Bruce Springsteen @ Kean University 1974
Crazy Janey and her mission man were back in the alley tradin’ hands
‘long came Wild Billy with his friend G-man all duded up for Saturday night
Well Billy slammed on his coaster brakes and said anybody wanna go on up to Greasy Lake
It’s about a mile down on the dark side of route eighty-eight I got a bottle of rose so let’s try it
We’ll pick up Hazy Davy and Killer Joe and I’ll take you all out to where the gypsy angels go
They’re built like light and they dance like spirits in the night …
New Jersey September 1974. I had just started my first semester as a photography major at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in wonderful New York, New York … just like I pictured it … skyscrapers and everything. I was living in an apartment with my sister Diane in Rahway, NJ and commuting every day to the fashion district of NYC. Walk a few blocks. Hop a train at the Rahway station … four stops later … Linden, Elizabeth, Newark … arriving at New York Penn Station. It was an amazing time of learning and spreading my newly found seventeen-year-old wings to fly.
On September 22, 1974 I was probably not even in classes at FIT more than a few weeks. But I had been waiting for this moment for quite some time. My friend Bob (Moose) Fumosa turned me onto Bruce sometime during our early High School days. We both loved music and soon I loved Bruce.
“Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ” was released January 5, 1973. That was the second half of my Junior year in high school. I got the album sometime during that spring or summer … I won it at Lucky Leo’s on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, NJ. How appropriate! I listened the grooves off that thing.
The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle was released September 11, 1973. I bought that immediately upon release. This would have been the start of my senior year in high school. Bruce still wasn’t that popular yet. Even my friends living at the Jersey shore didn’t know who he was, until I started playing his records to them.
I was still only sixteen years old my first half of my senior year. Though I saw signs that Bruce was playing in a bar in Seaside Heights … I could never get in. My best friend Moose, was driving by then … so he was my key to freedom, on so many levels. I had to wait until I hit seventeen … January 20, 1974. Somewhere around my birthday I bought my brother Dave’s pale green 1965 Ford Fairlane 500. The first thing that went into that baby were speakers and a new 8-track! Yeah baby! Before you knew it … there was Bruce blastin’ from the stereo no matter where I went.
Fast forward to August 8th 1974 and my first Bruce show. I saw him at the Schaefer Music Festival at the Wollman Skating Rink, Central Park, New York city. I was pumped! I was stoked! I was finally going to get to see him live. He was one of the opening acts for, of all people, Anne Murray. Brewer & Shipley were the opening act for Bruce. Now this band had David Sancious on keyboards, Boom Carter on drums. They were still very jazzy and Van Morrison-like. It was an amazing show!
When I saw Bruce a month + later at Kean University, David & Boom were gone and replaced by Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg. People still really didn’t know who Bruce was, but he was ready to break out. He hadn’t played Kean University (AKA Newark State College) since he played with Dr Zoom and the Sonic Boom back in 1971.
Now I wish I could remember who I went to see Bruce with. It could have been Moose, but he was going to Glassboro State College in souther NJ. It could have also been my friend Lisa, or my friend Mitch Eisenberg (amazing guitar player) or even Billy Knutsen. Don’t know who I was with … but I sure know I was there! Do you know who I was with? Leave it in the comments.
In doing research for this post, I found a website that lists almost every live show Bruce ever played called BruceBase. What I didn’t expect to find was a shot from the crowd and I can see my head in the shot! Get out of town! How freaky is that! So I’ve emailed the owner of the website in the UK to see if I can get in contact with the other photographer, whom I’m assuming is from the states. It is indeed a small world.
So here are my black and white photographs of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, live at Kean University, September 22, 1974. The band consisted of Bruce Springsteen, Clarence Clemens, Gary Tallent, Danny Federici, Max Weinberg and Roy Bittan (I stand corrected). It would be the first time I saw this lineup, and the last, before the release of “Born To Run” in 1975. Enjoy the photos!