Springsteen fans who were heading to see The Boss in Sunrise tonight are going to be sorely disappointed as the show has been indefinitely postponed. Last night, news broke that Danny Federici, keyboard player and original member of the E Street Band, passed away at 58 in New York. Federici had been battling melanoma for three years. He left the tour last November and only managed to play one show with the band this year.
Federici hooked up with Springsteen on the Jersey Shore back in their late 60’s salad days. With a few changes in the lineup, their collaboration evolved to encompass the tight-knit E Street Band that has more or less remained stable since superstardom came in the mid-70’s.
As an E Streeter, Federici played organ, synth, piano, and accordion over the years. He didn’t share the spotlight like fellow band members Clarence Clemons, Steven Van Zandt (aka “Silvio Dante”), Max Weinberg (of Conan O’Brien renown), or even Patti Scialfa (aka “Mrs. Boss”). But Federici’s tasteful keyboards greatly complemented and shaped the vibe on many Springsteen tunes. His piano work on “Born in the USA,” really ramps up the song’s fist-in-the-air, anthem power. Then there’s his organ work on “Hungry Heart” which gives the tune its signature sound.
Springsteen’s website has this statement about Federici’s passing:
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"Danny and I worked together for 40 years - he was the most wonderfully fluid keyboard player and a pure natural musician. I loved him very much...we grew up together."
Tomorrow’s show in Orlando got cancelled along with the Sunrise show. Springsteen’s website says they’ll be rescheduled, but there’s no word yet on the dates.