Danny Federici & Melanoma

The Danny Federici Melanoma Fund, mentioned on the official Bruce Springsteen site, is now up and running. They’ve included a link to make a donation to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Danny’s memory.

There’s a statement by Danny about the melanoma and the danger of too much sun (especially for those of us with fair skin); which is something a lot of people still don’t give a lot of thought to. 

“What people take for granted on a daily basis, among so many other things, is their skin. I spent my life, like many others, catching some rays, surfing, hanging out in the sun and it never bothered me until now. Who knew that something as simple as a proper sunscreen or keeping yourself covered up on a sunny day could one day save your life? Our culture looks at a nice tan as a sign of luxury. We spend time in tanning booths when we can’t go to the beach or lay by the pool. It’s time to think again. Especially if you’re fair skinned, have freckles, or light eyes. Be aware of the dangers, take precaution, and have yourself checked out regularly by a dermatologist from head to toe. It could absolutely make the difference in your life.” – Danny Federici

Also included is a wonderful account by his son, Jason Federici, about his father’s now legendary last show with the E Street Band in Indianapolis.  How Bruce and Max talked him into it, while he was under treatment at Sloan-Kettering, transported Danny, his family, and doctor to the show, and the love given Danny by Bruce and the rest of the band on that magical night.


I was hoping Danny would make it to Seattle, and when that didn’t happen, a little “further on up the road”.  A lot of great memories and music.  We’ll miss you, Danny.  Maybe they needed your organ playing skills in heaven (especially these days). . .




Danny is Gone – A Sad Day on E Street

Danny Federici, whose organ and accordion playing was the backbone for so much of the music of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band died earlier today.  Even though I knew he was sick for a while with melanoma, it hit me hard and I’m still in shock.    I always thought he’d be back with the band someday and the E Street Band, in it’s full glory would go on forever.

It’s bittersweet to find out the members of your favorite band are mortal (as someone said on a post on the Backstreets message board tonight).  Bittersweet, especially, because with most bands we would have learned that lesson far sooner; as one or more members self-destructed to booze or drugs or other self destructive behavior.  No big egos and fights and the band splitting up and tolerating each other for reunion tours rehashing their greatest hits, either.  Sadly, Bruce did set them all free for a few years, but once they came back together again the sheer joy of each others company just shines through.

No, thankfully, Bruce, Danny and the rest of the band never quite seem to have gotten how to live as rock stars!

Oh, but to be missing Danny’s signature organ,  and that accordion on Sandy (which I was just listening to on the way home from work tonight, ironically).  Danny was one of the E Streeters that got taken for granted.  As someone noted tonight, he wasn’t up front, playing off Bruce, like Clarence, or Little Steven, or Nils; but his organ set the mood, and helped make the magic, the good magic that is the E Street Band.

Official news, from the Springsteen website:


“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.”
—Bruce Springsteen

Danny Federici, for 40 years the E Street Band’s organist and keyboard player, died this afternoon, April 17, 2008 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City after a three year battle with melanoma.

The Federici family and the E Street family request that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Danny Federici Melanoma Fund. A web site for the Fund is being established and we’ll post its link when it is on line.

Bruce Springsteen’s concerts scheduled for Friday in Ft. Lauderdale and Saturday in Orlando performance are being postponed. Replacement dates will be announced shortly.

Video from Danny’s last show with the band in Indianapolis:

We’ll miss you Danny!  Rest in peace.