Steven Van Zandt Recalls His ‘Thrilling Experience’ Of Producing Miles Davis


E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt recently appeared in an interview with TheSDRShow and addressed his work with Miles Davis mentioning it was a ‘thrilling experience’ to produce for him.

Steven Van Zandt has been the guitar and mandolin player of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band since 1975. During the ‘Born to Run’ tour, he initially contributed to the band with his excellent guitar talents. Zandt proved his talent more in Bruce Springsteen’s songs like ‘Glory Days,’ ‘Land of Hope and Dreams,’ and ‘Badlands.’

Besides being a member of the E Street Band, Van Zandt also collaborated with other impactful musicians as a songwriter and producer. He contributed to the rock band Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes’ 1978 album ‘Hearts of Stone.’ The rocker worked as the record’s songwriter, guitar player, and producer.

Along with being the co-producer of Springsteen’s ‘Hungry Heart,’ Zandt also contributed to some jazz and blues artists’ albums as a writer and producer. In 1992, he worked as a producer for the blues-rock supergroup Arc Angels’ self-titled debut album. Miles Davis, a prominent figure in the jazz scene, was another name he made a collaboration. Van Zandt wrote and produced Davis’ 1985 protest song ‘Sun City.’

Van Zandt recently opened up about working as a producer of Miles Davis. As he mentioned, he was into politics when he had a chance to work with Davis. According to Zandt, Davis was a solid and kind musician who was into South African culture. He thought Davis was the right person to work with regarding his willingness to create something about politics. Zandt stated that being the producer of Davis was one of the most thrilling experiences he had.

While talking about his producing experiences, Steven Van Zandt revealed:

“That was one extreme to another, and I was always very nervous about that because if you meet your hero and they’re a**hole, you can’t listen to the music the same way again, at least I can’t. I was a little nervous about the whole experience, but I was so obsessed with the politics that I just said, ‘F*ck it, I got to do this.’ But it was very rewarding when somebody as tough, and nobody was ever tougher than Miles Davis, walked in.

He was respectful. He was the nicest guy in the world. He didn’t do any of those things. He didn’t do any charity things ever. He was really into the South Africa thing, and I just happened to hit the right thing. Happened to know the soundman that it was my old soundman working for him and just connecting anyway, and he walked in, and I was like, ‘Wow. This is one of the thrills of my life.‘”

You can watch the entire interview below.