Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


DVDs You Probably Need: Nils Lofgren “Cry Tough”

Besides the recent release of Live in Hyde Park, things have been otherwise a bit quiet for Springsteen fans.  I've been amusing myself, attempting to collect the 2005 Japanese remasters, which are slowly starting to trickle onto the shelves at Half Price Books.  So far, I have (at $7.99 a pop) Nebraska, Plugged, Born to Run and The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle.  (For those that don't have the luxury of having a Half Price Books nearby, you might enjoy doing some shopping at DeepDiscount.)

And then I saw the news about Cry Tough, the new Eagle Rock DVD release that collects three Nils Lofgren Rockpalast performances from 1976, 1979 and 1991.  The two DVD set will be in stores on August 10th and thanks to the DVD gods, an advance copy showed up last week in my mail.

From the Amazon description:

Nils Lofgren's career has seen him achieve great success as a solo artist whilst also establishing himself as a guitarist for both Neil Young in Crazy Horse and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. These three live performances from Germany were all filmed for the famous Rockpalast TV series and see Lofgren at differing points in his career. In 1976 he had released his debut solo album to considerable critical acclaim and was beginning to lay the foundations of his reputation. By 1979 he was well established as a solo artist and influential guitar player. For the third show in 1991, Lofgren had already done a substantial stint in the E Street Band and had just begun to return as a solo performer with his album Silver Lining . All three are great performances and catch the excitement and showmanship of one of America s finest guitar players live in concert.

The last sentence above is the understatement of the year.  As I've begun to dig deeper into Lofgren's discography over the past few years, I've been busy picking up the Lofgren solo albums that were missing from my collection.  The release of Cry Tough is a gift full of riches for all, whether you're a die-hard fan or simply a Springsteen fan looking to find out more about the individual band members.

With over 250 minutes of footage, Cry Tough will give you plenty of material to choose from, for your educational journey.  Priced at $17.99 pre-order via Amazon, it's a helluva good deal, considering I recently paid the same price for an Eric Johnson DVD that had barely an hour's worth of material. The 1991 footage is better quality than the footage from the '70s, but it's all really nice for the time period in which it was filmed and it's a nice showcase of one of the most under-rated guitar players in the biz.

One of my favorite highlights from the collection comes right at track one of the 1991 concert with Lofgren's solo acoustic opener of "Sticks and Stones" from Silver Lining.  Unfortunately, I can't find a clip on Youtube, but here's a nice version (very similar) from Boston in 1993.

Sticks and stones will break my bones
But your words, they break my heart...

I'll leave you with three clips from Cry Tough.  Hopefully the concert gods will find a way to put a Cleveland date onto Lofgren's list of tour dates for this fall!

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  • Deb

    Very cool. I've been looking for old Grin stuff, but the record store peeps give me the weirdo look when I ask. This might do in the meantime.

  • Matt

    Deb – it's worth it for the '91 show alone…really cool stuff from three
    different eras….it makes for a nice package.

  • thefrontloader

    Always dug his playing… his solo on “Youngstown” on the Live in NY DVD is perhaps my favorite part of the whole disc.

    Great clips! I'm gonna watch them again right now!

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  • judd6149

    Matt…if I was ever lost in the woods, you are the guy I would want leading me out of there. Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction.

    I became a Nils fan when I heard “Keef Don't Go” (Loved the context of the song and I'm a massive Keef fan). I became a Nils admirer when I heard the story of how he came to meet Neil Young and get stuck in his orbit.

    I was watching a PBS docco on Neil and they were talking about Trans. Nils was being interviewed and he was visibly excited. He loved being a part of that live show, because Neil was pushing boundaries and Nils got to be part of it.

    In this video, Nils is very active on stage. He said that Neil gave him reign on the vocoder mic. That is Nils on the falsetto