Middletown street renamed in honor of iconic New Jersey brothers Stevie and Billy Van Zandt

Long before E Street, there was Wilson Avenue in Middletown Township, which has now been named Van Zandt Way.

Jim Murdoch

Apr 26, 2024, 10:23 PM

Updated 23 days ago

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A huge welcome home for two brothers beaming with Jersey pride.
“Little” Stevie and Billy Van Zandt joined hundreds of their fans as the New Jersey Hall of Fame partnered with Middletown Township to unveil a street renamed in their honor.
Long before the E Street Band, there was Wilson Avenue in Middletown Township. Stevie, best known for his solo and celebrated musical career with Bruce Springsteen and his role on “The Sopranos,” and brother Billy, renowned playwright and actor, both humbled by the excitement of their fans, friends, and former neighbors.
“It’s particularly meaningful because it was not obvious we were going to be successful at all. We took paths that were not logical for us. We’re not a showbiz family,” said Stevie Van Zandt.
“It is overwhelming, it really is overwhelming. I loved growing up here. It still feels like family, we are still good friends with our neighbors 50,60 years ago,” said Billy Van Zandt.
Wilson Avenue was ceremoniously renamed Van Zandt Way, to honor the brothers’ contributions to music and the arts.
"They grew up on this street. This is their first memories of life and to have an organization like the Hall of Fame and Middletown name the street after them I can only imagine how surreal that is,” said New Jersey Hall of Fame President Steve Edwards.
Memories of the Van Zandt family still live on inside their childhood home, including an old garage Stevie had renovated into an apartment to accommodate his elderly mom.
Candy Fox bought the Van Zandt home in 2015, not knowing about its history.
“He built basically this conversion to have her still be able to live there in the house and have her accessibility needs met,” said Fox.
“It’s a great, great neighborhood, great place to grow up. Really was and now the town is blossoming. Terrific mayor, we have. Getting better and better,” added Stevie.
“I want them to know about my father – World War II vet, mostly that and the fact that we loved being here. We loved being raised here and I’m glad they didn’t change Wilson Avenue that’s how it should remain,” said Billy.


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