Steve Van Zandt: Most People Think The E Street Band Is Already In The Rock Hall
Steve Van Zandt has been voting on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for decades, but come April 10th, he -- along with his E Street Band cohorts will finally become card carrying members of the Hall. Rolling Stone caught up with Van Zandt and asked him how he took the good news: "It was good. It's always a bit strange when you're in a conversation with somebody and they assume you're already in. You gotta say, 'Well, actually. . .' That little bit of awkwardness will be gone now. And of course, you're honored to be part of the same institution as all of my heroes. . . Most people really assumed we were already in. It's good to get if officially done."
As a voter, Van Zandt understands the hard work needed to get a group all the way up the ballot and into the Rock Hall: "It's a challenge every year because we get a list of 100 names and virtually every one of them deserves to be in. Obviously, this is a wonderfully diverse group, which is always nice to see. The ones that we all personally hope to get in, we just have to keep making their case year after year. Hopefully everybody that deserves to get in will eventually get in."
Van Zandt explained that the ride with Springsteen and the E Streeter's has been filled with so many highlights that awards at this point are merely a cherry on top, admitting, "We've had so many great, great moments that I feel equally good about, whether I'm getting something or not. I feel equally good about getting the songwriters in and getting the bands in that got excluded: the Miracles, the Midnighters, all those bands. Also, guys like (Elvis Presley bassist) Bill Black. The big names are part of it, but the Hall of Fame is also about the guys behind-the-scenes, whether it's the songwriters or producers or writers or sidemen. Whatever it is, it's nice to have them included also. It's a wonderful balance that we try to have every year. I would love to see Link Wray recognized, and Paul Butterfield and Procul Harum.
Although it hasn't yet been announced, it's presumed that Sprinsgteen will do the honors of inducting the E Street Band.
Steve Van Zandt explained to us that despite standing at Springsteen's side every night onstage, he's actually "The Boss'" biggest fan on Earth -- and proud to lend his voice to the E Street Band's worldwide legion of followers: "I'm always gonna be, y'know, the consigliere -- I can't help it, OK? Y'know, and when called upon, y'know, I always have an opinion, OK? And my opinion is always going to be bringing things towards what I feel the fans want. That's just me. Y'know, I'm a fan first, I guess -- a band guy second, really."
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band kick off their 2014 tour dates on January 26th, 28th, and 29th in Cape Town, South Africa.
The 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 10th, 2014 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The 2014 Ceremony will again be open to the public, as it has been for the Induction Ceremonies in Cleveland in 2009 and 2012, and Los Angeles in 2013. This will be the first time that the ceremony will be open to the public in New York City.
Photo Courtesy Howie Edelson