from Asbury Park, New Jersey, who studied classical music and was playing
piano at the age of seven and guitar at age eleven. By the time he was a teenager he was
already playing with local bands such as The Bruce Springsteen Band, Dr.
Zoom and the Sonic Boom, Glory Road, and The Sundance Band.
to Richmond, Virginia, in 1972, and became a fixture in Alpha Studios,
getting steady work as a session musician on jingles and other
recordings. When Bruce
Springsteen was assembling a band for his first LP, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., he tapped David to play the
keyboards. He did not join the
band for the accompanying tour, instead returning to Alpha studios to lay
down some demonstration reels with Ernest “Boom” Carter and
The origin of
the E Street Band’s name is attributed to the street on which
David’s mother resided.
In those early, lean days, she permitted the up-and-coming musicians
to literally rock the house.
In 1973, David
went on the road with the newly named band, adding a bit of classical and
jazz to the mix. These were the
genres of music he was most interested in, and in 1974, he quit the band
and started his own jazz-fusion-progressive-rock outfit, Tone. The core of the group comprised
David, Gerald Carboy, and Ernest “Boom” Carter, and at times
they were joined by other musicians such as Alex Ligertwood,
Gayle Moran, and Patti Scialfa.
In 1975, David
inked a deal with Epic Records and issued his debut solo album, Forest of Feelings. His follow-up, Transformation: Speed
of Love, and Tone’s self-titled debut album hit the shelves in
1976. Tone recorded another LP
entitled Dance of the Age of
Enlightenment, but Arista, the label David
switched to, and Epic, couldn’t come to any kind of legal agreement
about who owned the rights to the songs. Subsequently, it sat on a shelf
until its long-awaited release in 2004. Tone released True Stories in 1978, but it would be their last album
on with his solo career and released two more albums, Just as I Thought and The
Bridge, in 1979 and 1982, respectively. He hooked up with Jon Anderson on Animation and played keyboards on
the subsequent tour. In the 1980s,
he was busy both in the studio, as a session musician, and on the road,
filling in when needed on various tours.
Some of the
artists he has worked with include Patti Austin, Eric Clapton, Clarence
Clemons, Robbie Dupree, Bryan Ferry, Julia Fordham, Aretha Franklin, Peter
Gabriel, Daryl Hall, Natalie Merchant, Youssou N’Dour, John Oates, Seal, and Sting. He also reunited with Bruce
Springsteen on his 1992 release, Human
At the turn of
the millennium, he resurrected his solo career, unleashing Nine Piano Improvisations on his own
recording label, Not by Sight.
The album was marketed and sold via the worldwide web. He followed this up with
2005’s Cinema. He played several live dates with
The Gulley Flats Boys, a band fronted by Francis Dunnery,
in 2006. Then he spent a couple
of years performing around the globe with Zucchero
Fornaciari on his “All the Best” and
In 2009, he
went on an international tour with Jeff Beck, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Tal
Wilkenfeld that included dates in Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.