Watch Bruce Springsteen Roast "Little" Steven Van Zandt at NJ Hall of Fame
By Andrew Magnotta
May 7, 2018
It's not clear if Bruce Springsteen recently did the honors of induction his longtime E Street Band guitarist "Little" Steven Van Zandt into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
Springsteen and Van Zandt have been friends, bandmates and collaborators for more than 50 years. The pair began playing music together in New Jersey, wrote many hit songs in the Garden State and have lived much of their lives not too far from Asbury Park's Paramount Theatre, the site of Sunday's ceremony.
The Boss began his remarks by acknowledging Van Zandt's inextricable connection to New Jersey, and roasting the guitarist's unique style.
"Though born in Boston, Massachusetts, there is no purer distillation of the Jersey ethos than Little Steven Van Zandt," Springsteen said. "He is his own purest creation. Words you will never hear on the street: 'Wow, that guy looks just like Little Steven!'"
Springsteen went on to describe his first impression of Van Zandt, and how he knew the two were destined to collaborate — even trade guitars at some point. He called Van Zandt his "irreplaceable lieutenant" and added that "while I am always blessed to have Steve at my side, his solo work speaks for itself."
After recounting a long list of Van Zandt's achievements, including his role on The Sopranos, his record label and his Teach Rock Foundation, which is helping to keep arts education in schools, Springsteen skewered the guitarist a little bit more.
Referring to Van Zandt's signature headwear and look, Springsteen credited him as "the sole creator of the male babushka and he's the only man I know besides Hugh Hefner who has figured out how to spend his whole life in his pajamas."
Watch the heartwarming speech above!
Listen to Van Zandt talk more about his record label, his Disciples of Soul band and his other projects below on a recent episode of Ken Dashow's Beatles Revolution podcast.
Sunday's festivities made Van Zandt a two-time member of sorts for the NJ Hall of Fame. The guitarist was previously inducted as a member of the E Street Band; the latest distinction was for Van Zandt's work outside the purview of Springsteen, including as a solo artist, film director, activist and actor.
Van Zandt produced and co-wrote many hits for others artists, including "I Don't Wanna Go Home" and "Love on the Wrong Side of Town" for Southside Johnny.
Van Zandt recently put out a new album, Soul Fire, with the Disciples of Soul. You can get all the band's upcoming tour dates here.
Photo: Getty Images