1974-06-21 Le Garage, Spray Beach, NJ (Early)

Scheduled: ??:?? Local Start Time ??:?? / End Time ??:??

Info & Setlist | Venue

First of two shows, double bill, with Springsteen & The E Street Band headlining at the opening night of this now-defunct teen club (strictly no liquor!) located at 23rd St. & Bay Blvd in Spray Beach on Long Beach Island. The club was housed in a former garage for trucks and heavy equipment, owned by the Laputka family. It was remodeled and originally run as a night club for teenagers around 1967-72 and featured UV lights that made white clothing glow in the dark. Financed by impresario Gary Goodell, it was opened as a concert hall in the spring of 1974. Walt Beadling helped set up and run the club, and he sent this to Brucebase: "We opened with Springsteen on Friday, June 21, 1974. I'd never heard of the guy before. He started with "New York City Serenade". I'll never forget it. The whole place was dark. Bruce stood center stage, illuminated in a single spotlight, and started singing a cappella. One by one, the other members of the band starting, with David Sancious on piano, joined in. I was mesmerized; he completely blew us all away. What a showman. Who is this guy? We packed the house Friday and Saturday. He offered to do another show on Sunday to help us dig out of the financial mess we were in. We had an impromptu keg party with Bruce and the band at somebody's beach house that weekend. Bruce was a skinny little guy with a beard from somewhere up North - despite his charisma and the great shows he put on for us, I didn't think much of it at the time. Little did I know … We lost money that weekend despite Bruce's generosity, which should have been our first clue that our business model was seriously flawed. We couldn't afford acts that would fill the place, but still had to pay the ones who didn't. Gary was deep in the hole by the end of July; various shady looking characters and local merchants kept coming around looking for the money we owed them. Somehow we survived. I tried to help keep the doors open by running classic old films on nights when we didn't have live entertainment - the Marx Brothers and Rebel without a Cause are a some of the ones I remember. Eventually reality set in and Gary had to close the doors of Le Garage for good. Sometime later the Laputka's sold Le Garage to a developer who tore it down and put up condos where our special, unforgettable summer place once stood." Previous information had Bruce and the band performing only a single show, but an article in the Beachcomber newspaper indicates that there were two shows tonight, confirmed by those present. Country/rock house band Slim Pickins opened for Springsteen, not the local glam-rock house band as previously thought. The three-night (five-show) residency at Le Garage was a last-minute addition to the tour itinerary and took place amidst recording sessions at 914 Sound Studios. Springsteen would return to Le Garage for four shows over two nights in July, another late addition to the tour schedule.



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