The Details Behind Stevie Van Zandt And Bruce Springsteen’s Fight And Reconciliation
Bruce Springsteen, a.k.a ‘The Boss,‘ has been leading a successful career with his primary backup band, the E Street Band, since 1972. The singer formed not only a path to his career but also lifelong lasting friendships, especially with E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt. Although their relationship took a bad turn in 1984, the duo repeatedly proved that their ego doesn’t surpass the love they have for each other.
Van Zandt met Springsteen in the early 1964s at the Hullabaloo club and started to perform together afterward. With the E Street band, Springsteen gained the nickname ‘The Boss’ because he would evenly distribute all the earnings among the band, which wasn’t very common. However, Springsteen’s controlling character caused problems between him and his best friend Steven back in the day.
In a 2019 interview with AXS TV, Van Zandt talked about what made Bruce and him friends in the beginning. He stated that they were the only two in the band who didn’t have side jobs to earn their living and the only ones who had committed to music a hundred percent and supported each other because they weren’t able to do anything else, but rock and roll.
Here is what he said in the 2019 interview:
“What attracted me, and Bruce to each other I think was the fact that we were uniquely dedicated to this new rock and roll thing uncompromisingly. I’d like to say how dedicated and persistent we were and in holding up our ideals and our vision of this wonderful future in rock and roll.
But the real truth was, we really couldn’t do anything else, we were complete misfits and freaks, and we were the last two guys left standing when everybody else took a job. They went to college, they went to the military, they went to their fathers’ job, and then we were left standing because we couldn’t do anything else, we were hopeless. So we strengthened each other I think that way.”
Steven left the band in 1984 and his upcoming memoir, ‘Unrequited Infatuations: A Memoir,’ revealed that his best friend, Springsteen was the very reason he quit the band back then. The E Street Band also gained success with Springsteen, yet, Van Zandt didn’t care about this success enough to stick with the band no matter what.
Springsteen performed with the band, but he had already made a name for himself and was known to be Springsteen, not E Street Band’s frontman. This made Bruce take control of the band’s decision-making because he considered himself to be the leader. Rightfully, as the band’s guitarist, Steven also wanted to be involved in this decision-making progress, yet, when he brought that up to Springsteen, the duo had their first fight.
Did The Bruce Springsteen And Steven Van Zandt Reconcile?
Steven Van Zandt returned to the band in their 1995 and 1999 tours and continued to be in the band onwards, but he shared his guitar duties with Nils Lofgren, his replacement. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the E Street Band in 2014.
The relationship between the two friends seemed to be at a good point when Springsteen introduced Van Zandt in the 2018 New Jersey Hall of Fame celebration, in which Van Zandt was inducted in the category of Performing Arts. Springsteen talked about how they met and also about how important Van Zandt is.
Here is what he said in his 2018 speech:
“I first laid eyes on him at the Middletown Hullabaloo Club in 1966. As I walked in there was Steve with his band the Shadows lining out a record perfect rendition of the Turtles Happy Together. It was just like I met my black vested teenage wild-eyed brother. One look at Steve and I knew we both drank the same Kool-Aid.
His solo work speaks for itself. The countless songs and productions he’s created with Southside Johnny such as ‘I Don’t Want to Go Home,’ ‘Love on the Wrong Side of Town.’ He’s one of the greatest living white soul performers and writers we have.“
Moreover, most recently, Bruce Springsteen liked one of Steven’s tweets about ‘No Nukes,’ a compilation album of live performances from various artists to raise awareness for the dangers of nuclear powers. Steven replied to a fan’s tweet about it and stated that they were crazy times.
Here is what he stated about ‘No Nukes’:
“You’ve got to see this thing. We were running at a different speed in those days! Haha!”
Springsteen liked the tweet and gave another indication to fans that their relationship is now good after their fight in 1984. Even though it has been a long time since their argument, we have also seen musicians who bury the hatchet even after decades. However, it seems like these two are still friends and are okay with what happened in the past.
You can watch Springsteen’s 2018 speech, Van Zandt’s 2019 interview, and the recent tweet below.
You’ve got to see this thing. We were running at a different speed in those days! Haha! https://t.co/pNCl8r0nDR
— Stevie Van Zandt (@StevieVanZandt) September 24, 2021