Tuesday, August 21, 2007

CBGB (Country, Blue Grass, and Blues) was a legendary music club located at 315 Bowery at Bleecker Street in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Founded by Hilly Kristal in 1973, it was originally intended to feature its namesake musical styles, but became legendary as a forum for American punk and punk-influenced bands like Ramones, Television, Mink Deville, The Dead Boys, The Dictators, The Fleshtones, Blondie, and Talking Heads. The club closed on the weekend of October 13, 2006. The Dictators headlined the final Friday and Saturday night, October 13 and October 14, and were joined onstage Saturday night by Blondie's Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, performing an acoustic set. The final concert was performed by Patti Smith on Sunday October 15. CBGB Fashions (the CBGB store, wholesale department, and online store) stayed open until October 31 at 315 Bowery. On November 1 CBGB Fashions moved to 19-23 St. Mark's Place.

At the third Television gig on 14 April 1974, Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye from the Patti Smith Group were in the audience; however, the band was not to make its CBGB debut until 14 February 1975. Alongside Television, other early performers included The Stillettoes (appearing as a back up vocalist, future Blondie vocalist Debbie Harry), who supported Television on 5 May 1974, the newly-formed Blondie (under its original name of Angel & the Snake) and The Ramones, both in August 1974.
Mink DeVille, Talking Heads, The Shirts (band)|The Shirts, Steel Tips, Jackson Main, The Heartbreakers, The Fleshtones and many other bands followed in quick succession. The club continued to host many punk and new wave bands over the years.
CBGB's had only one rule for a band to follow in order to play at the venue: they had to write original music. No cover bands were booked to play there. However, regulars like Television and the Ramones sometimes played a handful of covers during their sets.

Hardcore punk
In 2005, a dispute between CBGB and the Bowery Resident's Committee began. The Committee billed Kristal $91,000 in back rent, while Kristal claimed he had not been informed of increases in his $19,000 monthly rent. After the lease expired, they reached an agreement for the club to remain for fourteen more months while Kristal dropped his legal battles and his attempts to get historic landmark status for the club.
Kristal plans to move the club far from its roots with a new CBGB's in Las Vegas, Nevada. The owner plans to strip the current club down to the bare walls, bringing as much of it to Nevada as possible.
"We're going to take the urinals," he said. "I'll take whatever I can. The movers said, `You ought to take everything, and auction off what you don't want on eBay.' Why not? Somebody will."
The club finally closed on October 15, 2006. The last week featured multi-night stands by Bad Brains and The Dictators, along with an acoustic set by Blondie. Younger groups such as Avail and the Bouncing Souls also performed.
The final concert was performed by Patti Smith and broadcast live on Sirius Satellite Radio. Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers attended the show and even performed on a handful of songs with Smith and her band. Flea turned 44 at midnight, and the band and crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to him. Television's Richard Lloyd also guested on a few songs, including a version of "Marquee Moon". Toward the end of their set, the band played "Gloria", paying tribute to the Ramones during the chorus by alternating between the original lyrics and the "Hey! Ho! Let's go!" of "Blitzkrieg Bop". In her final encore, the song "Elegie", Smith listed many of the musicians who died since they last played at CBGB.

CBGB Famous acts

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