Steven Van Zandt Addresses The Rolling Stones’ Transition From A Blues Band Into A Rock Band


E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt spoke to Ken Bruce and chose a track from The Rolling Stones as the songs of his years while talking about the band’s change from its blues roots to a rock and roll band. Also, Van Zandt shared his ideas about the band’s iconic song, which was very special for some fans.

In their early years, the Rolling Stones’ members were highly influenced by blues and R&B musicians and bands such as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Little Walter. Thus, the band covered many blues songs before becoming a pioneer band of the British Invasion and rock music itself. The most known one can be considered Chuck Berry’s ‘Come On,’ which contributed to the band’s fame and popularity.

However, the band changed their style and produced more rock-influenced sounds in their works, and their fans could realize in one of their first original songs entitled ‘The Last Time.’ The song was released in the UK on February 26, 1965, and March 13, 1965, in the US and became very popular among rock and roll lovers. Also, Steven Van Zandt chose this song as an essential work of art in his successful career as a musician.

The guitarist stated that the song is the beginning of the Rolling Stones’ unique and extraordinary style, inspiring many young musicians for years by highlighting its ‘sensuality and sexuality.’ According to the E Street Band guitarist, ‘The Last Time’ reflects the band’s transition to being a rock band after playing blues for a while. He didn’t forget to add that the band hit the pop charts all the time even though it wasn’t a pop band.

Van Zant stated in his interview that:

“The Stones had few singles before that in America which were also fantastic. Which remains one of my favorite ballads of all time, ‘The Last Time’ was the beginning of that incredible Rolling Stones’ attitude. It was hard to describe; it was a mixture of sensuality and sexuality, a rather primitive excitement captured very early.

They made a transition from a blues and R&B band into a rock band. We crossed over amazingly on the pop charts even though they were never a pop band. They crossed over for the next forty years because it was an amazing accomplishment that goes on the fact that they were never a pop band, with all pop success.”

You can check out the interview and song below.