Springsteen presents charity honor to Van Zandt

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Singer-guitarist Tom Morello, serving a blistering homage to Van Zandt’s old anti-apartheid song, “Sun City,” told the crowd how it helped stoke his own activism as a student at Harvard University.

Some bad-boy appeal came when rocker Jesse Malin climbed onto a table of people dining near the stage, singing as he traipsed in sneakers amid stemware on the tablecloth.

Springsteen sang a duet with Little Steven on the rousing Van Zandt song, “Until the Good is Gone.”

Then another pride of Jersey, Southside Johnny, made it a trio for the nostalgic “It’s Been a Long Time.”

All the performers packed the stage for the aptly chosen finale, “I Don’t Want to Go Home.”

Besides working with Springsteen and E Street, and camping it up in mobster roles _ his most recent on the Netflix show “Lilyhammer” _ Van Zandt is a record and television producer, radio host, songwriter and arranger, and oversees two satellite channels.

The self-educated music historian is also chairman of the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, which is developing curriculum for schools. Not bad for a guy who endured his own school days as a self-described “freak,” `’misfit” and “outcast.”

“That was particular to my generation,” he said. Now, being a musician is “acceptable. … But it wasn’t so respectable in the 60s.”

In the long run, though, Van Zandt said music saved his life _ and he wants to return the favor. “It’s why I support Little Kids Rock.”

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Online: http://www.littlekidsrock.org

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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