Friday, April 18, 2008

Brother Dan Federici

Yesterday one of the original members of the E Street Band, organist and accordion player, Dan Federici passed away at the age of 58. Federici passed away at Sloan-Kettering hospital after losing a three year battle with melanoma.

As a die hard fan of the entire E Street Band I am very saddened by the news. Think when any of us become a fan of a TV show, sports team, band, whatever, you feel a bond and connection with the people involved. Most of the time you never get a chance to meet or know them as people but you care about them.

Today I send my regards to his friends and family, and along with my fellow fans mourn his loss.

Many people often ask me for reasons why I like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. One of the major reasons is that they are not like any other band. Some bands have pianos, others have saxophones, some use an organ, violins, harmonicas or even accordions. E Street has all of the above coupled with drums, bass, and four guitars. The depth and variety of sounds is what separates E Street from any other band ever.

Federici led to this variety with his immense talent and gift playing the organ and accordion.

Bruce Springsteen said during Federici's recent leave of absence:

"Danny is one of the pillars of our sound and has played beside me as a great friend for more than 40 years."[

Will never forget being there when Federici causing Miller Park to go nuts by blasting out a solo "Beer Barrel Polka" on the accordion. Have also seen video (which I can't find) of his playing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at Fenway Park in the 1st ever concert there. His organ can probably best be heard in the Springsteen hit song Hungry Heart. On the following links are a couple of other videos of Federici performances on less well known E Street Band songs Kitty's Back and Sandy.

I was fortunate to see two of Danny's final shows in Chicago before he took a leave of absence in November 2007 to get treatment. He may have been sick, but noone could tell by the way he played. On the second show I was at we sat to the right of the stage. The side with Danny, Nils Lofgren, and Clarence Clemons. It rocked, especially seeing the three of them flash a big smile when the Boss put his hands in the shape of a 'T' for the 1st playing of Thunder Road in nearly five years.

Danny Federici brought energy, talent, and charisma to every show he was at. He also pulled off something few have ever done. He made playing the organ and accordion look cool. My guess is that those are two instruments probably not associated with cool.

Danny will be missed by many including myself who will remember him for his incredible talent and being an integral part of my favorite band, the E Street Band.

When you have time please check out and consider contributing to "The Danny Federici Melanoma Fund."

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