Springsteen, Southside, Van Zandt celebrate shared musical roots on SiriusXM show

Springsteen Southside Van Zandt SiriusXM

From left, Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny and Steven Van Zandt joined forces for a show on SiriusXM satellite radio, July 1.

While the first six shows of Bruce Springsteen’s “From My Home to Yours” DJ show have been dominated by thoughts about the pandemic, politics, and the overall state of the world, the seventh show, broadcast July 1 — and lasting two hours! — was almost purely about music.

Along with guests Steven Van Zandt and Southside Johnny, Springsteen turned his attention to the classic, soul-drenched music made by the three, while throwing in some Gary U.S. Bonds and Clarence Clemons tracks as well. There was also lots of high-spirited conversation between the songs, and nostalgic reminiscing. And lots of laughing.

You can read virtually all of what the three said, and see videos for the songs that were played, here (in some cases, a version of the song may have been played that is different from what is embedded in this post):

Intro music: “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy),” Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen: “Hello,hello, fellow Americans, and summer revelers, I am glad to be here with you, on this Fourth of July weekend, to help you celebrate our Independence Day. We have a ‘Three-DJ Spectacular’ for you today. I will be spinning the discs with Southside Johnny …”

Southside: “Yeah, baby!”

Springsteen: “… and Little Steven Van Zandt!”

Van Zandt: “Hey, how we doin’?”

Springsteen: “And we will be concentrating on the soul stylings of Asbury Park, circa 1977 into ’88, when Southside and Steven and I had all gotten together, down at the Stone Pony, and Steve and South had their fantastic, fantastic house band there, that I spent many nights high as a fucking kite (everybody laughs) … so anyway, let’s start out with Southside Johnny and, of course, “Some Things Just Don’t Change.”

“Some Things Just Don’t Change,” Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes

Springsteen: ” ‘Some Things Just Don’t Change’!”

Southside: “That’s a hell of a song, Steven. I must say.”

Van Zandt: “I gotta agree with you.”

Southside: “We still do that live, too. I remember Steven berated me one time, when the three of us were playing at the Asbury Convention Hall for some charity thing or whatever. He said, ‘Don’t you ever sing the melodies anymore?’ And so I went back and listened to everything and said, ‘Oh yeah, I gotta get back to singing the melodies.’ ”

Springsteen: “Hey, that is a great melody. And I got some basic questions. One is, part of the distinction of all this music was the use of the horns, which was incredibly original back in 1978. A: How did you guys get the Jukes together? And then whose idea was it to have a horn section in a club band, where it wasn’t very affordable, back at that time?”

Van Zandt: “You know, I think it was the fact that we went and saw Sam & Dave.”

Southside: “Yeah.”

Van Zandt: “That night was an incredibly important night. We were all there, the three of us.”

Springsteen: “Are you talking about the Fastlane or the Satellite Lounge?”

Southside: “Satellite Lounge! Wow, what a place.”

Van Zandt: “Up until then, it was kind of a blues band. … and we decided, let’s take it to the next level, I think after that night.”

Springsteen: “Oh, ’cause I remember that show like it was yesterday. It was incredible. Oh my God. Sam & Dave at that little Satellite Lounge.”

Van Zandt: “And we were, like, six feet away.”

Springsteen: “We were six feet away, and we watched Sam Moore lead that band, and it was just probably one of the greatest musical nights of my life.”

Van Zandt: “Yeah, I think that’s what did it. I mean, we never … we got to like three horns …”

Southside: “It took forever. We had a saxophone player for a while. He didn’t work out. Then we tried to find a trumpet player. It was very difficult to get three guys who wanted to play R&B. They all either wanted to play jazz or Top 40.”

Van Zandt: “Right. Then we finally did the album. And then after the album, we went to five, ’cause this cat came in from Philadelphia. I don’t know why. I don’t know how we hooked up with him. But this cat came in from Philadelphia to orchestrate the horns. ‘Cause I never could write music. So I’d just sing him the parts, and he orchestrated it for five horns, for some reasons.”

Southside: “Yeah!”

Van Zandt: “And I was just like, ‘Man, I like that sound.’ And so we kept it after that. But I don’t know. I don’t know we hooked up with him.”

Southside: “I don’t remember, either. I just remember that there were great people in that group. Everybody was a character. Once you heard the baritone (sax), too, that was the end of that. You had to have it.”

Springsteen: “Well, You had the unique horn sections. With, of course, unique people in them. Do I have to say anything about La Bamba (Richie Rosenberg), Love Man (Mark Pender) …”

Van Zandt: Kingfish Eddie Manion. At that time, Stan Harrison, I think.”

Southside: “Stan Harrison, yeah.”

Van Zandt: “We had a couple … we had G the G (Rick Gazda) for a while.”

Southside: “If you think they were funny in the studio, you should have been on the road with them!”

Springsteen: “So, I’m going to concentrate, today, on, basically the horn-centric music that came out of Asbury Park, and the way that we used them in Steve’s and South’s music, and also in mine. So here’s something that was written for Darkness on the Edge of Town from 1978, and this was something that we did live at The Carousel, called ‘Gotta Get That Feeling’ ”

“Gotta Get That Feeling,” Bruce Springsteen

Southside: “Yeah!”

Springsteen: “Yes.”

Southside: “And that’s live, too. That’s amazing, you know. It sounds like it’s a complete recording.”

Van Zandt (sarcastically): “Why would you want to put that a record? (Everyone laughs)

Springsteen: “That got lost in the sauce of the Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions, along with a lot of other good things that … I think it was Darkness ... it came out on the Promise boxed set, I think.”

Van Zand: “I think so. That’s some good stuff right there, man.”

Southside: “That’s … I am not familiar with that song. There’s another one they didn’t even put out, that they should have.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, it should have got out on a record, somewhere: All the records that we never made, that we should have made in between the records. But anyway, that was just a great arrangement. We must have worked on that pretty hard in the studio, Steve, because that’s a pretty involved arrangement, with the horns and the transitions in the band and everything.”

Van Zandt: “Yeah, that was part of that two-year, two-album era, really, where we were arranging everything … you know, everything had to count. We wanted the solo to be exciting. We wanted the bridge to be a surprise. Surprise, surprise, surprise, all the way through.”

Springsteen: “We were making two albums for every one that we put out, at least, you know.”

Van Zandt: “Yeah, yeah.”

Springsteen: “So I’m gonna carry on, to ‘Love Again,’ by my man Little Steven, here. From the Summer of Sorcery record, the man’s return to soul!”

“Love Again,” Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul

Springsteen: “Yes, indeed, Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul. So tell me, Steve. Thirty years. Why? (everyone laughs). What took you so long?”

Van Zandt: “I don’t know. I wish I had an excuse. But you know, I started acting. And then you put the band back together. I didn’t realize it had been that long, honestly. And I had no intention of coming back, you know. It was a bizarre circumstance. This cat in London, one of our promoters, Leo Green, said, ‘Throw a band together and play my blues festival.’ And it went from there. I said, well, you had decided to do the Broadway thing, and I didn’t have a new TV show. So it was like, ‘Well, there’s nothing to do, really. So let’s …’ ”

Southside: ” ‘I didn’t have a new TV show’!” (laughs)

Van Zandt: The (London) show went so well, I said, ‘Let’s put together a record … I’m not ready to write a record, so let’s put together an album of songs I’ve written for other people. And that was the Soulfire album. And then the Soulfire Tour took place, and halfway through the tour, man, I started reconnecting those writing muscles …”

Springsteen: “That’s the amazing thing. The amazing thing is that you were able to write this record at the level that it’s written at, and come out with something completely new, with still all the soul and intensity and fun of the records that you made … that first record that you made.”

Van Zandt: “It was being immersed in my own stuff, with the Soulfire Tour, kind of just reconnected to it. And you put that whole Soulfire Tour in a blender, out comes Summer of Sorcery.”

Springsteen: “Just great.”

Van Zandt: “Yeah, that (‘Love Again’) was one of my Sam Cooke tributes, with a little tribute to Southside at the end of that. I sing a couple of Southside licks at the end of that.”

Southside: “Yeah, I heard the Sam Cooke, too, you know. I love that line, ‘I’m drowning in self-pity while my heart is dying of thirst.’ That’s just a great line.”

Springsteen: “A lot of the lyrics are, on that one. All right, we’ve got Southside coming up. And one of my favorite Southside tunes, and Steve, you’re going to have to remind me if I had anything to do with this one. (laughs)”

Van Zandt: “You did.”

Springsteen: “This is ‘Love on the Wrong Side of Town.’ ”

Van Zandt: “That’s your riff.”

“Love on the Wrong Side of Town,” Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes

Springsteen: “All right. So that was my riff, Steve?

Van Zandt: “Yeah, man.”

Southside: “It was your fault!”

Van Zandt: “I picked up the guitar and played that riff.”

Springsteen: “You were generous, generous for giving me some credit on that, then. (laughs and sings riff).”

Van Zandt: “Yeah, man, without the riff, you know …” (everyone laughs)

Southside: “To this day, when we start that song, that’s … the floodgates open. Everybody comes down and starts dancing. And all these years, I’ve never gotten tired of it, because the audience reaction is just so overwhelming.”

Springsteen: “Ah, that’s great.”

Southside: “Plus it’s a great song to sing, too. It’s a singer’s song.”

Springsteen: “It’s a real singer’s song.”

Van Zandt: “It was fun recording that stuff in the old CBS, that big room, man.”

Springsteen: “That’s what I was gonna ask you. Where did you record … now this was the second record?”

Southside: “Yes.”

Van Zandt: “It’s the second record. And we did it in the old CBS — what, 52nd Street, I think it was?”

Southside: “Yeah.”

Van Zandt: “I mean, it was a classic … where they had the orchestra stuff …”

Springsteen: “Yeah, I visited you for … I was there for one session. I forget what you were …”

Van Zandt: “We did the Ronnie Spector single …”

Springsteen: “Right, right, that was it.”

Van Zandt: “… with The E Street Band. And, you know, things were just laying around, like those timpanis were just, like, ‘What the hell …’ ”

Southside: “He saw those and went, ‘Aha!’ ”

Van Zandt: ” ‘Let’s use them,’ you know.”

Southside: “You should have seen him with the strings, when we brought the strings in. Steve was standing in front of them, and they were all looking at him like aliens got loose. It was a real adventure.”

Van Zandt: “It’s amazing how well those records hold up. I mean, Popeye’s (drummer Kenny Pentifallo) impressin’ me, I tell ya. This one, and ‘Some Things Just Don’t Change,’ man. He’s playing some great stuff on the drums, man.”

Springsteen: “The drumming’s all great.”

Van Zandt: “And I mean, these are the days when … we went in with the band. No concept of session guys.”

Springsteen: “No.”

Van Zandt: “The band was the band. We got thrown in. No click tracks. No nothing.”

Southside: “That’s also the album we had the Five Satins.”

Van Zandt: “We reunited the Five Satins, the Coasters and the Drifters.”

Springsteen: “Is that for ‘First Night’?”

Van Zandt: “Yeah. I think the Five Satins were on ‘First Night.’ The first doo-wop song I wrote.”

Springsteen: “We’re going to get to that later, because that’s one of my favorites.”

Van Zandt: “Also, one of my favorites is The Drifters on ‘Little Girl So Fine.’ ”

Southside: “Yeah, that’s a great song.”

Springsteen: “Ah, right!”

Van Zandt: “Another one of yours (co-written by Springsteen). That’s, to me … that’s my favorite album, actually, This Time It’s for Real.”

Springsteen: “Great songs.”

Van Zandt: “It’s just got a real connection to our roots, you know.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, great songs, and then you brought in the strings, and you had the whole thing going.”

Van Zandt: “Yeah. I was just like, ‘Let’s go.’ And Johnny’s singing great, too.”

Southside: “Oh, shut up.”

Springsteen: “Fabulous.”

Van Zandt: “(singing) ‘Darling …’ You know, that’s great …”

Springsteen: “Great vocals.”

Southside: “The only problem we had was, all of us wanted to hear stories from all the guys in the different vocal crews. And then Earl ‘Speedo’ ….”

Van Zandt: “The Coasters.”

Southside: “… he was singing with them, Earl Carroll, who sang ‘Speedo’ with The Cadillacs. One of my idols. And here he is, singing background on one of my records.”

Van Zandt: “One guy we didn’t get a chance to talk to was Richard Barrett, one of the absolute legends of all time, who … well, first of all, he did (sings) ‘Some other guy, now,’ direct to The Beatles and everybody. That’s his song. And, uh …

Southside: “The Chantels.”

Van Zandt: “And he played piano on The Chantels, on ‘Maybe.’ ” …

Springsteen: “Whoa! …”

Van Zandt: We had him do piano on our doo-wop song, on the album.”

Springsteen: “That’s quite a credit, right there.”

Van Zandt: “I mean, really. We didn’t even get a chance to talk to him. It was one of those crazy sessions.”

Springsteen: “Well, we’re gonna move on, now, to the E Street Band, back in its wild and woolly days, trying to write somethin’ here that was gonna take the roof off the place.”

“So Young and in Love,” Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen: “And we’re going for a doubleheader. Gonna have a little Bonds in here.”

Van Zandt: “All right!”

“Soul Deep,” Gary U.S. Bonds

Springsteen: “That of course, was Gary U.S. Bonds.”

Van Zandt: “Mmm-mmm-mmm. That record, man.”

Springsteen: “That was ‘Soul Deep.’ Who did the original of that? Anybody remember?”

Southside: “The Box Tops.”

Springsteen: “The Box Tops. All right.”

Southside: “What’s his name? Alex Chilton. Great singer.”

Van Zandt: “Alex Chilton sang it. And Wayne Carson wrote it. The same cat who wrote ‘The Letter.’ ”

Springsteen: “Ah. That’s just the E Street Band with Bonds singin’. What record was that on?”

Van Zandt: “I think that’s the second one. A lot of people didn’t hear that second one, which is an incredible album. That’s one of the best-sounding albums, I think, that we’ve ever produced, first of all.”

Springsteen: “Good-sounding record, yeah.”

Van Zandt: “It’s a fantastic album. The whole thing is amazing. It’s got ‘Club Soul City’ on it, which I used on ‘Lilyhammer.’ You (Springsteen) wrote most of that whole album. We had the hit on the first album, so a lot of people heard that first album.”

Springsteen: “Right.”

Van Zandt: “But the second one kind of got lost a little bit. It was a shame. Because it’s actually better.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, there was good stuff on it. We had gotten used to playing with Bonds by then. So wherever you are, Gary U.S. Bonds …”

Southside: “One of the funniest guys you’ll ever talk to.”

Springsteen (laughs): “Happy Fourth of July, Bondsy. All right. Coming up, this is one of my favorite Steve and Southside collaborations. And I think you did this on your last tour. ‘Coming Back,’ Steve? With the Disciples.”

Van Zandt: “Yeah. I did several … in fact, we had a whole Southside & the Jukes tribute section of the tour, this time. And I did this one the Soulfire Tour, I think.”

Southside: “And I wasn’t even dead, you know!”

Springsteen (laughs): “Let’s hear it.”

“Coming Back,” Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes

Southside: “Yeah, Steven.”

Springsteen: “Beautiful. I wanna go right into this, then. Then we will discuss.”

“Until the Good Is Gone,” Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul

Springsteen: “All right. ‘Until the Good Is Gone.’ For some reason, that song reminds me of cut-throat Monopoly games.” (everyone laughs)

Southside: “And you would bring your mother’s cookies, and you would charge us $500 for a cookie.”

Springsteen: “Dammit, it had to be done! I had to get an edge. What was the avenue that house was on. Do you guys remember?”

Southside: “Sewell Avenue.”

Springsteen: “Sewell Avenue. Cut-throat Monopoly games on Sewell Avenue in Asbury Park … we had highly personalized Monopoly games going on. But, good one, Steve.”

Van Zandt: “I haven’t had a snare drum that good, since. I got the snare drum on that one, man.”

Springsteen: “Question, guys: ‘Coming Back’… how did that … ’cause that was the Jukes reunion record. How did that come about?”

Van Zandt: “I had to think twice about it. I was doing something with that cat that had the record company there, for a minute. It folded right after the album came out. (everyone laughs)”

Southside: “It got absorbed by, what is it …”

Van Zandt: “By Universal, or somebody.”

Southside: “Well, some other (company). And all of a sudden, it was, like …”

Van Zandt: “I forget why. But I had to think twice about it, because the last thing we had done was Hearts of Stone, which was quite a revered kind of record. I thought, ‘Man, I’m not sure I can beat that one,’ you know. So I had to really rise to the occasion. And anyway, I wrote that ‘Coming Back,’ and thought that’s a good way to start.”

Southside: “It was easy, too. Once it got started, it was just like the same …”

Van Zandt: “I wrote some good things for that one.”

Southside: “And we had some great covers. Jimmy Barnes, I think we did, I’m trying to remember …”

Springsteen: “Yeah, that was the record that had the original ‘All the Way Home,’ that I wrote, on it.”

Southside: “Yeah.”

Van Zandt: “That’s right. That’s the first time we had that one. And you played piano on it, actually.”

Southside: “We dubbed that part.” (Springsteen and Van Zandt laugh)

Van Zandt: “And that’s you singing on ‘Til the Good is Gone.’ You sang all the harmony on my first solo album, actually. Uncredited. Because you were fighting with the record company at the time.”

Springsteen: “Right, they wouldn’t let me appear on another …”

Van Zandt: “On Gary Bonds.”

Springsteen: “On Bonds! Right.”

Van Zandt: “I sang your parts on Gary Bonds’ second album, like ‘Angeline’ and things like that, I think it was. And then I said, ‘Screw them, you’re gonna sing on my album. I mean …’ We just never gave you any credit for it.”

Southside: “You know, I can’t imagine you having to fight the record company. I mean, come on! How much money did they make off of you, for God’s sake?”

Springsteen: “It didn’t happen much. (laughs) It happened a few times. But thank God, not much.”

Southside: See, that’s the problem with other people. When other people get involved in what you do, they don’t understand. They’ll never understand. You just have to do it, and the hell with it.’

Van Zandt: “I remember that this was just after The River. So Born in the USA hadn’t happened yet.”

Southside: “Yeah, okay, right.”

Springsteen: “Right. It was early in the day.”

Van Zandt: “They wouldn’t have fucked with you after that.” (everyone laughs)

Springsteen: “I’m gonna bring up right now, one of my all-time favorites. And you said you used this on ‘Lilyhammer,’ so let’s hear it. This is Gary Bonds and Chuck Jackson.”

Southside: “Yeah, baby.”

Springsteen: “Oh my God.”

“Club Soul City,” Gary U.S. Bonds

Southside: “Okay, I’m retired now.”

Van Zandt: “That’s as good as it gets, man.”

Springsteen: “Oh, man. A moment of silent for that … That’s probably my favorite of the favorites that I ever wrote for somebody else, I think … and I could never have sung it, or done it justice.”

Southside: “No. You’re talking about two of the great voices. We did a thing with Chuck Jackson: Bondsy had a birthday party, and I got to meet Chuck Jackson. I sang my song, and Chuck goes out there, and he’s got the microphone two feet from his face. I’m like, ‘How does he do that?’ ”

Springsteen: “A hurricane of a voice.”

Van Zandt: “Amazing.”

Springteen: “When that song stops, and he sings ‘Restricted to the losing kind,’ it’s just like, ‘Whoa, stand back.’ Really just incredible.”

Southside: “It’s amazing, the people we’ve met, if you think about it. All through the years. People we’ve always revered. You just think they’re other places we’ll never go, and then there they are, you’re talking to them …”

Van Zandt: “We made a point of it.”

Springsteen: “On that record, yeah.”

Van Zandt: “And right from the beginning. From the very first …”

Southside: “Well, Leo Dorsey and Ronnie Spector.”

Van Zandt: “We made a point of it. ‘Cause I remember what they called the oldies circuit, in ’73.”

Southside: “Dovells, yeah.”

Van Zandt: “The Dovells, yeah, and Dion. And all the cats were put out to pasture in their late 30s, early 40s, man.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, young guys with the greatest voices in American musical history.”

Van Zandt: “The British Invasion put all the heroes out of work. It was an unintended consequence, but that’s what happened. And so, I was like, ‘Man, we’ve got to really use these people as much as we can, to remind people that they still exist.’ ”

Springsteen: “That’s what people don’t remember: That they were young. I mean, they were only about six years older than we were. It was a short generation, and there were all these incredible voices out there going untended, you know, without material for them, and without producers for them, or record companies for them. And they were still incredible, incredible artists.

“Just Bondsy: I went into, like, the airport lounge or somewhere one night, and he was there, playing the bar with his band, without a sax player. That was when I met him. (Van Zandt laughs) And we sat down to a table. And I said, ‘Bonds, where’s the sax player? Where’s Daddy G? Where’s the God-darn sax?’ ‘Oh, I don’t need him anymore.’ And that’s how I got together with Bonds, and we ended up producing him, and there was Bonds, with that phenomenal voice that he still has, to this day.”

Van Zandt: “You surprised me with that. Because I remember when you told me you were gonna work with Bonds. I was like, ‘With all of these cats around here, work with Gary Bonds?’ Because I remember his party records …”

Southside: “We used to do one of the Bonds songs.”

Van Zandt: “They were great party records. But I thought, ‘Does he have that kind of great voice?’ And we got in studio, man. It was like, ‘Oh, my goodness.’ One of the greatest soul singers of all time. You wouldn’t know it from his early records.”

Springsteen: “He was a Black rock ‘n’ roll star.”

Van Zandt: “They were like party …”

Springsteen: “Party R&B rock records.”

Van Zandt: “They sounded like they really were made in the garage. (Southside laughs)”

Springsteen: “Yeah, made in Virginia. And I forget the producer’s name. I’m guess I’m going blank on it.”

Southside: “Yeah, me too.”

Van Zandt: “So anyway, once we got in the studio, I said, ‘Man, you are so right, this guy can sing his ass off.’ And we brought in Chuck Jackson on that. We brought in also, Ben E. King, on that.”

Springsteen: “Oh, God …”

Van Zandt: “I forget which song we did with Ben E. King, but ….”

Springsteen: “Just sitting behind the glass, and watching these guys step up to the microphone and open their mouths and unleash their voices on things that we wrote, is just …”

Van Zandt: “I wish we did more of that, honestly.”

Springsteen: “Oh, we should have done more. ‘Cause it was a treasure.”

Southside: “Yeah, but as you say, if you guys hadn’t done it, nobody would have done it. Nobody was doing those things.”

Springsteen: “So good. So good.”

Van Zandt: “We always had one sort of foot in tradition, you know, to kind of ground it.”

Southside; “Oh, it comes through.”

Van Zandt: “And we were proud of that.”

Southside: “Yeah, it was the music that really moved us. I mean, as much as we liked The Yardbirds and The Stones and still do, it was just that incredible, emotive voice that would come out, like Ben E. King …”

Springsteen: “Great singing. And the great arranging, and the great songwriting, and then the great performing. To this day, I learned more from Sam Moore, as a bandleader, than anybody I can think of. Going to see him … I saw Sam & Dave twice. I saw them once at The Fastlane, and once at The Satellite Lounge. But like you were saying, they were revolutionary nights as far as how I wanted to lead a band, and the kind of show we wanted to do.

“So, I’m gonna move on now to something a little strange. This was written for the Born in the USA record. It’s got a nice little horn section on it. And let me see if I can find out where I am. Okay, here we go. This is ‘Lion’s Den.’ ”

“Lion’s Den,” Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen: “Doubleheader.”

“Soul Power Twist,” Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul

Southside: “Let no one say here Little Steven Van Zandt is not au courant.”

Springsteen: “You know I’m twistin’! I’m twistin’ right the fuck now.”

Southside: “What is the Karate Monkey?”

Van Zandt: “That’s a hit by Chubby Checker.”

Southside: “Karate Monkey?”

Van Zandt: “Yes.”

Southside: “I never … That sounds like a dangerous dance.”

Springsteen: “I thought you made it up.”

Van Zandt: “The Woggles — one of the bands on our label,The Woggles — covered it. It’s a fantastic record. You’ve got to check it. It’s fantastic.”

Southside: “Karate Monkey.”

Van Zandt: “The Karate Monkey, man.”

Springsteen: “Love that song. Hell yeah. Bringing the twist back in 2020, and we fucking need it right now.”

Southside: “Something, anything. … it’s the perfect dance for the COVID thing, too, because you don’t touch anybody. …”

Van Zandt: “Social Distance Twist.”

Springsteen: “That’s right. Well done, Little Steven, well done. What can we say?

“All right. Now Southside, I had to play this one, because the genesis of this song is so strange and twisted.”

“The Fever,” Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes

Springsteen: “Well done, Southside.”

Southside: “Thank you. Thanks for the song, by the way.”

Van Zandt: “That’s amazing, huh? I haven’t heard that since it came out, I don’t think.”

Springsteen: “That’s a great performance. That performance really held up, Southside.”

Southside: “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Springsteen: “I had to play it because the genesis of the strong is so strange, in that … I remember, I wrote it … I don’t even remember for what record, it might have been for Darkness on the Edge of Town or something. Maybe a little earlier. But it was a demo. Somehow the demo got stolen, and it began to be played on Philadelphia radio, on, I guess it would be WMMR, right?”

Southside: “Yeah.”

Van Zandt: “Yeah, at the time.”

Springsteen: “And it kind of became this constant thing, in Philadelphia, where this song, if we play it, to this day, is a huge hit, you know. But it was just sort of one of those songs that wasn’t released. But it escaped, you know. And then when you guys made your first record, you cut your own version of it, right? That’s your own track.”

Southside: “Yes.”

Van Zandt: “We brought in Clarence to do that talking part, because it was so iconic. But that’s all Jukes. Yeah. That’s Alan Berger on that bass line, which is great.”

Southside: “What I remember is that I had gone to see you, Bruce, at The Ledge, I think it was, in Princeton.”

Springsteen: “Yeah. That would have been like in New Brunswick or somewhere. Was The Ledge in New Brunswick?” (Editor’s note: yes.)

Southside: “I forget where it was. But anyway, you did the song. And the crowd went crazy. And then a couple of days later, we were at The Stone Pony, rehearsing for the first album. And you came in and started playing the song and said, ‘How about this song for you guys?’ And I thought, ‘What are you, out of your mind?’ (Springsteen laughs) And to this day, I’m going, ‘Holy cow, that’s man’s crazy!’ But it was such a great gift, and we do it almost every night. I mean, the audience has to hear it.”

Springsteen: “That’s terrific.”

Van Zandt: “It’s fun to hear it again. I must have played it on the Telecaster, for the volume control. You reach the volume control with your pinkie, you know? I’m doing the volume control stuff.”

Southside: “One of the other things I remember is, we were in the studio, and I don’t remember if it was this song or something else. And I was in the middle of the take, of doing something like this, if it wasn’t this. And executives walked in. And Steven stopped the take. And I was furious. I started cursing. And he had to turn down the microphone. “Fuck those … fuck … fuck off!’ ‘Cause you know, the thing that comes through with all of these things is the passion that we sing with. I mean, we learned from Ben E. King and all those guys that it matters.”

Van Zandt: “Yeah, we were lucky, ’cause Bruce had known … I had said to Bruce, ‘You know, I’m thinking about going in the studio.’ Bruce said, ‘You should meet this guy, Steve Popovich.’ ”

Southside: “Oh, yeah.”

Van Zandt: “I guess you had known him as a promotion man at Columbia, I guess, right?”

Springsteen: “Right.”

Southside: “He was one of us.”

Van Zandt: “He just was the perfect guy. He really got it, you know.”

Southside: “He was as crazy as all of us.”

Van Zandt: “Yeah. It was an amazing marriage, there, and it really worked.”

Springsteen: “Yeah. Good guy. Let’s do one for the Big Man.”

Van Zandt: “Yeah, man.”

“Savin’ Up,” Clarence Clemons & the Red Bank Rockers

Springsteen: “J.T. Bowen.”

Van Zandt: “Oh, the voice on that!”

Springsteen: “Sing!”

Southside: “(sings) Yeah, yeah.”

Springsteen: “That was the Red Bank Rockers. Clarence Clemons & the Red Bank Rockers.”

Southside: “We did a bunch of shows with them. The Jukes and the Red Bank Rockers.”

Springsteen: “Oh, that’s a good bill, right there.”

Southside: “Yeah. We ended up on each other’s shows. You know, I mean, everybody played with everybody.”

Springsteen: “That was David Landau on guitar, in the live band. And Harvey Brooks, remember? Played the bass in the Red Bank Rockers.”

Van Zandt: “Wow. How did I miss that?” (everybody laughs)

Springsteen: “The Red Bank Rockers … didn’t last very long, which was kind of a shame, because Clarence immediately went on to a different style, on the second record. But that first record holds up tremendously. When you go back to that record, it’s a good-sounding record. And it’s got a lot of good … ‘Woman’s Got the Power.’ It’s got a lot of really good songs on it. And I wrote this one for the Big Man, you know, for his record.”

Van Zandt: “That’s a classic right there.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, it holds up good.”

Van Zandt: “Yeah, great. Harvey Brooks, wow.”

Southside: “We’d like to talk to him. He’s got stories. (laughs)”

Van Zandt: “Electric Flag.”

Springsteen: There you go. All right. Here’s Gary Bonds again.”

“This Little Girl,” Gary U.S. Bonds

Springsteen: “We had a hit! (laughs).”

Van Zandt: “Isn’t that amazing?”

Southside: “At last!”

Van Zandt: “So amazing.”

Springsteen: “We had a hit!”

Southside: “That’s just a perfect little moment. You know what I mean?”

Springsteen: “The right song at the right time. It got to, like, No. 8 or No. 5, or something.”

Van Zandt: “Really, a miracle.”

Springsteen: “It did pretty good, you know.”

Van Zandt: “Yeah, I could hear … We had trouble selling it at first. And then I brought in Bobby Clearmountain to remix it. You could hear …”

Springsteen: “It sounds great.”

Van Zandt: “… The transformation. The organ just sings, and the riffs just pop. It’s just so exciting. Yeah. That was Gary Gersh and EMI America, which is why I ended up signing with them for my solo record.”

Springsteen: “Ah!”

Van Zandt: ” ‘Cause I had a hit with Gary Bonds.”

Springsteen: “God bless ‘im.”

Southside: “I’m sure all of you were stunned when it started climbing up the charts. It was like, ‘Wow!’ ”

Van Zandt: “Beyond belief. And it gave a whole second career to him.”

Springsteen: “What year was that? I don’t remember. ’81 or something?”

Van Zandt: “Yeah, something like that. I don’t remember. In The River period.”

Springsteen: “Because we hadn’t had any hits. So having a hit was like … I don’t know if that was before or after ‘Hungry Heart,’ but that was a big deal, to have a hit record at that time. ‘Cause we weren’t primarily hit records …”

Van Zandt: “Probably the last chance, you know.”

Springsteen: “Exactly.”

Van Zandt: “Couldn’t do it now.”

Southside: “No.”

Springsteen: “So, that was fun.”

Southside: “And he’s still great live, too. He really loves the audience, loves singing. And it all comes right out.”

Springsteen: “We love you, Bonds. All right. We’ve got some Little Steve coming up, live.”

Southside: “Uh-oh. Hope you remember the words.”

“Tucson Train,” Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul

Springsteen: “We’ll go for a doubleheader here.”

“First Night,” Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes

Springsteen: “Tell me about it.”

Southside: “I haven’t heard that song in 20 years.”

Van Zandt: “Me either. I didn’t know what was coming next. …”

Southside: “The things we got away with …”

Springsteen: “That’s well done, gentlemen. That’s well done.”

Van Zandt: “That’s a mind-blower, I’ve gotta tell you. …”

Springsteen: “A great song, Steven, and the arrangement, the vocal arrangement, I gotta give you credit on that. Because that is as authentic as hell.”

Southside: “Yeah. That’s right. We were doing ‘Twist’ and doo-wop. We were really trying to, you know, be with the modern cats! (laughs)”

Van Zandt: “We were just like, ‘Fuck that.’ We don’t care. were just out of time, completely, here. But that’s what that album is. Every song has an authentic tribute …”

Southside: “A couple of blues things … Do you remember, we threw out the engineer, ’cause he erased my harmonica solo. I did a harmonica solo, and I said, ‘Play it back,’ and he played it back, and I was going, ‘Where is it? He goes, ‘I hit record instead.’ ‘You’re out!’ We had to have a union engineer, ’cause it was a union house.”

Van Zandt: “I don’t remember that. …”

Springsteen: “Now this was on the first record, Steve. No, second record.”

Van Zandt: “Everything on the second record has that thing, man.”

Springsteen: “That’s funny. ‘Cause see, I naturally, for some reason, I was drawn to that second record when I put this whole playlist together. There’s something about that second record. The material and the arrangements.”

Van Zandt: “Yes. It has something. And that room. That big CBS room. It had that big sound to it.”

Southside: “That’s the last time they let us into someplace like that!”

Van Zandt: “It’s condos now.”

Southside: “Yeah, no doubt.”

Van Zandt: “But everything on that record has that quality there.”

Springsteen: “Beautiful job. And give me a little taste on how you got those vocal arrangements. Who is singing, first of all?”

Van Zandt: “That was the Five Satins, right.”

Southside: “I think so. I don’t remember.”

Van Zandt: “The Drifters, we used on ‘Little Girl So Fine.’ And The Coasters on the Popeye song. We were still with the comedy, at that point.”

Southside: “So that’s Freddie Parris. And of course the Five Satins, for the people who don’t know, had a couple of monster hit records. But they had one that was the classic, you know, played … every doo-wop show played it all the time. You got sick of it. But they had those lush vocals, like The Flamingos.”

Van Zandt: “In the days when there was oldies radio, they would win every single year with ‘In the Still of the Night.’ ”

Springsteen: “Well, what can you say? Yeah. All right, let’s head home with this.”

“I Don’t Want to Go Home,” Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes

“Tenth Avenue Freeze-out,” Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Springsteen: “All right, all right, all right.”

Southside: “Is that Mark?”

Van Zandt: “I think we’ve left the Satellite Lounge.”

Southside: “Is that Mark Pender in the end? Or was that somebody else?”

Springsteen: “Yeah, that would be Mark.”

Southside: “Yeah, it sounds like his high note.”

Springsteen: “And I’m not sure when we’re gonna hear that crowd sound again. But it sounded pretty good.”

Southside: “Yeah, you didn’t sound like you were having any fun. No.”

Springsteen: “Let’s go back to ‘I Don’t Want to Go Home,’ for a minute. Because that, and sort of ‘Tenth Avenue,’ that is the genesis moment of what, obviously, some fans would call the Sound of Asbury Park, or that particular horn sound. So Steve, you’ve got to give me a little history on how you wrote that.”

Van Zandt: “Well, I was on that oldies circuit, with The Dovells. And I had been writing songs for a long time, and I just never liked anything I had written. I said, ‘Man, I’m surrounded by all this greatness,’ you know. All my heroes, all the pioneers. I said, ‘I’ve got to get something out of this.’ I’ve got to go to school, you know. So I said to myself, ‘Where does it all begin?’ And I decided, well, it starts, really, with Leiber and Stoller, you know. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The first release songwriter-producers who worked with Charles Brown and Big Mama Thornton and, of course, Elvis Presley, and The Drifters, and Coasters. And I met Ben E. King and The Drifters on that circuit. And I said, ‘Okay, I’m going to write a Leiber & Stoller song, for Ben E. King and The Drifters.’ ”

Springsteen: “Ah. Because the interesting thing — I don’t want to interrupt — but the interesting thing that I always forget, is that there were strings on ‘I Don’t Want to Go Home.’ ”

Southside: “I didn’t remember that either. “When I listened to it, I’m going, ‘Oh, yeah.’ And we play the strings on Korg. Jeff Kazee does. But I forgot that we had the whole …”

Van Zandt: “The real thing. I was not very shy about my very first production. (laughs)”

Springsteen: “Steve Van Zandt: All-in, or not in at all.”

Van Zandt: “That’s right!”

Southside: “Money, what’s money?”

Van Zandt: “That’s how I heard it. I heard it like that. Anyway, I didn’t have the courage, really, to give it to Ben E. King at the time. And then we ended up doing it.”

Springsteen: “South, you did a hell of a job on it.”

Southside: “Thank you.”

Springsteen: “Classic recording. Great performance.”

Southside: “It was a great gift. I remember, we were driving, we heard it on the radio, on ‘NEW. I thought it was Scott Muni or somebody like that. And he played a Drifters song. He played three songs in a row. He played a Drifters song, and something else, and then we heard (sings opening chords of song). And Steven almost drove into Sunset Lake. (laughs).”

Van Zandt: “It was exciting.”

Southside: “It was amazing. This is ‘NEW. The big radio station.”

Springsteen: “That’s exciting.”

Southside: “It was great.”

Van Zandt: “I think the last thing we did, I put that slide guitar on.”

Southside: “That Steve Cropper thingie.”

Springsteen: “Yeah, Very nice.”

Van Zandt: “It ended up being an important part.”

Springsteen: “Big part. Great job, boys. Great job on that one.

“I’m gonna go to ‘Tenth Avenue,’ where it’s worth mentioning that this was … actually not the first, but the second song we ever performed on, in the E Street Band … on The Wild and the Innocent, we got horns on ‘Kittys’ Back.’ ”

Van Zandt: “Right.”

Springsteen: “But on Born to Run … I believe we used the same guys, but it was the Brecker Brothers, who were big New York City studio horns.”

Van Zandt: “Dave Sanborn,”

Springsteen: “Right, Dave Sanborn. So …”

Van Zandt: “He came from (Paul) Butterfield.”

Southside: “All of them are classic, great players. Incredible careers.”

Springsteen: “And all I know is getting them in the studio, and they were like, ‘Where’s our charts?’ And I was like, ‘Uh … I’m just going to, like, hum it.’ I was having a lot of trouble, I was a little intimidated by the session musicians. And so Steve was there, just visiting at that demo. You were just visiting that night. And I don’t know if you said, ‘Hey, let me take a swing at it,’ or something. But I said, ‘Hey, go ahead, man.’ ”

Van Zandt: “They started playing some weird parts, you know. I was laying on the floor. I remember. I was having trouble … even with I Don’t Want to Go Home, and all of that, the first time we were in the studio, in the ’70s, I was having trouble with it, because it sounded so bad to me. That was the worst time, ever, to record. Because everything was padded. … The only time, you know. Everything in the ’50s and ’60s sounds great. Everything in the ’80s sounds great. In the ’70s, man, the engineers had taken over, and they wanted separation. …

“So, all my life, we’re waiting to get in the studio. We’re so excited. And we finally get in the studio, and I’m like, ‘This sucks. Why does this sound so bad?’ When you walk into a room, you hear a band …

Springsteen: “There’s no room. There’s no room sound. No ambiance.”

Southside: “Nothing. It was, like, choked to death.”

Springsteen: “Such a claustrophobic sound in those days.”

Van Zandt: “And the concept was, ‘We’ll make it exiting in the mix.’ ”

Southside: “Yeah, ‘We’ll fix it in the mix.’ ”

Van Zandt: ” ‘We’ll take it out of the recording, and then we’ll find a way to put it back in. Which they miraculously, I guess, kind of managed to do, to an extent. But I’m laying there, just being kind of depressed. You know, like, ‘man …’ ”

Springsteen: “No, you had to put everything on the mix. When we made Born to Run, we were trying for the wall of sound. But the wall was covered in a fucking carpet. (everyone laughs) So it was like, how do we … Jimmy Iovine just twisted knobs until it sounded the way we wanted it to.”

Van Zandt: “So I remember they’re playing some weird stuff. And then I remember you asking me, ‘Hey, what do you think?’ And I said, ‘Man, this sucks.’ ”

Springsteen: “I said, ‘Get out there, do what you can.’ ”

Van Zandt: “You said, ‘Go fucking fix it, then.’ I didn’t know enough to be intimidated, luckily. You know what I mean? I was too stupid.”

Springsteen: “It was so funny. They were looking at you like you dropped in from another planet. But they were at such loose ends that they just started to listen, like, ‘Okay, how do we get the fucking session over?’ ”

Southside: “It’s that whole Stax/Volt thing. It’s got to be complementary to what’s going on. It can’t be …”

Springnsteen: “Yeah. It’s not in style in 1973. That was like, already passé and considered rudimentary. But anyway, Steve, you went out and pulled it off. So, those are two fundamental recordings for us, back in that day.

“I’m going to move now to, I would have to say, one of my absolutely favorite Steve Van Zandt songs, ever. And absolutely favorite Southside Johnny performances, here. Let me find it. Oh yeah, here it is.”

Van Zandt: “It’s all three of us!”

“It’s Been a Long Time,” Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes (with Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt)

Springsteen: “In my opinion, Steve, a perfect song …”

Van Zandt: “Thank you, man.”

Springsteen: “… filled with faith, and soulful, and filled with the brother- and sisterhood and the fraternity of rock ‘n’ roll. I salute you.”

Southside: “Yeah, all the song references, and things like that. Great stuff.”

Springsteen: “I salute you.”

Van Zandt: “We were getting back together so I figured, let’s have one that talks about it, you know.”

Springsteen: “Oh yeah, oh yeah. A tip of the hat to all those that we lost along the way.”

Van Zandt: “Yeah.”

Southside: “It was like that, though. It’s just to remember how it was …”

Van Zandt: “That’s the Monopoly song!”

Springsteen: “I think you’re right. That kind of says it all. So all I can say is that’s our show for today, folks. I want to thank my guests and co-DJs. Southside Johnny, thank you!

Southside: “My pleasure, certainly.”

Springsteen: “And Little Steven Van Zandt.”

Van Zandt: “Absolutely, baby.”

Springsteen: “We we will be seeing and serving you down that road.”

Southside: “I’ll take cash, by the way!”

Springsteen (laughs): “Until that moment, stay strong, stay smart, stay safe, stay distant and go in peace.”

Van Zandt: “Wear that mask.”

Springsteen: “That’s right.”

“Jersey Girl,” Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

SiriusXM is streaming for free through July 6. Visit siriusxm.com.

To read transcripts of what Springsteen has said on the previous shows, and see YouTube videos of all the songs he has played, click here for April 8, here for April 24, here for May 6, here for May 20, here for June 3 and here for June 17. Also, click here for some of my thoughts on this ambitious series in general.

Though Springsteen is not officially on a schedule for these shows, and there won’t necessarily be any more after today, he has been doing them once every other week for more than two months. So the next one will, possibly, be July 15.

The shows have lasted between 70 minutes and two hours each, and are being broadcast on SiriusXM’s E Street Radio channel (channel 20), with repeats and on-demand availability following the initial broadcast.


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