Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Tour Dates/Tix | Feeds

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"
 
 


 

Your turn. 


They call you 
What do you think ?:

Fan Speak:

Posted by Trash:
anyone notice Debbies
really pretty not in a cheap groupie way but really cute..She definetly dosnt look like the idiot looking punkers and sluts that you associate with cbgbs and punk and the sex pistols and mohawks
I like that. TO me thats hot
Wih I was there when Debbie C.b.'s was!
No wonder she was well liked she looked normal too. Checked all the links out as well Great photographer. I agree she should have her own website. and yeah tear down the walls
a MacDonalds would be the same thing as it is now.. serving warmed over steamed crap


Posted by Casey:
Great story Debbie C.B.'s is a true rocker chick. I checked out all the links. I followed Bobby awes directions to this flickr site she has and her photos are amazing.Lots of cbgb rally photos and rock photos of everyone even robert plant.I also took note that she photographs alot of other subjects and shes a truly great artist, Shes also got a wickedly great sense of humore i recommend you all check out the flickr.com site of Debbie C.B.s NYC and look at her Bad Barbie Doll TOy pOrn and Trump and jesus photos that have text they are piss funny.Debbie should have her own website I dug her stuff on the ramone site but she really needs to have her own unless she already does?
You get from her the real person not the musican on there best interview behaviour and I find that more interesting. Sounds like there was alot of good times.
By the way I heardHilly will not be getting a new lease and its just as well. It is dead. Seems it all points ot hilly who mismanaged it
its a tourist trap belongs in a mall. tear it down have one last party everything free and let rome burn


Posted by BUTCH :
TEAR DOWN CBGB'S! punk wasn't about monuments, tourist destinations, idols, mecca-like shyt holes. tear it down and put a mcdonalds there. or a starbucks. another useless place on a useless lot. 30 years ago CBGB's was relevent, now its just a relic. coup-de-grace. put it out of its misery. you've got yer memories. thats all ya need. burn baby burn.


Posted by Bobby Awe:
great stuff - I believe the link to "See more of Deborah's photos by clicking here!" should open this

http://www.flickr.com/photos/debbiecbs


Posted by The Schwab:
It's funny how Blondie was the most commercially successful. But when you think of american punk rock. you think of the Ramones.



Posted by DeadSun:
Great, great article, Trent. Fantastic. A vital chunk of invaluable information for ANY self-respecting Rock fan. Hats off to you and Deborah Olin. Many thanks. DS



 




.
News Reports
.
Day in Rock:
Metallica Resuming Work On New Album- Gene Simmons In New Rock Band Reality Competition Show- Avenged Sevenfold Reveal Deathbat Release Date- Remove U2 Album- more

Day in Pop Gucci Mane Sentenced To Three More Years in Prison- Lindsay Lohan Wheeled Whitney Houston's Corpse Into the Morgue?- Beyonce and Jay-Z Short Film Trilogy- more

B-Sides: Foo Fighters Release Preview Of Upcoming TV Show- Bush Frontman On What Will Revive Rock- Billy Idol Premieres New Song- Glen Drover and Todd La Torre Song- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

.
 
Reviews
.

Death - Leprosy

Road Trip: Under the Volcano: Fun Erupts on Star Flyer Cruise to Nicaragua

Godsmack - 1000hp

Rock Reads: An Ozzy Osbourne Day-by-Day- Teenage News Issue 2

The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story

Devo - The Men Who Make the Music

Hot In The City: Voodoo Sex Cult's A Year and a Day

Anthrax - Chile on Hell

Rock Reads: Glow: The Autobiography of Rick James

The Chimpz - Self Titled EP

On The Record: Kodacrome - Aftermaths

Kyle Hollingsworth - Speed of Life

Meridian - The Awful Truth

Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson - Thick as a Brick - Live in Iceland

ZZ Top - Live at Montreux 2013

Helstar - This Wicked Nest

Get To Know... 21Octayne


.
.
.

Search for Tickets

Or Browse For Tickets

.
.
Today's Rock News
.

Metallica Resuming Work On New Album

Gene Simmons In New Rock Band Reality Competition Show

Avenged Sevenfold Set Deathbat Release

Apple Release Free U2 Album Removal Tool

Trampled Under Foot Breaking Up

Testament, Deicide, Crowbar, Trouble and Dimmu Borgir Supergroup

Corey Taylor Explains Slipknot's Internet 'Foreplay' For New Album

Megadeth Launching Limited Edition Picture Disc Series

ELO Play First Show in 28 Years and May Continue

Fear Factory Planning First Album With Nuclear Blast

DRI Releasing First New Music Since 1995

Chris Walla Plays Final Show With Death Cab for Cutie

Bush Aimed For Heavier Sound On New Album

The Sixxis Streaming Hollow Shrine Album Online

Poison Tour Looking More Likely

Fans Create New Pixies Video

Jack White Expands European Tour

Blaze Bayley Reveals His Iron Maiden Regret

Ricky Delin Leaves Houston

Nightwish Focused More On New Songs Than Showing Off


Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Pop News
.

Gucci Mane Sentenced To Three More Years in Prison

Lindsay Lohan Wheeled Whitney Houston's Corpse Into the Morgue?

Beyonce and Jay-Z Launch New Short Film Trilogy

Kanye West Doesn't Appear To Berate Fan In Wheelchair In New Video

Rick Ross Releases Video and Reveal New Album Release Date

RZA Discusses This Week's Wu-Tang Clan Reunion Show

Amy Winehouse Statue Unveiled

Childish Gambino Releases Sober Track

Brett Eldredge Releases 'Mean to Me' Video

Miss America Uses Pharrell Hit To Win

Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) Releasing New Album

BANKS Discusses Her Approach To Videos

Train Discuss New Album

Lee Brice Receives Platinum Award During Madison Square Garden Show

Maddie & Tae to Release Debut EP This Fall

Dustin Lynch Launching Taste of Country Christmas Tour

Jennifer Garner Discusses Ben Affleck's Batman Transformation

Katherine Webb Opens Up About Her Wedding

.
.
Latest B-Sides News
.


Foo Fighters Release Preview Of Upcoming TV Show

Bush Frontman On What Will Revive Rock

Billy Idol Premieres New Song Can't Break Me Down

Glen Drover and Todd La Torre Release Discordia Lyric Video

Sanctuary Streaming New Song Online

Leaves' Eyes' Liv Kristine Previews New Solo Album

Queen Release Killer Queen Video From Live At The Rainbow '74

Marillion's Steve Rothery Previews New Solo Album

Monuments Release Atlas Video

Sonata Arctica Streaming New Version of Kingdom For A Heart

Bob Dylan's Songwriting Evolution Animated

Singled Out: Freak Kitchen's Freak of the Week

More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
AudioNationRadio.comThe Screen DoorA Journal of Musical ThingsLloyd Zeffler blogDemolish MagNightwatcher's House of RockCJ ChilversDeja VoodooThe 1st Fivethecopycat.bizHard Rock Memorabilia Day in Rock @twitter

.
  .
.

Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!



 

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

Copyright© 1998 - 2014 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.