Photo: Chris Stein / rednight.net
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.
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