arranger, DJ, guitarist, mandolin player, producer and singer-songwriter
from Winthrop, Massachusetts, who kicked around in several bands on the Jersey
shore until landing in the E Street Band. He did not officially join until
1975, during the Born to Run
tour, although he and Bruce Springsteen had been friends for a long time
before then. In fact, he was
integral to the Born to Run album
because he arranged the horns on “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and
contributed the guitar riff on the title track.
Other bands he
has been involved with include The Dovells,
Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul, and Southside Johnny & The
December 1982, Steve and Maureen Santoro were married in The Big Apple by
Little Richard (a.k.a. Rev. Richard Penniman). It was not your garden-variety
reception, with entertainment provided by Gary U.S. Bonds, Little Milton,
Percy Sledge, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, and the band that
played in the wedding scene in The
In 1982, Steve
released his first solo album, Men
without Women, and followed it up with Voice of America, in 1984.
It had a little competition from an album called Born in the U.S.A., on which he also
appeared. He quit the E Street
Band shortly thereafter and was supplanted by Nils Lofgren on the
In 1985, he
assembled Artists United Against Apartheid to record “Sun
City”, a top-forty hit that brought to light injustices in South
Africa and discouraged other artists from making concert appearances
there. Other projects were also
1987’s Freedom –
No Compromise was followed by a series of live concerts, opening for U2
on their tour in support of the album, The
Joshua Tree. Many of these
concerts were too political for some tastes, although the act played better
in Europe. In 1989, Steve
released another politically-titled album, Revolution, but it failed to spawn one. One of his songs, “I Am a
Patriot” was recorded by Jackson Browne on his album, World in Motion.
As a producer,
Steve has worked with groups ranging from The Iron City Houserockers
to Lone Justice.
In 1997, he
was tapped to preside over the induction of The Rascals in The Rock &
Roll Hall of Fame. There had
been a lot of bad blood between the former band-mates for years and to
break the tension, Steve dressed up in a set of threads meant to mimic the
early look of the band. His
presentation was so funny, David Chase saught him
out and cast him as Silvio Dante in The Sopranos. Maureen Van Zandt, his real life
wife, also played his fictional wife in the series.
In 1999, he
released another solo album, Born
Again Savage, and rejoined the E Street Band for a reunion tour.
A man of many
talents, Steve cast himself in the role of D.J. in 2002 as he began hosting
the self-explanatory Little
Steven’s Underground Garage.
recorded one of his compositions, “Baby Please Don’t Go”,
on her eponymous 2004 CD.
In 2006, he
was charged with the responsibility of band director for a remake of
“All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” for Monday Night Football on ESPN. The group comprised Chris Burney, Bootsy Collins, Charlie Daniels, Little Richard, Joe
Perry, Questlove, Bernie Worrell, and, of course,
Hank Williams, Jr.
He ended the
year by ringing in his new record label, entitled Wicked Cool Records. The label specializes in
underground-garage rock and has released albums by Davie Allan & The
Arrows, The Charms, The Chesterfield Kings, and The Cocktail Slippers.
year he started The Rock & Roll Forever Foundation, whose mission is to
preserve the history of the genre and place it into some kind of historical
context for high-school students.
Wicked Cool Records began releasing holiday-themed CDs and Little Steven’s Underground Garage
became available in Helsinki, Finland.
Springsteen and the E Street Band famously played at the Super Bowl
half-time show at the beginning of 2009.
donned another of his many hats by becoming Program Director of The Outlaw Country Channel and Underground Garage on the Sirius
recently launched a hard-rock label, Lost Cathedral, whose inaugural CD was
recorded by Crown of Thorns.
Steve has been
working for years to translate Underground Garage to the small screen, in a
show entitled Underground Garage Au
No takers yet, but stay tuned.
He has started
his own garage band called The Lost Boys and they recorded an album
entitled Nobody Loves and Leaves
In his copious
free time, Steve is responsible for choosing music for the video game, Rock Band.
Bruce Springsteen recordings
Held up without a Gun (Bruce Springsteen)
Hungry Heart (Bruce Springsteen)