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To be ‘the political man,’ Steven Van Zandt left the E Street Band. The thought crossed my mind that I’d blown my chances of ever having a normal existence.
the editor in chief of yahoo music, lyndsey Parker
2:15 a.m. on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021
What you’ll learn in this article:
Theo Van Zandt
John Mayer, John Mayer
Musician from the United States
Rock and roll singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen
The Who’s Bruce Springsteen
Composer, vocalist, and musician from the United States
Bruce Springsteen fans will no sure like Steven Van Zandt’s autobiography, Unrequited Infatuations, which details his time spent with the Boss. However, the most compelling parts of the book deal with Van Zandt’s political exploits, such as his 1985 all-star benefit single “Sun City,” in which he became a man on a mission to bring down South African apartheid. In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Van Zandt admits that after leaving Springsteen’s E Street Band to pursue activism full-time, he worried he’d wrecked his career as a musician.
According to Van Zandt, he had a particularly strong period of introspection while flying to South Africa. “Voice of America, my second [solo] album, had just come out, and I was getting ready to start my research for South Africa. I’ve always been a worrier when it came to flying. On the plane, it dawned on me that I’d blown my life away by leaving the E Street Band, something I’d worked towards for the better part of the last 15 years. My first co-production, The River, was a hit, as was Born in the USA, which I co-produced as well, but I departed before the band went on tour in support of it. I’d devoted my entire life to that goal of earning a living through rock ‘n’ roll, and now I’ve achieved it and am leaving the industry. And it dawned on me that I’d completely squandered my potential.
“And so, all of my anxiety vanished at that moment, all at once. From shivering on aircraft to not worrying at all, Van Zandt says, “I went from that moment on I was literally fearless when it came to the research of traveling into dangerous situations.” They want to kill me, right?” With a ‘Good, do me a favor!’ mentality. Arriving at that point is a pleasant experience because of the sense of freedom it provides. Although it was tempting, I didn’t feel ready to end my life in such a public way. … This led me to believe that I was now fully committed to the political arena. I’m going all in. Best I have left is my commitment to this project, therefore I must give it my all.’ That had a significant impact on your ability to concentrate. And from there, I devised a plan to topple the government in Pretoria, which was exactly what I intended to accomplish.”