Writing The Wrong! A Music Column By Gary Borress

A New SRO Quarty Column by Contributing Writer Gary Borress

A new Standing Room Only quarterly column by veteran rock journalist Gary Borress. "Writing The Wrong" will focus on raising the profile of a deserving artist or album that, for whatever circumstance, has somehow not reached as wide of an audience as deserved.


Column by Gary Borress

The music business has gone through a multitude of changes in the past decade and it continues to evolve at a frenetic pace. There are articles published each day debating the ethics of streaming, file sharing, artists’ royalties and the antiquated way in which artists are paid for distributing their life’s work in the digital era. While the income stream is vital because it keeps everyone in the business able to continue, there are injustices that need to be examined on the musical side of things.

For the past 30 years I have heard or read dozens of interviews with Nils Lofgren. Without exception they start have primarily focused on his role as a sideman for many of the most important artists of the rock era. While this type of press has surely given a lift to Lofgren’s Q Rating, it has sadly shifted the focus away from his outstanding body of work as a band leader and solo recording artist.

From his early days as the front man for Grin in the 1970s through his recent efforts, Lofgren has taken his loyal audience on a musical ride touching on a variety of genres within the rock and roll spectrum. Whether it’s the rootsy-ness and extended guitar work in the Grin (a band in which he was the primary vocalist and songwriter) catalogue, or the "should have been" hits of his early radio friendly solo albums, or the more slickly produced efforts in the late 80s or his current back to basics approach, the constants remain that Lofgren’s work is full of well-crafted songs built on an honest musical foundation.

While there is not much room on the radio these days for offerings from musicians over 30, there are notable releases that you can find with a few simple keystrokes. Lofgren has several Greatest Hits albums available, both studio and live, which are an excellent introduction to his work. For those who wish to dig a bit deeper there is Face The Music, a career spanning 10 disc set (9 cds/1 dvd) which includes key tracks from Lofgren’s earliest days with Grin up to his most recent album. Included within this box set are several discs of unreleased material and a DVD of rare musical performances.

In addition to all of the music and video, Face The Music comes with a comprehensive book that will allow you to follow along this noteworthy 40 year musical journey.

Nils Lofgren is so much more than the sideman that most everyone knows him for being. His catalogue is well worth the investment of your time. To quote a 1975 lyric by Lofgren himself, “I ain’t no rock ‘n’ roll crook, I ain’t no side show fake.”

Key Tracks:
I Came To Dance
No Mercy
Keith Don’t Go
Shine Silently
Across The Tracks
Big Tears Fall
Secrets In The Street
Rock and Roll Crook
Delivery Night
Moon Tears
Beggar’s Day

Recommended For Purchase:

The Best Of Nils Lofgren & Grin: The A & M Years
Nils Lofgren: Code Of The Road- Greatest Hits Live
Nils Lofgren: Face The Music: 10 disc box set