Posts Tagged ‘Steve Van Zandt’


The longest, at three and a half hours, and arguably the hottest of the three holiday shows. As Bruce told the crowd at the beginning, “This is our Saturday Night Special even though it’s Monday night.” There was little variation in the set, but as practice tends to make perfect, a tight night three had MVP Sam Moore in peak form. No DeVito or JBJ, though all of the other guests returned — and we got a little more Sam and a little more holiday spirit as the Soul Man joined in for the only “Merry Christmas Baby” of the run. We also got “96 Tears” in Garland’s set and a real highlight in Southside’s set, with the Bruce-penned “Talk to Me.” The blazing “What’s So Funny…” was again sent out to our troops in Iraq as a prayer for peace. Happy holidays and to all a good night! 

Songs listed below have the most prominent guest-artist listed in parentheses, but many performers were on and off stage over the course of the night.

Setlist: Hold Out Hold Out (Victorious Gospel Choir)
I’ve Got a Feeling [Everything’s Gonna Be All Right] (Victorious Gospel Choir)
Christmas Day (MW7)
So Young and In Love
None But the Brave (Alliance Singers, Soozie & Lisa)
Queen of the Underworld (Jesse Malin)
Wendy (Jesse Malin)
R.O.C.K. Rock (Garland Jeffreys)
96 Tears (Garland Jeffreys)
Merry Christmas [I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight] (Little Steven)
This Time It’s for Real (Southside Johnny, Little Steven)
Talk to Me (Southside Johnny, Little Steven)
It’s Been a Long Time (Southside Johnny, Little Steven)
Seaside Bar Song
The Wish (Bruce on piano)
Hold On, I’m Comin’ (Sam Moore, the Alliance Singers)
When Something is Wrong with My Baby (Sam Moore)
Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa [Sad Song] / I Thank You (Sam Moore)
Soul Man (Sam Moore)
Shine Silently (Nils Lofgren)
Because the Night (Nils Lofgren)
Kitty’s Back
Christmas [Baby, Please Come Home] (all)
Encore: Merry Christmas Baby
I Don’t Want to Go Home (Southside, Little Steven)
My City of Ruins (Sam Moore)
What’s So Funny about Peace, Love and Understanding
Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (all)

When Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band began their tour in support of “Born to Run” on July 20th, 1975, at the Palace Concert Theatre in Providence, R.I., the album that would break his career had not yet been released. In fact, it had only been completed that morning.

Needing to deliver the record before hitting the road, the band entered New York’s Record Plant for a final mixing session the previous afternoon. They emerged at 10AM — 19 hours later — with the van waiting to take them to Providence, 180 miles northeast. At some point during the night, they set up in the studio’s rehearsal room and ran through the songs they’d perform. The first show of the Born To Run tour, the band worked on the Born To Run record right up to this first day of the tour, they practiced all day starting at 6 am, packed up the van with the equipment, Clarence finished his ‘Jungleland’ solo, jumped in the van and off they went and played this show.

The E Street Band had a much different look from the last time they had hit the city in April 1974. Pianist David Sancious and drummer Ernest “Boom” Carter had left in August to form a jazz fusion group called Tone and were replaced by Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg, respectively.

A second guitarist was also making his debut as a member of the group Steve Van Zandt, who had played with Springsteen in earlier bands, had provided invaluable assistance during the recording of “Born to Run”, notably the horn charts in “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and the title track’s guitar lick. This line-up would remain intact until Van Zandt’s departure during the sessions for 1984’s “Born In The USA.

The 15-song show, which kicked off the tour, ran nearly two hours. It included only three songs from the new record: “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” “Born to Run” and “Thunder Road.” All but one song from the previous album, The Wild the Innocent and the E.Street Shuffle,  was performed, with the rest of the concert was split between Greetings From Asbury Park N.J. material, “A Love So Fine” (which wouldn’t be released until 1998’s Tracks under the name “So Young and In Love”) and covers of Manfred Mann’s “Sha La La” and Gary “U.S.” Bonds’ “Quarter to Three.” . This tour was markedly different from the one he did with Suki only weeks earlier. He was much more animated and seemed to be having more fun. Steven added so much musically, while Clarence Clemons became an increasing visual focus. Furthermore the very real strain of recording “Born To Run” had been put to rest for Bruce and the rest of the band.

Springsteen and the E Street Band remained on the road for five months, with several of the dates turning out to be among the most important of his career, including the early show from New York’s Bottom Line on Aug. 15th, 1975, which was broadcast live on a local radio station, helped build steam for the album leading up to its release.

July 20th, 1975
Palace Theater, Providence, RI.

Incident On 57th street
Spirit in The Night
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Growin’ Up
It’s Hard To be a saint in the city
E Street Shuffle
Born to Run
Thunder Road
New York City Serenade
Kitty’s back
Rosalita (Come out Tonight)
4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)
A love so fine
Sha la la
Quarter to three

Steven Van Zandt; Bruce Springsteen; River Tour

“I don’t think this existed six weeks ago,” Steven Van Zandt said, chuckling to himself, over a late lunch of salad and tea a few hours before showtime on January 16th, the day Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band opened their unexpected 2016 tour in Pittsburgh. “It wasn’t ‘Maybe it’s gonna happen, let’s get ready,'” the guitarist went on. “It was Bruce putting out this box set and thinking, ‘Maybe we should do a show or two.’ When I heard that, I was like, ‘Wait a minute. We’re not playing a residency at the Stone Pony anymore. Assembling 160 people to do a show or two — that’s complicated.’ I thought, ‘If that happens, it could well turn out to be more’ — which is what happened.”

Steve Van Zandt has played with Bruce Springsteen and been a consistent, trusted confidant longer than anyone else in the E Street Band — that is from the very beginning, in the mid-Sixties, when the two were New Jersey teenage misfits mutually determined to make their futures in rock & roll. “This year will make it 50 years,” said Steve Van Zandt, 65, claimed proudly of their bond. But even Van Zandt was taken by surprise when Bruce Springsteen  a week before the December release of “The Ties That Bind: The River Collection”.  a multi-disc reflection on the prolific turbulence that became his 1980 double LP, The River suddenly called his band to order for a tour that is already in its second month, features nightly performances of that entire album and is now set to run into the summer.

“I’ve known him longer than anybody, and he just doesn’t think the same way everyone else thinks,” Van Zandt said of Springsteen. “He’s earned the right to have total freedom. He wants to keep his life wide open, and that’s great. Occasionally it’s going to be a problem. I was very lucky with The Sopranos,” Van Zandt noted, referring to his breakout television role as wise guy Silvio Dante in that HBO series. The show’s creator David Chase “was such a fan — he would book all my scenes on off days during a tour.”

In this last installment of conversations from the first weekend of the 2016 River tour, for more than hour before Van Zandt departed for soundcheck (including a run-through of “Rebel Rebel,” Springsteen’s tribute that night to David Bowie), the guitarist affirmed many of the themes from my interviews the day before with Springsteen and drummer Max Weinberg: the narrative transformation in Springsteen’s writing for The River and the torrent of songs from which he eventually built the final 20-song album; the dizzying momentum of the sessions; the invigorating element of discovery in the current shows, as Springsteen and his E Street Band play that record live each night.

Van Zandt also spoke about The River and its resonance from his unique perspective as the album’s often frustrated co-producer; as a super fan of the two dozen songs that got left behind; and as a true believer, to this day, in Springsteen’s determined, idealistic course. Asked about future of the E Street Band — how soon they’ll know how long is too long — Van Zandt was as blunt and certain as his friend and leader. “There is no end in sight,” the guitarist says. “And as long as I’m standing there next to him, it’s a band.”

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Steve Van Zandt

You have been outspoken in the past about the songs Bruce left off The River  that, in fact, it was some of his best work and didn’t deserve to be left behind. The River, to me, meant 43 songs.

The actual album plus the outtakes.
And those are among the greatest records ever made, as far as I’m concerned. It’s funny, because all these years you’re thinking “outtakes.” There’s really not that much he’d have replaced on The River. It works very well. And these two other albums’ worth of songs are just two legitimate albums. The second outtake album is another band’s career. The first one [the initial sequence, The Ties That Bind, pulled by Springsteen before release] — that’s some of our best stuff: “Loose Ends,” “Restless Nights.”

Does it feel strange to be going on the road without new music, playing an album from 1980?
I’m looking at that outtake album as new music — absolutely, which is why I hope some of it gets integrated into the show, whether we’re doing it in sequence or not. We might have occasionally played “Loose Ends.” We did “Where the Bands Are” maybe twice, “Take ’em as They Come” a couple of times, “Restless Nights” once. Honestly, I think we’re coming out to promote a new album in that sense.

What did you think of that initial sequence, The Ties That Bind, before Bruce pulled it to create The River?
I don’t remember knowing about that. I don’t know how I missed it [laughs]. And I’m there producing. A couple of songs, like “Cindy,” I don’t remember at all. And there it is — second track on the album we delivered.

He was right in pulling it back, saying it doesn’t feel finished. He thinks so deeply about this stuff, so comprehensively. I can’t pretend to understand everything he’s thinking about. I can only do what my instincts tell me and what he says he wants to do — out loud [laughs], which might be five or ten percent of what’s actually going on.

Bruce Springsteen; Stevie;

He described The River as his first “insider” album — about the struggles in working life, personal relationships and family — after making four albums about “outsiders.”
He had a vague film-noir aspect to Darkness on the Edge of Town. Born to Run was a mixture of things but mostly about youth and fantasies. Now, all of a sudden, it’s “The Ties That Bind” and “I Wanna Marry You.” It was partially the fantasy of being normal. He wasn’t quite there yet. He would wisely wait until he felt a bit more secure, which wouldn’t be until that album came out and we had our first, real success with [the Top Five hit] “Hungry Heart.” That allowed him to start thinking about having a real life, so to speak.

Was there a turning-point song in The River sessions where you could hear the material becoming more than a sprawl of material, developing a narrative course?
I don’t think so. It was one song after the other. He was in that hundred-song run which maybe Bob Dylan and a few others have had. That run of songs from Darkness to The River  it just became normal. “The Ties That Bind” felt like a statement. “The River” had that wonderful thing he does — very detailed nuance in a story. The more detailed, the more particular it gets, the more universal it is. I found that fascinating.

As Bruce’s co-producer on The River, how did you deal with telling him “No” or “You should change this”?
It’s about having the right conversation at the right time. In the end, you accept the fact that you’re there to help him realize his vision. Every single outtake was a lost argument. He was getting 10, 12 great songs very quickly at that point. I would be like, “OK, let’s put that out. You want to do 12 more?

It’s not something you plan, that you aspire to. You have this stuff built up inside, wanting to come out, and you tap into that faucet. Born to Run was eight songs. He went from that to a hundred [over Darkness and The River]. It was some of divine … [pauses] It’s something you can’t take for granted. That’s what made me mad sometimes. I’d get angry with him. Here I am, struggling to write a good song; every fucking one of them is war. And I’d be like, “Hey, man, you’re annoying me here. You’re taking this shit a little bit for granted. [Laughs] What do you mean you’re throwing out this song other people would have a career with?” “Restless Nights,” that’s a career. “Loose Ends,” that’s a career. But you can’t stop it. Once it’s happening, you go with it.

We had a wonderful recording method by then. We’d found the right studio [the Power Station in New York City]; we’d found the right engineers. We figured all that stuff out. It felt so good to go to work every day, after three years of torture. Suddenly, recording is fun. That alone is good for 40 fucking songs.

In a way, The River marked a break in what had been an indivisible thing. He wrote songs; the E Street Band played them.
I actually think The River is somewhat underrated, even by fans, because it came between the breakout records. It’s actually caught in the long shadows between Born to Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town and Born in the U.S.A.
I think that’s right. I’ve had a theory for years: I don’t think the human brain can absorb more than 10, 12 songs at a time. Altbough it was the right thing to do a double album, it becomes diluted. Your energy is going to 20 songs instead of 10, and you appreciate them less. If it had been a single album, it would have been appreciated more, especially if he had put more of the pop-rock stuff on there. It would have been our biggest album. All you gotta do is throw on “The River”  that’s all the content you need. [Laughs] A little of Bruce’s content goes a long way. But he felt he had to do eight or 10 songs like that. And I understand that. He was very conscious of carving out his own identity.

He just continues to break the rules. You can’t categorize or predict what he’s going to do. That is part of the fun.

And you just wait for the call.
And hope you’re available [laughs]. All you can do is try and keep up. This tour is a bit of a miracle, really. There’s no grand plan here. It just happened. And we’ll see what happens tonight. We haven’t played with this small a band in a few years.

Actually, half of the 10 people onstage were on The River. You lost organist Danny Federici and saxophonist Clarence Clemons, but that’s still a good survival rate.
In many ways, this tour is probably the biggest tribute to Clarence and Danny in the details. I was enjoying that at rehearsal, enjoying the detail in the songs – not just in the arrangements but in the different keyboard sounds and the great melodies of the sax solos. Jake Clemons, Clarence’s nephew and replacement] is getting better and better. And you realize those solos are part of the compositions — that old King Curtis style. The drum fills are totally part of the composition.

Those seven guys on The River — everybody was doing something important, playing a very specific role. It’s a real “band” album, in the true sense of the word.

LITTLE STEVEN and the Disciples Of Soul returns to the Classics at the Paramount Theatre,  in Asbury Park on 12th Sept.2015. Check out the songs  “Until the Good Is Gone” and “Love On The Wrong Side of Town”  they are not great quality footage but its still has more soul and passion than most things youll see and hear this week.

The Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park billed as “A Darlene Love CD Release Event Staring Darlene Love & Steven Van Zandt,” Sept. 12th, to promote the new recording and release “Introducing Darlene Love”, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer’s upcoming album. with Van Zandt, who is a huge fan of Love’s for decades, produced the album and will release it on his Wicked Cool record label (with distribution by Columbia).

On the album, Darlene Love will sing songs written by Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Webb, Linda Perry and others.

“Darlene’s legendary status is well deserved but I felt the time was long overdue to show a younger generation Why she has earned that reputation,” Van Zandt said in a statement. “Partnering with Columbia Records is a dream come true because now I know the world will hear her.” The album is planned for a fall release, though the exact date is not known yet.

About 35 years ago, Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt were in Los Angeles when they heard Darlene Love was playing at the Roxy. Love had been one of Phil Spector‘s go-to singers in the 1960s, powering “He’s a Rebel,” “Today I Met the Boy I’m Gonna Marry” and other Wall of Sound classics. But by the early 1980s, she had been working as a maid and was attempting a comeback. Van Zandt showed up at the Roxy that night and promised to turn Love’s career around. “Steve told me that if I moved to New York, he could get me work,” Love says. “Then he said, ‘I need to record you.’

Steven Van Zandt did get her regular work at the Bottom Line and the Peppermint Lounge, but his life got so hectic in the ensuing years with the E Street Band, his solo career and unlikely emergence as an actor that he kept delaying his promise to cut an album with her. “I finally realized last year there’s never going to be a right time,” he says. “I couldn’t have been busier than I was at the time, but I finally said, ‘Fuck it, I’m pushing this into my schedule.'”

For Introducing Darlene Love (due September 18th), Van Zandt reached out to many of the best songwriters in the world, including Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Jimmy Webb, and Linda Perry. “I said to them, ‘I want big,'” Van Zandt says. “I want horns and strings. Her voice wants that. And I told them we weren’t waiting, so I gave them a month or two.”

He’s hoping the same thing happens for Darlene Love, and on September 12th, he’s going to join her when she plays the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park to celebrate the release of the album. Might a certain songwriter from the record that lives nearby make a guest appearance? “We’d never announce anything like that because that means I still need help to sell tickets,” she says. “This is my show. If anyone shows up, it’ll be a surprise.”

Paramount Theater, Asbury Park NJ, September 12, 2015
Still to Soon to Know duet Steve and Darlene, gift from Elvis Costello/
Just Another Lonely Mile, gift from Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen’s Letter to Miami Steve Van Zandt who had just decided to leave he band, The song is about finding your musical soul mate, and that close friend usually for life,


The E STREET BAND will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame on Thursday 6th April, there have been at least 12 different incarnation’s of Bruce Springsteen band over many years although possibilly the most famous is the classic line-Up from 1975-83 is the one most people would Nominate.