CBGB to Close After 33 Years
Tue, 10 Oct 2006 13:47:19
The landmarks are falling fast. Last weekend brought the beginning of the liquidation of Tower Records. This weekend will mark the end of an era in New York City, as iconic punk rock club CBGB will close its doors for the last time. As previously reported, owner Hilly Kristal is planning to take the club to Vegas -- urinals and all -- but its landmark status is inextricably connected to the Big Apple, where it provided an early home to acts like The Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie, and Patti Smith.
A group of supporters, including E Street Band guitarist and Sopranos co-star Steven Van Zandt, tried to keep CBGB in New York, but Kristal knew that it would be a losing fight.
"I knew the closing was inevitable, because my lawyers said, 'You can't win this case. The law is that your lease is up, and they don't even need a reason to put you out,'" he said.
At least one longtime patron is fully behind the Vegas move. As punk historian Legs McNeil explained, "Girls with augmented breasts playing Joey Ramone slot machines… It would become an institution."
In recent years, CBGB has been much better known for its history than its present bookings. The years have taken their toll on the now-classic bands that graced CBGB stage during its heyday, but Kristal was still able to book an impressive final week that includes performances by The Dictators, Bad Brains, Blondie's Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, and Patti Smith.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff