CBGB to Close Doors in September... and Reopen in Vegas?
Fri, 07 Jul 2006 13:48:44
New York City's legendary punk rock club CBGB put up a helluva fight, but skyrocketing rent costs and an ongoing dispute with the venue's landlord have finally forced owner Hilly Kristal to shut the doors for good. When bartenders holler "last call" on September 30, it will truly be the last call, closing a proud chapter in the Manhattan music scene that spanned over three decades -- the club was founded in 1973 -- and nurtured the careers of The Ramones, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, Television, Agnostic Front, and many others.
But the book isn't closing on CBGB. Not even a recent diagnosis of lung cancer is stopping Kristal from forging ahead -- and he's got his eyes on Vegas, baby.
"We want to take a lot of this stuff with us, and I think we're going to move to Las Vegas," said Kristal, who initially hoped to find another location in New York, but was discouraged by the astronomical prices. "I have some developers who have some really great space in the downtown area. So, I'd say sometime in the spring we'll be in Las Vegas."
Kristal added that although the new venue would obviously not share the same layout as the old, battle-scarred one, some of its amenities would be the same, right down to "the urinal that Joey [Ramone] pissed in."
Even if he packs up and heads across country, though, it's clear that Kristal will be leaving a piece of his heart in the Big Apple -- and he's hoping to eventually open another CBGB there, pending his health and the success of his Vegas venture. In the meantime, all eyes will be on the closing schedule for the old club, which has yet to be announced but is expected to be jam-packed with old friends -- including a few famous ones -- during August and September.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff