Everyone from Jim James to Kenny Chesney to Mumford & Sons covered Bruce Springsteen at last night’s MusiCares pre-Grammy benefit show, but most people in attendance say the highlight was Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s take on “Born In The USA.” The band was joined on keyboard and guitar by Nils Lofgren, who toured with Young and Crazy Horse in 1973, about a year after the group’s founding guitarist Danny Whitten died.
This clip of the “Born In The USA” performance isn’t the world’s best video, but the sound is quite clear. That it exists at all is a rare stroke of fortune, since the annual event is often pretty locked down. Last year, Neil Young and Crazy Horse covered “I Saw Her Standing There” to honor Paul McCartney. It was their first performance together in nine years and it has yet to surface anywhere.
Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen have performed together a handful of times over the years, but the only time they played a Bruce original was at a Minnesota stop on the Vote For Change tour in 2004. Young made a surprise appearance with Springsteen and the E Street Band for “Rockin’ In The Free World,” “All Along The Watchtower” and the 1992 Bruce deep cut “Souls of the Departed.”
Again, apologies for the horrid quality of this video. Pause it at the 28-second mark to see Max Weinberg make a cameo walking down the aisle.