boss recognises: “Nils’ singing and guitar playing remains as distinctive today as it has ever been.”
Neil Young says Lofgren’s creativity remains an inspiration to him, and Sting says Nils is one of his favourite musicians.
And where did Nils’ love affair with music start? With The Fab Four: “As a young teenager, it was The Beatles and I Wanna Hold Your Hand that inspired me toward all rock’n’roll, Motown, blues and R&B,” Nils says, but even prior to that, music figured heavily.
“Way back as a young child, my folks danced as a hobby and played big band music in the house.
“I couldn’t pick the first, but songs like In the Mood or favourites of my Sicilian grandmother like Santa Lucia, Come Back to Sorrento and the Tarantella struck an early chord in me.
“This led to 10 years of accordion lessons.
“Thanks Mom and Dad!”
This week it’s your chance to thanks Nils for the music at that Stables date, where he will be joined at play by multi-instrumentalist Greg Varlotta.
Tickets are incredibly limited at the time of writing.
Try your luck by hitting up www.stables.org