Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt talk about the good old days to benefit Asbury Park
It was a purple carpet event.
Steven Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, Richie Sambora and others appeared on Sunday, October 17 at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park for the Between the Lines event to benefit the TeachRock school program.
Van Zandt’s new memoir, “Unrequited Infatuations,” was the focus of the day. Sambora, Springsteen manager Jon Landau, R&B legend Nona Hendryx and actor Steve Buscemi participated in a panel, moderated by Stewart, who discussed the book. Springsteen then interviewed Van Zandt on the Lanes stage. Both were seated on chairs. The conversation, which lasted over an hour, was fluid, insightful, funny, and largely unattended.
The two have been friends since the mid-1960s. They would make trips to Greenwich Village to experience the music scene there together.
“I was going up to his room and he was already starting to write songs, which, you know, I didn’t think you could write your own songs,” said Van Zandt, from Middletown. “You were really very advanced at this point. “
“We were so completely immersed in popular music. It was wonderful to have a friend that you can do that with, ”said Springsteen, from Freehold. “I wish this friendship to everyone, that it lasts our whole life.”
Van Zandt became a big draw at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park in the mid-1970s with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
“It was an amazing gift and a fabulous thing that has truly given everyone a home here in Asbury and the surrounding area for a long, long time,” said Springsteen of the Jukes’ run as the house group. at the Pony. “There is a whole bunch of musicians who were here at the time and their names are under the Asbury Angels on the promenade. It really made it a unique and amazing place at that time.
The Asbury Angels commemorate deceased town musicians with plaques on the promenade benches. Van Zandt later testified that Springsteen took his show up on stage a few notches when “Born to Run” was released in 1975.
“Suddenly my friend who was very shy and withdrawn is walking around the Bottom Line tables (in New York), pushing people around for food as we play,” Van Zandt said. “The transformation of the band, it was time to get serious in other ways too. If you look at the photos of the band on their first two records, they’re wearing short pants, swimwear, barefoot – they look like l ‘Jimmy Buffett’s team. It was a transformation and a half, okay guys? “
“Stevie comes in and joins the band in our 1975 disco glory,” Springsteen joked.
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Prior to the interview, the panel featured many beards graciously provided by Stewart. Adam Weiner of Philly’s Low Cut Connie opened the show with a solo piano set, which included a cover of the Van Zandt Jukes classic “I Don’t Want to Go Home”.
A purple carpet was laid in front of the Lanes before the gates opened on Sunday. Van Zandt has a thing for color. The 250 participants had to be vaccinated to enter the building and they were seated at assigned tables. They also received a signed copy of Van Zandt’s book.
Van Zandt’s TeachRock program, launched in 2013, is used in classrooms across the country, including New Jersey, where a collaboration with the New Jersey School Boards Association provides it to teachers and administrators across the board. state public school districts.
Visit TeachRock.org for more information.
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Chris Jordan, originally from the Jersey Shore, covers entertainment and reporting for USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; [email protected]