Why Bruce Springsteen Abandoned Political Music, Steven Van Zandt Reveals

Stevie Van Zandt recently shared on Twitter his thoughts on Mick Jagger’s statements made in the late ’60s after the release of ‘Street Fighting Man.’ Little Steven revealed his disagreement over Jagger’s previous claims that ‘a record can’t start a revolution’ with the protest group Artists United Against Apartheid’s album ‘Sun City.’ The rocker wrote:

“Well, Mick [Jagger], 20 years later, we did just that. Your extraordinary co-songwriting, unparalleled performances, and your band’s consistent good work led to Keith, Ronnie, Stevie Jordan, and 50 fellow artists overthrowing the South African government with a simple record.”

The Sun City casino resort had become the center of anti-apartheid attention in the early ’80s after the United Nations had forced a cultural boycott on South Africa. The Pretoria government was using the resort in Bophuthatswana to circumvent the ban. Steven became more aware of apartheid in South Africa when he heard Peter Gabriel’s protest song ‘Biko.’

He decided to get involved and write the track ‘Sun City’ alongside Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Cliff, Bono, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, and Linton Kwesi. Here’s what Little Steven said about the song:

“A lot of people opened their eyes when that song came out.”

However, when a fan asked on Twitter why he, Bruce Springsteen and other musicians didn’t write protest songs anymore, Steven replied:

“It’s all too obvious now. Reasonable discourse is over. You’re with the White Supremacist/ Misogynist/ Homophobic/ Christian Extremist Nazis or against them. There is nothing that needs to be explained. And no song is going to raise anyone’s consciousness or change anyone’s mind.”

You can read Stevie Van Zandt’s tweets and listen to ‘Sun City’ as well as ‘Street Fighting Man’ below.

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