The Reason Stevie Van Zandt Wanted To Make Bruce Springsteen ‘The Biggest Star In The World’
E Street Band guitarist Stevie Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen have known each other for a considerable amount of time due to their long-term collaboration. Van Zandt officially joined Springsteen’s E Street Band in 1975 and remained a member of the band until he left to pursue a solo career in the early 1980s. He was replaced by Nils Lofgren at the time. After continuing with his solo career for a while, the guitarist decided to return to the band for their 1995 and 1999 reunions and has been a constant member since then.
Besides the two prominent names’ creative partnership, they have also been close friends. As Stevie Van Zandt revealed before, he left the band at that period due to some personal problems with Bruce Springsteen, but he now regrets doing that since they had just taken their first steps towards their future success. Van Zandt felt like Springsteen didn’t care about his advice anymore, so he wanted to preserve their good friendship by leaving the band. Having spent a great deal of time with Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Van Zandt has a lot to say about him for sure.
Why Did Stevie Van Zandt Want Bruce Springsteen To Be Successful?
Stevie Van Zandt was interviewed by Michael Hann from the Guardian last year and opened up about his relationship with Bruce Springsteen. The guitarist revealed that he realized that Springsteen had something different just at the beginning of their acquaintance. Van Zandt knows his character very well and said that Springsteen was a very shy man for years, but the guitarist always knew he had something special.
Having realized that, Stevie Van Zandt thought if he could make Bruce Springsteen ‘the biggest star in the world,’ it would also benefit him since he didn’t have any intention of being the frontman. Instead of himself, he would prefer Springsteen to take the lead as he saw this big potential within him. Van Zandt always believed that Springsteen had a lot more to achieve, so he wanted to push him to do better.
Stevie Van Zandt said that he could have easily continued with his solo career or other different works, but he never had such big ambitions. For him, Bruce Springsteen was very determined to achieve something from the beginning, so he wanted to support him on his path to success. Van Zandt also had another reason to stay with Springsteen over the years. He assumed that every successful person should have someone around them they had known for a long time.
Stevie Van Zandt speaking on Bruce Springsteen:
“I saw something in him that, frankly, nobody else saw. He was very quiet for many years. And very shy. But I just felt he had something. It wasn’t out of being philanthropic: if I make him the biggest star in the world, I’m going to be riding on that train. It was good for me. I didn’t have quite the ambition to be the front guy and take it all the way.
I could have been signed as a solo act immediately, the same time we signed the Jukes for sure. But I didn’t have the ambition to do it, and Bruce was always very single-minded. I do feel very strongly that every successful person should have one person from the old neighborhood hanging around.”
It is evident from his statements that Stevie Van Zandt never wanted to push himself forward and preferred to stay in the background. He always knew that Bruce Springsteen had the capability to be an influential frontman. There is no need to say that his foresight was proven to be right as Springsteen has built an incredibly successful career.