antiMusic Logo
Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Feeds
spacer

antiMUSIC is pleased to welcome aboard Trent McMartin who not only has been filing special news reports but now will give you the "lowdown" on various music related topics! 

As always the views expressed by the writer do not neccessarily reflect the views of antiMUSIC or the iconoclast entertainment group
.

The End of an Era

As of August 31 of this year the lease for New York City seminal rock club CBGB will expire. The club, which has been around for over thirty years, does not own its own space and is looking for a new deal with the Bowery Residence Committee (BRC). The BRC is in charge of renting the space of the entire building CBGB is located in and now the talks between the property owner and CBGB owner Hilly Kristal have stalled over alleged unpaid rent and safety concerns. 

With negotiations at a stand still and time running out, an American musical institution is in serious danger of closing its doors for the last time spelling a definite end to an era that has long since passed. I sincerely hope it never shuts down...its been one of my life long dreams to play there and I just hope I get the chance to make that dream come true someday, said Billy Pettinger of the punk band Billy and The Lost Boys. Literally everyone that we look up to as musicians has played on that stage. To see such a rich history disintegrate right in front of our eyes would be a shame, although Id predict it would only help to in making the club that much more legendary.

CBGBs, which stands for Country, Blue Grass and Blues was originally a venue for country and folk musicians. As the seventies progressed many underground musicians would end up calling CBGBs home playing there regularly establishing themselves as leaders of a new movement. Groups that would frequent the club included The Patti Smith Group, The Ramones, Blondie, Television and the Talking Heads among others. 

CBGB was a dump and it was the only place to see certain types of artists, said George Seminara, one of the producers of the Ramones documentary End of the Century and local resident who grew up around the club. Punk was literally born on its dog sh*t encrusted floor boards.  But Punk in turn spawned so many musical styles that its reverberations will persist for generations, he added. 

Many who were first hand witnesses to musical history have their own personal stories and insights on CBGBs. Their favourite moment. Their favourite band. Their favourite show.  When asked which were his favourite acts to play CBGBs George Seminara responded by saying Ramones in 1977 of course, but guiltily I would have to say the Jam. The fire marshals were there and only allowed the 103 patrons in the club of which I was one. 

Deborah Olin, who once lived with Chris Stein and Debby Harry and was a regular patron of CBGBs couldnt decide on any one moment since she witnessed many memorable gigs by many great bands. I was very partial to Blondie because I knew them and I loved them and they were great, Olin revealed. I did love the Ramones the second I saw them thats almost as long as there first song lasted. 

During its hey day CBGBs was a breeding ground for creativity and a place where musicians could hone their craft. Murray Ramone, webmaster of the Ramones fansite  Hands Across Your Face explained. The secret behind CBGBs success was the twin combination of bands with cheap places to live and rehearse and the policy of letting anyone play. No band arrives fully formed, they have to learn someplace and CBGBs has been the place since it opened.

Rick Blanco, who runs a Flipper fan website described recently how the club operated over the course of its existence citing its inner workings and willingness to promote lesser known artists. For years the venue has hosted new band nights twice a week, said Blanco. The people at the door ask who you came to see. So if ten people walk and came to see band A, band A gets paid $5 admission. If no one came to see band B, band B makes nothing. Most bands see it as honor cause so many bands have played that stage.

Moving into the eighites and nineties the club fell on hard times and on numerous occasions was without proper plumbing and heat. And recently the club has faced accusations of unpaid rent and safety issues. In an online statement posted on the site www.savecbgb.org, the BRC is claiming that CBGB has not paid their full rent for three years. CBGB claims the BRC has not properly billed the club for those years and did not even provide heat.

The statement than goes on to decree that CBGBs simply wants a renewal of their 12 year lease, for the BRC to be a good landlord and take proper care of the maintenance of the building, for the BRC to provide information on rent increases in a proper and fair manner, for the BRC to fulfill its mission of taking care of the homeless and mentally ill, and for New York City and the neighbours of the Lower East Side to take action before it is too late and this historic club turns into a memory.

Many have offered support for the legendary club donating money and their voice but there are a large number of people who feel that even though the club has some historical significance, all things must come to an end. 

I grew up with the place (CBGBs) too in the late '70's and early '80's but Im not really involved in whats going on with the club now and frankly I think it's time to let go, said Jim Fields, co-director of the Ramones documentary End of the Century. The place is not really a vital spot for music anymore. Its really a museum, more or less. Its not all that punk to cling to the past. Its hard to let go but... go out while youre still fairly on top, Fields added. 

Sonic 102. 9 FM radio Program Director Jason Manning, who has made numerous trips to the club agreed. The problem is the people who own the building want to raise the rent through the roof....well CBs cant afford it....and as much as I hate to say it....all good things must come to an end. I hope that if it does close....all the walls do not get sold to the Hard Rock Cafe.  It would be cool if they reopened somewhere else.....NYC wont be the same without that place. 

CBGB today is not just a victim of shifting musical trends and tastes but a whole demographic change. The rest of the area has now changed, the process of gentrification now means youre neighbours are less likely to be tolerant of a band playing the same song twenty times in a row trying to figure it out at 3 am, said webmaster Murray Ramone. As most of the bands were the next nights audience in the old days it meant there was a steady clientele there as well. Last time I was in on a midweek night the band outnumbered the audience.

According to some online reports, owner Hilly Kristal may be interested in taking the CBGB brand name to Vegas and open a new club there. While many think it is a logical step to move the club to sin city, others feel the contrary. 

Of course moving CBGBs to Vegas would lose its charm, Billy Pettinger remarked. Thats like moving Gilman Street to Vegas. It really says something about the state of indie music when even a club as famous as CGBGs cant afford to keep its doors open. 

Now with only a few weeks to go until the expiration of CBGBs lease, the club and its followers scramble to make last ditch efforts to save an historical landmark where a musical revolution was born. 

Music is a crucial part of the New York City landscape and yet every venue but CBGB and Carnegie Hall are gone (Lincoln Center is relatively new), George Seminara explained in a recent e-mail. And like Carnegie Hall, CBs is crucial to the citys musical fabric.

CBGBs became famous worldwide for being the home of Punk rock - you could say that it wouldnt have worked without the bands, but the bands wouldnt have existed without somewhere to play, added Murray Ramone. 

In Liverpool they tore down the old Cavern where the Beatles played, only to reopen it nearby. New York shouldnt make that mistake.

Trent McMartin
 
 



 


advertisement
advertisement

.
News Reports
.
Day in Rock:
AC/DC With Axl Rose Concert Leads To Fine- Former Boston Drummer Sib Hashian Dies- Scorpions and Megadeth Tour - Slash Was Angry When Poison Didn't Hire Him- more

Page Too
Justin Bieber Calls Out Fans For Acting Like 'Animals'- L.A. Sheriff's Department Apologize To Wyclef Jean- Ed Sheeran To Receive Songwriters Hall Of Fame Award- more

Former Boston Drummer Sib Hashian Dies On Legends Of Rock Cruise- Rolling Stones Film Expanded For DVD and Blu-Ray- David Bowie ZiggyZag Statue Fan Initiative Fails- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

advertisement
.
 
Reviews
.

On The Record: The Dollyrots - Whiplash Splash

TBT: Down III Over the Under

Les Bohem - Moved to Duarte

In Tribute: Chuck Berry Live In Chicago

Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy

Emmet Cahill - Emmet Cahill's Ireland

American Dreamer - Restless Nights

Rock Reads: Out of the Basement: From Cheap Trick to DIY Punk in Rockford, Illinois, 1973-2005

Dan Webb - Oedipus The King

Root 66 Week: Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band - Standing on Faith

Derek Davis - Revolutionary Soul

Root 66 Week: Darin and Brooke Aldridge - Faster and Farther

Road Trip: The True/False Film Fest 2017

Root 66 Week: Chip Taylor - A Song I Can Live With

Zucchero - Black Cat

Mike Llerena - Absence & The Heart

Root 66: Charlie and the Regrets - Rivers in the Streets

Tony K's Best Films Of 2016 List

Chickn - Chickn

Avenged Sevenfold TBT

Miss Ohio - White Hot: The Best of Miss Ohio

Joe Lynn Turner - The Sessions


. .
.
Today's Rock News
. AC/DC With Axl Rose Concert Leads To Fine (top story)

Former Boston Drummer Sib Hashian Dies On Legends Of Rock Cruise (top story)

Scorpions Confirm American Tour With Megadeth (top story)

Slash Was Angry When Poison Didn't Hire Him (top story)

Previously Unreleased Pink Floyd Recording Coming For RSD (top story)

Clutch Announce Their Own Music Festival and Tour With Primus (top story)

Paul McCartney Shares Tribute To Chuck Berry (top story)

David Bowie, Prince, Jimmy Page Lead Record Store Day Releases (top story)

Joe Walsh Announces Special 3-Day Event At Graceland (top story)

Taking Back Sunday, Every Time I Die Summer Tour Announced (top story)

Nine Inch Nails Lead The FYF Fest Lineup (top story)

Cheap Trick Announce UK Mini Tour (top story)

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready Announces Book Release (top story)

Dopesick Recruit Ill Nino Frontman For 'Release Me' Video (top story)

Toto Announce Summer Tour With Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (top story)

Raven Announce U.S. and European Tour Dates (top story)

Radiohead Reveal Support Act For U.S. Tour (top story)

Sublime Releasing Special Beer for '40oz. To Freedom' 25th Anniversary (top story)

Rolling Stones Film Expanded For DVD and Blu-Ray (top story)

David Bowie ZiggyZag Statue Fan Initiative Fails (top story)

The Def Leppard EP Getting Special Reissue (top story)

Allman Brothers Band Announce The Fox Box Set (top story)

The Doors' Robby Krieger Announces U.S. Solo Tour (top story)

2017 Warped Tour Lineup Announced (top story)

Kansas Add New North American Leg To Leftoverture Tour (top story)

Bob Dylan Explains Why He's Releasing 'Triplicate' (top story)

Prince Retains Most Extensive Record Ever Sold Honor (top story)

'Grateful Dead Movie' Returning to Theaters For One Night (top story)

Rocklahoma Festival Announces Daily Lineups (top story)

Metal Church Recruit Meshiaak To Support Euro Tour (top story)

Cro-Mags' John Joseph Announce Free Book Release Event (top story)

Blondie TV Concert Special Coming Next Month (top story)

Muse, Blink 1982. Arcade Fire Lead Lollapalooza Lineup (top story)

Jason Newsted Praises Metallica's New Album and His Replacement (top story)

Blessthefall Refuse 'Handouts' After Being Robbed On Tour (top story)

The Beatles' Hometown Announce 'Sgt. Pepper's' 50th Anniversary Celebration (top story)

New Chuck Berry Song 'Big Boys' Streaming (top story)

Lacuna Coil Release 'Blood, Tears, Dust' Video (top story)

Fates Warning Announce U.S. Summer Tour Dates (top story)

Adrenaline Mob Announce New Album 'We The People' (top story)

Fleetwood Mac, Bowie, The Doors, Ramones Vinyl For RSD (top story)

Ayreon Reveal Fan Made Video Finalist Clips (top story)

Junkyard Announce First New Album in 26 Years (top story)

Sabaton Release Teaser For American Tour With Leaves' Eyes (top story)

Richie Kotzen Release 'End Of Earth' Video (top story)


Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Page Too News
. Metal Band Cradle of Filth Slam Rapper Kanye West (top story)

Rick Ross Already Planning Next Album And Reveals Title (top story)

Justin Bieber Calls Out Fans For Acting Like 'Animals' (top story)

L.A. Sheriff's Department Apologize To Wyclef Jean (top story)

Ed Sheeran To Receive Award From Songwriters Hall Of Fame (top story)

More Big Names Added As ACM Awards Performers (top story)

Bebe Rexha Hints At Possible Collaborating With Louis Tomlinson (top story)

Harry Styles May Release New Music Next Month (top story)

Judge Rejects Kesha Request In Battle Against Dr. Luke (top story)

Future And Mike WiLL Made-It Stream New Track 'Razzle Dazzle' (top story)

Paris Jackson Recalls Her Starstruck Meeting With Alice Cooper (top story)

Little Big Town Go Behind the Song 'Better Man' Ahead Of ACMs (top story)

Katy Perry's 'Chained to the Rhythm' Remixed By Lil Yachty (top story)

Aerosmith, Chainsmokers, Keith Urban Lead NCAA March Madness Music Festival (top story)

Faith Hill And Tim McGraw Streaming New Song 'Speak To A Girl' (top story)

Suge Knight Reportedly Hospitalized In Los Angeles (top story)

Zayn Malik Releases 'Still Got Time' Featuring PartyNextDoor (top story)

David Guetta Streams New Song Featuring Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne (top story)

Rick Ross May Have Identified DJ Khaled's 'They' (top story)

Kendrick Lamar Ignites Speculation With Online Move (top story)

Gorillaz Reveal Short Film To Announce New Album 'Humanz' (top story)

Dave Chappelle Impersonates Drake In Comedy Special Preview (top story)

Migos Brawl Release 'What The Price' Music Video (top story)

Iggy Azalea Streams New Single 'Mo Bounce' (top story)

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Stream 'Hope the High Road' (top story)

Adele Dedicates Song To London Terror Attack Victims (top story)

Fifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui In Bare With Me Photo Series (top story)



More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
Rock On the Rise Radio The Screen DoorA Journal of Musical ThingsLloyd Zeffler blogDemolish MagNightwatcher's House of RockCJ ChilversDeja VoodooThe 1st FiveHard Rock Memorabilia thecopycat.bizDay in Rock @twitter

.
  .
.
 

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2016 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.