“Becoming a man…” (Springsteen at Max’s)

On September 24, 2011 by Will Hermes

When he was getting his legs in the early ’70s, Bruce Springsteen played a number of shows at Max’s Kansas City, home to/hang for Andy Warhol + the Factory crew, Lou Reed, the New York Dolls, and assorted local up-and-comers: Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Richard Meyers (later Hell), Tom Miller (later Verlaine). As Springsteen told me over the phone a while back, “the scene was unusual for a provincial guy out of New Jersey.”

This clip from the summer of ’72 is dude playing a beautiful version of “Growin’ Up” in his solo singer-songwriter guise, opening for Greenwich Village folk guru Dave Van Ronk. Springsteen’s first LP had yet to come out. A year later, he would headline Max’s with his band while other up-and-comers opened for him — in one notable case, making their NY debut, Bob Marley + the original Wailers.

Bruce begins with the words “becoming a man,” and then sort of backpedals through the gender assumptions of his intro. After all, Max’s was famous for its transgender clientele. Maybe Candy Darling and Holly Woodlawn were checking him out from the bar.

One Response to ““Becoming a man…” (Springsteen at Max’s)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.