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Tags: steven van zandt | bruce spingsteen | fallout

Steven Van Zandt Reflects on Fallout With Bruce Springsteen: 'He's Playing a Character'

bruce springsteen and steven van zandt perform onstage
Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Van Zandt perform onstage at Madison Square Garden on March 28, 2016, in New York City. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 29 September 2021 10:34 AM

Steven Van Zandt is revisiting his fallout with former bandmate Bruce Springsteen and opening up about how it ultimately affected his career. 

Van Zandt was the guitarist for Springsteen's E Street Band since the early 80s but a fight while recording the group's "Born in the USA" resulted in Van Zandt walking away from the band — a decision that he admitted to regretting.

"Leaving the E Street Band when I did, ended my life as I knew it," Van Zandt said in an interview with the Associated Press. "You can’t be reborn until you die. So that had to happen."

The musician and Springsteen were able to eventually set their differences aside. Springsteen even helped to induct Van Zandt into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2018 but despite this, Van Zandt still harbors strong opinions about Springsteen.

"He completely, 180 degrees changed his identity. He’s fronting, he’s playing a character," he said. "That was the most important moment of his life, because he stayed in that persona forever."

In his memoir, "Unrequited Infatuations," Van Zandt also writes about exiting E Street Band, which he describes as "the big mistake of my life" and likened it to "public career suicide." He enjoyed a successful solo career and also pursued acting, famously appearing in "The Sopranos," and although he is happy with his achievements, the musician said he still wished he could have been part of  E Street Band's musical journey. 

"In the end, you come to the same conclusion, which is: I wish I could have done both. I wish I could have stayed in the band and done all of these things," he said. "But that’s not really realistic."

Speaking about his book, Van Zandt said that Springsteen ended up featuring prominently in it, but before publishing the memoir he did approach the music legend for his approval. 

"I said, if there’s anything you disagree with or remember different, I will take it out immediately because I didn’t want a journalist blindsiding him and saying, 'Stevie said this in his book and you said this in yours,'" he told USA Today. "I have no sense of time. You want the encyclopedia of our lives, I’m not the guy. I’m gonna tell you what I remember and the way I remember. In the end, I wanted to keep the Bruce stuff to a minimum, but he ended up being in there more than I expected because he’s been such a big part of my life."

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TheWire
Steven Van Zandt is revisiting his fallout with former bandmate Bruce Springsteen and opening up about how it ultimately affected his career. Van Zandt was the guitarist for Springsteen's E Street Band...
steven van zandt, bruce spingsteen, fallout
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2021-34-29
Wednesday, 29 September 2021 10:34 AM
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