Steven Van Zandt’s life was “saved” by a publisher after he spent seven years in the “wilderness” of showbusiness.

Steven Van Zandt’s life was “saved” by a publisher after he spent seven years in the ‘wilderness’ of showbusiness

Steven Van Zandt’s life was “saved” by a publisher after he spent seven years in the ‘wilderness’ of showbusiness

‘The Sopranos’ actor and E Street Band rocker, 73, believes he ended up in a career desert after he quit the group in 1984 to focus on political activism before its frontman Bruce Springsteen, 74, made it big with its hit ‘Born in the USA’.

He told Page Six it was not until Lance Freed, the son of influential DJ Alan Freed, came to his aid that his career took off again – after the publisher heard his music with the band Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.

Steven added at the premiere of a documentary about his life, titled ‘Stevie Van Zandt: Disciple’: “(Lance) said, ‘Listen man, people don’t write like this anymore. I want to help you out, what can I do?’

“So, he administered my publishing – gave me a big chunk of money that saved my life.”

A year after he left the E Street Band, Steven wrote a song called ‘Sun City’ that lambasted the South African government, with the video featuring cameos from his former bandmate Bruce as well as Bono, Darlene Love, George Clinton and others.

He says he thinks his political activism “scared the hell out of everyone” and left him out in the cold in the entertainment industry.

Steven added: “I intended to politicise our entire industry and I’m happy about that, (but) at the expense of commercial success, which is a complicated story.”

The guitarist said he has “never had any commercial success” and “can’t blame” the record companies for staying away from him – admitting “a combination of things” left him “in the wilderness for seven years”.

As well as Lance’s help, Steven was able to land financial security thanks to his role as Tony Soprano’s right-hand man Silvio Dante on HBO’ shit mafia drama ‘The Sopranos’.

He hailed the role as a “new rebirth” for his career and life, adding: “That was a gift from (‘Sopranos’ creator) David Chase.

“He handed me a new craft, right on time.”

Steven admitted that at the time he took the role in the late-1990s he “wasn’t looking at a whole lot of choices” at the time.

After taking the part, he also rejoined the E Street Band, with his acting career continuing with his lead role as a former gangster in the comedy-drama TV show ‘Lilyhammer’.

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