Article 2014-04-10 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Welcomes Its Newest Members

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its new members at a full-scale arena concert on Thursday night at Barclays Center, with its largest live audience by far. It would have been an ideal setting for the band that didn’t perform: Kiss, the hard-rock arena-spectacular showmen in makeup who, until this year, had been snubbed by the hall since becoming eligible in 1999. After Kiss was accepted, its members, past and present, had squabbled with the Hall of Fame and among themselves over which of its lineups, original or current, would perform; no one did.

The guitarist Tom Morello, of Rage Against the Machine and currently a guest with the E Street Band, praised Kiss for “impact, influence and awesomeness” and called their induction a vindication for both the band and its fans. Paul Stanley, the band’s lead singer, gloated, “Here we are tonight, basically inducted for the same things we were kept out for.” He called for more public participation in choosing the members of the Hall of Fame, insisting that fans did not need to be “spoon-fed” a rock canon.

The other new Hall of Fame members are Nirvana (in their first year of eligibility), Peter Gabriel (already a member with the band Genesis), Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens (whose name now is Yusuf Islam) and Hall & Oates. Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band joined the hall in its “musical excellence” category, for sidemen, and performed with the band’s leader, Bruce Springsteen, who entered the Hall of Fame in 1999.

For its first decades, the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was a music-business banquet: a black-tie affair for executives and musicians that gradually reshaped itself for broadcast as a cable-television special. Since 2012 the induction has been a full-scale concert; Barclays holds about 19,000 people; tickets cost $67 to $576.

Fans also have joined the hall’s decision-making process, at least symbolically. An online poll, which drew 1.3 million responses, added votes from fans to those of the musicians, executives, historians and critics who had previously chosen hall members. Kiss and Nirvana led that poll with over 200,000 votes each.

Nirvana was inducted by Michael Stipe of R.E.M., who described the band’s music as “a sweet and beautiful but fed-up fury coupled with howling vulnerability.”

“This is not just pop music,” he added. “This is something much greater than that.”

The surviving members of Nirvana with the guitarist Pat Smear, who still bashed with controlled brutality, brought on female lead singers: Joan Jett rasping “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Annie Clark (also known as St. Vincent) switching between the calm and howling of “Lithium,” Kim Gordon flinging herself around the stage for “Aneurysm,” and Lorde singing “All Apologies.”

More than an hour of the ceremony was devoted to the induction of 10 longtime members of the E Street Band. Mr. Springsteen detailed how he had met each one, noting that the keyboardist, David Sancious (now in Mr. Gabriel’s band), was the only member who actually lived on E Street. With a band, Mr. Springsteen said, “the narrative you tell together is bigger than the one you could have told on your own.” The guitarist Steven Van Zandt thanked Mr. Springsteen for writing songs “at an unnecessarily high level of quality” for so long. Soon afterward the band, with current members and alumni together, charged into, of course, “The E Street Shuffle.”

The surviving members of Nirvana were set to perform with a very different lead singer: Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent.

Mr. Gabriel was praised by Chris Martin, Coldplay’s lead singer, for creating a “cathedral of song.” Mr. Gabriel’s acceptance speech offered advice to aspiring musicians. He urged, “Think big and let your imagination guide you even if you end up dressing as a flower or a sexually transmitted disease” — as he had with Genesis — and “surround yourself with brilliance.”

He had collaborators: Mr. Martin trading verses on “Washing of the Water,” the Senegalese singer-songwriter Youssou N’Dour for “In Your Eyes” and, pointedly, Leo Nocentelli of the definitive New Orleans funk band, the Meters, playing guitar on “Digging in the Dirt.” The Meters have been repeatedly nominated for the Hall of Fame, but have not yet been added to it.

Linda Ronstadt also did not appear; Glenn Frey of the Eagles, inducting her, said she had retired and no longer traveled. He praised her for “always reaching, always stretching,” and added, “She has been a shining example and a true inspiration to every woman who ever stood in front of a microphone and sang her heart out.”

Other voices took up Ms. Ronstadt’s hits: Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris cooing “Blue Bayou,” Sheryl Crow vowing “You’re No Good,” Stevie Nicks belting “It’s So Easy,” Carrie Underwood singing “Different Drum” and all of them sharing “When Will I Be Loved?”

Daryl Hall, of Hall & Oates, noted unhappily that they were the first Philadelphia act in the Hall of Fame, citing Todd Rundgren, the Stylistics and Chubby Checker as omissions. In a video-clip interview, Mr. Oates described himself as “the most underrated and highly paid backup singer in the history of music.”

Mr. Islam, the former Cat Stevens, left pop stardom for a life of abstemiousness and Islamic study. “I never thought I’d be on the same stage as Kiss, to be honest,” he said. He was inducted by Art Garfunkel, who offered some musical analysis and said, offhandedly, “He’s better than Paul Simon.” Mr. Islam, his voice still hearty, sang “Peace Train,” “Wild World” and “Father and Son,” a young man’s idea of an old man’s advice, with the predictive line, “I know I have to go.”

Brian Epstein, who managed the Beatles in the 1960s, and Andrew Loog Oldham, who then managed the Rolling Stones, were inducted as nonperformers. Mr. Epstein died in 1967; Mr. Oldham skipped the event, criticizing it as a “television spectacular” rather than a rock and roll party. This year’s ceremony is to be telecast on May 31 on HBO.

By Jon Pareles via The New York Times.

Nirvana Reunite, Kiss Remain Civil at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

It was exactly midnight when Joan Jett walked onstage with the surviving members of Nirvana and tore into the opening chords of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” By that point, the capacity crowd at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center had witnessed a long evening full of miraculous moments only possible at the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony: A beaming Peter Criss threw his arms around his supposed sworn enemy Paul Stanley during Kiss’ peaceful reunion, Cat Stevens led an arena full of Kiss and Nirvana fans through a sing-along rendition of “Peace Train,” Courtney Love embraced Dave Grohl in a huge bear hug after 20 years of nasty accusations and lawsuits and Bruce Springsteen played with two founding members of the E Street Band for the first time in 40 years.

But nothing could compare to the thrill of watching Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent and Lorde take turns fronting Nirvana. Dave Grohl, Pat Smear and Krist Novoselic hadn’t played a Kurt Cobain-penned song together in public since the frontman killed himself 20 years ago, and it’s quite easy to imagine they never will again. Jett kicked things off with a wild, thrashed-out “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that had men in tuxedos dancing on their chairs. Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon kept the energy high with a faithful rendition of “Aneurysm” and Annie Clark (St. Vincent) belted out “Lithium.” It wrapped up with Lorde’s gut-wrenching take on “All Apologies.” She was born two and a half years after Cobain died, but she somehow had the wisdom and confidence to deliver those agonizing lyrics.

The evening began a little after 7:00 PM with a speech by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Chairman Jann Wenner. “We are thrilled to be here tonight in Brooklyn,” he said. “As Keith Richards has said so often, at this age we’re thrilled to be anywhere. We’re here to celebrate our youth, our music and that which keeps us forever young. Rock and roll offers hope and passion and joy and courage and love, a way to understand the world around us, and for so many of us, a way of life.”

Peter Asher handed out the first two awards of the night to Beatles manager Brian Epstein and Rolling Stones manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham. “These are the first two managers ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” he said. “Each of them managed one of the most important ensembles in music history, let alone just rock and roll. And each of whom guided his band from anonymity to global stature, though in very different ways.” Epstein died in 1967 and Loog Oldham opted to skip the ceremony, so nobody was on hand to accept their awards.

Next up was Peter Gabriel, who delivered a hypnotic rendition of “Digging In The Dirt” before Chris Martin walked out to induct him. “He brings together sounds from all over the world,” said the Coldplay frontman. “At times it feels like he releases music at a snail’s pace. But one looks back now and sees this amazing cathedral of song. It was worth the effort and the time that it took. He’s always been an innovator and a seeker. He’s a curator and an inspirer. He also helped John Cusack get his girlfriend back in the movie Say Anything.

A very grateful Gabriel hoisted the award above his head Cusack-style before his acceptance speech. “Watch out for music,” he said. “It should come with a health warning. It can be dangerous. It can make you feel so alive, so connected to the people around you, connected to what you are inside. It can make you think that the world should and could be a much better place. It can also make you very, very happy.” He then sat at the piano and duetted with Martin on the 1992 obscurity “Washing of the Water” before bringing out surprise guest Youssou N’Dour for a long, euphoric “In Your Eyes” that brought everyone to their feet.

The vast majority of press leading up to the Hall of Fame centered around the never-ending drama of Kiss, so it was a little surprising to see their big moment come and go so early in the evening, though it did make sense because they were the only inductees in the house that decided not to perform. Longtime Kiss superfan Tom Morello gave a fiery induction speech for his heroes. “Kiss was never a critics’ band,” he said. “Kiss was a people’s band…The first Kiss concert I saw was the single loudest, most cathartic two hours of music I’ve seen to this day.”

Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley walked onstage together to thunderous applause, and each of them looked a little choked up by the moment. Simmons spoke first, and, against all odds, was the most concise. “We are humbled to stand on this stage and do what we love doing,” he said. “This is a profound moment for all of us. I’m here to say a few kind words about the four knuckleheads who, 40 years ago, got together and decided to put together the kind of band we never saw onstage, critics be damned.”

After speaking kindly about his two former bandmates, he yielded the microphone to them. Peter Criss thanked everybody from the group’s former managers to their truck drivers, while Frehley rambled a bit since he had trouble reading his own notes without his proper glasses. “I was 13 when I picked up my first guitar,” he said. “I always sensed I was going to be into something big. A few years later, there I was. I experienced the Summer of Love.”

Stanley has been the most vocal critic of the Hall of Fame in the long buildup to this ceremony, and he used the opportunity to take some parting shots. “The people are speaking to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” he said. “They want more. They deserve more. They want to be part of the induction. They want to be a part of the nomination [process]. They don’t want to be spoon-fed a bunch of choices. The people pay for tickets. The people buy albums. The people who nominate do not.”

Any hopes of a surprise Kiss performance were dashed when they walked offstage and Art Garfunkel stepped out to induct Cat Stevens, who now goes by the name Yusuf Islam. “If Paul and I hadn’t split up around 1970 there’d be no room on the charts for Cat Stevens to take over,” he said. “‘Bridge Over Troubled Water had to go away so that Tea for the Tillerman could arrive.”

Cat Stevens gave a long speech where he name-checked everybody from Bach to Bo Diddley to Leonard Bernstein and Bob Dylan, even pausing in the middle to ask for a glass of water. He won the crowd right back when he picked up an acoustic guitar and delivered a flawless “Father and Son.” He’s 65 years old, but since he’s taken decades off from touring and lived a very healthy lifestyle, he sounded absolutely amazing. Paul Shaffer and his band then came out for “Wild World” and a rousing “Peace Train” where they got some help from a large choir. It served as a nice preview for the American tour that Yusuf is supposedly plotting for sometime in the near future.

Linda Ronstadt has difficulty traveling due to her ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease, but many of her old friends were on hand to honor her lifetime of work. Glenn Frey delivered the induction speech, highlighting the fact that the Eagles would not exist had she not hired them as her backing group in the early 1970s. “She, more than anyone else,” he said, “helped form The Eagles.”

Carrie Underwood began the musical tribute with a stirring “Different Drum” and then Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris melded their voices together on a lovely “Blue Bayou.” Sheryl Crow was joined by Glenn Frey for “You’re No Good,” Stevie Nicks channeled Ronstadt on “It’s So Easy” and everyone came together to harmonize on “When Will I Be Loved,” an Everly Brothers classic that Linda famously covered on her 1974 classic LP Heart Like A Wheel.

People all over the crowd were rocking vintage Springsteen T-shirts, and cries of “Broooce” filled the room before he even walked onstage to induct The E Street Band. Unsurprisingly, he rose to the occasion and spoke movingly about each and every member, giving special attention to the late Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons. “These are the people that built a place called E Street,” he said. “We struggled together and sometimes we struggled with one another. We bathed in the glory and often the heartbreaking confusion of our wars together. We enjoyed health and we suffered aging and death together.”

Many fans (and band members) were upset when the group wasn’t inducted alongside Springsteen back in 1999, and the speech ended with a stunningly honest account of the situation. “A few evenings before my own induction, I stood in my darkened kitchen along with Steve Van Zandt,” Springsteen said. “Steve was just returning to the band after a 15-year hiatus. He was petitioning me to push the Hall of Fame to induct all of us together. I listened and the Hall of Fame had its rules and I was proud of my independence.

“We hadn’t played together in 10 years. We were somewhat estranged. We were just taking the first small steps of reforming. We didn’t know what the future would bring. Perhaps the shadow of some of the old grudges still held some sway. It was a conundrum since we’ve never been quite fish nor fowl. Steve was quiet, persistent and at the end of our conversation he just said, “Yeah, yeah. I understand. But Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, that’s the legend.'”

It was at this point that the carefully plotted running time of the evening fell apart, and the organizers probably began sweating bullets thinking about possible overtime charges. Eleven members of the E Street Band were inducted and each was told to speak for just 30 seconds prior to the ceremony. Original keyboardist David Sancious, who left the group in 1974, spoke first. He talked for six straight minutes. It took nearly 40 minutes for everyone to take their turn, which included incredibly touching tributes to Federici from his son Jason and Clarence from his widow Victoria.

The crowd was getting fidgety near the end, but all was forgiven when they walked over to their instruments. This was a completely unique E Street Band lineup with Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez and Max Weinberg on separate drum kits and Sancious on the organ. They played “E Street Shuffle,” “The River” and an epic “Kitty’s Back” where nearly everyone got a chance to solo. Sancious was playing music he hadn’t touched since the Nixon administration and Lopez got the chance to play a song recorded six years after he left the group. It was all pretty amazing and the perfect way to honor the E Street Band.

Some people saw ?uestlove as a surprising choice to induct Hall & Oates, but the man is a music encyclopedia. Also, nobody knows more about Philly groups than he does. He ran through highlights from their long career, stopping occasionally to sing bits of “She’s Gone,” “I Can’t Go For That” and other hits. “I don’t need to list the hits,” he said. “We know them all. They single-handedly invented the Carlton dance for black people from the hood…Hall & Oates will cure any known ailment. H20 can heal you. There isn’t a person in here that didn’t sing along to the songs when they came on the radio.”

Perhaps aware of the ticking clock, Hall & Oates kept their speech very short, and even did part of it as a duo. “We’ve been doing this together for 40 years,” said Oates. “Why should we stop now? Also, lucky for you there’s only two us.” The crowd roared at the reference to the long E Street Band speeches, and they cheered even louder when they kicked into super funky renditions of “She’s Gone,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” and “You Make My Dreams.” Hall was annoyed by monitor problems early on and stopped a song after about 30 seconds, but when the situation resolved itself he got in the zone and was simply stunning.

Inevitably, the night wrapped up with Nirvana. Michael Stipe gave the speech. “They were singular, loud and melodic and deeply original,” he said. “And that voice, that voice. Kurt, we miss you. I miss you. Nirvana defined a moment, a movement for outsiders, from the fags and the fat girls to the shy nerds and the goth kids in Tennessee and Kentucky, for the rockers to the awkward to the too-smart kids and the bullied. We were a community.”

Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic accepted the award alongside Courtney Love and members of Kurt’s family. Grohl pointed out that he was the fifth drummer in Nirvana and he sincerely thanked each of his predecessors. “Dale Crover from The Melvins is my absolute drumming hero,” he said. “And Chad Channing is somewhere in the house tonight.” Novoselic profusely thanked Nirvana’s fans. “People stop me every day,” he said. “They say, ‘Thank you for the music.’ When I hear that, that reminds me of Kurt Cobain. I wish he was here tonight. That music means to much to so many people. Kurt was an intense artist. He really connected with a lot of people.”

Courtney Love’s long history of beef with Dave Grohl and her general Courtney Love-ness made many people think she’d deliver some sort of nutty speech. That turned out to not be the case at all, and she talked for about a minute. “I have a big speech,” she said. “But I’m not going to say it. This is my family I’m looking at, all of you. Brother Michael, Brother Krist, Grandma Wendy, Mr. Grohl….David.” She then walked over to him and they hugged in one of the most moving moments of the night. “That’s it,” she said. “I just wish that Kurt was here to see this.”

The Joan Jett-led “Smells Like Teen Spirit” sent shockwaves through the arena, and it didn’t let up until the end of Lorde’s “All Apologies.” The entire Nirvana set probably go down as one of the all-time great moments in Hall of Fame history. In a break from tradition, there was no all-star jam at the end. It was a wise choice. What could possibly have topped Nirvana?

By Andy Greene via Rolling Stone.

10 Amazing Backstage Moments From the Rock Hall’s 2014 Induction

The 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was packed with surprising reconciliations and all-star turns on the mic. So what went down backstage, when the night’s honorees and speakers got a chance to unwind? Rolling Stone captured the behind-the-scenes vibe from our prime perch:

When Stevie Met Bruce
After we talked with Stevie Nicks, she ran into Bruce Springsteen in the crowded hallway. “You sang fabulous,” Bruce told her. “You sang fabulous, and you looked fabulous.” As he walked away, Nicks grinned like a teenage Beatles fan.

Blood Brothers
In the hallway, Bruce also ran into Peter Gabriel. Gabriel said he heard Springsteen was vacationing on a boat in Sardinia, where Gabriel has a house. Gabriel invited Springsteen out there again someday. “There’s a meal waiting for you,” Gabriel said.

“We’re gonna take you up on that!” Springsteen laughed.

“Please do,” Gabriel said. Later, he called it one of his highlights of the night. “That was a nice moment!”

St. Vincent’s Unsaintly Praise of St. Kurt
St. Vincent frontwoman Annie Clark stopped by Rolling Stone’s interview suite as the show was beginning and had a noticeable energy about her as she geared up for her performance of “Lithium” with the living members of Nirvana. When asked how Nevermind impacted her when she was 9 years old, her eyes grew wide and that energy just poured right out of her in one giddy profane explosion: “Fuck yeah, it hit me as a 9-year-old!” she said. “Fuck yeah! That’s the test of great music.”

Talkin’ in the Boys Room
Because Rolling Stone‘s backstage room was in use (for an interview with Ace Frehley), we had no choice but to take Peter Gabriel to a bathroom for a Q&A. “This is class!” Gabriel said, adding he’s taken the Rock Hall honor as an opportunity to look back on his life. “A lot of these people, I grew up with, them and their music, so it’s good to feel part of that community,” he said. “Getting awards is nature’s way of telling you you’re getting old, so you can get a little more reflective.” Gabriel opened up about his life as a father – “I do the school runs in the morning and then try to get something done. On a good day, I’ll go to the gym.” He’s working slowly on a new album (“I’m itching to get back to more writing”) and added a Genesis tour is unlikely at the moment. “I never say never. It really didn’t happen last time and I think there’s a small chance, but I don’t think it’s very high.”

Morello and Questlove Look Ahead
Tom Morello brought the house down with his impassioned Kiss induction speech in which he recalled seeing his first Kiss concert at age 12. “It’s so trippy, man,” he said backstage about coming full circle, getting a little emotional. “Life is rich. There is no crystal ball I could have looked into and seen this.” Morello sensed there would be no drama the minute they walked onstage, and even saw the foursome getting along backstage. “In the press tent, Gene and Paul waited for Peter before everyone was onstage, very consciously said we’re not going up until all four of us are here.”

In the middle of the interview, Questlove walked in the room. “I feel like you should win the Nobel Peace Prize,” he told Morello. “This is the man of the night this man right here: this is the people’s champion! I hope those guys appreciated it.”

“I think they did,” Morello said. “They seemed humble and that is not often a word associated with the band Kiss,” he added with a laugh.

“You did it, now I gotta do the N.W.A speech next year!” Quest replied.

“We’ll see about who’s doing the N.W.A speech,” Morello joked moments later. “I got ideas about that too!”

Ace to Face with Ron Delsener
After Ace Frehley made his entrance during Rolling Stone’s interview with Tom Morello, he got situated and took a moment to reflect on his career. “I think we’re probably gonna go down in history as the greatest theatrical rock group in the world,” he said. “I think that’s probably gonna be undisputable fact.” But shortly thereafter a real spectacle broke out, when legendary concert promoter Ron Delsener spotted Frehley and burst into the room. “I don’t remember you standing up like that – we used to have to carry you to the stage, you were so fucked up,” he said, ribbing Frehley about his wilder days. “This guy would come to every show at the Palladium, the Garden, and he’d come with an entourage of people,” Delsener continued. “I thought he was fucking Prince.” Frehley just laughed his famous high-pitched cackle and took it all in stride.

Sheryl Crow’s Backstage Fan
It gets hot backstage, so when Sheryl Crow was marching down the hallway with her entourage before the Linda Ronstadt tribute, she required the help of a fan to cool off – a literal fan. “My own personal fan!” she quipped, as someone waved a fan to cool her down.

Questlove Insists on Watching Kiss
When Questlove came into the Rolling Stone interview room, he went straight to our TV, which was showing Kiss’ acceptance speech. “I’m good, but who else has spoken?” he asks. As we watch Peter Criss, the Roots drummer explains how Tom Morello convinced him to vote for Kiss to be inducted during a Rock Hall meeting to discuss nominees. “He sold all of us on why they deserve to be in it,” Questlove said. “It made me just give up on my choices. I’ll fight for Sonic Youth next year.” And what was it that Morello said that was so convincing? “He said, ‘You guys are the former guard, the baby-boomer guard, and now that Generation X is coming into play, you’ve got to understand that every group that came out in the Eighties and Nineties, you can ask them who was the band that made them want to start a band, and the answer is Kiss,” Questlove said. “I thought about it, and even me, being connected to hip-hop, I remember being obsessed with them when I was 7.”

Hall & Oates and Their Own Historical Distinction
“We’re probably the only duo in history that still is friends,” Daryl Hall told Rolling Stone when asked for his take on the drama surrounding the original members of Kiss not playing together. “Even the Everly Brothers didn’t like each other.”

Vini Lopez Marches to His Beat – And Max’s
As the E-Street Band passed through the backstage hall, Bruce Springsteen told Rolling Stone, “Talk to the band!” And shortly after that Vini Lopez, who drummed for Springsteen from 1972 to 1974 and who just performed a drum-off of sorts with the E-Street Band’s Max Weinberg. “It was a first with Max,” he told Rolling Stone, still sounding amazed. “We’ve never done two drummers before.” And how did he fit in? “You just listen and watch a lot. I just let him. He’s been playing all this time. Then it was my turn to bop, I bopped.”

By Patrick Doyle & Kory Grow via Rolling Stone.

Former E Street Band Members: ‘We’re Blood Brothers’

“Bruce is the main noise,” former Bruce Springsteen drummer Vini Lopez tells Rolling Stone backstage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame following the E Street Band’s performance. “You don’t watch the main noise, you’re not going to get far.”

Lopez – who was wearing a Steel Mill lapel pin, a reference to an early band he played in with Bruce – played in the E Street Band from 1972 to 1974, and said the group’s performance was just like old times. Except instead of following the main noise, he was also following the racket E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg was making, since it was the first time he’d played in a two-drummer version of the group.

“When it was my turn to bop, I bopped,” he says. But even while keeping up with Weinberg, he still had Springsteen to look to. “When you’ve got Bruce in front of you, you have to watch him,” he says. “When I was playing in the band a lot, we didn’t know what we were going to do or where the hell we were gonna go. If he hit a note in the middle of a song, you knew it was going to go somewhere else.”

Springsteen began his speech with the line, “In the beginning, there was Mad Dog Vini Lopez,” and Lopez was indeed grateful to be included in the induction. “This changed me,” he says. “Just getting to say a few words up there was really something. When I got to speak I was getting to the ‘Abba-dabba’ point.”

“It’s totally surreal,” says piano and keyboard player David Sancious, who played in the group through 1974 and has since gone on to play with the likes of Sting, Eric Clapton and Peter Gabriel. “We were teenagers when Bruce was coming up. I was 15 and dropped out of high school. I didn’t know you guys. I was from the other side of the tracks. And I came here to dance my brains out. [E Street bassist] Garry [Tallent] was the first musician I met, and we actually played and the rest is history.”

Both musicians agreed that going right back to rehearsals for Thursday night’s performance, the spirit of the E Street band was still alive and well within them. “We’re just telling jokes,” Lopez says. “Same stuff we always used to do. The E Street spirit is something that I will always have. I don’t care what band I play with or jam with – I play it the best I can.”

“Whether you’re listening to it or you’re playing it, it’s a very subjective thing,” Sancious says. “It’s full of emotion. You become the instrument.”

“When I get up there, I’m a whole different person,” Lopez says. “The music flows through you. Everybody on that stage, the music just kind of flows through them. The basic thing with the E Street Band is we’re blood brothers – young ones, new ones, old ones, it don’t matter. We all respect each other.”

Lopez and Sancious both have touring plans this summer, though not with each other. “I’m going to be touring a little bit with Peter Gabriel,” Sancious says. “Then I’m going to be around.”

“I’m playing all summer with License to Chill,” Lopez says. “We’ll be playing teeny bars all over the Jersey Shore. We’re going to do some CDs. We’re working on it.”

By Kory Grow via Rolling Stone.
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