Music writer Dawn Eden shares unique Maxwell's memories
Jun 05, 2013 | 4474 views | 1 1 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBOKEN AND BEYOND -- Noted rock 'n' roll writer Dawn Eden, who has since moved onto a very different type of writing, lived in Hoboken for more than 10 years and has both visited and performed at Maxwell's. She also interviewed crooner Jonathan Richman there (click link for video).

She gave us a comment about this week's announcement that the club will close by the end of July, mentioning a few of the notables whom she has seen and met there. We thought we'd publish it in its entirety:

Some quick thoughts on Maxwell's closing: I went there for the first time in February 1983, at the age of 14, to see the Dream Syndicate. Lead singer Steve Wynn put me on the guest list after I boldly chatted him up at the jukebox. I still remember the offbeat songs that were on the jukebox that day--Mission of Burma's "That's When I Reach for My Revolver," Brian Eno's "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." ... It was the home of my favorite concert experiences.

The booking policy was unique and adventurous; the club took chances on creative, innovative artists and enabled them to build a following. ... Maxwell's was where I had dinner with Alex Chilton, which was such a beatific experience for this Big Star superfan that I cannot remember a single word of the conversation. All I know is that I showed up early for his concert, chatted with him, and he ended up inviting me to dine with him one-on-one. One of those "pinch me, I'm dreaming" kind of things. ...

Maxwell's was the only club where I ever performed onstage with a rock band (a one-time performance backed by the Anderson Council and Chris Butler at the Stiff Generation tribute album record-release party).

Maxwell's was where my macho date burst into tears on New Year's Eve, 2001, as we were about to leave the Feelies' annual concert early, because he couldn't find his coat amid the hundreds that overflowed the coat rack. He had thought it was like the posh NYC clubs he was used to attending, where someone kept an eye on the coat room so that things didn't get out of hand. (Thankfully he did find his coat eventually, after much searching.)

Maxwell's is where I went to see They Might Be Giants with my mom in early 1985, before they were on MTV. They were using posters with lyrics so the crowd could sing along with songs like "I Hope that I Get Old Before I Die." ... Maxwell's was where I saw Robyn Hitchcock in March 1986 backed by his band the Egyptians, doing a transcendent version of the Byrds' arrangement of "Bells of Rhymney." Being right up front, I could look down at his shoes, and was shocked to find that one of them had a hole that showed his big toe. Maxwell's was where I saw Wreckless Eric in 1995, and he asked if anyone could take a photo of the entire audience standing onstage with him (see attached--I took one and then some kind soul took a shot with me in it).

Maxwell's was hip because it was timeless, it was timeless because it was real, it was real because the people who ran it and booked it did so not for drugs, not for sex, not for profit (in the main), but for the love of music. I have not been there for more than six years, but I am very, very sorry to see it go.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
June 06, 2013
Happy to see Dawn writing about music again! One minor correction: The Feelies were not an active band between 1991 and 2008. I am fairly certain that Yo La Tengo rang in the New Year in 2001, as they came onstage wearing gorilla costumes.