Steven Van Zandt Blames Bruce Springsteen For His Decision To Leave The E Street Band

The E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt opened up about his decision to leave the band back in 1984 in his upcoming book ‘Unrequited Infatuations: A Memoir’ according to an excerpt published by Rolling Stone. As it appears in the passage, he blamed his bandmate, Bruce Springsteen, for his departure.

As some of you might know, Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt have a long history of friendship since the times they were both musicians in Jersey Shore. The two became friends when Springsteen met Van Zandt for the first time in 1965 at the Hullabaloo club in Middletown. They later performed together in various bands such as Steel Mill and the Bruce Springsteen Band.

Steven Van Zandt then started touring with E Street Band and officially joined them on July 20, 1975, at the first show of the Born to Run Tour. During the band’s early years, Van Zandt contributed immensely to their music, and he was partially responsible for the signature guitar line in ‘Born to Run.’

While everything was going perfectly for the musician, he suddenly left the E Street Band in 1984, just when the band made a name for itself. Despite parting ways with the band, Van Zandt appeared as a special guest at some of their concerts on the Born in the U.S.A. Tour. The musician also appeared in a couple of their music videos, including the one for ‘Glory Days.’

After spending 15 years away from the band, the rocker returned to the E Street Band when it was reformed in 1995. Unfortunately, his duty as the lead guitarist had turned into a background rhythm role since they had Nils Lofgren for the position. According to Van Zandt, there’s nothing wrong with having a less visible role since he is still the second more seen person in the band during live performances as he shares the microphone with Springsteen.

In his upcoming autobiographical book, Steven Van Zandt penned the reason behind his decision to leave the band in 1984. Apparently, the musician was happy with his position as the underdog in the E Street Band until he decided it was time to get involved in the decision-making process. When Van Zandt talked about his thoughts with Bruce Springsteen, the two had their first fight in their entire life. Feeling betrayed by one of his best friends, the guitarist left without even thinking about their success.

According to Rolling Stone, Steven Van Zandt penned:

“But somewhere in ’82, it started to feel like Bruce had stopped listening. He had always been the most single-minded individual, with a natural extreme monogamy of focus in all things — in relationships, in songwriting, in guitar playing, in friends. Was that impulse now going to apply to his advisers?

Without all this retrospective wisdom, though, Bruce and I had our first fight, one of only three we would have in our lives. I felt I had been giving him nothing but good advice and had dedicated my whole life and career to him without asking for a thing. I felt I’d earned an official position in the decision-making process. He disagreed. So I quit. Fifteen years. We finally made it. And I quit.”

While blaming his bandmate for his actions back then, the rocker also didn’t forget to mention his fault about the decision. In the book, Van Zandt advised his readers never to leave their spot until they have a secured new one, which was not what he did. Thus, his actions resulted in some struggles in his music career, and he still feels great regret for acting with a temper.