Making the Liszt: Boss taps hometown boy-- er, PhD dude

When it comes to talent, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. At least that's the case with Dr. Greg Liszt, the plucky son of local dance guru Miki Liszt.

Greg Liszt, a 1995 Charlottesville High grad, recently joined Bruce Springsteen as part of the Boss's world tour.

Though the younger Liszt reports he's contractually prevented from conducting interviews about his current gig, longtime friend Pete Magielnicki says his elementary school bud is thrilled with the experience of joining the Boss's so-called "Seeger Sessions Band."

"Bruce was putting together a 17-piece band," says Magielnicki. "They were looking for a couple of guys. [Liszt] was so excited to get the call to audition."

Magielnicki recalls Liszt– "musical genius that he is"– teaching himself to pluck the banjo in high school before going on to graduate from Yale and earn a PhD in biology from M.I.T. But few accomplishments compare to his recent stint on-stage.

"He's been on the road, staying in swanky hotels with screaming fans. They did five encores in Barcelona and were afraid the fans would rush the stage," says Magielnicki, who saw his pal perform on Sunday, May 28 at Nissan Pavilion in Northern Virginia.

"He's happy to be back in the States," says Magielnicki.

In contrast to the usual "Born in the U.S.A." and "Born to Run" standards of tours past, this one featured such classic bits of Americana as "Buffalo Gals," "Erie Canal," and "When the Saints Go Marching In."

The best part of the show?

"Some of the songs he was playing with Bruce we learned on the recorder in Mrs. Lawson's music class at Greenbrier Elementary," Magielnicki laughs.

Greg Liszt poses with pals before the May 28 Bruce Springsteen show at Nissan Pavilion. From left: Dan Boyle, Greg Liszt, Lauren Klutts, Pete Magielnicki