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Director Bill Teck reveals the many sides to Stevie Van Zandt in new doc, ‘Stevie Van Zandt: Disciple’

Courtesy of HBO

Music fans know Stevie Van Zandt as the legendary guitarist in Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, but he’s a lot more than that, as they’ll learn watching the new documentary Stevie Van Zandt: Disciple.


Director Bill Teck tells ABC Audio he’s been a Van Zandt fan since his teens and wanted to make the film to show people all sides of the rocker.

“I felt like people knew some of the story, but not all the story,” Teck says. “Some of the work, but not all the work.”

The film covers Van Zandt’s early days starting out with Springsteen in Asbury Park, his solo career, his acting career and his role as a rock historian. It also focuses on his activism, including his 1985 all-star charity single “Sun City,” which helped end apartheid in South Africa.

The doc features previously unseen footage, including long-lost video of Stevie’s wedding to his wife of over 40 years, Maureen, in which Springsteen was best man and Little Richard performed the service. There’s also very early footage of Stevie’s days with Springsteen and Southside Johnny.

Teck notes, “For me, as a lifelong fan, to be able to show other fans this great stuff was very fulfilling.”

Of course covering everything about Van Zandt wasn’t easy, and Teck says the original cut of the doc was quite long.

“There’s all the many lives of Stevie. He’s Miami Steve, he’s Little Steven, he’s the activist, the entrepreneur. There’s the friendship with Springsteen. There’s the love for rock ‘n’ roll,” Teck notes. “There’s so many different threads, so it was challenging to get all that in.”

You can see how he does it when Stevie Van Zandt: Disciple premieres June 22 on HBO and streams on Max.

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