Although Steve Van Zandt is happy to play anything Bruce Springsteen chooses for the E Street Band‘s nightly setlist — he admitted he does have favorites. Van Zandt spoke to USA Today and described Springsteen’s current road trek as one that, “combines a theme of mortality with a proof of vitality. This show is a hurricane from beginning to end.”
Van Zandt first started playing with Bruce Springsteen the mid-1960’s, and officially joined the E Street Band in 1975. He left in 1983 prior to the release of the following year’s blockbuster Born In The U.S.A. album. He was back onboard for the E Street Band’s 1999 reunion tour and has been side-by-side with “The Boss” ever since.
When pressed about his favorite Bruce Springsteen songs, Van Zandt said, “A lot of my favorites we don’t play,” before going on to list the long unreleased Darkness On The Edge Of Town outtakes “Restless Nights,” “The Little Things (My Baby Does)” and “Gotta Get That Feeling” — along with the tune he’s previous called his personal favorite — the now famous cast-off from The River sessions, “Loose Ends,” Steve Van Zandt went on to say, “But I love the show we’re doing. The guy has not written a song that I don’t enjoy.”
Bruce Springsteen’s 1980 double album, The River, which served as the blueprint as to how rock was recorded in the 1980’s, was the first of only two Springsteen albums to be co-produced by Steve Van Zandt. With Van Zandt celebrating 24 years back in the band, we asked him why he hasn’t taken his spot behind the boards for Springsteen in the ensuing years: “I think he went in different directions and wanted to try different things, different people. I will do anything he asks to help out; I’m happy to help any way I can, and if he wanted me to, I would start producing the records again, for sure — absolutely! But, y’know, it’s up to him. He wanted to try some different people, different things — I wasn’t always around, y’know, and even now, the way he records, he recalls when he feels like it, y’know, in his own studio, he’s got his engineer, kind of always around. So, it’s a matter of convenience, I think, and y’know, circumstance.”