Steve Van Zandt Calls Leaving E Street Band His 'Biggest Mistake'

Van Zandt Reflects on E Street Band Departure and Regrets.

by Nouman Rasool
Steve Van Zandt Calls Leaving E Street Band His 'Biggest Mistake'
© Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images

In a revealing new interview with The Guardian timed with the release of the HBO documentary "Steve Van Zandt: Disciple,” a documentary, which starred the revered rocker and member of the E Street Band, Steve Van Zandt, gives the viewers insight into the latter’s complicated feelings about leaving Springsteen’s popular band.

Arriving in Springsteen’s band in 1975 and playing a pivotal role in defining them, Van Zandt departed at the height of their success in 1984 during “Born in the USA”. In his book “Unrequited Infatuations,” he said it was “very public career suicide”, but also noticed that without it he could try many different things.

Van Zandt's Artistic Flourish

Instead of disappearing once the band broke apart, Van Zandt thrived in the territory of solo music and branched out into other realms. He received critical acclaim for his role as Silvio Dante in “The Sopranos”, at the same time as he had been a, songwriter, arranger, producer, radio disc jockey, author, and record company proprietor.

By moving to the new concept, his artistic range increased tenfold as he proved once again. Someone who is loyal and stays put can never know what could have happened had he chose not to jump on that ship, Van Zandt also expresses regret and guilt.

“And this guilt stayed with me all my life,” he said, picturing himself as a man who could be a member of E Street Band, and at the same time, a man who does whatever he wants, including painting. However, he also realizes this probably would not have been likely.

Finally, Van Zandt accepts this decision, ‘I got a few things done and I don’t think they would have gotten done if I’d stayed. ’ Though the feelings at the beginning of the episode are ambivalent, he seems to derive comfort from the friendship with Bruce Springsteen, which is referred to as ‘rock’n’roll brother’.

On a similar note, actor Jeremy Allen White gets ready for the next production as he is set to play the role of the Boss in his biopic and for that, he goes to the extent of learning vocals and sign language with the legendary artist.