Nils Lofgren on Old School, Clarence Clemons, The E Street Band, and New Hips

What were you doing at 17? Chances are it wasn't half as rock 'n' roll as Nils Lofgren. At that tender age, he was playing on Neil Young's seminal record, After the Gold Rush, plopped down at a piano, which he had never spent much time playing, but where his experience on the accordion came in handy.

From there he formed Grin and issued a few solo records before joining up with Bruce Springsteen's legendary E Street Band in 1984.

With the E Street band off the road for a bit, recovering both from the Magic and Working on a Dream tours, not to mention the tragic passing of longtime saxophonist Clarence Clemons, Lofgren has turned his attention to spending time at his home in Phoenix, and has just issued a new record, Old School.

Part rumination on growing older and part ass-kicker, the album finds him paired with Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Paul Rodgers of Free, Bad Company, and Queen, and legendary soul man Sam Moore (another Phoenician).

"I've been singing and playing 43 years. What the hell is going on?" Lofgren laughs as we discuss the new record, the passing of Clemons, and his new set of hips.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.