Maxwell’s Memories: Bill Kirchen

[Continuing the ongoing Maxwell’s Memories feature here on Hoboken411. Paying tribute to bands that came and played at the legendary Maxwell’s at 1039 Washington Street – which is closing for good on July 31, 2013]

Maxwell’s Memories: Bill Kirchen and Los Straitjackets

On August 4, 2011 Bill Kirchen and Los Straitjackets. were the acts of the night at Maxwell’s.

Kirchen & Straitjackets: guitar virtuosos

Bill Kirchen, AKA “The Titan of the Telecaster,” former member of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, known by many for their song “Hot Rod Lincoln,” played a show that was absolutely incredible.

Kirchen’s “dieselbilly” sound incorporates elements of country, blues, rockabilly, western swing and boogie-woogie and includes many references of American truck driving music. In his extended version of Hot Rod Lincoln, he pays homage to more than 30 musicians in just several minutes. Downright amazing.

This was a tough act to follow, but Los Straitjackets put on a swell show. Due to health issues, original guitartist Daddy-O Grande (Danny Amis) did not perform with the band and guitarist Greg “Gregorio El Grande” Townson (also of the Hi-Risers) was recruited to fill Amis’ role during his absence. They did a mind blowing version of the Beach Boys “Warmth of the Sun.” Awesome. Good times.

Below are the songs mentioned above. Los Straitjackets start around the 9:55 mark.

About Maxwell’s Memories

Maxwells Memories in Hoboken NJ Knights of the New Crusade - Maxwell's Memories: Bill KirchenMaxwell’s Bar officially opened back in 1978 by the Fallon family, and was converted from a “workers tavern” (for nearby Maxwell House coffee workers), into a “Bar/restaurant.” After the original members of The Bongos rehearsed some material in the back-room (which at the time was unused), “live music” began to catch on, and Hoboken was beginning to become inviting to both musicians and artists. Maxwell’s was also even believed to be the first restaurant to offer a “Sunday brunch” in town.

In the mid-90’s, due to some ownership re-arrangements, Maxwell’s was briefly a micro-brew pub, trying to capitalize on that fad, but quickly reverted back to a standard comfort food bar/restaurant and music venue in 1998 – and had remained that way ever since.

Despite apparently being named the number three “rock ‘n’ roll club” in America by Rolling Stone magazine in 2013 – Maxwell’s announced their abandonment of the property (and Hoboken), effective July 31, 2013.

Maxwell’s Memories is a collection of previously unpublished photographs and videos of various bands and acts that performed on the famous local stage.

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Thank you for your peddling of the Los Straitjackets band. After this story we actually paid attention, and after looking at older updates and their webiste, we realize this group is amazing. We’re going to see them out in PA in August. Such technically proficient musicians!

Appreciate the exposure, and look forward to hearing them live.