Earlier this year, footage circulated on YouTube of Nirvana's vicious July 13, 1989 set at Maxwell's in Hoboken, New Jersey. The venue has more recently played host to hometown indie rockers Yo La Tengo's annual Hannukah residencies. Before all that, the club appeared in Bruce Springsteen's 1985 music video for Born in the U.S.A.'s "Glory Days."
Those glory days are about to be gone for good. As the Star-Ledger reports, Maxwell's is closing when its lease is up at the end of July. Todd Abramson, the venue's co-owner, is quoted as saying the problem isn't so much rising rents as it is "the changing nature of Hoboken and the difficulties of trying to run a business in this town."
Maxwell's plans to close with a July performance by the band a, which was the first group to play there upon its opening in 1978. The group includes members of the Bongos and Glenn Morrow, who went on to start Hoboken-based Bar/None Records. "The explosion of Maxwell’s was something that was so organic," Richard Barone of the Bongos, also set for the final night, told the Star-Ledger.
As Hoboken has become pricier, many of the artists and live-music obsessives who would've gone to Maxwell's in the early days have departed, the Star-Ledger notes. But Maxwell's closing comes at an uncertain time for live music in New Jersey. Elsewhere in the Garden State, the calendar for Montclair's Wellmont Theatre lists no shows after MGMT on June 20. Sayreville's Starland Ballroom, which has been out of commission after Hurricane Sandy, has started scheduling new shows again at last.