PHOTOS: The Final Days Of CBGB

cbgb, new york

Photo: Chris Stein /

Hilly Kristal, a trained violinist, opened CBGB music club in 1973 in NYC’s East Village with the intention to book country and bluegrass music bands. The full name of the club was CBGB & OMFUG, which stands for “Country Bluegrass Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers.”

But a new wave of musical rebels made the venue their home and punk rock luminaries such as The Ramones, Misfits, Television, Patti Smith, Talking Heads and Blondie got their start there.

The club closed in October 2006 over a rent dispute and Kristal planned to strip down CBGB to its bare walls and ship all memorabilia to Las Vegas and reopen the club there. He passed away the following year and his plan never materialised.

Now the building is occupied by a store of high-end men’s fashion designer John Varvatos.

Chris Stein, the Blondie guitarist, has published a photo gallery from the last few days of CBGB’s existence as a functioning club, taking us back to a unique time in music and NYC history.

The front


Floor in front of the stage... awesome!

More of the same!

Over the stage looking back


Looking downstairs

Fuse box

Girls room

Girls room

Girls room

Boys room

Boys room

Boys room


The ceiling over where the kitchen used to be

Dressing room

Dressing room light

Someone's coat

Patch bay


The main view

Hilly Kristal

Over where Hilly was sitting

Hilly watching TV

At the door


Burnt ceiling

The stage almost gone



Awning rear view

After the awning was removed the last few days


Want to see more of New York's history? Now Check:

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