Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Godspeed Danny


That's a picture of "Phantom" Dan Federici and his boss, Bruce Springsteen. Federici is Springsteen's organ player and, as you can see, he often plays the accordion. The story came out today that Danny Federici is taking a leave of absence from The E Street Band. The news is that he has melanoma. Chrisy sort of got a chuckle out of the fact that I prayed for Danny's cancer at dinner tonight, like I know the guy or something. The fact is Danny has been a huge part of The E Street Band and The E Street Band has been a huge part of my life. I mean come on, Mojo magazine once said that The E Street Band was "perhaps the greatest backing band in the history of rock 'n' roll" and I've been listening to these guys since I was 11 years old. As I wrote in Glory Days, back when I was a sophomore, I saw them perform four times in one week.

Speaking of fans like himself and me, in his book, "It Ain't No Sin To Be Glad You're Alive: The Promise of Bruce Springsteen," political writer, Eric Alterman wrote this:

"The discovery of the invisible church of Springsteen fandom has provided them with a means to face perhaps the most important spiritual void in postmodern American life: our lack of an authentic language of the heart and of a genuine community with whom it can be shared. No wonder so many fans speak of their first exposure to Springsteen as a kind of supernatural event."

The fact is, Danny is part of that community Alterman wrote about. I for one will keep on praying for Danny's speedy and full recovery.

I'm so very thankful that just three weeks ago my sons were able to see the full legendary E Street Band in concert, Danny included. Being that there are nine members and Danny himself had been playing with Bruce for more than 40 years, taking my sons to see them was never something I took for granted would happen. But it did and it was very cool.

If you're at all interested in seeing the "walk off" after Danny's most recent show in Boston last Monday night, I've posted it below. Danny is the one Bruce is huggin' on. This was really quite touching.

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