Monday, October 09, 2006

The End of the Road for CBGB's.

It's a sad day in New York City and for Music History. The historic punk/rock club CBGBs, an institution on the Bowery for 33 years, is closing its doors this week.

In 1975 New York City there were very few places new and unsigned bands could go and play their music, when CBGB's (Country Bluegrass and Blues) opened its doors, it became an instant destination for the new bands that were inspired by The Velvet Underground,The New York Dolls, The MC5and ,Iggy Pop.. It was the beginning of the American Punk Rick movement, which a year later would inspire the English Punk Rock Movement.

Television, The Talking Heads, Blondie and The Ramones were the early bands that cut their teeth at the club. Soon it became THE MECCA for punk rock in America,

After that every unknown, known, small, big and medium sized punk and new wave act would play its famous stage. As the punk scene faded, it was the "hardcore" scene that kept the club viable and important in the 1980s. In the 1990s the club had become more famous for its history and its brand name than for its cutting edge acts.

I have fond memories of seeing the best punk, hardcore and ska bands of their day at CBGBs. Of moshing and thrashing, screaming and singing and on one magic night, actually taking the stage to play there with my college punk band.

Three years ago I attended the renaming ceremony of the corner of Bowery where CB's is located to "Joey Ramone Place." I wonder if that sign is all that will be left in 20 years and people will be wondering, "Joey who?"

More in the New York Times