New photo book shows Bruce Springsteen's earliest gigs in Houston

Chaz Miller Image
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
New photo book shows Bruce Springsteen's earliest gigs in Houston
A new photo book called Springsteen: Liberty Hall shows the E Street Band in their early career days in Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are in town Tuesday night to play their first show in Houston in nearly nine years.

They're playing at Toyota Center, but the band's first shows in Houston weren't so grandiose.

Springsteen and an early version of the E Street Band played their first concerts in the Bayou City in March 1974 at a small concert hall downtown called Liberty Hall.

The venue is long gone, but images from those four nights are coming to light nearly 50 years later.

"It was so small," Nicki Germaine, of Liberty Hall, said. "You really felt connected to the players."

Germaine had a front row and backstage seat to each of those four nights as a 26-year-old University of Texas graduate working as a photographer in Houston.

"I went backstage to meet the band, and I was impressed by how serious and businesslike and quiet they were. It just seemed different to me," she reminisced. "Of course, that completely changed once they got on stage. It just exploded."

The photos Germaine took those nights are part of her new photo book called, "Springsteen: Liberty Hall."

Springsteen wrote the book's foreword.

"I think Bruce said it better than I did. It was a time when they were 'in the minor leagues before they made the majors,'" Germaine explained.

Germaine ultimately left Texas for a career in real estate, so how did this book come to fruition after those photos sat tucked away for years?

The one band member still with Springsteen from the Liberty Hall days is bassist Garry Tallent.

Tallent contacted Germaine in late 2010 to ask about those photos after the two hadn't connected in decades.

One thing led to another, Germaine and Tallent are now a couple, and the book was published.

"I think we have a lot of common ground that a lot of people hope for," she said. "I'm a lucky woman. He thinks he's lucky too. So, that's the best part."

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