A History of Maxwells Hoboken: A Music Venue

July 28, 2013 | Author: | Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Maxwells is located on Washington Street, just down the street from the Maxwell House Coffee plant. It was once the location for the company tavern, but that changed when the Fallons bought the tavern in 1978. Steve Fallon was the face of the family at Maxwells and he is the reason why it became the popular music venue it has since become.

The front of the house is set apart as a restaurant and bar for people to get a good meal and knock back a few brews, but the back of the house is where the action really is. Back in 1978, the story goes that members of the “a” band, who later came to be called The Bongos, asked if they could rehearse in the back area of the tavern. People heard the music and wanted to hear more. Eventually, other performers started to come play their music there, rather than across the Hudson River in Manhattan. They wanted to find a music scene that was relaxed and less chaotic than the scene in the Big City.

The independent record store Pier Platters located near the PATH train station is an offshoot of Maxwells and Fallon also has his own record label called Coyote Records. Music makers and lovers are attracted to the relaxed atmosphere that Maxwells offers musicians and fans alike.

Over the years Maxwells popularity has grown in recognition even across the river in Manhattan where live music is no stranger around those parts. In New Yorker magazine the tavern was voted “Best New York Club in New York—Even though it’s Not in New York”.

Although the capacity of Maxwells is limited to only 200 people, the relative small size still packs in performers and fans. Some of the performers you may recognize include: Bruce Springsteen, who recorded his “Glory Days” video there; Nirvana, where one of the most famous pictures of Kurt Cobain was taken during an interview there; Red Hot Chili Peppers has performed at Maxwells, too. The bands, Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth, are a couple of popular bands at Maxwells.

Maxwells hosts shows every night of the week. Fans can come enjoy a meal and knock back some locally brewed beers (including: Sixpoint, Blueprint, Brooklyn Brewery, and Magic Hat) before the shows. Tickets can be purchased online at Maxwell’s Website. The types of music played there tend toward punk and grunge, and the crowds tend toward the age range of 20s through 30s. If you are looking to catch a game on TV, this is not the place to go because there is only one tiny TV in the joint. This is, after all, a place to hang out and enjoy live music.

If you are looking for a place to enjoy live music with your friends, Maxwells is the place to go. Whether you are a resident of Hoboken or a visitor from across the river you will find a little oasis of music and fun away from the frenetic chaos of the music scene in Manhattan.

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