Bruce Springsteen @ Kean University 1974

  • Monday / November 23, 2009
Bruce Springsteen @ Kean University 1974

Bruce Springsteen @ Kean University 1974

Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band At Keen University, Newark NJ 1974Crazy 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 …

Bruce Springsteen-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.

That's me taking photos!
Bruce Springsteen @ Keen

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!

Bruce Springsteen @ Kean University 1974
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Joe Streno

Joe Streno

artist . musician . photographer . apple computer consultant . residing on planet earth with his two cats rocky & rose & living to tell tales about it

Blog Comments

Hey Joe,
Stumbled upon this. Also a Linden guy. “72”. Was also at that show. I’m also a friend of Mitch Eisenberg (truly a GREAT guitar player)! Just talking to him last week. Lives in Clinton, NJ now. Also did an interview with Leslie West and Felix Pappalardi of Mountain backstage @ Wilkins Theatre for Kean TV station. “73 or 74”. Crazy Times!! Peace, Joe Sarica

Joe Streno

Hey Joe,

I’m still amazed that so many people who were there do find my little corner of the Interweb & this post. Big shout out to a fellow Lindener!

I use to hang with Mitch a lot during HS. Go to his place listen to records. He was the one who helped fuel my love of jazz. I & my best friend Bob Fumosa were roadies for his band Javelina while we were in high school. Those were fun times! And such great music!

If you speak to Mitch let him know about my website, and that I was asking about him & he can contact me if he’d like. All my contact info is my jo.Info page.

Thanks for stoping by & leaving a comment. 🙂


I was at the Newark State concert in 1974. Free Bruce, free hot dogs and free beer. What an afternoon. Great pictures!!! Brought back some great memories.


Joe, I think we communicated in the past about this concert. I was a student at Kean back then and was on the concert committee who booked Springsteen that day. We went through John Scher of Monarch Entertainment- Capital Theater( we used to call it the Capitalist Theater). It was a beautiful sunny day with a cookout and festival atmosphere. Scher did not want to do it because “it was too bright(lame)” and wanted to move it into the small theater but we insisted.. Bruce was so cool about it-he whipped out his mirror sunglasses as you see in the photos and all was good. We had a great concert and time.


I was there too. maybe with you,Do I know you? I’,m old friends with Eisenberg and Gallanter since way back.. cool post, thanks man, owen

Joe Streno

Hi Owen …

Thanks! It’s wild how this one blog post has brought so many people who were there, to my blog. There was another photographer there that connected with me after seeing this post. He even sent me an 11 x 14 one of his photos! Was wild to see how someone else shot it.

I don’t know, do I know you? lol I haven’t seen or heard from Mitch since graduating Linden High. Did you go there? Are you still in touch with Mitch? What is he doing? That boy could play guitar!

And Gallanter … Bonnie? I vaguely remember her from high school. Aging brain & time … bye-bye memories!

Glad you liked the photos. You can eMail me directly joe @ go2jo . com if you’d like. And if not that’s okay too.

Take care … Joe


HI Joe
I too have memories of this concert and it was great to finally see photos.
It was my first time seeing Bruce and the band. I had graduated From Newark State in May 73 and was substitute teaching in Elizabeth, nj at the time of the concert.
Don’t think it was mentioned that this was a free concert, the college picnic, given to welcome new students., held on the lawn next to the student center. I stopped by ,because it was free music, hot dogs, hamburgers, and beer! What a way to build a loyal fan base!

Joe Streno

Hi Bill …
It’s a small world! It amazes me that people who were there find their way to this post. Yup, it was a free show & what a great intro to Bruce for you! Glad you liked the photos.

Thanks for leaving a comment too! :)


Hi Joe!
I was with you and Moose at the Schaefer Music Festival Bruce Springsteen concert in Central Park in August 1974! It was a great show (now known as the “Thundercrack” concert because it would be the last time Bruce would be an opening act for someone else) Almost everyone was there to see Springsteen and most of the crowd left after his set. I can remember that no one in NJ seemed to have heard of Bruce at the time (except us)!
I am still into photography too.
If you do a story on the Ramones I have some photos of them at CBGB’s NYC in the 70’s and on permanent display in the Ramones Museum, Berlin, Germany
(yes, there is such a place!)

Joe Streno

Glenn!!! Wow!!! Talk about a blast from the past! Glad you stopped by. We need to reconnect. Just did a Facebook search found your wife(?). Are you on FB too?

I’ve been to so many shows, with so many people, it’s hard to remember who I went to any show with. Thank goodness I took photos — otherwise half the time I wouldn’t even remember being there! Tough getting old! lol

I lost touch with you and Moose out of high school. Though I located him in Florida, and he and I exchanged a few snail mail letters several years ago. At that time — and possibly still — he didn’t have or use a computer, nor did he have an eMail address.

Contrats on The Ramones photos in the Berlin Ramones Museum! I do believe there is one! That’s always a great feeling to show, or have your work published. My Clash photos have been published in mags, books, and in a documentary film by Danny Garcia (Spain) “The Rise And Fall Of The Clash”.

Are you still in NJ? I have your eMail now, I’ll try to send something today.

Thanks again for reaching out! :)


hey joe (insert jimi here)..

just got your blog link about the ’74 kean college show from pete russell at brucebase. i’m the one who took the picture with you in it (correction….can’t operate a camera to save my friend took the picture) so we must have been sitting right behind you guys. thank god you took more than 2 pictures and didn’t use the crappy brownie camera that my friend mallory had. loved your report. having graduated college in 1971 i had been to lots of springsteen shows for years so this one wasn’t quite as vivid to me as it was for you. i loved reading about it from your perspective. other than always thinking that this was max and roy’s first …talked to max about it last year and not only did he correct me on that but he remembered the show VIVIDLY. he actually remembered what bruce was wearing ands described it perfectly…..i have great memories of this one but definitely not as distinct as yours.

anyway..i’m writing because pete has asked me to find and rescan those pictures for brucebase. not that i’m great on the scanner but i scanned those years ago and hope to increase the DPI, enlarge them and color adjust it some what. i’d be glad to email it to you since you figure so prominently in one of them.


Your post gave me chills……..Im literally sitting near the beach in California, and wishing I was in Point Pleasant like when I was in high School…..and listening to Out in the Street live…..and thought ……I wonder if there was anything posted about Bruces shows at Kean….(My Alma Mater) ….and wow!!!!!!!   Thanks!!!

Joe Streno

 @David Barnett Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ!
Happy to have traversed the miles and brought a smile to your face and shivers down your spine. It’s those E Street sparks flyin’ in our brains that keep us walkin’ handsome and hot. I so understand living in one place and dreaming of another. I was born and raised a NJ boy … once an east coaster … always an east coaster. That’s why I moved back to Asbury Park after having lived in Seattle for 16 years and I haven’t been happier Bonus points …. I even got to see Bruce on the Wrecking Ball tour at the Prudential Center in Newark! { Thanks Geoff! } What a show!


Wow! Thank you for the photos and the memories. I too was at that Kean show, and in a moment that I’ll never forget, I shook Bruce’s hand as he walked off the stage. Little did we know where it was all heading — for him *or* us.

Joe Streno

Hi Jack. Glad to be of service! I was wondering … do you remember the set list? If so eMail me. If not … that’s okay. Thanks for stopping by.


Wow! Great shots and great memories! I would like to point out that Vini Lopez was no longer a member of the band at this point. This was an important show in that it was one of the first public appearances of the band with Max Weinberg as the drummer. A few days earlier (9/19/74) at The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, PA, Weinberg made his first appearance with the E Street Band. You can clear see Weinberg behind Springsteen in your photo in the second row, fifth column.

Joe Streno

Mike … thanks for the info. Max was so young, and with the long hair & mustache I thought it was Vini Lopez. I stand corrected & updated the story.

Thanks also for your eMail.

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