Much admired by his contemporaries as one of rock's most enlightened and innovative guitar stylists, Nils Lofgren is most commonly identified by his work alongside Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, but he also made a considerable mark as an artist in his own right. Born in America to Swedish-Italian parents, Lofgren initially took up playing accordion when he was five. He subsequently studied classical music and jazz but, after taking up guitar, he formed the band Grin, who played regularly in the Washington DC area. A chance meeting with Neil Young led to an invitation to Califorinia and, at the age of 17, he joined Young's band playing piano - an instrument he'd barely touched before - on the classic 'After the Gold Rush' album. Lofgren remained Young's right hand man for many years - also briefly joining the Young offshoot band Crazy Horse - while continuing to work with his own hard rock outfit Grin, best known for the single 'White Lies'. After Grin disbanded Lofgren released his highly regarded self-titled debut solo album in 1975, following it with 'Cry Tough' in 1976 and had hit singles with 'Back It Up', 'Keith Don't Go' and 'I Came to Dance', while his song 'Bullets Fever' was adopted as its anthem by the Washington Bullets basketball team. In 1984 Lofgren was recruited by Bruce Springsteen as Steve Van Zandt's guitar replacement in The E Street Band, undertaking many tours with Springsteen, including the 2012 Wrecking Ball tour. In the early 2000s Montgomery County in Maryland named 25th August as Nils Lofgren Day, a day to celebrate the musician and his music.