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CBGB's closing for good


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After over 30 years, the legendary rock club CBGB will be closing for good on September 30, 2006.

CBs, as it is universally and fondly known, opened its doors in 1973, making it New York City's oldest continuously operating rock venue. Owner Hilly Kristal originally intended the club to showcase country, bluegrass and blues (hence the acronym), but the lack of places for unsigned bands to perform in New York at the time made CBs a magnet for the punk and art-rock scenes that were emerging downtown. Throughout the '70s, such seminal artists as THE RAMONES, TALKING HEADS, BLONDIE, THE PATTI SMITH GROUP, TELEVISION and SUICIDE performed at CBs regularly, and the club served as an incubator for what would become the most influential music of the era.

When punk metamorphosed into hardcore in the '80s, CBs remained on the city's cutting edge, offering a home for THE GORILLA BISCUITS, AGNOSTIC FRONT, CRO-MAGS, SICK OF IT ALL, H20, MURPHY'S LAW, LEEWAY and the other pillars of the NYHC movement.

As the New York nightlife industry grew bigger and more cutthroat in the '90s, CBs remained an endearingly stubborn throwback, sticking firm to the open-door booking policy that first welcomed its inaugural class of rebels — whoever you are, whatever you do, your band can play at CBGB.

In a downtown scene increasingly governed by fashion and status, CBs has zealously adhered to the formula that made it meaningful, by refusing to apply stylistic filters to its bookings, welcoming all comers to sink or swim on their own merits.

A much-publicized altercation with their landlord in mid-2005 led to an a star-studded benefit concert in Washington Square Park, and even Mayor Bloomberg vocally led his support to the little club that had developed, over the decades, into a globally-recognized cultural institution.

However, despite the universal outpouring of love, and numerous attempts to resolve the matter legally, Kristal has been unable to arrive at terms with the building's owner, and a three-decade musical legacy will come to an end in just a few short months.

Fittingly, steadfastly independent New York concert promoters Rocks Off have signed on to book CBGBs closing festival, set to take place throughout August and September. They are in touch with many of the artists who made CBs famous, and are hard at work putting together a final schedule that will do justice to the club's enduring impact in the many varieties of rock and roll it has helped to cultivate throughout the years.

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Really?! hmm I was looking at the history of CBGBs recently and I was thinking about it a lot...like all the bands that must have passed through it. It seems strange that such a historic and iconic venue would close for such a mundane reason.

Country Blue Grass Blues...Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers (voracious eaters of music) that's apparently what CBGB OMFUG stood for, and I like that idea. :) Lots of us here are voracious eaters of music, and even if punk isn't my fave type of rock I bet it was exciting to hear all those early bands experimenting there along those lines.

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Well it was supposed to close at the end of August 05, so who knows. Well get there if you can before its too late. I live right by it and they need more decent bands to come through. Its cool they let anyone play but a lot of the bands that play there now suck major ass!

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this is fucking bullshit!!!! how can they jus let it close? the ramones played there, television, blondie, Johnny t n the heartbreakers, the dolls, the dictators, Cherry Vanilla, the violators, wayne county, the dead boys, fucking everybody!!! i love how its all fire fucking fashionable for all these cocksuck artists like fuckin eddie vedder prattlin on n on about how much they love punk n how much it did blahdiblah for em, blink 182, sum 41, and all these motherfuckers can't crack their piggybanks open for this fuckin landmark???

CBGBs is NOT fucking closing :(

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