Although E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren is best known for his work with Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young, he'll be saluting yet another famed collaborator with his upcoming studio set. Lofgren posted on his website (NilsLofgren.com), his first new album in eight years, titled Blue With Lou, features five previously unheard songs co-written by Lou Reed back in 1978.
The fruits of their collaborations were featured on Reed's 1979 album The Bells and Lofgren's Nils collection from that same year. Other co-writes found their way on to other Lofgren's solo sets, such as Damaged Goods from 1995 and 2001's Breakaway Angel.
We asked Lofgren to shed light on his team-up with Lou Reed, called “Driftin’ Man” and the little known partnership he forged with the legendary songwriter: “Yeah, that's another one of those great songs that Lou Reed and I wrote (we did) 13 together. It was wonderful, (producer) Bob Ezrin teamed us up in New York and was surprised that Lou was open to the idea. We spent a night together in New York together in his apartment, rooting for the Redskins – Cowboys; he was a Cowboy fan, I’m a Redskins fan. 'Watched the football game, had some drinks, tried to figure out how to do this.”
Lofgren explained that his and Lou Reed's collaboration ended up working best with each writer composing alone: “We thought, rather than slog a song through from scratch, ‘cause I had so many recorded ideas, so he said, ‘Why don’t you send me a tape’ — and he woke me up about 4 a.m. one night. I was in Maryland, on the landline, didn’t have cell phones, and he said. . . y’know, I was so shocked, y’know, ‘Lou Reed, hey, how ya doin?’ He said, ‘Look man, I’ve been up three days and nights straight. I love this cassette, I love all the songs, I just completed 13 finished sets of lyrics and why don’t you get a pad and pencil and I’ll dictate them to you.’ And y’know, it was the old days — it was fun. You sat there with a pen and Lou Reed dictates 13 complete songs that you have now co-authored with him.”