Much like New Jersey isn’t just the shore or the mountains or the smokestacks or the Pine Barrens, Steven Van Zandt isn’t just one thing.

He’s not just the E Street Band guitarist and mandolin player backing Springsteen all these years. He’s the actor who breathed life into Silvio Dante on “The Sopranos.” He’s a founder of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. He’s an architect of the Asbury Park sound.

The Sopranos TV Still
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And long before his first bandana and before slinking off to Florida which gave him the nickname Miami Steve, he was a kid growing up at 263 Wilson Ave. in Middletown. He and his younger half-brother Billy Van Zandt who is also in showbiz are both being honored with Wilson Avenue being ceremonially renamed Van Zandt Way.

2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented By Shell - Day 3
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Billy Van Zandt is a playwright, producer and screenwriter and is seven years brother Steven’s junior.

They both will be on hand for the naming ceremony Friday, April 26 at 11 a.m. The honors take place at the corner of Wilson and Cherry Tree Farm Road. Also in attendance will be journalist and Jersey guy Brian Williams, president of the New Jersey Hall of Fame Steve Edwards, Middletown Mayor Tony Perry and others.

It's a wonderful reminder to Middletown residents and all people who see the sign that if you dream, work hard and develop your craft and never give up ... you too can reach the pinnacle of your chosen profession,” HOF's Edwards said.

This is his unassuming childhood home on Wilson Avenue present day.


Little Steven will be fresh off a show in Columbus Ohio five days earlier with Bruce Springsteen and the rest of the E Street Band. They’ll hit the road again for a European leg in May.

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The award is given to artists from any medium who carry on the legacy of its namesake by speaking “for the voiceless with an understanding of how a platform can be used to shine a light on our world, showing us what needs to be fixed and how to fix it.” 

Gallery Credit: Jeff Deminski

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