Category Archives: Paul

A few of my favorite Christmas songs

Christmas songs – there are as much a part of the holidays as all the other traditions – at least in our house.  Start with the canon of songs, perhaps a couple dozen or so?  This leads to endless variations on the same songs, some of which are horrendous, most just shrug your shoulders eh?, and few good ones.  Of course, I realize that what fits in that last category varies widely – as the saying goes, your mileage may vary.  Here are some of my favorites.

Eurythmics – Winter Wonderland

From the very first A Very Special Christmas benefit album from 1987 – I really love Annie Lennox’s vocals on this track, and very Eurythmics take on this classic

 

Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Sixty years old this year, this song by Johnny Marks (who also wrote Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer) has always seemed a modern addition to the canon (even though it is 60 years old, when rock was in its infancy).  Brenda Lee was 13 years old when she recorded it.

 

Chet Atkins, Jingle Bell Rock

Originally recorded in 1957 by Bobby Helms, this instrumental version by Chet Atkins was first released in 1961.  Somehow hearing the song without the lyrics and just Atkins playing makes it a better song imho.

 

Vince Guaraldi Trio – Christmas Time is Here

I could pick any song off this album, the soundtrack to the 1965 classic A Charlie Brown Christmas.  One of my favorite Christmas shows with a real message, and an thoroughly original set of songs that worked perfectly.

 

Pretenders – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Another choice from A Very Special Christmas, Chrissie Hynde’s vocal take on this 1944 classic of the canon makes this song one of my favorites.

 

Bruce Springsteen and the E. St. Band – Santa Claus is Coming to Town

If you know me, or have followed this blog for any length of time, this isn’t a surprise – how could I include a list of favorite Christmas songs without including Bruce’s version of this classic! –  of course I am biased, but I think this is one of those rare occasions where the cover version meets or exceeds the original!  Just love this version!

Anyway, again, very best wishes to everyone for a joyous holiday season!

Take it away Bruce!

 

 

Here Comes Shatner Claus!

Ah, the holiday season.  A time to celebrate with family and friends, to partake in long standing traditions of religious services, meal sharing, gift giving.  And as music lovers, to appreciate the music of the season.

So just in time for Christmas, we have a new album from William Shatner (of Star Trek Captain Kirk fame) called “Shatner Claus”.  Shatner, the self described “godfather of dramatic musical interpretation” (ahem…) has released a number of “albums” over the years in a number of genres.  I’m not sure what is meant by dramatic musical interpretation, but if it means Shatner talk/singing lyrics to songs in his patented way over the top, overly emotional dramatic to the point of farce way, then he is in peak form on this album.  The songs are so distractedly bad that when listening to it for the first time on my way home from work, I accidentally took the wrong exit off the freeway (a route I have taken so often I could normally do it in my sleep!)

Interestingly (or amazingly in my mind) he has recruited a number of legitimate musicians to accompany him on these songs.  Its an eclectic mix, from Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, to Brad Paisley, Judy Collins, and Rick Wakeman of Yes.  In a number of cases, this makes the songs tolerable, until of course we begin with the “dramatic musical interpretation of Santa Shatner.

So what does it sound like?- picture if you will the obnoxious uncle who comes over for the holiday celebration, has too much to drink, and commandeers the Christmas song karaoke machine to entertain the family.  Let me give you some examples.

Have you ever wondered what Jingle Bells would sound like if on the sleigh ride you brought along a case of beer, and had Henry Rollins along to scream “JINGLE BELLS!!” at you?  Well, here you go:

Winter Wonderland is one of my favorite Christmas songs, and when done right, it can really conjure up a beautiful traditional Christmas scene, even if its not snowing outside.  And then there’s this.

After this performance, perhaps the other adults suggest you take your uncle out to get something to eat – unfortunately, the restaurant you choose is playing Christmas music, and Feliz Navidad comes on – Uncle Bill (after a few more drinks) decides he really needs to wish everyone in the restaurant a Merry Christmas.  Well, it might sound something like this.

And it goes on from there.  I won’t torture you with many more – but if you wonder how Silent Night as done by Shatner and Iggy Pop might sound, or Shatner’s take on the “ba radda da dum” of Little Drummer Boy” you’re on your own.  Oh, and there is also a punk rock version of Jingle Bells again with Henry Rollins that sounds like an outtake after a long night of drinking – just perfect for the family sing along.

I leave you with the only official video from the album, Shatner Claus “singing” Rudoph the Red Nosed Reindeer” with some help from Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.  If you can ignore the creepy elves and the fact that they appear to have decided midway through to finish the song at a college frat party/rave with Santa dressed as a Vegas lounge singer, its not that bad….

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Digging in the Garage – Episode 2

Time for a second episode of Digging in the Garage, where I feature some of my favorite garage tunes, as heard on Nuggets or Little Steven’s Underground Garage.  See here for the inaugural episode which has more background.  Let’s get digging.

First up, (We Ain’t Got) Nothing Yet by the Blues Magoos.

The Magoos were a Bronx psychedelic rock band that was part of the NY scene in the mid 60’s, along with The Lovin’ Spoonful and The Youngbloods. According to Songfacts, the Magoos were a huge influence on Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd.   Released in October 1966 on the album Psychedelic Lollipop, the song reached #5 on the US charts in February 1967.  The boastfulness of the lyrics about being on their way to massive success was apparently matched in their live performances, where they wore electric blue suits with flashing lights.  Ironically, it was their only hit.

 

Outside Chance – The Turtles

The Turtles are best know for their #1 single Happy Together, which famously knocked the Beatles Penny Lane out of the top spot in the American charts.  The vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman later achieved fame as Flo & Eddie.  Outside Chance was a single released in 1966 that amazingly failed to chart.  Fun fact – the song was co-written by a young Warren Zevon.  I love the contrariness of the lyrics – rather than pleading with the girl to love him, the singer flatly states: Stone walls surround me I’m surprised that you even found me, And you don’t stand an outside chance.  Although perhaps there is hope, since the next line is: But you can try!

 

Double Shot (of My Baby’s Love)The Swingin’ Medallions

This is one of my favorite songs of all time.  A classic example of “frat rock,” so called because the record sounds like it was recorded during a frat party (with party voices in the background).  The Swingin’ Medallions were from, of all places, Greenwood, South Carolina – which just goes to show you that great songs can come from anywhere.  Their 1966 cover of Double Shot (originally recorded in 1964 by Dick Holler & the Holidays) went to #17 on the charts.  It contains the all time time classic line It wasn’t wine that I had too much of, It was a double shot of my baby’s love.  Hilariously, it was banned from some radio stations (perhaps in the South?) for its mention of drinking and sex.  My how times have changed.  Anyway, I first heard of it on a Springsteen bootleg where Bruce mentions it while introducing Sherry Darling (an homage to frat rock songs).

 

If you have any favorite garage songs you think I should feature, let me know in the comments.

Til next time…

Sources: Wikipedia, Genius Lyrics, SongFacts.

Creeps, Deviants and Psychopaths

So its that time of year – Halloween.  Traditionally its has been associated with ghosts, vampires, and monsters.  Spooky fun.  But in the US, especially in the last 50 years, the holiday has also become associated with slasher flicks, serial killers, and other psychopaths – blame John Carpenter’s classic movie Halloween.  Or maybe not – maybe this is just my excuse to do a blog on some of my favorite songs about creeps and deviants.  I’m sure there’s a whole subgenre of these songs that I’m not aware of – my picks are by artists that you’ve probably heard of and that I’ve always liked.  And one is probably the creepiest song I have ever heard.  So without further adieu:

More Than I Can Do- Steve Earle

From his come back album of sorts, I Feel Alright, this uptempo song seems at first to just be about a guy’s unrequited love for someone – but as it continues it definitely moves into stalker territory.  “You left me just when I needed you
So l ain’t even close to through with you.”  Definitely Creepy.

I Feel So GoodRichard Thompson

From Rumor and Sigh, this song is definitely not an endorsement for the ability to reform juvenile delinquents.  Again, a pretty uptempo melody but there’s no denying where things are going right from the start: “I feel so good I’m going to Break somebody’s heart tonight I feel so good I’m going to Take someone apart tonight.’ And it goes from there.  Definitely Deviant.

Excitable Boy – Warren Zevon

From the album of the same name, this darkly humorous little ditty from the incomparable Warren Zevon starts weird and moves straight to deviant/psychopathic.  Zevon’s tongue in cheek lyrics – “He’s just an excitable boy” also perhaps are a dark commentary on society’s penchant for making excuses?  Also love the sax solo.

Midnight Rambler – The Rolling Stones

From Let It Bleed, this classic song from the Stones is pure psychopathy and evil.  It was written in part about Albert De Salvo, aka the Boston Strangler, who murdered 13 women in the early 60’s Boston area. Keith Richards has called it a blue opera, or a blues in 4 parts, even though the chord sequence isn’t a blues one.

And the finale, the song that always creeps me out just listening to it –

What’s He Building in There – Tom Waits.

From the album Mule Variations.  Not really a song, as much as a spoken word performance with a montage of assorted random background sounds.  Is it about a misunderstood freak?  A deviant, or something darker?  That’s the beauty of it – you can only wonder.   If you listen to any of these songs, listen to this one – even in the middle of the day,  it’ll freak you out.

Ok I have to go turn on every light in the house right now – til later…… oh, and Happy Halloween!

Sources: Wikipedia, Genius Lyrics, SongFacts

Digging in the Garage – Inaugural Edition

One great thing about the music blogosphere is being exposed to other’s musical tastes and experiencing great music you’ve never heard before or had forgotten about.

This is how I got turned back on to early garage rock.  Someone somewhere mentioned Nuggets, the great early compilation of garage and psychedelic singles of the 60’s.  The original Nuggets (official title Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968) put together by Lenny Kaye was a 2 disc compilation released in 1972 by Elektra Records.  Subsequent versions were released by Rhino Records in the 80’s.

Between listening to these, along with multiple episodes of Little Steven’s Underground Garage (as part of “research” for my blogs on Little Steven (here and here), I’ve heard some great tunes.

So I thought it would be fun to do a recurring feature highlighting 2-3 of my favorite finds (or re-finds) from time to time.  I’m going to be pretty broad in what gets in – if its shown up on Nuggets, or the Underground Garage, or by a band that was on either, its eligible.  Thus, the Digging in the Garage title!  Get it?

For this first one, let’s start as Nuggets does, with “I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)” by The Electric Prunes.  Great song title and band name!  The Prunes formed in 1965 in Los Angeles and recorded 2 albums before breaking up in 1968.  Their name apparently started as a joke, but they decided to keep it since it was so unusual, it would be memorable to listeners. Too Much to Dream was  written by Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz, and was the band’s second single. In 1967 it reached # 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The oscillating reversed guitar sound which opens the song was done by lead guitarist Ken Williams with his 1958 Gibson Les Paul and a Bigsby vibrato unit and then played backwards.

Next up, Don’t Look Back, by Barry and the Remains.  The Remains, from Boston, formed in 1964 and achieved a strong following in the New England area.  Their biggest claim to fame was opening for the Beatles on the Fab Four’s last US tour in 1966.  Don’t Look Back, written by Billy Vera, was from their debut album, 1966’s The Remains.  Ironically, opening for the Beatles didn’t break them nationally, and they actually had broken up prior to the album’s release.  I especially like the “Shout” type interlude midway through the song.

Next, let’s go to Cleveland for The Outsiders and Time Won’t Let Me.  The band had been playing as an R&B band the Starfires until changing their name in 1965.  Time Won’t Let Me, written by rhythm guitarist Tom King and his brother-in-law Chet Kelly, was a Top 5 hit in 1966 and became a million seller.  I love the combination of the 12 string guitar riff and the horn section chart.

Le’ts wrap up this edition in the Pacific Northwest, with Have Love Will Travel by The Sonics, from Tacoma WA.  The Sonics formed in 1961 but had their greatest success starting in 1964-65.  Have Love Will Travel was on their 1965 debut album Here Are The Sonics, and is a cover of the 1959 version by Richard Berry (fun fact: he also wrote Louie, Louie).  With its fuzzy guitars, booming drums, dirty sax, and screaming vocals, plus its primitive recording method, it seemed to come from an entirely different universe compared to most other songs of the time.  The Sonics are seen as precursors of punk, and this song is a great example.  If this song doesn’t at least get your toes tapping, check your pulse – you may not have one!

Well, that’s all for now.  I’ll have more nuggets in the future.

Source: Wikipedia

Nuggets image: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10513930

 

Little Steven – The Renaissance Man of Rock and Roll (Part 2)

I have always admired Little Steven (Steve Van Zandt).  To me his actions both in the studio and out are the true epitome of what rock and roll is all about, and the power it has to be a force for good in the world.  In Part 1 of this two part blog, I focused on Little Steven’s career through the end of the 1980s.  For Part 2, I’ll focus on highlights from the 1990’s right up to the present.

Image result for little steven

As I mentioned in Part 1, Van Zandt had lost his recording contract at the end of the 1980s.  But he was still plenty busy.  Through the years, Van Zandt had written and/or produced songs for other artists, including as mentioned before Southside Johnny and Bruce Springsteen (Van Zandt served as co-producer on The River and Born in the USA).  Other artists that he has written and/or produced songs for include Michael Monroe, Arc Angels, Nigerian superstar Make Fashek, and Darlene Love, among others.  He also produced and wrote songs for the ill-fated LA cowpunk band Lone Justice‘s second album Shelter in 1986. (As an aside, I have always loved lead singer Maria McKee‘s voice – its a real shame that things fell apart after this album).  Here’s the title track, a Van Zandt song that should have been a massive hit.

Towards the end the 1990s, Little Steven suddenly became insanely busy.  First he went into acting, playing mob consigliere Silvio Dante in HBO‘s The Sopranos.  The show’s producer, David Chase, had seen Van Zandt induct the Rascals into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, and was struck by his “performance” that evening.  The show ran from 1999 to 2007.  While not directly musical, one of the highlights of the show was the songs that would play during the ending credits each week.  These include several Little Steven songs, including Affection, from a never released album he recorded with a short lived garage band he had formed called the Lost Boys.

At the same time in 1999, Bruce Springsteen decided to reform the E Street Band after about a decade after breaking it up to pursue new musical directions.  While Van Zandt had left the band in 1984, when Springsteen asked him to be a part of the newly reformed band, he was in.  Touring behind a box set of Springsteen outtakes and alternate song versions called Tracks, the 1999 Reunion Tour highlighted the new more powerful E. Street Band, since they now had a 3 guitar line-up – Van Zandt, Nils Lofgren (who had replaced Van Zandt in 1984) and Springsteen himself (who was no slouch on the guitar).  I saw Springsteen several times on this tour, and it was a real joy to able to see Little Steven as part of the band (he had left before I got to see Bruce live).  Here’s one highlight from those shows, Bruce and Little Steven duetting on the River classic Two Hearts.

As if acting in a ground breaking TV series and touring with Springsteen weren’t enough, Little Steven also found time in 1999 to release his fifth solo album, Born Again Savage.  Recorded in 1994, it was released on Little Steven’s own Renegade Nation label, and featured both Adam Clayton of U2 and Jason Bonham.  A tribute to the 60s garage rock that Van Zandt loved as a teenager, it was a return to the harder rocking sound of his 1984 album Voice of America and dealt with issues of politics and religion.  Here’s Salvation.

Born Again Savage, and its garage rock sound was a precursor to another major endeavor of Little Steven, the creation of his syndicated radio show Little Steven’s Underground Garage.  Premiering in 2002, and currently on over 80 stations in over 200 markets worldwide, the show has broadcast well over 800 episodes.  Van Zandt has said that he created the show in order to showcase the type of music that was heard on the radio during his youth, especially garage rock, that you don’t hear anymore.  The show, also heard on Sirius satellite radio, together with Van Zandt’s record label Wicked Cool Records, also promotes the current wave of garage and classic rock bands that you won’t hear on commercial radio.  According to the Underground Garage website, over 700 bands have been showcased on the show.  Here’s the humorous opening montage of the show.

During the rest of the 00’s and 10’s, Little Steven kept busy DJing the Underground Garage, touring with Springsteen, and writing/producing/starring in his own Netflix show Lillyhammer (about an ex-Mafia type living witness protection style in Norway).  In addition, in 2007 he founded the Rock and Roll Forever Foundationand its TeachRock project, to counter the widespread cut in arts funding seen in many school districts nationwide.  Using music (including rock) and provided for free to any school who wants it, the projects uses “interdisciplinary arts-driven materials designed to keep students engaged and in school.”  Again, using rock and roll to make society a better place by making learning and education fun and engaging for students!

In 2016 came the exciting news that Little Steven was going back into the recording studio to work on a new album with the Disciples of Soul!  The album Soulfire, was released in May 2017 and included both new and rearranged “rock and soul” songs from his previous work over the years.  The resulting tour for the album began in 2017 and looks to finish up later this year. Mike and Paul of this blog got to see the show when it stopped in Philadelphia and highly recommend it – one fantastic song after another; it was great to see Little Steven in top form!  One pretty cool aspect of the current tour leg is that Van Zandt has reserved a block of tickets at every show for teachers to attend free of charge, as a thank you to them for what they do educating the future generations of America.  One final song choice then, off of Soulfire – here’s Saint Valentine’s Day.  Classic Little Steven – I absolutely love the horn line in this one.  Just like way back in 1975 and Tenth Avenue Freeze-out, it elevates the song to a higher level.

Well, there you have it – my attempt to spread the love about Little Steven and all the good work he has done over the years using rock and roll as a force for good in our world.  I hoped you’ve enjoyed it.  I’ll close with the original liner notes that Little Steven wrote for Born Again Savage.  To me they get to the core of his view of what music can mean.

We live in an insane asylum. A barbaric, merciless cesspool. And in this purgatory filled with disease and ugliness and violence and hatred and injustice and greed and lies and pain and frustration and confusion there are brief, fleeting moments of peace and love and truth and beauty. They are rare. They are years and miles apart. But they are so meaningful that they make life worth living. Those moments give you strength to face the insanity with your balance intact and your eyes focused and you endure and tolerate and survive. And if you’re lucky, real lucky, you can tap that strength and hold on to it long enough to, in your own small way, try to make it all a little bit better. Just a little bit more civil and just. To serve. And you don’t do it for anybody else because no one is going to thank you or reward you or even notice. Don’t kid yourself. You do it for you. For your own soul. Because in this world that’s all the salvation you’re ever gonna get.

Thank you Little Steven for all your efforts – it is noticed, and appreciated! Your music has made my life and our world a better place.

Sources: Wikipedia; YouTube; littlesteven.com; underground garage.com; rockandrollforever.org;teachrock.org;

Little Steven – The Renaissance Man of Rock and Roll (Part 1)

Songwriter.  Guitarist. Band leader. Producer. Arranger. Actor. DJ. Political activist. Little Steven is all these and more.  In all of this, the common theme (in the recording studio, on stage, and off) has always been, in my opinion, keeping the true spirit, soul, and potential of rock and roll alive.

Smwknd-steven-van-zandt-3814.jpgBy Fuzheado – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

I’ve admired Little Steven (Steve Van Zandt) for several decades now, ever since I got into Bruce Springsteen back in the late 70’s/early 80’s.  While knowledgeable music fans may know him as the bandanna wearing guitarist in Springsteen’s E St. Band, his career and accomplishments actually go far beyond his contributions to Bruce’s music and live shows.  His tireless efforts and dedication both in the studio and out to preserve and promote rock and roll as a life changing force for good in the world is something that has always impressed me.  So I thought it might be fun to do a career retrospective to spread the love.

First, some quick bio information.  Van Zandt was born on November 22, 1950 in Boston MA.  His family moved to Middletown Township, NJ when he was a child, and he came up  in the 60’s Jersey Shore music scene.  Like many teenagers at the time, his life was forever changed after watching the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. He formed a number of short lived bands, including one called the Shadows.  In 1966 or 1967, the Shadows were playing the Hullabaloo Club in Middletown, when another aspiring musician by the name of Bruce Springsteen showed up.  So began a life long personal and musical friendship.  Van Zandt was a member of several of Springsteen’s early bands, including Steel Mill and The Bruce Springsteen Band. Interestingly, he was not in the earliest versions of the E St. Band that recorded and performed with Springsteen in the early 1970’s.  But he came back in a big way with Springsteen’s break out (and classic) album Born to Run.

During the recording of Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, the session had come to a crashing halt because Bruce’s original horn arrangement was not working.  The two high priced session horn players that had been brought in (Randy and Michael Brecker) were having trouble translating Springsteen’s vision to tape.  Van Zandt was there that today, hanging out in the control room.  According to legend, Van Zandt said “I got it” and then proceeded to sing the individual horn parts to the Brecker Brothers.  And the rest is history as they say.  Here’s the track with the classic horn line.

Van Zandt officially joined the E Street Band on July 20, 1975 for the first show of the Born to Run tour and remained with the band until 1984 (more on that later). When not recording or touring with Springsteen, he found time to co-found Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, a Jersey shore “rock and soul” band that achieved its most success in the NY/NJ/Philly area in the 70’s.  Van Zandt wrote the majority of the songs on and produced their first three albums, including Hearts of Stone, which was named by Rolling Stone magazine one of the top 100 albums of all time in 1987 (fun fact – the title track was a classic Springsteen outtake that he gave to Southside Johnny).  I could highlight so many songs, but let’s go with the title track from their debut album, a Van Zandt composition called I Don’t Want to Go Home.

Little Steven’s solo career and political activism started to take shape in the early 80’s.  During Springsteen’s European tour to promote The River, Van Zandt was exposed for the first time to how the rest of the world viewed the US, and it was not entirely positive. This led him to start researching things himself, and soon to start writing songs with more overt political themes.

Little Steven’s first album Men without Women (with his band the Disciples of Soul), was released in 1982.  I have to say that it is a killer album – one of my all time favorites, definitely on my Desert Island Disc list!  The music is similar in style to the rock and soul sound of his work with Southside Johny, and  only hinted at his budding activism.  Here’s the opening cut, Lyin’ in a Bed of Fire, which deals with everyone’s individual responsibility to participate in political life.

In 1984, just prior to Springsteen’s Born in the USA tour, Van Zandt decided to devote himself full time to his solo career, and left the E St. Band. His 1984 album Voice of America fully embraced his new political activism with a more varied and rocking musical style, with most of the songs dealing with either general political issues or his disagreement with US foreign policy under President Reagan. Whether you agree with his politics or not, what can’t be disputed is Little Steven’s desire to use rock and roll as a source of inspiration and education about current events and to call for change in the world we live in.  Again, so many songs to choose from, but I’d like to feature I Am A Patriot.  This song, which has been covered by a number of artists, including Jackson Browne and Pearl Jam, gets at what true patriotism is.  It’s always been one of my favorites.

In 1985, Little Steven took his new overtly political musical outlook to another level, forming the organization Artists United Against Apartheid and writing the song Sun City to protest the apartheid policies of South Africa.  Sun City was a luxury resort in an area of South Africa called Bophuthatswana, which the South African government claimed was a separate nation but which was in reality where the government was forcing South African blacks to move to.  Many Western artists were playing the resort with the notion that they were not playing South Africa so it was ok. Little Steven wrote the song to bring attention to this hypocrisy and to the wider evil of apartheid.  Similar to We Are the World, the song brought together a wide collection of artists for the song’s recording and companion video. Except this group was much cooler than the Michael Jackson/Lionel Ritchie led group (IMHO), and included rap and hip/hop, rock, R&B and jazz artists. The song was a declaration of solidarity that this group of artists at least would not play Sun City.  I think its a great example of Little Steven using the power of rock and roll to try to affect social and political change.  Check out this video and see how many artists you can spot.

Little Steven continued his solo career output with two more albums in the decade, 1987’s Freedom No Compromise, and 1989’s Revolution.  Musically they included more dance and world music influences, and both continued his focus on political issues, with Freedom No Compromise for example tackling the US government’s treatment of Native Americans, its foreign policy in Central America, and South Africa.  Here’s one of my favorite cuts, Sanctuary (the message is self evident in the lyrics).

At the end of the 1980’s Little Steven lost his recording contract.  But did he fade into oblivion?  Of course not!  Since this post has gotten pretty long, I’ll end for now.  But I’ll cover Van Zandt’s activities from the 90’s through the present in a follow up post.

Sources: Wikipedia; YouTube.com; Little Steven.com; Goldminemag.com