E Street Band's Nils Lofgren Talks Springsteen, Solo Work
E Street Band's Nils Lofgren Talks Springsteen, Solo Work

Thirty-five years after he became a solo artist, E Street Band member Nils Lofgren says he's still scratching his head a bit about how that happened.

"The solo thing, I never really wanted that," Lofgren, who came out of the band Grin and had also worked with Neil Young prior to releasing his self-titled debut in 1975, tells Billboard.com. "I was heartbroken that Grin couldn't carry on...and I was literally sitting around waiting for A&M to decide 'yea or nay' for me to carry on as a solo artist, which I was already freaking out about."

Lofgren, who since 1984 has alternated his solo work with membership in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, isn't doing anything special to commemorate the solo anniversary, but he's as busy as he's ever been during his career. He recently released "Cry Tough," a new DVD taken from his three performances on Germany's "Rockpalast" TV show, while Hip-O Select is reissuing his 1977 album "I Came To Dance" on Aug. 24.

Lofgren also kicks off an acoustic tour Sept. 3 at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Va. -- where his three musician brothers will join him -- then heads across to the U.K. from Oct. 12-30 before returning for a couple more shows in Lofgren's current home state of Arizona.

"It's been three years since I've done this thanks to Bruce and two albums and two tours, which was great," Lofgren says. "I just had a nice, long break from being a leader. But I'm excited, 'cause I still love to get up and play in front of people."

Lofgren is also hoping to record an album of new material, which he'll put out through his web site, as he's done since 2001's "Breakaway Angel." He hopes to record it this winter for a summer 2011 release and follow it up with a full band tour. As for the next E Street Band project, he says, holding your breath is not advisable.

"There's no plans," notes Lofgren, who was interviewed for the upcoming documentary "The Promise: The Making of 'Darkness on the Edge of Town'," which premieres Sept. 14 at the Toronto Film Festival. "Of course that's a sign for me to get back to my own thing, which I'm doing. But as a giant fan of the band, of course I'm hoping that changes and there's another chapter in our history."