NEW YORK -- The night busted open in New York City as Bruce Springsteen and other Rock and Roll Hall of Famers helped Steven Van Zandt celebrate his Big Man of the Year award.
Darlene Love, Elvis Costello and Dion were among the performers Tuesday night at a rollicking benefit for Little Kids Rock, an initiative that rescues music education amid public school budget cuts.
Springsteen had some fun while presenting the award – gleefully detailing their roommate days and Van Zandt's lack of housekeeping skills.
"What a liar," Van Zandt retorted with a grin.
Amid the musical blowout, Van Zandt and the other stars discussed the arts' role in fueling young minds and shaping character – tasks accomplished through the thousands of musical instruments and the lessons made possible by Little Kids Rock.
Costello, before going onstage, waxed eloquently on the "mundane and magical" aspects of music, and its transformative effects. E Street drummer Max Weinberg reminisced about his high school marching band.
Van Zandt said in an interview with The Associated Press before the show that children might see a musical career as glamorous and fun – "and it is."
But it also "requires a lot of work, just like any other craft. ... You need discipline and you need willpower and focus. And ... a lot of hours put into it," he said.
So people might be surprised to know that Van Zandt, while concentrating on a multitude of parallel careers, can go three years without playing a guitar, and then pick it up again in a week or two.
"When you've been playing so long, you don't really forget how to play," he said.
"Well, that's not a good example for the kids, though," he conceded, laughing. "That's just me. ... `You kids: Don't do what I do – do what I say.'"
In the fledgling days of their 47-year friendship, Springsteen said, "we'd spend our afternoons in the Village, sitting in front of a guitar player, watching every move of his hands, then go back to the basement of Steve's house and try to get our guitars to make that sound" – sometimes resulting in a "screeching, horrific noise."
"But to have somebody to make that noise with ... when you really needed to be understood – that was something; that was something."
The charity named the award for E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons in 2009, two years before he died. It was "very close to Clarence's heart," Springsteen said.
Clemons' nephew, Jake, who now tours with E Street, lent heartfelt sax accompaniment to Little Kids Rock musicians from Franklin L. Williams Middle School in Jersey City, N.J.
Singer-guitarist Tom Morello, serving a blistering homage to Van Zandt's old anti-apartheid song, "Sun City," told the crowd how it helped stoke his own activism as a student at Harvard University.
Some bad-boy appeal came when rocker Jesse Malin climbed onto a table of people dining near the stage, singing as he traipsed in sneakers amid stemware on the tablecloth.
Springsteen sang a duet with Little Steven on the rousing Van Zandt song, "Until the Good is Gone."
Then another pride of Jersey, Southside Johnny, made it a trio for the nostalgic "It's Been a Long Time."
All the performers packed the stage for the aptly chosen finale, "I Don't Want to Go Home."
Besides working with Springsteen and E Street, and camping it up in mobster roles – his most recent on the Netflix show "Lilyhammer" – Van Zandt is a record and television producer, radio host, songwriter and arranger, and oversees two satellite channels.
The self-educated music historian is also chairman of the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, which is developing curriculum for schools. Not bad for a guy who endured his own school days as a self-described "freak," `'misfit" and "outcast."
"That was particular to my generation," he said. Now, being a musician is "acceptable. ... But it wasn't so respectable in the 60s."
In the long run, though, Van Zandt said music saved his life – and he wants to return the favor. "It's why I support Little Kids Rock."
Bruce Springsteen - Born In The USA
Bruce Springsteen - Born In The USA (STUDIO) Born down in a dead man's town The first kick I took was when I hit the ground You end up like a dog that's been beat too much Till you spend half your life just covering up Born in the USA I was born in the USA I was born in the USA Born in the USA Got in a little hometown jam So they put a rifle in my hand Sent me off to a foreign land To go and kill the yellow man Born in the USA I was born in the USA I was born in the USA I was born in the USA Born in the USA Come back home to the refinery Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me" Went down to see my VA man He said "Son, don't you understand" I had a brother at Khe Sahn fighting off the Viet Cong They're still there, he's all gone He had a woman he loved in Saigon I got a picture of him in her arms now Down in the shadow of the penitentiary Out by the gas fires of the refinery I'm ten years burning down the road Nowhere to run ain't got nowhere to go Born in the USA I was born in the USA Born in the USA I'm a long gone Daddy in the USA Born in the USA Born in the USA Born in the USA I'm a cool rocking Daddy in the USA
Bruce Springsteen - No Surrender
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. Washington DC 11th October 2004
Bruce Springsteen - The Rising
Bruce Springsteen-The Rising-LIVE DA BARCELONA(2003) Can't see nothin' in front of me Can't see nothin' coming up behind I make my way through this darkness I can't feel nothing but this chain that binds me Lost track of how far I've gone How far I've gone, how high I've climbed On my back's a sixty pound stone On my shoulder a half mile of line Come on up for the rising Come on up, lay your hands in mine Come on up for the rising Come on up for the rising tonight Left the house this morning Bells ringing filled the air Wearin' the cross of my calling On wheels of fire I come rollin' down here Come on up for the rising Come on up, lay your hands in mine Come on up for the rising Come on up for the rising tonight La,la, la,la,la,la, la,la,la There's spirits above and behind me Faces gone black, eyes burnin' bright May their precious blood bind me Lord, as I stand before your fiery light La,la, la,la,la,la, la,la,la I see you Mary in the garden In the garden of a thousand sighs There's holy pictures of our children Dancin' in a sky filled with light May I feel your arms around me May I feel your blood mix with mine A dream of life comes to me Like a catfish dancin' on the end of my line Sky of blackness and sorrow ( a dream of life) Sky of love, sky of tears (a dream of life) Sky of glory and sadness ( a dream of life) Sky of mercy, sky of fear ( a dream of life) Sky of memory and shadow ( a dream of life) Your burnin' wind fills my arms tonight Sky of longing and emptiness <b>...</b>
Bruce Springsteen - "Pink Cadillac" (original)
Surprisingly this version of "Pink Cadillac" is not on YouTube, so here it is. Bruce Springsteen did this during the recording sessions where he made "Born in the USA" in 1983. It was not released with the album but rather as the B side of his hit single "Dancing in the Dark" in May 1984. Recording is owned by Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment. After uploading it appears Sony has blocked the video in every country imaginable. Maybe one day this will no longer be the case.
MLB 2012 Postseason on TBS - Land Of Hope & Dreams
"Land of Hope & Dreams" from Bruce's #1 album Wrecking Ball is featured in this new promo for MLB 2012 Postseason coverage on TBS.
Bruce Springsteen - Waitin' On A Sunny Day
Music video by Bruce Springsteen performing Waitin' On A Sunny Day. (C) 2002 Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder - Atlantic City
Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band joined by Eddie Vedder 9/7/12 Wrigley Field, Chicago. It gets a little blurry, but it's just because I was back so far. But I still think it's a kickass video.
Bruce Springsteen - My Hometown
Music video by Bruce Springsteen performing My Hometown. (C) 1985 Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen - Brilliant Disguise
Music video by Bruce Springsteen performing Brilliant Disguise. (C) 1987 Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen - Streets Of Philadelphia
Music video by Bruce Springsteen performing Streets Of Philadelphia. (C) 1993 Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen - Secret Garden
Music video by Bruce Springsteen performing Secret Garden. (C) 1995 Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen - Drive All Night
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform "Drive All Night" in Gothenburg
Bruce Springsteen - Jungleland (Live in New York 2001)
Unforgettable performance from Live in New York City. Possibly one of the greatest performances of all time. Includes poetic lyrics, guitar, keyboard solos and the epic saxophone solo by the Big Man. --- As soon as the views hit 300 000 or I get 50 subscribers, I will repost an HD version of this video
Bruce Springsteen - I'm On Fire
Music video by Bruce Springsteen performing I'm On Fire. (C) 1986 Bruce Springsteen
We Take Care Of Our Own - Bruce Springsteen
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Bruce Springsteen - Glory Days
Music video by Bruce Springsteen performing Glory Days. (C) 1985 Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run
Music video by Bruce Springsteen performing Born To Run. (C) 1982 Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen - Dancing In The Dark
Music video by Bruce Springsteen performing Dancing In The Dark. (C) 1984 Bruce Springsteen