Nils Lofgren has recalled how he had to switch off his guitar during his early days with the E Street Band because he was struggling to keep up with his colleagues.
Lofgren's Springsteen struggle
Guitarist Nils recalls turning guitar off when he blanked during as he fought to settle in with E Street Band
He'll mark 30 years with Bruce Springsteen's outfit in June this year – but he's recalled his first-ever appearance made him feel like he was a "deer in the headlights."
Lofgren tells Rolling Stone: "I was on the front line with Bruce, and I learned early on he likes to improv a lot; call you over and have you sing over there instead. The main thing I learned is you have to watch him.
"It took me about 20 shows to get to the level of comfort, not for lack of help from Bruce and the band. My main chore was integrating 60 or 80 songs into my psyche.
"I have myself permission to turn off my guitar and play air guitar if I blanked – but you've got two of the greatest keyboard players in the world and you've got Bruce, so the song's going to roar on."
Lofgren releases a 10-disc retrospective set entitled Face The Music at the end of May.