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    Van Zandt, Steve (22 November 1950 – Present)

    Actor, 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 Asbury Jukes. 

     

    On 31st 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 Godfather. 

     

    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 accompanying tour. 

     

    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 politically charged:  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. 

     

    Nancy Sinatra 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. 

     

    The following 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. 

     

    In 2008, Wicked Cool Records began releasing holiday-themed CDs and Little Steven’s Underground Garage became available in Helsinki, Finland. 

     

    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band famously played at the Super Bowl half-time show at the beginning of 2009. 

     

    Steve has donned another of his many hats by becoming Program Director of The Outlaw Country Channel and Underground Garage on the Sirius network. 

     

    He has 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 Go Go.  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 Alive. 

     

    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)

     

    Sources:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Van_Zandt
    2. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005523/bio
    3. http://www.answers.com/topic/steven-van-zandt-2
    4. http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/03/03/van-zandt-on-springsteen-tour-super-bowl-rumors-and-how-garage-bands-can-blow-up/
    5. http://www.hbo.com/sopranos/cast/actor/steve_vanzandt.shtml

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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