Library Rock's Backpages

Nils Lofgren: I Came To Dance

Mitchell Cohen, Creem, June 1977

MAYBE NILS LOFGREN always was sort of a dummy. But his heart was in the right place (on his sleeve), he was capable of inventing catchy rock licks ('White Lies' comes immediately to mind), and on at least two occasions he rescued Neil Young from terminal Topanga torpor. In other words, the kid was OK. A rock and roll contender for sure, with a cracking guitar style and a voice that cried tough; plaintive one minute, brash the next. He made one near-perfect LP, 1+1, the critics adored him and the general populace greeted him with the equivalent of a collective yawn. So when you hear I Came To Dance, at first you think: maybe he's kidding. Or: maybe this is some grand strategy, making a rotten LP so the press'll get off his back and his real-people audience'll increase proportionately. Or, ultimately and sadly: his dumminess has becomes his most prominent feature. When he was singing mostly about girls, it just seemed like appealing ingenuousness ('Have you ever lost a number?/It's like losing the world') or a pose of cockiness. It's all right to be an innocent about romance. Everybody is.

Total word count of piece: 699

Not yet registered to read this free article? Enter your email address in the first field below and we'll send you a password to read all free articles on Rock's Backpages. Once you've received it, please login using the same email address (as your username) plus the password you've been sent, using the LOGIN form below.

If you've registered (or are an RBP subscriber), you don't need to request a new password. Simply enter your email address and password in the LOGIN form below...



For full access to all RBP articles, click here to subscribe.

The email we send will come from the address If you don't receive the message please be sure to check any spam filters you may have in place.