Steven Van Zandt

Originally published Friday January, 12th 2007

This illustrious organization was founded on the principle that everyone can be successful and have a voice to speak their ideas, even people who've been given a name as plain as one given to millions each year, Steve! Every so often, The Axis of Stevil takes pleasure in shining the proverbial spotlight on a Steve who shows excellence in their field.

It’s a well known fact that Steves can come in all sizes, shapes and colors. However, what really defines a Steve is his actions and the ability to not only achieve his own goals, but to also assist others in accomplishing theirs. In an ongoing effort to encourage free spirits who were Born to Run,the Axis of Stevil would like to salute Steven Van Zandt!

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On November 22, 1950 in Winthrop Massachusetts, Mary Lento gave birth to little Steven Lento. His mother soon remarried, so Steven took the last name of his stepfather, William Van Zandt. At the age of seven, Steven and his family moved to Middletown Township, NJ. While growing up around the Jersey Shore music scene, Steven met future-E Street Band-mate, Bruce Springsteen. Steven played lead guitar and toured with Springsteen after the 1975 release of Born to Run.

Steven Van Zandt continued use his talents with others. In the late 1970’s, Steven became a songwriter and producer for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and also shared production credits on the definitive Springsteen albums Darkness on the Edge of Town, The River, and Born in the U.S.A.. Steven began a solo career with his band Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, who released four albums during the 1980’s (and one other album in 1999). Also, in 1999, he was cast as mob consigliere and strip club owner Silvio Dante in HBO’s The Sopranos. As of 2002, Steven has hosted Little Steven’s Underground Garage, a weekly syndicated radio show that celebrates garage rock (as well as similar rock sub-genres) from the 1950s to the present day.

Being a Steve can be a curse and a gift. Some Steves would even go so far as to change their name to something other than Steve. But when Lento became Van Zandt, he was still proud to call himself Steve. So many Steves become unsung heroes, due to their instinctive ability to share the spotlight. But when it comes to Stevilization, The Axis of Stevil knows who’s ‘The Boss.

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