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 Queen Of CBGB

Legendary New York club CBGB still hasn’t 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 CBGB’s is a tenant. The judges ruling also recognized the historical significance and impact CBGB’s 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 CBGB’s 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 Hilly’s on the Bowery. She attended the club’s 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 CBGB’s 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 Stein’s apartment where Stein’s girlfriend and band member Debbie Harry would also stay on occasion. Olin still remains friends with both of them to this day

“I’d 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 Blondie’s 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 CBGB’s stage during those days. She loved Blondie because she knew the band members very well and of course she enjoyed The Ramones. Olin didn’t 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 wasn’t 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 wasn’t really interested in them saying, “they sounded exactly as they did on there first record. They weren’t 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 Max’s Kansas City where he often played and they were friendly together once even sharing a limo with Keith Richard’s 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. ‘Hey kid, hey kids.’ 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 wasn’t a very nice person but Olin did enjoy Lenny Kaye (The Patti Smith Group’s guitarist) and the band's performances would be entertaining only when Smith strictly stuck to singing the songs.

One of Olin’s wishes was to see the Sex Pistols who never played CBGB’s 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 70’s 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 CBGB’s as a shell of it’s 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 it’s like a cemetery and over,” Olin wrote when describing CBGB. “It’s depressing to be there. It’s different.” 

Like Memphis in ‘54, Liverpool in ‘63 and Seattle in ‘91, 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..it’s weird.”

Being around artists for most of her life, Olin doesn’t have the romantic, rock and roll celebrity outlook as many people today do. It’s more of a personal thing for her because the artists weren’t 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. It’s weird relating to Blondie as rock stars, it’s so bizarre.”

Trent McMartin
 

Check out the special photo gallery of various CBGB related photos Deborah has shared with us!

See more of Deborah's photos by clicking here!

And she recommends that everyone check out Murray Ramone's site "Hands Across Our Face"
 
 


 

 


advertisement
advertisement

.
News Reports
.
Day in Rock:
Metallica Announce Another Rare Club Show- Dio, Lemmy and Randy Rhoads Lead Metal Hall Inductees- Megadeth To Rock Late Night TV and Mustaine Unplugging For Charity- more

Page Too
Avenged Sevenfold Has 'A Lot Of Similarities' To Kanye West- Rock and Metal Grammy Nominations Named- Drake 'Views' Reaches Quadruple-Platinum Status- more

Ritchie Blackmore Announces New Rainbow Tour Dates- Megadeth's Mustaine Calls For Big Four Tour in 2017- Circle II Circle and Into Eternity's Adam Sagan Dead At 36- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

advertisement
.
 
Reviews
.

TBT: The Cult, Stabbing Westward, Monster Magnet and Bird3 Live

Holiday Gift Guide: Pop Culture Edition

Rahm - Between the Lines

Fall Out Boy: The Boys of Zummer Tour: Live in Chicago

Holiday Gift Guide: Vinyl Edition

TBT - Korn's Live & Rare

Road Trip: Sea Life Arizona Aquarium

Panic In Eden - In the Company of Vultures

Holiday Gift Guide: Rock Reads Edition

Thirsty - Albatross

The Slang - Night and Day

Queen On Air: The Complete BBC Radio Sessions

TBT Interview: Nickelback's Chad Kroeger

Holiday Gift Guide: Kris Kristofferson- Van Morrison- Human League Box Sets

John Mellencamp Live In Chicago

MorleyView: Dee Snider

In Tribute: Leonard Cohen Live

TBT: Anthrax - Among the Living

Tilted Axes - Music for Mobile Electric Guitars

Pink Floyd - The Early Years

TBT: Don Felder Interview Flashback

Scattered Hamlet - Swamp Rebel Machine


. .
.
Today's Rock News
. Metallica Announce Another Rare Club Show

Dio, Lemmy and Randy Rhoads Lead Metal Hall Inductees

Megadeth To Rock Late Night TV and Mustaine Unplugging For Charity

Red Hot Chili Peppers Star Turns Table On Fans At Recent Show

Celebrating David Bowie Concert Set For Terminal 5

Journey Announce Vegas Residency And Tour With Asia

Superjoint Announce Headline Tour With Battlecross and Child Bite

Amity Affliction Member Drops Off Tour Due To 'Ongoing Mental Demons'

Apple Music Attracts 20 Million Subscribers In First 18 Months

Skindred Tour Bus Ransacked By 'Thieving Bastards'

Black Spiders Announce Their Final Tour

Mogwai Announce North American Tour

Special An Evening With Primus Concert Announced

Mayhem Announce Live Release And American Tour

Gone Is Gone Release 'Dublin' Video

Bad Religion's Greg Graffin Streams 'Lincoln's Funeral Train'

Trivium's Matt Heafy on Ember To Inferno's Curse

Opeth Surprised By Fans Reaction To Sorceress Songs On Tour

Creeper Plan 'Immersive And Theatrical Stage Show' On Upcoming Tour

Shaman Elephant Stream New Album 'Crystals' Online


Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Page Too News
. Avenged Sevenfold Has 'A Lot Of Similarities' To Kanye West

Rock and Metal Grammy Nominations Named

Drake 'Views' Reaches Quadruple-Platinum Status

'Westworld' Soundtrack Featuring Radiohead, Rolling Stones Streaming

OneRepublic Release 'Let's Hurt Tonight' Video

Adele's 'Carpool Karaoke' the Most Popular Viral Video of 2016

LeAnn Rimes Announces New Album 'Remnants'

Spice Girl Posts Topless Photo Online

Ryan Adams Announces New Album 'Prisoner'

Alan Jackson Announces Honky Tonk Highway Tour

Clutch's Neil Fallon Has No Regrets Over Not So Great Songs

Halestorm Explore Different Ways Of Discovering New Music

Nicki Minaj's New App Features New Song 'Ain't Gone Do It''

Jay-Z Tried To Obtain Rights Prince's Catalog Following His Death

'The Circle' Trailer Features Haunting Hall and Oates Cover

Singled Out: Mungbean's Am Your Eyes



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.