50 Years Ago, Bruce Springsteen Played a Bryn Mawr Coffeehouse as Debut Album Quietly Went on Sale

Bruce Springsteen
Image via YouTube.
Springsteen performing "Rosalita," much as he did at Bryn Mawr's The Main Point 50 years ago.

Jan. 5, 1973, was a big day for singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen. But at the time, he didn’t quite know it then. Jay Lustig explained for NJ Arts.

That day, the release of Greetings from Asbury Park N.J., Springsteen marked the occasion by showing up for his present booking: Bryn Mawr coffeehouse The Main Point.

The notoriety of this 300-seat venue rested on talent recognition and quality home-baked goods.

Springsteen opened for Chandler Travis and Steve Shook, a comedic music act described as the “hippie Smothers Brothers.”

Shook remembers hearing Springsteen’s initial set and being nonplussed.

“I said, ‘Ah, ok … a Dylan-esque delivery … a Van Morrison-y thing. Band’s nice,’” he related.

But the next night, hearing Rosalita, he became fully aware of the talent he was witnessing.

He went home to his wife and said, “… [T]his guy we’re playing with, he’s absolutely amazing. Mark my words, within the next year, you’re gonna see him on the cover of Time magazine.”

Shook was only partially correct.

It took Springsteen 30 months from that night to make the Time cover. And Newsweek’s as well.

As Greetings from Asbury Park N.J. took off, the three remained in touch.

But they never appeared at The Main Point together again.

More on the convergence of Peter Travis, Steve Shook, and The Boss, Bruce Springsteen is at NJ Arts.


Video of Springsteen’s Rosalita, a song that Steve Shook accompanied on harmonica during a performance at Bryn Mawr’s The Main Point.

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