Thursday, September 25, 2014
DC ROCKS' Song of the Month is "Goin' Back"- a must for all you DC music fans to add to your playlists. Although the song credits go to Gerry Goffin and Carole King, the only version I really like is by DC 's own Nils Lofgren.
Nils might be nationally known as a guitar slinger (and acrobat) for Bruce Springsteen, but around here everyone likes to tell stories that swirl around his roots in Bethesda, his early escapades with Neil Young and of course, his band Grin. It seems like countless fans of a certain age either know him or his brother, or heard the band practicing in a garage somewhere. Grin even played Fort Reno way back when. But it was just after Grin and way before Springsteen that Nils came out with a solo album which included "Going Back."The Byrds did it. Carole King did it. Freddie Mercury did it for Pete's sake. Phil Collins has a beautiful version, but to me Nils is the only one that lifts this song out of its sugar glazed gauze and puts it on solid ground.
His version lacks sentimentality which is hard to do with a song so deeply steeped in nostalgia. I don't know if it's the up beat or the piano, but in the end, this song defies its title and is as much about moving forward as it is about going back. I think Nils Lofgren is the one that delivers that message with joy. Play it if you can.