The song features a guitar solo by Nils Lofgren. The musician was passing through New Jersey when he called Springsteen to say hi and check in. Springsteen told his pal he had a track underway and suggested he came by and take a poke at it. Lofgren told Songfacts
the story of his contribution to the tune:
"I was on the road, in and out of Jersey. Bruce called and said he was working on a solo record, and he said he had this title track. He'd been messing with the solo, but he thought I could take a shot at it. So we went to a little barn on his guest house where he had a makeshift studio. I was shocked at the song: It was so different sounding and radical and beautiful, and just out of the box - in my eyes - from what Bruce normally did. So I started playing solos. I threw a couple of foot pedals on the ground, since he said on the phone he was looking for something a little unusual.
I asked him what key we were in and he said C, so I just started picking out some hammered notes - something I usually don't do in my style - to take what I do and put a little different slant on it, because the song is a little out of the normal box. We just kept plugging in foot pedals and choruses and flangers and messing around with the sound, and we got a couple of different takes that felt great under his instruction. Then I went to writing one of my one-note-with-a-rhythm, bouncing harmonic thing under the singing, and came up with a solo that he wanted to use, which I was honored by and still love playing that live."