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Steven Van Zandt

Steven Van Zandt

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Also Known As: Steve Van Zandt, Little Steven, Steven Lento Died:
Born: November 22, 1950 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Boston, Massachusetts, USA Profession: actor, musician, arranger, songwriter, record producer, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A key figure in two of the most acclaimed organizations in popular culture - Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007) - Steven Van Zandt was a musician, songwriter and composer who served as Springsteen's producing and performing partner for over three decades before making an auspicious debut as an actor on the Emmy-winning crime series. Though his stage presence straddled the border between comic and menacing, Van Zandt was a passionate fan of '50s and '60s-era rock and a savvy producer whose collaborations with Springsteen included some of his greatest albums, including Born to Run (1976) and Born in the U.S.A. (1984). After leaving the E Street Band in the 1980s, he recruited a host of music luminaries, including Springsteen, for "Sun City" (1985), an anti-apartheid protest song that helped bring the racial inequalities of South Africa's government into a global spotlight. He reunited with Springsteen in the late '90s for a series of celebrated records while impressing critics and audiences alike as the phlegmatic Silvio Dante on "The Sopranos." During this busy period, he also hosted his own syndicated radio show, which soon blossomed into a satellite network and...

A key figure in two of the most acclaimed organizations in popular culture - Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007) - Steven Van Zandt was a musician, songwriter and composer who served as Springsteen's producing and performing partner for over three decades before making an auspicious debut as an actor on the Emmy-winning crime series. Though his stage presence straddled the border between comic and menacing, Van Zandt was a passionate fan of '50s and '60s-era rock and a savvy producer whose collaborations with Springsteen included some of his greatest albums, including Born to Run (1976) and Born in the U.S.A. (1984). After leaving the E Street Band in the 1980s, he recruited a host of music luminaries, including Springsteen, for "Sun City" (1985), an anti-apartheid protest song that helped bring the racial inequalities of South Africa's government into a global spotlight. He reunited with Springsteen in the late '90s for a series of celebrated records while impressing critics and audiences alike as the phlegmatic Silvio Dante on "The Sopranos." During this busy period, he also hosted his own syndicated radio show, which soon blossomed into a satellite network and record label. A bonafide renaissance man of the 21st century, Steven Van Zandt proved that a life spent in pursuit of great music could yield extraordinary results.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Ballhaus Barmbek (1988)
3.
 45th Annual Grammy Awards, The (2003) Performer ("London Calling")
4.
 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band In Concert (2003) Guitar, Vocals (The E Street Band)
6.
 VH1 Presents the '80s (2001) Interviewee ("Music And Politics")
7.
 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (2001) E Street Band Vocalist/Guitarist
10.
 1992 Grammy Awards (1992) Presenter
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1957:
Moved to New Jersey with family at age seven
1966:
Met Bruce Springsteen at age 16
:
With Johnny Lyon, played in bands like Sundance Blues Band and Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom, the latter formed by Springsteen
:
With Lyon formed duo Southside Johnny and the Kid; name changed to Bank Street Blues Band when keyboardist Kevin Kavanaugh joined
1974:
Was briefly a member of the rock/R&B band Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
1975:
Joined Springsteen's E Street Band as a guitar player and backup singer
:
Managed and produced Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes; assisted in landing band a recording contract; produced the group's first album <i>I Don't Want to Go Home</i> (1976)
1977:
Contributed songs to the second album by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, <i>This Time It's for Real</i>
1978:
Made guest appearance on <i>Hearts of Stone</i> the third album by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes; also wrote songs
1980:
Appeared with E Street Band members in the concert documentary "No Nukes"
1981:
Produced the album <i>Dedication</i>; Springsteen had encouraged the project and contributed songs
1982:
Second collaboration with Bonds as producer <i>On the Line</i>
1982:
Released his debut solo album <i>Men Without Women</i>
1984:
Second solo album <i>Voice of America</i>
1984:
Left the E Street Band officially
1985:
Created <i>Sun City</i>, an anti-apartheid album featuring rock and rap acts including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Run-DMC and Kurtis Blow; also produced documentary feature of same name
1985:
Co-wrote song "You Don't Have to Cry" for the soundtrack of Jonathan Demme's <i>Something Wild</i>
1986:
Spoke out against apartheid at the United Nations and before the US Senate
1987:
Third solo album, <i>Freedom-No Compromise</i>
1987:
Performed as opening act for U2 on <i>The Joshua Tree</i> concert tour
1989:
Fourth solo recording, <i>Revolution</i>
1991:
Reunited with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes as producer of their album <i>Better Days</i>
1992:
Penned the Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes' hit "I Don't Want To Go Home"; served as theme song for the Jersey shore-set Fox sitcom "Down the Shore"
1992:
Wrote and performed (along with Darlene Love) "All Alone on Christmas"; the theme from "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York"
1993:
Established own record label, Renegade Nation
1994:
Produced first album for Renegade Nation, <i>Demolition 23</i>
1995:
Wrote, performed and produced the track "The Time of Your Life" for the soundtrack to John Hughes' film "Nine Months"
1995:
Toured Europe with Bon Jovi
1999:
Acting debut as regular cast member, strip-club owner and Mafia henchman Silvio Danteon on the series, "The Sopranos" (HBO)
1999:
Reunited with Springsteen and the E Street Band for a world tour
2002:
Hosted a weekly syndicated radio show, "Little Steven's Underground Garage"
2004:
Contributed the song "Baby Please Don't Go" to Nancy Sinatra's self-titled album
2006:
Assembled and directed an all-star band to back Hank Williams Jr. on a new version of "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" for the season premiere of "Monday Night Football"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Van Zandt on resuming his music career after a ten year break between solo albums: "It wasn't so much a decision as a revelation that I missed rock music, which has probably never been less fashionable than it is now.

"I missed making rock music, but I struggled with the question of how do you make rock music that is not redundant, that has not been done before. Then I realized that rock 'n' roll in redundant by definition. And that's OK, as long as you bring it somewhere that works for you." --quoted in the Boston Herald, November 5, 1999

"I'm not kidding when I say the hair is doing the acting. The look is very important to me. When I look in the mirror I've got to see Silvio." --the usually bandana-clad Steven Van Zandt on the black bouffant wig he dons to play Mafia henchman Silvio Dante on "The Sopranos", quoted in People, September 13, 1999

Steven Van Zandt on his successful audition for "The Sopranos": "I sat down with David [Chase, creator of "The Sopranos"] and told him I was a little awkward about taking the part. I didn't feel comfortable taking an actor's job. . . You always read about how actors are out of work . . . and how they work their whole life taking these classes, and here I am, a guitar player, stepping in and maybe taking someone's job. David said 'OK, I'll tell you what, I'll create a new character for you so you won't be taking anybody's job.' And I was OK with that." --quoted in Los Angeles Times, December 19, 1999

Van Zandt on the popularity of "The Sopranos": "What I think makes the show connect with so many people is that the problems they have, generally speaking, are the problems that everybody has. Everybody has two families. Everybody has their family at home and their family at work. Everybody has those kind of complicated human relations. That's what a lot of the show is about. It's not just about gangster stuff. Take Silvio [Van Zandt's character] for instance. There are some funny quirks in his character. When it comes to life-threatening situations, he's a very, very cool professional. But he'll completely lose his temper at his daughter's soccer game." --quoted in Los Angeles Times, December 19, 1999

Steven Van Zandt on balancing concurrent work on "The Sopranos" with the E Street Band reunion tour: "It's gotten a little tricky juggling the two things. Thank God, HBO and the 'Sopranos' people went out of their way to schedule my scenes on days off, which was really, really nice of them. They've bent over backward. And Springsteen's people did what they could to make it all work out." --quoted in Chicago Sun-Times, January 17, 2000

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Maureen Van Zandt. Actor. Born c. 1951; married c. 1982.

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