When Bruce Springsteen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1999, he entered as a solo artist and without any members of his long-running backing cohorts, the E Street Band. It wasn’t really considered much of a slight at the time — the Boss, after all, certainly deserves to be in there on his own.

But more than a dozen of years have now passed without the band joining the hallowed and frequently controversial Hall, and some fans are beginning to wonder if they’ll ever make it — and if Bruce should’ve turned down the honor until E Street was at his side.

Which brings us to Howard Stern, professional muckraker (editor’s note: you mean, “truth seeker.”) Stern had E Street’s Little Steven on his radio show this morning (Jan. 31), and used the opportunity to confront the guitarist about the issue. “Should Bruce have not accepted the award without his band?” he asked Steven. “Should he have stuck up for his band?”

“I think he deserves to be in as a solo artist. You can be in for more than one reason,” Steven replied, diplomatically. “Guys are in two or three times. I think it’s legitimate that he would be in there as a solo artist and as a member of the E Street Band.” He also suggested that a technicality stands in the way of their entry, although he didn’t really explain what the technicality is.

“It’s not [important to be in] so much for me,” he said, “but I think the rest of the guys should be in. Clarence Clemons should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Max Weinberg should be in the Rock Hall. It’s a complicated subject. At some point maybe there will be some other category and the E Street band gets in as sidemen or something.”

Watch Little Steven Discuss the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Howard Stern

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