Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tribute to Danny Federici: Original E-Street Band Member Lost Battle to Cancer on Thursday

Danny Federici, the long-time keyboardist for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, died Thursday, April 17th, at Memorial-Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He was 58 and had battled melanoma for three years.

The New York Times has a nice tribute, including a touching quote from the Boss: “He was the most wonderfully fluid keyboard player and a pure, natural musician,” Mr. Springsteen said in a statement. “I loved him very much. We grew up together.”

Here is a very well done tribute video I found on YouTube from Targuzz, who also provided a link to give a gift to the Danny Federici Melanoma Fund to benefit the Memorial-Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Get a box of tissues before you click PLAY.

According to the Courier News, Federici grew up on the Pennsylvania Avenue Extension in Flemington, New Jersey, and bought instruments as a youngster from Flemington Music, now known as Nolde's Pianos. "He was an accordion player and his mother really pushed him to take accordion lessons," said Jim Lane of Nolde's Pianos. When he was a little older, he joined Flemington area bands like The Jolly Crickets and the Legends.

Early biographies of the E Street Band didn't get Danny Federici's hometown right, so when he recorded his first solo album in 1997, he named it "Flemington." I will post an Amazon link below, but it is "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock."

Danny Federici released two other albums:

Both are pretty much out of stock's sad (and I'm as guilty as everyone else) that he had to die before people hunted down his solo music, but we'll hope his label will make more copies available, or release a retrospective compilation.

Federici first met Springsteen in the late 1960s. The pair often jammed at the Upstage Club in Asbury Park, a now-defunct after-hours club that hosted the best musicians in the state. It was Federici, along with original E Street Band drummer Vini Lopez, who first invited Springsteen to join their band. According to the New York Times, the band was named Child and soon renamed Steel Mill, which built a strong reputation touring the East Coast. From there, Springsteen and his band became musical and cultural superstars. (The Courier-News)

It's hard to grow up in Jersey without being a Springsteen fan, but for me, it was not just the Boss, but the E Street Band, that represented the Jersey Shore sound.

If you believe in forever,
Then life is just a one-night stand.
If there's a rock and roll heaven,
Well you know they've got a hell of a band...
The Righteous Brothers

Rest in peace, Danny.


Mariuca said...

Hi Roxy, dropped by in a rocket, can't be long but just wanna wish u a good week ahead! :)

TOM said...


--josh-- said...

I did hear. Total drag; the E street Band can never truly be intact again. I believe when the Boss went off and made those 2 records that same day in 1992 and then toured, "the perfessor" was the only E streeter he took out with him...