Having played guitar for Springsteen’s E Street Band since the early 1980s, Van Zandt, now 70, spoke in his memoir, “Unrequited Infatuations,” about a fight he had with Springsteen, now 72, during the band’s recording of “Born in the UNITED STATES.” The incident eventually led to Van Zandt walking away from the band just before his big break.
“Leaving the E Street Band when I did, ended my life as I knew it,” Van Zandt said in an interview with The Associated Press. “You can’t be reborn until you die. So that had to happen.”
In his book, the “SopranosThe star called the decision to walk away “the biggest mistake of my life” and described the decision as “my very public professional suicide.”
“In the end, you come to the same conclusion, which is: I wish I could have done both. I wish I could have stayed in the band and done all these things,” he said. “But that’s not really realistic.”
Van Zandt and Springsteen would eventually put their grievances aside, but all these years later, Van Zandt seems to still have some opinions on the legendary musician.
He pressed that between “Born to Run” and “Darkness of the Edge of Town,” Springsteen completely changed his appearance and personality, which Van Zandt believed was false from the start.
“He completely changed his identity 180 degrees. He’s up front, he’s playing a character,” Van Zandt said. “That was the most important moment of his life because he remained in that person forever.”
The “Lilyhammer” actor admitted that he even sent Springsteen the manuscript of his book before it was published and said Springsteen gave the go-ahead and did not suggest that he make any changes.
“He was in the book more than I planned because he was in the book because it happens to be a big part of my life, you know?” Van Zandt said.
“It really served as a kind of therapy,” she added when writing her memoirs. “It’s always painful to go over mistakes and say, ‘I wish I could have done this. I could have done it.’
A representative for Springsteen did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Associated Press contributed to this report.