Category Archives: David Sancious

World renowned Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, keyboardist, guitarist, and composer David Sancious announces Concert Series

“The Treehouse Concerts“ will be presented in an intimate atmosphere at
David’s studio/recital space in his home in Woodstock, New York

New York, April 2017: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, keyboardist, guitarist and composer David Sancious, is pleased to announce a concert series in the beautiful mountain setting in Woodstock, New York this summer.

“The Treehouse Concerts“ will be presented in a recital atmosphere in David’s studio/ recital space in his home outside New York. David will be presenting a series of Solo Piano/Solo Synthesizer concerts as well as a Blues Guitar program that David performed when he was Artist In Residence at SUNY New Paltz.

The concerts will run throughout the summer every Saturday and Sunday at 4:00 pm. On occasion, guest artists will join David. The concerts will be followed by a Q&A session with photo and autograph opportunities and post-concert refreshments overlooking a panoramic view of the Hudson Valley.

An original member of Bruce Springsteen’s beloved E Street Band, David recorded three albums together and toured the country before he left the band to form his own group, “Tone”. David recorded multiple albums with Tone and the accomplishments of these albums led him to become one of the most talented and respected keyboardists in the industry. Bruce Springsteen writes about David in his best selling book Born to Run, “Davey Sancious had pure musical genius with incredible stage presence. He was a star in the making and I wanted him in my band. ”

The notable artist has since worked with celebrities such as Sting, Peter Gabriel, Eric Clapton, Seal, Aretha Franklin, Santana, Jeff Beck and many others. David has performed on more than 50 albums since his 1973 debut album, “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.” with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The versatility of his sensational career has made it difficult to categorize his music. David, however, considers his art a mixture of harmony and melody from the jazz and classical traditions combined with rhythms from the rock and R&B traditions. David is well respected by his peers, considered by many as a “musician’s musician”. David is currently working on his ninth album, “The Treehouse Sessions”.

 

David has spent the last five years touring with some of the most sought-after musicians of our time. He joined both Sting and Peter Gabriel on separate tours, and then a combined tour “Rock Paper Scissors” last year. In 2014 Bruce Springsteen presented to David when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the other members of the E Street Band. In a surprise performance on April 21st David joined Springsteen and The E Street Band on stage at the Asbury Music & Film Festival after the World Premiere of “Just Before the Dawn” in which David appears.  The documentary explores the music scene in Asbury Park in 1970, the year the riot hit, when 73 clubs dotted the one square mile town.

THE TREEHOUSE CONCERTS
3:00 pm Doors open
3:30 pm Meet and Greet and refreshments
4:00 pm Music performance
5:30 to 6:15 pm Q&A session with photo and autograph opportunities with post concert refreshments with a panoramic view of the Hudson Valley.

THE SCHEDULE – MAY 2017
May 6 & 7   Solo Piano / Solo Synthesizer
May 13 & 14 Improvisation Duo with Joe Bonadio
May 20 & 21 Blues Guitar “A Brief History of The Blues“ part 1
May 27 & 28 Solo Piano / Solo Synthesizer

THE SCHEDULE – JUNE 2017
June 3 & 4   Blues Guitar “A Brief History of The Blues“ part 2
June 10 & 11 Improvisation duo with Will Calhoun from “Living Color”
June 17 & 18 Solo Piano / Solo Synthesizer

The environment is very intimate. Seating is limited up to 45 seats. Tickets are $120.00 US

Please visit thetreehouseconcerts.com to reserve your tickets.

David is available for interviews and photos upon request. Please contact:
Lesley Diana | Lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca 604-726-5575

Photography Credit: Craig McCord
Production Credit: Staci Strauss

Social Media Handles

Website:  davidsancious.comthetreehouseconcerts.com
Twitter: @DavidSancious

The Promotion People

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World Renowned Keyboardist and Musician David Sancious will be touring with Sting and Peter Gabriel for “Rock Paper Scissors” across North America

David will tour with Sting in Europe this summer

6S4A5055David Sancious, long-time solo keyboardist, guitarist and composer, has an exceptionally busy year in 2016 touring with two of the most sought-after musicians of our time. He will join Sting and Peter Gabriel for their “Rock Paper Scissors” tour that kicks off in Columbus Ohio on June 21st, and finishes the North American leg in Edmonton, Alberta on July 24th. He will then continue with Sting on his European tour that begins in Rome on July 27th, and completes in Hamar Norway on August 6th, with stops throughout Europe. More information on the tour can be found here: www.sting.com/tour.

Capturing the attention of Bruce Springsteen in the seventies at a jam session in New Jersey, David’s career as a musician kicked off at the young age of sixteen. An original member of Bruce Springsteen’s beloved E Street Band, David was invited to join a new band Bruce was forming. The group recorded three albums together and toured the country before David left the band to form his own group “Tone”, where he would showcase his abilities as not only a sensational musician, but as an equally talented composer, producer and synthesist. David recorded multiple albums with Tone and the accomplishments of these albums led him to become one of the most talented and respected keyboardists in the industry.

DavidSanciousphotobyMichael Bloom(400dpi)David re-united with Bruce Springsteen and joined other musicians including Billy Joel, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Rufus Wainwright and Will.I.Am at Sting’s sixtieth birthday to perform some of Stings most recognizable songs at New York’s Beacon Theatre. In 2014 Bruce presented to David when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the other members of the E Street Band. That night, David also played on stage with Peter Gabriel, who was inducted on the same evening.

The notable artist has since worked with celebrities such as Eric Clapton, Seal, Aretha Franklin, Santana, Jeff Beck and many others. David has performed on more than fifty albums since his 1973 debut album “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.” with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The versatility of his sensational career has made it difficult to categorize his music. David, however, considers his art a mixture of harmony and melody from the jazz and classical traditions combined with rhythms from the rock and R&B traditions. David is well respected by his peers, considered by many as a “musician’s musician”.

David will be touring with Sting and Peter Gabriel for the “Rock Paper Scissors” tour throughout North America in June and July, and then out again with Sting to tour throughout Europe this summer.

David is available for interviews and photos upon request.

For media interviews please contact:
Lesley Diana | Lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca 604-726-5575

Social Media Handles

Website:  davidsancious.com
Twitter: @DavidSancious@officialsting, @itspetergabriel
YouTube: Behind the Scenes with David Sancious for Yamaha:

Contact The Promotion People

Lesley Diana – Founder, President and Publicist
lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca
604.726.5575

Jasmyn Rowley – Publicist
Jasmyn@thepromotionpeople.ca
705.255.6887

Danica Cox – Press Blogger and Publicist
danica@thepromotionpeople.ca

Website: thepromotionpeople.ca
Twitter: @PromotionPeople
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A talk with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, David Sancious

The Promotion People DavidSanciousphotobyMichael BloomDavid Sancious just wrapped up a year that would have been enviable to even the biggest names in the music world. As a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, David not only received the “Award for Musical Excellence,” but he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Peter Gabriel was inducted in 2014, as well, and David joined him on stage, too. Last year, Sancious also spent a good portion of his time traveling the world with Sting, Paul Simon, and Peter Gabriel. He came home for the holidays, had a brief break, and then hopped on a plane and went to New Zealand, Australia, and Europe with Sting and Paul Simon for the next leg of their “On Stage Together” tour, which started yesterday (Friday, January 30).

AXS talked with David shortly before he left for New Zealand. Hoping to hear how the musical juggernaut had enjoyed his brief time off, AXS was saddened to learn how the artist had actually spent his precious downtime.

“I had knee surgery,” Sancious related. “I had a real problem with my leg on the Peter Gabriel tour last summer, so I went through six months of physical therapy, which didn’t really help. I started out okay, but the longer the tour went on, the more painful it got, so I scheduled the surgery for January 6 and I’m just about finished recovering. It was important to get the surgery done before this next project with Sting and Paul Simon started up. Luckily, it fit in great! I’m just about fully healed, and I’m certainly ready to start the tour.”

A life on the road isn’t something that everyone can handle. The constant travel, irregular sleep, and not always the best food options are all very hard on the body. It takes a special person to thrive under these often adverse conditions. How does David manage?

“Every night is enjoyable!” he expressed. “That’s one of the things I love most about playing music. When I was little, my parents told me, ‘If you make your life’s work what you love to do, then it won’t really be such hard work, at all.’ Truth be told, this is incredibly hard work! But because I’m so in love with it and I find such enjoyment from the most simple things to the most complex things, my life has just been one long series of degrees of enjoyment.”

When David said his life, he meant his entire life. The artist knew by age seven that music was what he wanted to do.

“There are only two other things that I’ve ever lost myself in like I can lose myself in music — where hours go by and I don’t even realize it because I’m so enthralled. The first is painting. Abstract painting because I’m not a skilled or schooled painter, at all. Just doing oil on a canvas for my own pleasure, that same kind of world comes up where I just totally fall away. That time-based person who has concerns and all of that, it just melts away and I’m left with only the sensation of what I’m doing.

“The other activity that I have lost myself in is gardening,” David informed. “But music definitely trumps everything.”

Sancious went on to state that doing music is at once soothing and fascinating. He compared it to being on a river in that creativity has a pull and a force all it’s own, and you sort of just ride along, excited to see where it’s going to take you.

“I really do think that music and art have an energy that has its own life,” David elaborated. “It sort of comes through us and we become the instrument. It is just like when we use a musical instrument in our own hands, we become the physical, three dimensional instrument for that music to come into the world. It is such a fascinating process, you’ll be sitting there and you’ll be thinking, ‘I’m thirsty, I’d love to get up and get some water.’ But you won’t! That will wait for 20 minutes or more because you are too immersed in what you’re doing. You can even put off going to the bathroom,” he laughed, “because you just have to see where this moment is going to take you!”

David thought for a moment, then decided, “You know, they should teach this in schools. It ought to be something that goes along with career counseling. And it is something that should be done early on to get people in touch with whatever it is in life that their particular personality resonates with. What their interest is. Where their energy is. Find that thing that you get lost in and don’t ever lose touch with it!”

Besides his non-stop touring schedule, this year David promised AXS he would finally complete his ninth studio album, The Treehouse Sessions. “That’s my first priority,” he stated. “Everything else takes second priority to that. My touring will probably take me to the summer of this year. Then, I’ll have a little break before going back out with just Sting — I think we’ll be in Europe for about six weeks in late June… so my apologies for the delay on the record, but it will certainly come. Just like the sunrise, on one fine day, it will be there,” he laughed.

And on that day, AXS will be there to tell you all about it. For more information, visit David’s website and follow him on Twitter.

Article by Allen Foster
AXS Contributor
http://www.axs.com/a-talk-with-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-inductee-david-sancious-38898

Social Media Handles

Website:  davidsancious.com
Twitter: @DavidSancious@AllenJFoster

Contact The Promotion People

Lesley Diana – Founder, President and Publicist
lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca
604.726.5575

Danica Cox – Press Blogger and Publicist
danica@thepromotionpeople.ca

Website: thepromotionpeople.ca
Twitter: @PromotionPeople
Facebook: The Promotion People

David Sancious reunites with the original members of the E Street Band to receive the Award for Musical Excellence at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony April 10th, 2014

World Renowned Keyboardist and Musician David  will be touring with Peter Gabriel on “Back to Front” Tour after recently touring with Sting and Paul Simon “On Stage Together”

David along with other members of the E Street Band will receive the Award for Musical Excellence at this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, April 10, 2014 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The Promotion People - David Sancious

David Sancious, long-time solo keyboardist, guitarist and composer, is having an exceptionally busy year in 2014 touring with three of the most sought after musicians of our time.  He just completed touring with Sting and Paul Simon “On Stage Together” then is back out touring with Peter Gabriel throughout Europe in April and May. Peter Gabriel is also being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.

David joins Sting and Paul Simon, two of music’s most renowned and enduring artists who are performing “On Stage Together” throughout North America. For more information on the tour and tickets please visit sting.com.

David will then join the other original members of Peter Gabriel’s band again to tour throughout Europe on Peter Gabriel’s  “Back to Front” tour.  The tour begins in Frankfurt on April 14th and finishes in Berlin on May 14th. For more information and tickets please visit petergabriel.com.

The Promotion People - David Sancious

Capturing the attention of Bruce Springsteen in the seventies at a jam session in New Jersey, David’s career as a musician kicked off at the young age of seventeen. An original member of Bruce Springsteens’ beloved E Street Band David was invited to join a new band Bruce was forming. The group recorded three albums together and toured the country before David was offered a recording contract and left the band to form his own group Tone, where he would showcase his abilities as not only a sensational musician, but as an equally talented composer, producer and synthesist. David recorded multiple albums with Tone and the accomplishments of these albums led him to become one of the most talented and sought-after keyboardists in the industry.

David re-united with Bruce Springsteen and joined other musicians including Billy Joel, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Rufus Wainwright and Will.I.Am  at Sting’s sixtieth birthday to perform some of Stings most recognizable songs at New York’s Beacon Theatre.

The notable artist has since worked with many musicians including Eric Clapton, Seal, Aretha Franklin, Santana, Jeff Beck and many others. David has performed on more than fifty albums since his 1973 debut album “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.” with Bruce Sprinstein and the E Street Band. The versatility of his sensational career has made it difficult to categorize his music.  David, however, considers his art a mixture of harmony and melody from the jazz and classical traditions combined with rhythms from the rock and R&B traditions. David is well respected by his peers, considered by many as a “musician’s musician”.

It can often be difficult to center oneself when surrounded by the stress and chaos of being an artist. Yet, somehow, David always manages to find his center and inner peace. At a mere ten years of age, he began his journey into the world of spirituality. David practices meditation and yoga.

David is touring with Sting and Paul Simon “On Stage Together” throughout North America until mid March then out again with Peter Gabriel’s tour “Back to Front” in April and May 2014 throughout Europe. 

Social Media Handles

Website:  davidsancious.com
Twitter: @DavidSancious@officialsting@itspetergabriel@paulsimonmusic
YouTube: Behind the Scenes with David Sancious for Yamaha

vancouversun.com/entertainment/music/David+Sancious+Street+Band+member+Sting+touring/9526081/story.html

rockhall.com/inductees/the-e-street-band/

Contact The Promotion People

Lesley Diana – Founder, President and Publicist
lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca
604.726.5575

Danica Cox – Press Blogger and Publicist
danica@thepromotionpeople.ca

Website: thepromotionpeople.ca
Twitter: @PromotionPeople
Facebook: The Promotion People

David Sancious, original member of the E Street Band, to receive Award for Musical Excellence at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

World Renowned Keyboardist and Musician David Sancious will be touring with Sting and Paul Simon “On Stage Together” across North America then he is back out with Peter Gabriel on his European “Back to Front” Tour in 2014
The Promotion People - David Sancious

David along with other members of the E Street Band will receive the Award for Musical Excellence at this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, April 10, 2014 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

David Sancious, long-time solo keyboardist, guitarist and composer, will have an exceptionally busy year in 2014 touring with three of the most sought after musicians of our time.  He will join Sting and Paul Simon “On Stage Together” in February and March then is back out touring with Peter Gabriel throughout Europe in April and May. Peter Gabriel is also being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10th, 2014.

The Promotion People - Sting & Paul Simon

David will be joining Sting and Paul Simon, two of music’s most renowned and enduring artists who will perform “On Stage Together” throughout North America starting in Houston on February 8th and playing to their final show in New York City’s Madison Square Garden on March 6th following an immediate sell-out in that city. For more information on the tour and tickets please visit www.sting.com.

David will then join the other original members of Peter Gabriel’s band again to tour throughout Europe on Peter Gabriel’s  “Back to Front” tour.  The tour begins in Frankfurt on April 14th and finishes in Berlin on May 14th. For more information and tickets please visit www.petergabriel.com.

Capturing the attention of Bruce Springsteen in the seventies at a jam session in New Jersey, David’s career as a musician kicked off at the young age of seventeen. An original member of Bruce Springsteens’ beloved E Street Band David was invited to join a new band Bruce was forming. The group recorded three albums together and toured the country before David decided it was time to part ways.

The Promotion People - Peter Gabriel

David left the band to form his own group “Tone”, where he would showcase his abilities as not only a sensational musician, but as an equally talented composer, producer and synthesist. David recorded multiple albums with Tone and the accomplishments of these albums led him to become one of the most talented and sought-after keyboardists in the industry.

David re-united with Bruce Springsteen and joined other musicians including Billy Joel, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Rufus Wainwright and Will.I.Am  at Sting’s sixtieth birthday to perform some of Stings most recognizable songs at New York’s Beacon Theatre.

The notable artist has since worked with celebrities such as; Eric Clapton, Seal, Aretha Franklin, Santana, Jeff Beck and many others. David has performed on more than fifty albums since his 1973 debut album “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.” with Bruce Sprinsteen and the E Street Band. The versatility of his sensational career has made it difficult to categorize his music.  David, however, considers his art a mixture of harmony and melody from the jazz and classical traditions combined with rhythms from the rock and R&B traditions. David is well respected by his peers, considered by many as a “musician’s musician”.

It can often be difficult to center oneself when surrounded by the stress and chaos of being an artist. Yet, somehow, David always manages to find his center and inner peace. At a mere ten years of age, he began his journey into the world of spirituality. David practices meditation and yoga.

David will be touring with Sting and Paul Simon “On Stage Together” throughout North America in February and March then out again with Peter Gabriel’s tour “Back to Front” in April and May 2014 throughout Europe.

 

Social Media Handles

Website:  davidsancious.com
Twitter: @DavidSancious, @officialsting, @itspetergabriel, @paulsimonmusic
YouTube: Behind the Scenes with David Sancious for Yamaha

Contact The Promotion People

Lesley Diana – Founder, President and Publicist
lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca
604.726.5575

Danica Cox – Press Blogger and Publicist
danica@thepromotionpeople.ca

Website: thepromotionpeople.ca
Twitter: @PromotionPeople
Facebook: The Promotion People

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH DAVID SANCIOUS FOR YAMAHA

Yamaha Entertainment takes you behind the scenes for their All Access photo shoot with David Sancious, keyboardist for Sting

David Sancious looks forward to seeing all his fans around the world as 2014 is another busy year.

David will be joining Paul Simon & Sting, two of music’s most renowned and enduring artists, to embark on a concert tour throughout North America in February and March 2014. For tickets and more information visit: slotix.com

Next Spring 2014, David will be back touring with Peter Gabriel on his Ready, Steady, So Back to Front 2014 tour with members of the original band that toured with Peter 25 years ago. Peter returns to stages throughout Europe to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his groundbreaking, iconic album ‘So’. Learn more and purchase tickets here: petergabriel.com/live

Social Media Handles

Website:  davidsancious.com
Twitter: @DavidSancious
Facebook: David Sancious

Contact The Promotion People

Lesley Diana – Founder, President and Publicist
lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca
604.726.5575

Danica Cox – Press Blogger and Publicist
danica@thepromotionpeople.ca

Website: thepromotionpeople.ca
Twitter: @PromotionPeople
Facebook: The Promotion People

World-renowned keyboardist & musician David Sancious has a busy 2013 touring with long-time friends, appearing onstage with Sting on his “Back to Bass” Tour in Europe & North America and with Peter Gabriel on his “Back to Front” tour in Europe

David Sancious, long-time solo keyboardist, guitarist and composer, has another exceptionally busy year coming up touring with two of the most sought after musicians of our time: Sting and Peter Gabriel.

David will be touring in North America and Europe with his longtime friend, and twenty-year on-and-off performance partner, Sting playing throughout North America and Europe. The tour kicks off in Kelowna, British Columbia on May 30th then in Victoria on May 31st. Joining Sting and David on stage are Dominic Miller, Peter Tickell, Vinnie Colaiuta and Jo Lawry.

Last year also David joined the other original members of Peter Gabriel’s band that toured together twenty-five years ago, to reunite onstage to celebrate the Silver Anniversary of the groundbreaking album “So”. Touring throughout North America on Peter Gabriel’s “Back to Front” tour the band played to sold out audiences and rave reviews. David will reunite with the group performing with Peter this fall starting in Herning, Denmark September 28th. For more information and tickets please visit: petergabriel.com/livedates

The Promotion People DavidSanciousphotobyMichael Bloom

Capturing the attention of Bruce Springsteen in the seventies at a jam session in New Jersey, David’s career as a musician kicked off at the young age of seventeen. An original member of Bruce Springsteens’ beloved E Street Band, David was invited to join a new band Bruce was forming. The group recorded three albums together and toured the country before David decided it was time to part ways.

David left the band to form his own group “Tone”, where he would showcase his abilities as not only a sensational musician, but as an equally talented composer, producer and synthesist. David recorded multiple albums with Tone and the accomplishments of these albums led him to become one of the most talented and sought-after keyboardists in the industry.

The notable artist has since worked and toured with musicians including Eric Clapton, Seal, Aretha Franklin, Santana, Jeff Beck, Yousou Ndour, Natalie Merchant and many others. David has performed on more than fifty albums since his 1973 debut album “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.” with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The versatility of his sensational career has made it difficult to categorize his music. David, however, considers his art a mixture of harmony and melody from the jazz and classical traditions combined with rhythms from the rock and R&B traditions. David is considered by many as a “musician’s musician”.

In celebration of Sting’s sixtieth birthday David re-united with Bruce Springsteen and joined other musicians including Billy Joel, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Rufus Wainwright and Will.I.Am to perform some of Stings most recognizable songs at New York’s Beacon Theatre.

David has also been invited by the legendary jazz artist Jack Dejohnette to perform with him at the Woodstock Percussion Festival on September 7th in Woodstock. New York.

It can often be difficult to center oneself when surrounded by the stress and chaos of being an artist. Yet, somehow, David always manages to find his center and inner peace practicing yoga and mediation to keep him grounded.

When he finds time, David is in his studio recording his tenth solo album. For David’s complete discography please visit: davidsancious.com/discography

Social Media Handles

Website:  davidsancious.com
Twitter: @DavidSancious
Facebook: David Sancious

Contact The Promotion People

Website: thepromotionpeople.ca
Twitter: @PromotionPeople
Facebook: The Promotion People
Email: danica@thepromotionpeople.ca

David Sancious Article featured in Backstreets.com

Q&A: DAVID SANCIOUS (photo: Michael Bloom)
For Rock’s Back Pages, Rod Tootell recently put together an article on the making of Springsteen’s second album, “E Street Serenade: Bruce Springsteen, David Sancious and the E Street Shuffle.” For the piece, Tootell interviewed Sancious, the E Street Band’s genius first pianist who left for a solo career in 1974 and later brought his talents to Peter Gabriel and Sting. Thanks to Rod, for further reading we present their unedited conversation here, conducted in June 2012. Sancious speaks about meeting Bruce, writing the string arrangements for “New York Serenade,” and reconnecting over the years with his old Boss.

Can I ask you a bit about what you did before you joined Bruce’s band?
Before Bruce, I quit school — I left high school when I was 15 years old, which in the state of New Jersey at that time you could do without your parents’ consent. I had already been playing in clubs since I was about 13, lied about my age for a lot of years. I was 19 years old for about six years — at least five or six years I was 19 years old. I don’t think anyone believed me, because I had a really young face and a young voice, but I got away with it a lot. When I was in school, I was just playing on the weekends. I had worked a few jobs, got a job in the Danelectro guitar factory. I worked as a landscaper for a while, you know, stuff like that. Then I was playing on the weekends — I was pretty much restricted to that.

Being out of school, all I did was music, full-time. I was practicing at home, by myself everyday, and at night I would just play, wherever I could play, as much as possible. So that went on a lot, and then I met Bruce and the whole club scene in New Jersey. I met him at Upstage through Garry Tallent. Garry and I had met and worked together before. I think we did a recording session for someone at a studio session, and we hit it off right away. One night we were going to the Upstage, and Bruce was putting a jam session together for the second half of the night, which used to be from 1:00 until 5:00 in the morning. I was walking up the stairs and Garry introduced me to Bruce. Bruce asked, “Are you interested in playing in our jams?” And I said “sure” — we were used to playing for hours at a time — and that was the start of it.

He had a band called Steel Mill that he was going to end. He was going to start this new band, which became eventually the E Street Band. It wasn’t called that for a long time, it was just Bruce Springsteen. Then we had a band called Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom, which was a Mad Dogs and Englishmen kind of thing: music and theater at the same time, it was pretty wild.

But before meeting Bruce I was just like everybody else in that club scene. I was more concerned about getting really good on the instrument, and I’d also secretly started playing guitar around that time (which I kept to myself for a while), and then I broke it out one night. But that was it, just the club scene around Asbury Park, a lot of practicing and jam sessions.

When did he formally say “come and join the band”?
I think after that night, the end of that first night. We closed the place, it was 5:00 in the morning, and we were walking out — at that hour, the last thing you can do is go right home and go to bed and go to sleep, so we all used to walk down to the ocean and hang out. If you live nearby, you’re walking home or catching a ride back to Belmar or wherever you came from. We were walking out of the club and he asked me, I think that morning, he said, “I’m going to be breaking up Steel Mill and starting a new band, would you be interested?” I said, “Yeah, absolutely.”

Would you say that band was very improvisational?
I think at the time, for the talent that was around the Shore… we weren’t the only good musicians, but I think it was a collection of pretty much the best players who were around that area at that time. Bruce was absolutely the guitar hero of the whole area. The band was always really interesting. Vini Lopez had a really unique style; Garry’s a fantastic bass player; Danny was great on the organ and accordion; and Clarence, of course.

Can we talk about the way the band progressed? Listening to live concerts from My Father’s Place in Roslyn, compared to a concert in Nashville about six months later, to me the band has just completely changed. There’s so much going on, there’s a lot of jazz in the mix, and it’s just very different to the sort of stuff they were doing before you joined. [Though Sancious played on Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ, he didn’t officially join the touring unit until June 1973.]
It also depends on who was playing drums at the time. Once Ernest [Carter, drums] was in the band — it’s really a shame that there’s not more of him recorded, officially recorded — it really took off, I think. The change of drummer, it wasn’t comfortable, but Bruce calculated that it was necessary musically, and I think he was right.

That band, when [Carter] got in, it was really, really something. And also the amount of shows we used to do, you know, we were playing a lot. And playing long shows — Bruce likes to play a long time, as you know — and there’s nothing like getting a band in shape with a lot of live playing, night after night after night, whether you are sick or well, whatever. There’s nothing like it. Not just whipping a band into shape, but having its own nature evolve. Getting the best out of every player because it just comes out naturally at some point, and, yeah…. I bet it does sound dramatically different from, say, the sound ofGreetings from Asbury Park, really, really different.

Liberty Hall is a great, great show, and Max’s Kansas City…
Wow, Max’s Kansas City — boy, I remember that place. The Wailers opened for us, and it was the first time The Wailers had played in New York, I believe.

Did you get to spend time with them?
We did, briefly — like hello, nice to meet you, not really in depth or anything.

And you watched them play, I presume?
Yeah, watched them play. I remember Clarence was hanging out in the dressing room.

I bet he was.
Yeah, yeah [laughs]… but I was amazed by them. Wow… it was really different. because that whole scene was pretty much brand new. I wish I would’ve seen [Bob Marley] more live when he was alive. I’ve seen so much concert footage of him, and man, what a presence. He was truly amazing, and you see and hear the influence he had on all kinds of people to this day — singers, other bands — it’s incredible.

In the documentaries that Bruce has done about the recording of Darknesson the Edge of Town and Born to Run, it’s pretty intense, high-pressure stuff. I get the impression that the recording of The Wild & the Innocent, on the other hand was actually very relaxed.
The atmosphere, it was more relaxed. I’ve seen some of that stuff — the film of them in the studio working on Born to Run, and Darkness as well — and I just think that is where he was then in his head: he needed to be that intense about what he was intense about. But I remember that when we started the recording for that album, everybody was a little run-down physically. Clarence had tonsillitis, I had a kind of cold or something… it was a bunch of people who were just working because you had to do that, and then everybody got better, of course, and carried on. But I do remember the atmosphere in the sessions as being fairly relaxed, not too uptight, not too tense. But it was a lot of work. We worked a lot of hours. We started in the morning. We used to drive up to 914 Studios from New Jersey, and then I think they put us in a hotel across the road from it or something. We put in a seriously full day and night.

Somebody said that some of you slept in the back in a tent.
I don’t remember the tent, but I remember there was a place where you could go in the back of the studio and crash out for a while if you were tired. I definitely remember everybody taking advantage of that at some point. I don’t remember a tent — it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

Well, I think Bruce has said there’s a lot of stuff that everybody knows about him that he doesn’t know anything about. I’ve heard that when you originally did “New York City Serenade,” you did a lot of the basic tracks first and then added a lot of stuff afterwards?
No, I think “Born to Run” was like that. But “New York City Serenade” I remember, we just did it live in the studio — but without strings, of course. We recorded the guitar, piano, bass, drums, and organ, probably. And then I think the producer or the engineer found these three guys, these three violinists, who were music school teachers. They were from the local area. So the whole “string section” actually, was three people who got overdubbed. It wasn’t a string section of people. The engineer, Louis Lahav, was the first one to turn me on to the technique of doing that with strings. I knew about overdubs, but if you don’t have access to a whole bunch of string players you can tape three or four, preferably, if you really want to sound big. You can do it with three as well and you get them to play the entire arrangement about three times. So they play it once, it sounds like three guys playing. They go in, they rewind the song, they play it again, now it sounds larger and you just keep doing that.

It’s almost a Phil Spector sort of thing.
It is, it’s the same sort of concept. So these guys were lovely, and that was my first string arrangement I had ever written. I’ve written a few more since then for different people, but that was my first opportunity, and I was so excited about it. I worked really hard on it, and I stayed up all night for several days. Then came the day, and I stayed up all of that night before we were being picked up to drive up to the studio to do the session with the string fellows. I triple-checked everything, checked the harmony, and I did it on the piano of course, wrote out the parts by hand, and I was just…

Leaving nothing to chance.
Yeah, leaving nothing to chance. And it really worked beautifully, and the guys playing it were really complimentary about how it sounded. It had some interesting movement in it. And I also got to conduct them — I wouldn’t call it conducting now, these guys didn’t need me to keep time, but they needed a little bit of direction, I guess, as to where sections were. So I’m standing there conducting these three guys who were the age of the teachers I had in high school, music teachers, and I thought, this is crazy, and it was all working so beautifully. It worked out well. I just remember everyone being really, really happy with it. I was, of course, and Bruce was thrilled.

It’s like the last song you want to hear on any evening.
I mean [laughs]… you know, one fan got in touch with me just to say how much they appreciated the song and my contribution to it. He was saying he was kind of in a state of… almost hypnotised by it. He just keep listening to it over and over again, listening to it every day!

You left the band, you got on with your own career. I was just wondering, after you left his band, did you follow Bruce’s career? If a new album comes out, do you put it on the turntable? (Photo: Armando Gallo)
Oh yeah, to this day. What’s been nice is that since I left the band and went off and did a whole lot of other stuff with other artists, and some stuff with my small band, we have been able to stay in touch — not on a continuous personal basis, but over the years we would do the same show. We did a Rainforest benefit together some years ago. I remember at rehearsals for a Grammy thing, or some event in New York City, I was working with Sting and Bruce was there. He came into the room and said, “Hey how’re you doing, haven’t seen you for a while.” And he was looking so excited, I said “What’s going on?” And he said, “I just met the Queen of Soul.” He’d just met Aretha Franklin, and he was really jazzed, really excited.

And you’ve also worked with her.
I did one album, yeah — actually it was the one that Andy Warhol did the cover for, before he died [1986’s Aretha] — but that was it.

And then years later, Bruce called me to do some stuff on Human Touch, and then we’re back in the studio together again — that was great fun. We did, I think, two songs, maybe three. “Soul Driver”…

“Soul Driver” is a very good song.
You know, a lot of people criticize that stuff, that period, because he was working with other musicians outside the whole E Street Band context. I think some people just have an automatic prejudice against that, you know, which I don’t share. I think those are fine records, both of them. That was a nice period.

And then some time went by where I might see him but not work with him, and then in 2011 he performed at Sting’s 60th birthday party at the Beacon Theatre, he did two songs. He did his own version of “Fields of Gold” acoustically, just him on guitar. It’s brilliant, you should check it out — it’s on an app actually, that you can get from the app stores [Sting 25]. It’s got all the performances. Bruce did a great version of “Fields of Gold,” and then we did “I Hung My Head” with him.

That’s a wonderful song.
Yeah, we did it in 4/4 — I think that song’s in 9/8, but we did it in 4/4 in a kind of Johnny Cash version. It was a Bruce version, which is fantastic, and then we did “Can’t Stand Losing You,” the Police song. It was so much fun, first of all, just to play with him again, on the same stage; he was killing it on the guitar, and it was great. We got to talk a little bit at rehearsals. So, you know, we’re not working together on a daily basis, but things come up occasionally and we get to see each other for a second. I have a strong feeling that — probably on a project of my own which might be coming up in the next, I don’t know, year or year-and-a-half — that we’ll do some more work together. Studio stuff, you know.

It would be great to hear that.
He’s a dream to work with. He’s really nice, he’s a great guy.

You’re working with Peter Gabriel as well?
He’s doing a 25th anniversary of the So tour. He’s put the original band back together

Were you on that?
Yeah — well, I’m not on the album, but I did all the touring: it was myself and Manu Katche, Tony Levin, and David Rhodes. He called me and asked me if I’d be interested — he said he’d been able to put everyone else back together — so, absolutely.

I wanted to show you this photo on the back of The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle and just talk about what you felt when you saw it — it’s such a wonderful picture.
Well, first of all, I’m barefoot! I remember I used to go around barefoot in summertime… and look at Clarence, we’re both barefoot.

That’s the beach life.
Yeah, that was a summer thing. Garry’s got clogs on, and he’s kind of barefoot. Danny’s got boots on. He’s the nicest dressed one in this picture. He looks like he’s going to have his photo taken for a record album. The rest of us look like somebody just stopped us and said, “Listen, just stand still….”

Dave Marsh calls you guys a “visual hodgepodge.”
Really [laughs] — totally right, a visual hodgepodge. I remember that day. And look how dark Bruce is! He really got so dark in the summer. We used to tease him, like he was becoming Puerto Rican. I mean, he got really dark, he used to tan really well. He used to surf back then, too. He was really into surfing. I wonder if he still does that. But yeah, I sure remember this picture, man… wow.

And it definitely gives the impression that the album is… well, it had a very relaxed feel to it. Everybody looks like they’re having a good time.
Yeah, absolutely. And the other thing I think of when I see this picture is, two of the six are gone. Danny is gone. Clarence is gone. Vini is still with us.

Did you keep in touch with Clarence and those guys?
A little bit. Not so much because our paths… we’re in different parts of the world, and all kinds of stuff. But I’ve seen Vini a few times — he actually came to Woodstock a couple of summers ago and rang me up, and we went and had a nice long lunch together and hung out.

How’s your back? You said you went to the chiropractor.
It’s my shoulder, an injury in the garden before I left.

Do you like gardening?
I love gardening. It’s my passion after music, there’s nothing like it. It’s one of the only other things that I’ve ever done, apart from music and a little bit of abstract painting, where I’ve been able to lose myself in time, and you have no idea how many hours have gone by and you have been engaged in this thing.

Thank you so much for giving me your time.

– February 25, 2013 – interview by Rod Tootell – images (1,2,4) courtesy of David Sancious/davidsancious.com; (5) by David Gahr, back cover of The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle

 

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