Stevie Van Zandt discusses HBO documentary about his life and work, at NYC premiere

stevie van zandt disciple

Stevie Van Zandt, as seen in the HBO documentary, “Stevie Van Zandt: Disciple.”

The HBO Original documentary “Stevie Van Zandt: Disciple” premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival in New York, June 8, with the musician/actor/activist/educator and others who appear in the film — including Jackson Browne, Darlene Love and Gary U.S. Bonds — in attendance. It will be shown on HBO on June 22 and begin streaming on Max the same day, and also will be shown two more times at The Tribeca Film Festival: June 10 at 2:30 p.m., and June 15 at 8 p.m. at Village East by Angelika theater (visit

Bruce Springsteen, interviewed in “Stevie Van Zandt: Disciple.”

Among the many others who were interviewed for the Bill Teck-directed, 147-minute film were Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Bono, Eddie Vedder, Southside Johnny, Jesse Malin and Mike Stoller (of the Leiber & Stoller songwriting team), Springsteen manager and producer Jon Landau, and Van’s Zandt’s half-brother Billy and half-sister Kathi.

I will post a full review closer to the HBO premiere date. But for now, I just wanted to share some things Van Zandt said at the question-and-answer session, moderated by Tribeca Film Festival programmer Jonathan Penner, that followed the June 8 screening.

“I just said, ‘Bill, just try and do one thing: Please explain my life to me,’ ” said Van Zandt, after confirming that he had seen the finished product for the first time, along with the rest of the audience, at this screening. “And he did a pretty good job, you know. I must say, you know, it’s not easy making sense of it, because a lot of it’s not really sensible.

“I know what a challenge (it was) to write the book,” he continued, referring to his 2022 memoir, “Unrequited Infatuations.” “And I thought they really did a terrific job. They really did. It’s a very coherent story, the way they told it. It’s more coherent than the way I lived it.”

He also said that he had told Teck, “Just make it about the work. I don’t care so much about me. But I think the work is worth focusing on, and getting out there a little bit.”

He continued, “And that’s what he did — that’s what they did. They focused on the work. And I appreciate that.”

Here is the film’s trailer:


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