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 [Blu-ray] and CBGB [DVD] .

CBGB Festival:
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 2013.
- 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 Waldos.
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 Finnegan.

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.

About cast:
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 members).
More actors: Alan Rickman is Hilly Kristal, Justin Bartha is Stiv Bators, 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. Rodney 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 Anguiano:
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 the 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 Finnegan:
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 Finnegan.

My (Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone) Hilly Kristal memories:
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 We Have Come 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.


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."


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 club.
"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 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 have."
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 platforms."
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, 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 date."


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."

(Photo: It 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.)

"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)."



CBGB closed 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 New York."
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.


(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 career. 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, Niagara, Conrad 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.


Gavin Rossdale also tries to save club, but landlord says lease won't be renewed.
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 senses."
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 City."
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."


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 here."
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 announcement.
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 Bloomberg.
"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 bluntly: "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."

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 to go."
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 craziest times."
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 passed out.
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 nice guy."
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 weird."
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: