MOVIE AND CBGB FESTIVAL IN 2013 (2013)
HOLDINGS LLC FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION (JUNE, 2010)
FORMAT OF CBGB (DECEMBER, 2008)
KRISTAL PASSED AWAY (AUGUST, 2007)
CLOSED IT'S DOORS (OCTOBER, 2006)
CBGB CAMPAIGN, INCLUDING NEWSPAPER ARTICLES
CBGB MOVIE AND CBGB FESTIVAL IN 2013 (2013)
A movie called CBGB was being made for many years. It was released
during the CBGB Musical Festival, which run from October 9-13, 2013, in
New York. CBGB got to theater screen in the USA on October 11, 2013.
Movie is 101 minutes long. XLrator
Media has acquired U.S. rights to distribute CBGB.
Back to CBGB documentary. DVD and Blu-ray versions were published on
December 31, 2013: CBGB
Ramones' founding member Tommy Ramone was announced to be at the venue
called Subculture during CBGB Festival on October 11, 2013.
Subculture's address is 45 Bleecker Street, Downstairs New York, NY
10012, USA, so it is in East Village. I was confused about information
as Tommy Ramone didn't attend event. I asked about that from Tommy in
late October, 2013.
- I don't know why the CBGB festival was using my name when I let them
know early that I was not available. Sorry if their promotions caused
confusion, Tommy Ramone wrote for me in November 1, 2013.
Ramones' fan Joe Finnegan went to a few events of CBGB Festival week in
- The best show was one at Bowery Electric: Mickey Leigh (Joey Ramone's
brother), Mumps, Tough
Darts, Andy Shernoff (The Dictators etc.), Sic Fucks,
Ivan Kral (Grammy Award-winning composer etc.), Lenny Kaye (Patti
Smith Group etc.), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Rich Kids etc.),
Walter Lure (The Heartbreakers, read more
here) and the
Matlock joined the Waldos for Chinese Rocks. I left after 1:30am and
Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys etc.) and Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls
etc.) were yet to play.
John Holmstrom's iconic art for Mutant Monster Beach Party featuring
his sketches/art and
Roberta Bayley's Photos of Joey Debbie and other CBGB luminaries were
shown at Boo-Hooray Gallery on Canal St. On Saturday
October 12, nine blocks on Broadway in Times Square were blocked off for
CBGB FEST with live bands including My Morning Jacket and Grizzly Bear -
they were good - and food, merch and skateboard ramp, wrote Joe
Background of CBGB movie:
So movie is about most legendary club ever, founded by
Hilly Kristal. New York club was opened in 1973 and got closed in 2006.
It was in Bowery, 100 meters away from Arturo Vega's house where Joey
Ramone and Dee Dee Ramone also lived in early 70's. The Ramones played
really lot of their early gigs at CBGB's. CBGB was kind of birthplace of
punk. Hilly had one demand of the acts he booked, they could only play
their own original music. No top 40's, no covers. Of course full set
could had few covers.
CBGB is directed by Randall Miller. Writing
credits goes to
Miller and Jody Savin.
Movie follow Kristal's life and work at the infamous Lower East Side
club. Co-producer is Kristal's daughter Lisa Kristal Burgman.
Because of certain legal reason there are not Ramones music on it, but
Joey Ramone's 2000's solo material can be heard.
Joel David Moore is Joey Ramone,
Julian Acosta is Johnny Ramone,
Steven Schub is Dee Dee Ramone,
Catfish Staggs is Tommy Ramone (see photo in right of actors of Ramones
More actors: Alan Rickman is Hilly Kristal, Justin Bartha is Stiv
Taylor Hawkins (of Foo Fighters) is Iggy Pop, Malin Akerman is Debbie
Harry etc. Wikipedia says Joel
David Moore is best known for his roles as Owen Dittman in Dodgeball: A
True Underdog Story, Dr. Norm Spellman in Avatar, Colin Fisher in Bones
and J.P. in Grandma's Boy. And Julian Acosta can be seen in films like
Bound By Lies, True Love and SEED and The Lords of Salem directed by
Johnny's friend Rob Zombie etc.
Los Angeles premiere:
Many actors were in Los Angeles, USA premiere of CBGB, on October 1,
2013. Other guests included Richie Ramone and Rodney Bingenheimer.
is considered to be one of the most well known DJs in the world. His
radio show in Los Angeles on KROQ-FM has
been a hit since it's inception in August 1976. The Ramones were on his
very first show. His long interview is on Ramones:
Soundtrack Of Our Lives. See in right photo of Rodney, Richie and
Frank Infante (Blondie). Rodney played in his next show Richie Ramone's
Criminal from R$
album Entitled. Richie Ramone gave me permission to use that
photo here on my site.
Review of CBGB movie by Ramones' fan Carlos
Comments written by Carlos Anguiano of CBGB movie:
"OK just watched CBGB The Movie... I liked it but it seemed less about
the music and more about Hilly Kristal. Which is fine, but I wanted it
to explore the music end more. They must have not been able to get the
rights to the Ramones music, which was a bit of a let down. I did like
John Holmstrom/ Punk Magazine angle, seems like they could do a
whole movie on that. I also enjoyed that the Dead Boys were featured
alot in the movie. Sadly, no Dictators, and Ramones story was very
limited and seemed inconsistent to the truth as we know it and they
didn't show enough of the club itself... It was enjoyable... The cast
was fun.", commented Carlos Anguiano.
Review of CBGB movie by Ramones' fan Joe
The film is better than critic's reviews. I lived through part of years
in the film and that's close to how it was. Some people need to lighten
up. It's true the interior of bar is not exact. Also some casting
questionable as some actors playing legends look like weenies
(especially Sting ).
But Alan Rickman as Hilly Kristal is great, and it really is a film
about Hilly, who we all loved and made everything possible. It did suck
that the Ramones music was out of context chronologically but that was
because of legal reasons. They actually used Joey's solo stuff and this
was supposed to be 1975-79! On the positive it did show how John
Holmstrom, Legs McNeil, Mary Harron and PUNK Magazine changed the
culture. Some critics precious memories have been violated apparently
but I have some of the same memories and they need to get over it. It's
a story about Hilly not a documentary. Critics hated Exile On Main
Street when it came out and now it's their favorite
Stones album. The film will find a whole new life as DVD!", wrote Joe
My (Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone) Hilly
Hilly Kristal passed away on August 28, 2007. For me it was especially a
great honour to meet and interview
Hilly. We met a few days after Joey's 50th memorial Birthday Bash in
2001. Early one morning I visited CBGB's, and we decided that we would
meet later on that day for him to talk about Joey. Then, when I later
visited at CBGB's with David Kelly, We felt that we would like to listen
to Hilly's stories for many hours. Originally, I included interview in
my first book Heaven Needed
A Lead Singer: Fans Remember Joey Ramone. I personally left a book
for Hilly in May 2002.
I has got Hilly Kristal's personal copy of the Dead Boys' second album
For Your Children. Dee Dee Ramone and Joey Ramone sang background vocals
on We Have Come For Your Children song Catholic Boy.
You can read my interview with Hilly also
from my third book Ramones:
Soundtrack Of Our Lives.
CBGB HOLDINGS LLC FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY
Article in The Wall Street Journal written by Jacqueline Palank tells
following...: "CBGB Holdings LLC, which two years ago purchased the name
and copyrights associated with Manhattan's legendary punk-rock club
CBGB, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday (June 11, 2010).
The company, reported assets and debts each in the range of $1 million
to $10 million in its bankruptcy petition, filed with the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.
CBGB Holdings. founding partners, James Blueweiss and Robert Williams,
as well as the company's bankruptcy attorney, weren't immediately
available for comment. The company didn't say in court papers why it
filed for bankruptcy protection.
Blueweiss and Williams teamed up (read below) in 2008 to pay $3.5
million for all of the legendary club's
intellectual property, which Hilly Kristal opened in 1973. Before the
club shuttered in 2006, its stage hosted performances by the Ramones,
Patti Smith, the B-52's, the Talking Heads, Debbie Harry of Blondie,
Green Day and Pearl Jam.
Since CBGB Holdings purchased the defunct club's brand, they've donated
memorabilia to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex NYC and have taken
steps to revive the brand including signing a distribution deal to sell
T-shirts featuring the club's well-known logo."
NEW FORMAT OF CBGB
This article is by PR Newswire in December 4, 2008.
"The iconic and legendary NYC Rock Club, CBGB known for launching the
careers of Television, Ramones, Blondie, Patti Smith, the B-52's, and
the Talking Heads, is making a comeback under a new ownership team
headed by James Blueweiss and Robert Williams, partners in the newly
formed CBGB Holdings based in New York City. The new team includes
members of founder Hilly Kristal's immediate family, long-time
employees, and music industry advisors that have a history with the
"This is an awesome responsibility," says Williams, "and we are pleased
to have arranged for CBGB to be a featured exhibit at the new Rock &
Roll Hall of Fame ANNEX opening this week in New York City. It honors
the club's place in Rock & Roll History and preserves important
artifacts for all to enjoy."
"There were and are lots of clubs around the world, but there was only
one CBGB," says Terry Stewart, president of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
and Museum. "Its contribution to rock & roll is undeniable. It is only
fitting to have the awning, graffitied walls, and other important pieces
of the club here as a key exhibit."
According to Blueweiss, who worked closely with CBGB's founder, Hilly
Kristal, during the club's last year, "Everyone knows Hilly wanted to
re-open CBGB's in Las Vegas so we are meeting potential developers and
partners there as well as exploring options in a select handful of other
entertainment capitals. The company also plans to revamp
http://www.CBGB.com into an online destination and community built
around 360 degrees of CBGB, the place to discover cutting edge music,
meet friends, share music news, and celebrate the club's past with a
CBGB type Wikipedia that will invite everyone who experienced the club
to tell their story."
Next summer (summer 2009), CBGB will hit the road with the Vans WARPED
Tour as an interactive traveling exhibit with integrated media, mobile, and
internet linkages. Kevin Lyman, the founder of the WARPED TOUR, was a
big fan of the club. "We wanted CBGB on the tour to help us celebrate
our 15th year," Lyman says. "Kids who never got the chance to go to
CBGB's will get to see and experience first hand how so many of their
favorite bands of today were influenced by the bands that played within
those sacred walls. CBGB's is an iconic property and one that we intend
to introduce to a generation that would have been there if they could
Long time CBGB employee, Louise Staley, is now in charge of mining the
vast vault of live CBGB performances taped over three decades. "In
October, MVD released Living Colour -- CBGB OMFUG Masters: August 19,
2005 The Bowery Collection," says Staley. "It's the 8th live performance
CD in the series. Look for more electrifying moments in the club's
history soon to be rolled out on CBGB's website and other digital
Lisa Kristal, Hilly Kristal's daughter said, "I believe that my Dad
would have been very proud of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's new CBGB
exhibit, especially the display of the men's urinal."
Last month CBGB signed a worldwide apparel and accessories deal for its
core line of logo'd merchandise with Bravado, a Universal Music Group
company. Bravado is the world leader in rock & roll themed apparel and
merchandise. "CBGB's is one of the coolest properties out there," says
Bravado's CEO Tom Bennett. "We are honored to be working with them."
"Our ultimate goal is to make CBGB's relevant again to a whole new
generation by putting it back on the frontlines of discovering the next
Ramones whether that be on http://www.CBGB.com, a CBGB Radio Channel or
live at a CBGB venue," says Blueweiss. "Our plans were enthusiastically
embraced by Hilly before he passed away. In fact, he was looking forward
to his new role with us as Chairman Emeritus of CBGB Holdings. I think
Hilly would have been very pleased with what we have accomplished to
HILLY KRISTAL PASSED AWAY ON AUGUST 28,
This article is written by David Hinckley. It
was released in final days of August, 2007 in NY
Daily News newspaper.
Hilly Kristal passed away on August 28, 2007. So sad news. Like Mariano
Asch wrote to me, it definitely means the end of an era. The CBGB was
founded by Hilly Kristal in December 1973. Without CBGB history of
punk and the Ramones would be so different. Hilly gave a chance to the
Ramones and many other bands to play at his place, in those days when
punk was new and 99 % of the venues did not gave a chance for them to
play. Lot of love and thanks comes from me and from hundreds of
thousands of people for You Hilly. It was always for me a
big honour to meet You and I was also honoured to do with You interview
for my first book Heaven Needed A Lead Singer: Fans Remember Joey
Ramone. You was so widely loved and appreciated Hilly. I had a silent
moment for You. I know that Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone and other
people take a good care of You there in Heaven.
- Jari-Pekka -
Marky Ramone has said now following:
"Hilly was an integral part of the punk scene from 1974 until his
death. He was always supportive of the genre and of bands like the
Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, and Richard Hell and Voidoids, and
will hold a prominent place in music history. We are all grateful to
him and will miss him."
was always great to visit CBGB with friends. This photo is taken in
May, 2001. From left to right: Calle von Schewen, Henrik Walse,
Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone, Baby Ramone and her mother Suzy and their
friend Steve, Shazz Carrington, Randy Wisebrod, Miranda Kas, Winny Kas
and Baby's friend Mark.)
HERE IS OFFICIAL STATEMENT:
"It is with deep sadness and regret that we inform you of the death of
Hilly Kristal, who died on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 from complications
from Lung Cancer. Kristal, 75, founded the legendary rock club CBGB and
ran the club for 33 years. A singer and songwriter himself, Kristal
opened the club to showcase "Country Bluegrass and Blues"; instead the
club became a breeding ground for Punk rock. Among the many acts that
called CBGB home were Blondie, the Talking Heads, Television, Living
Color, Patti Smith and the Ramones. The club closed in October 2006, but
CBGB continues, with a retail store in New York City and worldwide
merchandise sales; in addition, there currently are plans to open new
CBGB clubs in several locations. Kristal is survived by his daughter,
Lisa Kristal Burgman, son, Mark Dana Kristal, son-in-law Ger Burgman,
grandchildren Jenny and Adam Burgman, CBGB, and the thousands of artists
and musicians who played the club. A private memorial service is
planned. A public memorial will be held at a later date. Contributions
in Hilly's honor may be made in his name to the American Cancer Society
or to the Hilly Kristal Foundation for Musicians and Artists (168 Second
Avenue, PMB 207, New York, NY 10003)."
REST OF THE INFORMATION IN THIS SITE I HAVE ADDED
BEFORE HILLY KRISTAL PASSED AWAY AND NEW CBGB STARTED
IN DECEMBER 2008...
ORIGINAL CBGB CLOSED IT'S
it's doors after final show on October 15, 2006.
A farewell performance was featuring poet-musician Patti Smith. Ramones
was also observed in her set... Listen this link and
these songs, which are linked in Murray Ramone's homepage (Main
page of his site is here).
Blondie members, Dictators, Bad Brains
etc. were also for example playing in final week. Tommy Ramone
played the Blitzkrieg Bop with the Dictators.
The CBGB was founded by Hilly Kristal in December 1973.
Without CBGB history of punk and the Ramones would be so different. So
many people were doing their best to keep CBGB open in it's original
location, but landlords were so... Landlords Bowery Residents Committee
refused to renew owner Hilly Kristal's lease after a dispute over rent
rises. (read more infos from old Save CBGB's infos below). Like
Tommy Ramone said in 2005: "It's an institution. It's been here so
long, it's really helped New York itself, because it brought all the
people to New York and they stayed.... It's one of the last pieces of
Hilly Kristal has hinted that he might give the club a second life
in Las Vegas. Idea has gotten contradictory acceptance (and I understand
it). I'm happy that I've got chance to visit CBGB many times through the
years and say thanks to Hilly.
Thanks again Hilly Kristal.
SAVE CBGB CAMPAIGN
(You can see in a photo Tommy Ramone (right), Little
Steven, Hilly Kristal, John Holmstrom and Lenny Kaye. Standing are Legs
McNeil, Jean Beauvoir and Handsome Dick Manitoba. Photo is taken on
August 1, 2005,
a coalition of legendary musicians and artists held a news conference
then. Photo by Dr. Donna Gaines.).
Rents are raising all over the East Village the Lower East Side, some
places are announced that they're shutting down, and "our place" CBGB's
is in doubt. SIGN THE
PETITION. What you can also do...?.
The CBGB's is one of the most important places to the Ramones during their
Hilly Kristal of CBGB's was interviewed in Village Voice on February 11,
2005. I'm not only one who is speechless, angry, sad of this news. How
many of us fans has visited at CBGB's during first NY trip. Probably
95%... Hilly really doesn't deserve that. Article
says for example:
"When Hilly Kristal started CBGB's almost 32
years ago, its monthly rent was $600. But CB's gradually made the Bowery
chic, and new ground-floor space on the legendary punk club's street now
rents for around $55 per
square foot. Kristal's third lease ends this August; a new lease would
cost him somewhere between $38,000 and $40,000 a month, in addition to
the almost $80,000 a year he pays for liability insurance.
"I pay approximately $20,000 a month now - I can't pay $40,000," Kristal
says. "I can't run the club at a deficit. We'd have to charge a lot more
for drinks, we'd have to charge a lot more for admission, and I don't know
if it's worth it to people. If it's gone, I don't see that anybody's going
to replace it. We're not a big moneymaking machine." He's thinking about
trying to continue, but also thinking about going elsewhere: "I know some
people want me to put CBGB in New Jersey, and some people in L.A. want me
to move out there."
There's lot "Save CBGB Benefit Shows,
here's schedule. For example in September I would love to see
Channel Three (September 9th and 10th) when they has extra special
guest - Maria Montoya-Kaye. Also Circle Jerks and Adolescents are playing
in both nights.
Also for example there's art auction - works by Godlis, John Holmstrom,
Ventur, Ron English etc. - in CB's 313 Gallery at 6:00 on August 31, 2005.
As well around the world is CBGB'S tribute nights, like in
Derry, Northern Ireland is Ramones tribute band The Lobotomies headlining
night on September 1, 2005. Btw, The Lobotomies are also supporting the
Undertones at The Nerve Centre on 16th September.
SAVE CBGB PART: HERE'S ARTICLE FROM VILLAGE VOICE ON
Gavin Rossdale also tries to save club, but landlord says lease won't be
Legendary rock club CBGB set to close
NEW YORK - An estimated 800 supporters gathered in Washington Square Park
on Wednesday afternoon in a last-ditch effort to save New York's CBGB, the
rundown club that helped birth American punk rock. But it was all for
naught. During the event - which featured performances by Public Enemy,
Blondie and Gavin Rossdale's new band, Institute - the club's landlord
issued a statement to the press, effectively driving a proverbial stake
through the venue's 31-year-old heart.
"Today, CBGB's lease expires and is not being renewed," wrote Bowery
Residents' Committee Executive Director Muzzy Rosenblatt. "[The] BRC has
already been forced to divert precious funds and resources toward a
lengthy rent dispute with the club and believes it is in the best interest
of our clients - the homeless and neediest New Yorkers - to sever this
relationship. We hope that CBGB will vacate the premises both voluntarily
and expeditiously and avoid costly eviction proceedings that will further
hinder our 35-year mission to help the homeless."
In the meantime, "CBGB Forever," a rally orchestrated by E Street Band
member and "The Sopranos" thespian Steven Van Zandt, carried on. Gavin
Rossdale's band Institute, drenched from head to toe in sweat, rocked the
tattooed, "Save CBGB" T-shirt-donning masses (which was surprisingly short
on mohawks, actually). Bad Brains' H.R. and his band Dub Trio infused the
activist spirit of reggae into the proceedings. New Jersey punks the
Bouncing Souls rallied the troops with one of the afternoon's tightest and
longest sets, warming things up for Debbie Harry and Blondie, who
captivated the diverse crowd with playful renditions of "Hanging on the
Telephone" and "One Way or Another."
House of Pain's Everlast introduced Chuck D et al. by saying, "New York
City can't let this place go away" because "it would be a crime." He also
took the low road, screaming words everyone who preceded him onstage
perhaps wanted to say but couldn't: "F--- the guy standing in the way."
Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff and the rest of Public Enemy capped
things off by challenging everyone in attendance to "Fight the Power."
Before the concert started, Van Zandt, unaware that the death knell had
tolled for CBGB, took several shots at Rosenblatt, claiming "no one in New
York City wants CBGB to leave, except Muzzy.
"He refuses to talk about a new lease," he continued, calling the club a
"historic" and "sacred" site worthy of long-term preservation. He was
flanked by two "Sopranos" co-stars: Tony Sirico, who plays Paulie
"Walnuts" Gualtieri, and Joe Pantoliano, known to fans of the mob drama as
Ralph Cifaretto. "This isn't about money. It's about one guy's ego trip.
We'll keep fighting this. Bands will play CBGB tonight. Bands will play
CBGB tomorrow night, and they'll keep playing until Muzzy comes to his
Van Zandt even spoke of the petition he'd presented earlier this week to
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the names and signatures of more
than 30,000 of his constituents, including 43 city council members. On
Tuesday, during a press conference, Bloomberg threw his support behind the
club, calling it "a great New York City institution". He explained that
his office had tried to intervene in what became a lease-renewal
stalemate, and even offered to help CBGB owner Hilly Kristal find a new
locale within Manhattan's borders should the BRC move to evict.
Rosenblatt's statement added that "BRC appreciates the efforts of
Bloomberg's office during the last few weeks to mediate this matter," but
that "we have concluded that the best course of action is to move on. To
that end, we fully support the mayor's efforts to find the club a new
home, and we will continue to support and work with Bloomberg and all
concerned New Yorkers to end the tragedy of homelessness in New York
For Kristal, the fight's over. His iconic landmark club will be boarded up
- just when is the question. Although the "Save CBGB" camp could not be
reached for comment, if BRC moves to evict, it's likely the matter will
find its way to a courtroom. So theoretically, it could be months before
the iconic Bowery landmark is boarded up, and Kristal's club's relegated
to the annals of rock-and-roll history. During the rally Van Zandt vowed
that "if eviction proceedings happen tomorrow, we will go to the courts
and we'll fight it. It's not over till it's over. We'll be there until
someone drags us out. We don't care what Muzzy says."
Before launching into "When Animals Attack," from their forthcoming disc
Distort Yourself, Institute frontman Rossdale said his former band Bush's
first U.S. gig was at CBGB. "It's such a legacy, it's insane," he
commented. "Let's hope they figure it out. It's a cultural landmark. Even
outside of America, CBGB is synonymous with New York, with music." The
crowd exploded when Institute unleashed a cover - if you could call it
that - of Bush's "Machinehead."
After his band played "Hopeless Romantic" and "The Ballad of Johnny X,"
Bouncing Souls frontman Greg Attonitoi recalled how one of the group's
first gigs came on audition night at CBGB: "We played for two people." At
one point during their set, the Souls invited a bored-to-tears H.R. out to
the stage for a rendition of Bad Brains' "Pay to C--," and then incited
the crowd with "East Coast F--- You."
It was clear, though, that at least one person on hand was aware of
Rosenblatt's decision: Alan Gerson, a Democrat on the city council whose
lower Manhattan district includes CBGB. Before Public Enemy took the
stage, Gerson likened CBGB to Radio City Music Hall, saying they're both
city landmarks that contribute to the culture and "vibe" of the
metropolis. He added that the BRC was not doing "good by destroying good"
and urged Rosenblatt to be a "responsible recipient of public funds," as
the city of New York contributes more than $30 million a year to the
organization's annual budget.
He also said if the BRC moved to evict that it might be time to "rethink
the support we've given [the organization] in the past." He ended his
remarks by putting a twist on an infamous chant from one of the many
legends CBGB helped foster, the Ramones: "Hey, ho, we're not gonna go."
SAVE CBGB PART: HERE'S ARTICLE OF SAVE CBGB'S FESTIVAL
MONTH (AUGUST, 2005)
For Those About To Rock
Legendary Musicians Kick Off Campaign To Save CBGB's
By Christopher Twarowski
The clock is ticking, but hope is still very much alive.
CBGB's, the historic rock club located in lower Manhattan's Bowery
district that is recognized worldwide as ground zero for punk and an
incubator for undiscovered bands, is in danger of being shut down. That
is, unless a new lease is signed with the club's landlord, the
nonprofit Bowery Residents Committee (BRC), by Aug. 31.
"A year ago, [BRC] came to me and said, 'If we give you a lease, we're
going to double your rent, at least," says CBGB's owner Hilly Kristal. "I
can't pay them $40, $50 thousand a month rent. "My feeling is that they do
want me out and they had this planned," adds Kristal. "We want to stay
And there are many who are determined to ensure they do. On Aug. 1, a
coalition of legendary musicians and artists held a news conference at the
club to dispel rumors regarding the situation and make a special
Organized by Steve Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and The
Sopranos, the event was the formal kickoff of a month-long musical
campaign to save the venue: CBGB's will be holding "Save CBGB's" benefit
shows almost every day throughout the month of August to raise support,
money and awareness for the cause - Tculminating
in a gathering and rally in Washington Square Park on Aug. 31 that will
either be a final plea or a victory celebration.
"CBGB's is very simply the last rock 'n' roll club left," said Van Zandt.
"There's nothing like it left in the world, where people once had come not
being famous and left being found by record companies and that's still
Hilly's policy today."
"Hopefully we can keep it going," founding Ramones drummer and Rock And
Roll Hall of Famer Tommy Ramone told the Press. "It's an institution. It's
been here so long, it's really helped New York itself, because it brought
all the people to New York and they stayed.... It's one of the last pieces
of New York."
"It's like the Yankee Stadium of rock 'n' roll," said John Holmstrom,
co-founder of PUNK magazine. "It's where you come to in New York if you're
interested in rock 'n' roll music." Holmstrom views CBGB's as yet another
potential casualty of New York City's ever-booming real estate market.
Attendees were urged to write letters of support to NYC Mayor Michael
"This seems to be the direction the city's taking," said Holmstrom.
"Watching it get wiped out like it's a bad disease is very disheartening.
It's not just the club scene, it's also the arts scene that's being
squeezed out by this rampant, merciless rent situation." "You can't walk
up 52nd Street and see the Three Deuces or the Onyx Club and see where Bee
Bop was born," lamented Lenny Kaye, famed guitarist of the Patti Smith
Group. "You can't go to Max's Kansas City and listen where the Velvet
Underground were. You can't go pretty much anywhere on Bleecker and
McDougal and see the clubs that fomented folk music. But you can come to
CBGB's on any random night and see six wacky bands from anywhere." The
evening featured a private, four-song acoustic set with Debbie Harry of
Blondie, followed by a concert that included: Jesse Malin, the Star
Spangles, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Brian Jonestown Massacre and The
Waldos. Among the highlights were Mickey Leigh (Joey
Ramone's brother) ripping through Ramones songs with Jean Beauvoir of the
Plasmatics and Ivan Julian of the Voidoids, and Anton Newcombe of the
Brian Jonestown Massacre berating the audience.
"There's not many rock clubs that don't have a red rope outside that
charge $15 a drink that are about music and original songs," said former
D-Generation frontman Malin backstage moments after performing. "[CBGB's]
always represented freedom and a place to be yourself." "There should be
some places that are fun and not so sterile," said renowned rock
photographer and CB's supporter Bob Gruen. "People should be allowed to be
free and to express themselves. And every other place seems to have too
many rules. The only rule they ever had here at CB's was that you had to
write your own music." Others summed up the possible demise of CBGB's
"What does CBGB's closing down mean for punk rock?" asked Legs McNeil,
co-founder of PUNK, as well as co-author of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored
Oral History of Punk, seated at the bar. "It means that punk rock will be
bigger than ever. It's all 16-year-old kids in the suburbs of Denver and
San Antonio... if the Ramones had to die in
order for them to become the Doors, CBGB's has to die in order for it to
become immortalized. As long as we're still around, people have to deal
with us, and they don't want to deal with us. So the sooner we're dead,
the more they'll turn it into Vegas casinos and all that stuff."
"We don't need another place in New York City to rob New York City of its
identity and sell a cup of coffee for $6," spouted Handsome Dick Manitoba
of The Dictators and owner of Manitoba's bar on Avenue B. "That's why
CBGB's is important."
SAVE CBGB PART: FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS BY TRENT
And originally released in AntiMusic:
Legendary New York club CBGB still hasnít run out of lives yet. With last
weeks ruling by a Manhattan Civil Court judge, all is clear for
negotiations for a new lease agreement to resume between the club and the
Bowery Residents Committee, who own the building in which CBGBís is a
tenant. The judges ruling also recognized the historical significance and
impact CBGBís had on the local area when she recalled how the
neighbourhood had suffered from "destitution, degradation and substance
abuse" before the club opened in 1973.
CBGB opened in the early seventies and began to gain notoriety when many
up and coming artists would perform at the club playing music that was to
be later christened "punk" rock by critics and patrons who saw the shows.
Bands that would frequent the club included such musical pioneers as
Television, Blondie, The Ramones, The Heartbreakers, Patti Smith Group,
Richard Hell and the Voidoids and The Talking Heads among others.
Thousands claim they were witnesses to what would be later seen as a music
revolution and though many of these claims can be supported and are
truthful a lot of them are just outrageous attempts to cash in on history.
The legend of CBGBís has grown over the years but in reality, it was a
relatively a small underground phenomenon especially in the beginning.
One woman who was there and had been since the beginning is New York City
resident Deborah Olin. This remarkable woman was a regular patron of CBGB
when it was still called Hillyís on the Bowery. She attended the clubís
very first shows becoming so well known and liked by CBGB employees and
musical guests that she has never paid to get in.
"I loved CBGBís because it was my place, my tribe, my hangout, etc," wrote
Olin in a recent e-mail. "I was attached to the people who worked there
the bands who were friends and some people I met there and just someplace
Olin, who is a professional photographer (she once wrote and took photos
for Circus Magazine) and head chef, once lived in Blondie guitarist Chris
Steinís apartment where Steinís girlfriend and band member Debbie Harry
would also stay on occasion. Olin still remains friends with both of them
to this day.
"Iíd watch Chris Stein shave like a little girl and put on his Alice
Cooper makeup every morning like when I was a little kid watching my
father shave or my mom putting on makeup," Olin said in the e-mail. "I
felt so safe in that house."
Olin is also widely credited with putting on the first punk rock festival
she held in a gymnasium where over 2000 people attended. Too support her
claims, she and Chris Stein still have posters from the event. Debbie
Harry once wrote it was Blondieís biggest audience up to that time calling
the show "pure heaven."
Olin was also a huge fan of many of the music acts that would grace
CBGBís stage during those days. She loved Blondie because she knew the
band members very well and of course she enjoyed The Ramones. Olin didnít
really hang out with Johnny and Joey Ramone speaking only to Johnny a few
times and hanging with Joey occasionally but she did hang out with Marky
and Dee Dee all the time describing those days as "the most funniest
One of the best bands she ever saw wasnít a punk band but a hard rock band
that blew the roof off. AC/DC played there in the late seventies with
original singer Bon Scott who would pass away a few years later due to an
over consumption of alcohol causing him to choke on his own vomit while
She watched The Police play numerous times but wasnít really interested in
them saying, "they sounded exactly as they did on there first record. They
werenít that interesting to me for some reason but I thought Sting was a
Olin also enjoyed the band Television only after they got rid of Richard
Hell, the Talking Heads, The Mumps with Lance Loud, Jayne Country, The
Dead Boys, Slander Band, The New York Dolls (in which Chris Stein turned
her onto), The Voidoids, and the Heartbreakers, which was her favourite
band. Olin regarded Johnny Thunders, (a member of the Heartbreakers) as
the individual who should have been the biggest superstar out of everyone.
She knew Thunders from hanging out at Maxís Kansas City where he often
played and they were friendly together once even sharing a limo with Keith
Richardís common-law wife Anita Pallenberg where they all drank screw
drivers out of a Tropicana juice jars.
"Johnny (Thunders) and I were friendly and I feel I understood him," Olin
said. "He was always soft spoken and funny and sweet. He liked to call
everyone kid. ĎHey kid, hey kids.í He was a very New York old school
Italian boy, in his way he was old fashion."
One individual she did not care for was Patti Smith. Olin thought Smith
babbled too much during performances randomly spouting off poetry and
non-sensical sentences. She also felt at times Smith wasnít a very nice
person but Olin did enjoy Lenny Kaye (The Patti Smith Groupís guitarist)
and the band's performances would be entertaining only when Smith strictly
stuck to singing the songs.
One of Olinís wishes was to see the Sex Pistols who never played CBGBís
and ended up imploding during a U.S. tour in early 1978. Sex Pistol manger
Malcolm McLaren was the manger for the New York Dolls in New York City in
the 70ís where he took the sounds and fashions of the emerging punk scene
in New York and brought them back to England for his new band which would
end up being The Sex Pistols.
Today Olin regards the current state of CBGBís as a shell of itís former
self. The club now relies more on its famous name and legendary status
rather than being an actual hub of cutting edge music.
"I also think itís like a cemetery and over," Olin wrote when describing
CBGB. "Itís depressing to be there. Itís different."
Like Memphis in Ď54, Liverpool in Ď63 and Seattle in Ď91, the New York
punk scene was made up of people who shared a common love of music and
camaraderie. And as with many scenes, the New York punk scene hit its peak
and was soon followed after by a period of decline and eventual burn out.
"It was very tribal, very close scene, anyway the world ignored us we were
a joke," Olin notes when describing those days. "Now its Ramones on Pepsi
commercials and Blondie for Doritos. Now they noticed when its gone..itís
Being around artists for most of her life, Olin doesnít have the
romantic, rock and roll celebrity outlook as many people today do. Itís
more of a personal thing for her because the artists werenít rock idols to
her but friends and acquaintances.
"I hung out since I was 11," Olin remarked in one of her e-mail letters.
"I even later hung out with the Who so being around musicians and creative
people was a natural thing for me and where I felt the most accepted and
it was more fun of course!"
"Your looking at it from what you read after the fact," Olin explained.
"Your looking at the Ramones as this band or Blondie" not people you
goofed around with or you understand. Itís weird relating to Blondie as rock
stars, itís so bizarre."
Article is by: Trent McMartin. And originally released in AntiMusic: