It's the end of an era for fans of rock, indie, punk, grunge and beyond, as renowned New Jersey music venue and restaurant Maxwell's in Hoboken has announced plans to close at the end of July after 35 years in operation.
The intimate 200-person capacity club is shutting down due to "the changing nature of Hoboken and the difficulties of trying to run a business in this town," co-owner Todd Abramson told NJ.com. The demographic in Hoboken has shifted from primarily a working-class community with a thriving music and art scene to an increasingly affluent zone of expensive bars and condos.
"The culture in Hoboken is driven by TV now. A lot of the bars downtown are fighting with each other for who has the most giant TVs. That's what Hoboken nightlife has become," Abramson said.
After opening in August 1978 with a debut performance by the band "A" (featuring Glen Morrow, co-founder of Hoboken's Bar/None Records, and three original members of Hoboken rockers the Bongos), Maxwell's would host some of the biggest names in rock & roll over the years, including R.E.M., Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth, Husker Du, Living Colour, Dinosaur Jr., Mudhoney, Yo La Tengo, the Strokes and many more. The venue will bring things full circle when the band "A" reconvenes on July 31 to close out the venue. "We're going to go out the way we came in," says Abramson.
According to NJ.com, the live music scene in New Jersey is seeing hard times. The Wellmont Theatre in Monclair is reportedly experiencing financial difficulty, with no shows scheduled past June 20. Another venue, the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, has just announced plans to reopen in September following extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy.