When David Chase, creator of HBO’s hit show “The Sopranos,” decided to make the movie Not Fade Away about a group of New Jersey teens and how they’re inspired by the British Invasion of the ’60s, he probably didn’t have to look far to find his music supervisor in Steven Van Zandt.
After all, Chase cast Van Zandt, who had never acted in his life, as Silvio Dante, one of Tony Soprano’s mobster co-workers, in his hit show. He clearly was familiar with Van Zandt’s music, both as a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band since 1975 and with his own band Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul throughout the ’80s.
Having experienced much of the band dynamics in real life, this writer really wanted to talk to David Chase about his own experiences that inspired the film, but since we couldn’t get him for an interview, we went with the next best thing since Van Zandt had also lived through those times, learning to play guitar in the ’60s and working very closely with Chase to get that aspect of the movie right.
Van Zandt’s a fun guy to talk to and he’s very funny, but he speaks very slowly and deliberately and sometimes goes off on a few tangents–and we were too nervous to interrupt him–so in the video interview below, we discussed:
* David Chase’s musical background
* When Van Zandt first learned about the movie
* How a song Steven wrote inspired David to use it for the movie
* Chase’s unique take on the ’60s
* Whether there was a band as inspirational as the British Invasion after the ’60s
* How being the Stones was more achievable for young musicians in the ’60s than being the Beatles
* Putting together this band and teaching the young actors how to play
* How Beatles session drummer Andy White was brought in to help John Magaro learn how to play drums
* How the songs were picked and whether Chase had written them into the script
Not Fade Away opens in select cities on Friday, December 21.
(Photo Credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com)