1965-07-00 Clearwater Swim Club, Atlantic Highlands, NJ

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Steven Van Zandt had formed his first, but short-lived, band The Whirlwinds in late summer of 1964 (see listing under June 13, 1964). During late June, July and August 1965 Van Zandt's recently formed band, The Mates, landed a residency playing every Friday night from 7pm - 11:30pm at the Clearwater Pool Lounge on Rte 36 in Middletown. Although information is very sketchy, it's believed it was at some point during this summer residency that Springsteen came to listen to the band and first met and jammed with Van Zandt (who was a year younger and one grade behind Bruce in school). In one 2021 interview, Springsteen and Van Zandt discuss meeting for the first time at the Middletown Hullabaloo club while Steve was in The Shadows (so, around 1966)—but given the various errors of memory in that interview, that the Middletown meeting occurred during this period instead remains highly plausible—especially since, in another interview that year, Bruce dates this supposed meeting specifically to 1965.

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