Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 17
Amy, remarked about how good the set was in terms of sound and
performance. They decided to record the final show. The resultant
live CD was called Face the Music Tour.
"Most of the record is my Takamine cutaway with capos, once in
a while a different tuning. I also had my '61 reissue Strat with Bill
Lawrence pickups. We ran my guitar through a little compression
and some very light chorus. I'll occasionally kick in a light overdrive
and a mini POG which to me, is another voice and lead sound. It
was nice to have a few different sounds."
Lofgren's amps are critical to him at smaller gigs.
"I'm using a Fender Blues Junior and a Barber Burn Unit for acoustic
things where I'll play lead but don't want it to
be just fuzz. I don't like losing the metal of
the strings inside the fuzz, so I keep it to a
"I also have a great old Marshall head and
bottom. I'll try different amps, but in general
I use a Hot Rod Deville with a 4x10 in the guitar closet,
and record with the head at the console. That way, I can
separate the sound and hear what's going to tape."
Touring with the E Street Band, he uses Fuchs amps with two
2x12 Buzzy Feiten cabinets. "I used Fender Hot Rod Devilles for a
long time, but with all the stuff I'm running, the 10s blew up on the
low-end; they couldn't handle clarity. I needed 12s, and the Fuchs
with the Buzzy Feiten cabs have the clarity and low-end with that
saturation I remember from old 4x10 blackface Reverbs."
Because Springsteen changes the set every night, Lofgren takes 52
guitars on the road.
"I've got to have three of everything for different tunings and
such," he said. "There's usually about 30 out and ready, including
12-string acoustics, baritones, a couple Gretsch Country Gents and
Black Penguins. With Bruce, it's such improv, and you want to be
ready for anything. Plus, with Steve (Van Zant) back in the band, it
was time to learn pedal steel, lap steel, Dobro, bottleneck, and sixstring banjo. Mike Aldrich put lessons on a tape that I'd drag around
the country and set up at 3 a.m., after a show; 20 minutes here and
there added up to where I'm decent on all these other sounds. So,
instead of simulating a pedal steel, I'll play a pedal steel."
One of his key roles is rounding out the sound of the triple-guitar
"I see the guitars Steve and Bruce have on and I'll pick the third
sound. Recently, I took a Jazzmaster and put the heaviest strings I
could find on it. It has a warmer, richer, fat sound to kind of marry
Steve's Strat and Bruce's Tele - very organic. It's all about keeping it
simple and emotional." - Johnny Zapp