|Quinn's first, and last, performance on stage at Maxwell's, June 2013|
Earlier this week, Maxwell's decided to close its doors for good on August 1 of this year. With just under two months remaining until this actually happens, the staff and longtime patrons have been running through the stages of grief faster than they can pour/drink a PBR. Ok, that was a pretty lame analogy, but you get it. Currently happening are calls/texts/emails/Facebook posts/Instagrams/tweets of memories, photos, declarations of astonishment, and acceptance of the reality that is about to be bestowed upon us.
To some, Maxwell's is just a place with mediocre food and unknown bands. To others, this decision is the literal end of an era. Decades of retrospection is happening all over the world. And not just by some tiny bands nobody has ever heard of. By Elijah Wood, Liz Phair, and Evan Dando of the Lemonheads, to name a few. But also, by me.
I recall many memories of hitting up all ages shows at Maxwell's in the early '90s during my high school years. We were seeing bands like Tribe 8, Face to Face, Mary Lou Lord, and The Muffs, in a tiny venue for next to nothing. This legendary rock club has hosted much much more famous names... Bruce Springsteen filmed Glory Days there, Nirvana rocked on that stage, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs played to a handful of famous attendees...
But the most memorable performance of my entire lifetime would have to be my own...
...where Neel and I sang a duet of "Jackson" by Johnny Cash and June Carter with a live country karaoke band at our wedding reception!
Maxwell's, where I met my husband. Maxwell's, where Neel has spent the last ten years of his Friday nights. Maxwell's, where we have created some of the most amazing friendships that will long outlast the restaurant.
So many new friends have come into the mix over the years, and when asked how we all met, no matter the equation of friends, the answer is always Maxwell's. Our Maxwell's is full of random hook-ups that resulted in marriages. Not just our own, but so many of our friends! And together we have created a new generation to share our stories with.
Maxwell's, without you our lives will go on. But knowing that the place where our lives started together will cease to exist, makes us very sad. Our beautiful daughter will never truly understand what you mean to us. She will never get to perform karaoke on your stage to a crowd of close friends, hang by the jukebox struggling to find a handful of good songs to annoy the bartenders with, or just sit in the front room hanging with some of the best friends ever. She'll never sit above the stairs that look at the front door and watch as every person who enters is a close friend, and realize there isn't enough time in the night to visit with everyone. She'll never smile so hard when she just takes a look around and realizes that her heart is full of love and laughter, and it is all because of this place.
Or maybe she will, at her own version of Maxwell's. Actually, I really hope she does. I hope her happiness, created with her own memories, can be as great as ours. Or even better.
A big thank you to Todd and Dave, owners of Maxwell's. I am not sure you're even aware of the magnitude in which your bar has left its mark on us all. Thank you to every staff member to pass through there, and best of luck to the people whose faces I know I can always see when I stop into my home away from home: Karl, Rob, Carlos, Neel, Roda, and Oscar...I have loved you all so greatly, and look forward to seeing what comes next for each of you.
See all other Q52 posts here.
Quinn's headband is from Little Hipsqueaks, MC Hammer pants from H&M.
Photo via Rebekka Seale
Idea via Che & Fidel