Lofgren Testing New Hips At Super Bowl Set

Lofgren Testing New Hips At Super Bowl Set
Super Bowl XLIII week will mark "a lot of meeting of important chapters" for Nils Lofgren, the guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.

"From me being a teen football player to joining the E Street Band 25 years ago to (NBC football commentator) John Madden to the (Arizona) Cardinals, it's just a beautiful coming together of a lot of elements in my history that are really important to me," the 5-foot-3 Lofgren tells Billboard.com.

The Super Bowl halftime performance also marks a kind of unveiling for Lofgren's new "bionic" hips, which he received after undergoing replacement surgery in October. That was necessitated by the wear and tear of athletics and an "aggressive" performing style that's included onstage backflips off a mini-trampoline.

"I'm coming along," Lofgren reports. "I've lost the cane. I've lost the limp. I'm doing rehab. I'm just trying to be a good rehab patient. I've never had to be this cautious, 24-7 with my body, so it's a new adventure for me, But I've been assured that if I do the rehab right, in 10 to 12 months my body'll grow in, around and through these (hips) like roots and vines and lock 'em in as good as they're gonna get."

Despite that, Lofgren says he's in fine shape to play the 12 minutes at the Super Bowl and should even be okay to go on tour with Springsteen and company to support the new "Working on a Dream" album after its Jan. 27 release.

"It's not definite yet," Lofgren says of the trek, "and of course as a fan I hope it happens ... 'cause I think it's as great a record as we've ever made with him. (The tour) is certainly being considered, and that's all for Bruce and for Patti to figure out with their kids and their lives. It certainly is in strong consideration and will remain so until they make a final decision."

Lofgren, meanwhile, is setting up a new album release of his own -- "Tuff Stuff: The Best of the All-Madden Team Band," which is comprised of music he did to accompany the announcements of Madden's all-star teams for 10 years.

"They used to send me raw footage of these great, dirty, nasty, funky, cool players, and I got to plug in my guitar and just jam away on these roaring rock instrumentals," recalls Lofgren, who's selling the album on his Web site.

"John was kind enough to put some of his great Maddenisms inside the music, so we've got this great CD," says Lofgren, a 13-year Arizona resident who will be rooting for the Cardinals in the big game. "And John's (broadcasting) the Super Bowl this year, so that's an added bonus. And having a fabulous home town team, the Cardinals, there, makes the Super Bowl even more special."