Bruce Springsteen made a surprise appearance at the 10th annual New Jersey Hall of Fame induction ceremony Sunday to honor his longtime musical collaborator, E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt, NJ.com reports.
The event was held at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and the other notable music artists from the Garden State who were inducted included Blondie‘s Debbie Harry, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and disco legend Gloria Gaynor.
As seen in fan-captured video, Springsteen gave a heartfelt speech that began with his recollections of first meeting Van Zandt during the 1960s.
“One look at Steve and I knew we both drank the same Kool-Aid,” said The Boss.
“Then it was fast friendship, weekly trips to Greenwich Village…to watch the bands,” Bruce continued, “arguing about who was better, Led Zeppelin, The Jeff Beck Group, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, who had the perfect clothes, the perfect guitar, the perfect hair and thousands of hours of preparation for the day when folks would argue about us.”
Springsteen went on to praise Van Zandt’s contributions to the E Street Band as his “irreplaceable lieutenant,” as well as lauding Little Steven’s work as a solo artist, an activist and an actor.
In his acceptance speech, Van Zandt credited Springsteen for helping him achieve the success he’s had.
“With Bruce and E Street Band, we would do what only a few have accomplished in history before us,” Steven maintained. “We made New Jersey hip.”
After his induction, Van Zandt teamed up with Springsteen to perform a version of “I Don’t Want to Go Home,” a song Steven wrote for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
Also during the ceremony, Tommy James helped induct The Four Seasons, and Village People member Felipe Rose helped honor Gaynor.
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