Bruce Springsteen made a surprise appearance at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom last night to pay tribute to his E Street bandmate Steven Van Zandt, who was receiving the "Big Man of the Year" award from Little Kids Rock. "There's been no better bandmate or wingman or friend to me than Steve Van Zandt," Springsteen said onstage, according to Rolling Stone. "One of the greatest rock & roll friendships: still with Steve, I laugh the loudest and the longest."

Little Kids Rock is a nonprofit foundation that provides free musical instruments and instruction to public school children. Upon receiving their award, Van Zandt stated: "You watch these kids' eyes light up when you hand them a guitar. We haven't left much for the next generation.

We have left our progeny no practical means by which to make a living in music. We find ourselves with no government support, no infrastructure left in the private sector, and no standards of quality in sight. Instead of whining about it, we're gonna do something about it. Because, I don't know about you, but I'm not gonna live in a world without great rock & roll."

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