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Steven Van Zandt reveals the rock ‘n’ roll scion who ‘saved’ his life after seven years ‘in the wilderness’

Steven Van Zandt was in “the wilderness” for seven years until a savvy publisher came to his rescue.

The E Street Band member exclusively told Page Six that Lance Freed, son of influential DJ Alan Freed, was the one to “save [his] life” when he was out of work.

At the time, Lance heard Van Zandt’s music with Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes.

“He said, ‘Listen man, people don’t write like this anymore. I want to help you out, what can I do?’” Van Zandt recalled at the Tribeca Festival premiere of the documentary about his life, “Stevie Van Zandt: Disciple,” on Saturday.

Stevie Van Zandt quit the E Street Band in 1984. Variety via Getty Images

The guitarist says he was in “the wilderness for seven years.” Getty Images

“So, he administered my publishing,” he continued. “Gave me a big chunk of money that saved my life.”

The “Rock N Rebel” singer had quit the E Street Band in 1984, right before Bruce Springsteen’s massive success with “Born in the USA,” and concentrated on social activism instead.

The following year, he wrote a song called “Sun City” criticizing the South African government, with the video featuring cameos from Springsteen, Bono, Darlene Love, George Clinton and more high-profile performers.

Lance Freed, the son of DJ Alan Freed, helped “save” Van Zandt. Broadway World/Shutterstock

Van Zandt thinks his political activism may have hurt his career. Getty Images

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Van Zandt believes his political activism “scared the hell out of everyone.”

He told us, “I intended to politicize our entire industry and I’m happy about that [but] at the expense of commercial success, which is a complicated story.”

The guitarist freely admitted that he has “never had any commercial success” and “can’t blame” the record companies because “it was a combination of … things” that left him “in the wilderness for seven years.”

In addition to Lance’s help, Van Zandt also achieved financial security with his starring role in “The Sopranos” as Tony Soprano’s righthand man, Dante Silvio.

The musician later found a second career as an actor starring in “The Sopranos.” Barry Wetcher/Hbo/Kobal/Shutterstock

His life is recounted in an upcoming documentary. Variety via Getty Images

He called the part “a new rebirth,” gushing, “That was a gift from Nicki Gostin David Chase. He handed me a new craft, right on time.”

Van Zandt noted that he “wasn’t looking at a whole lot of choices” at the time.

Since then, the musician has rejoined the E Street Band and continued his acting career with “Lilyhammer.”

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