CBGB Bowery on the Bowery in Downtown Manhattan

Monday, 18 November 2019 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, New York City
Reading Time:  7 minutes

CBGB club facade in 2005 © Adicarlo/cc-by-sa-3.0

CBGB club facade in 2005 © Adicarlo/cc-by-sa-3.0

CBGB was a New York City music club opened in 1973 by Hilly Kristal in Manhattan‘s East Village. The club was previously a biker bar and before that was a dive bar. The letters CBGB were for Country, BlueGrass, and Blues, Kristal’s original vision, yet CBGB soon became a famed venue of punk rock and new wave bands like the Ramones, Television, Patti Smith Group, Blondie, and Talking Heads. From the early 1980s onward, CBGB was known for hardcore punk.

One storefront beside CBGB became the “CBGB Record Canteen”, a record shop and café. In the late 1980s, “CBGB Record Canteen” was converted into an art gallery and second performance space, “CB’s 313 Gallery”. CB’s Gallery was played by music artists of milder sounds, such as acoustic rock, folk, jazz, or experimental music, such as Dadadah, Kristeen Young and Toshi Reagon, while CBGB continued to showcase mainly hardcore punk, post-punk, metal, and alternative rock. 313 Gallery was also the host location for Alchemy, a weekly Goth night showcasing goth, industrial, dark rock, and darkwave bands. On the other side, CBGB was operating a small cafe and bar in the mid-1990s, which served classic New York pizza, among other items.

In 2005, atop its normally paid monthly rent of $19,000, CBGB was sued for some $90,000 in rent allegedly owed to its landlord, Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC). Refusing to pay until a judge ruled the debt legitimate, Kristal claimed that he had never been notified of scaled rent increases, accruing over a number of years, asserted by BRC’s executive director Muzzy Rosenblatt. Ruling the debt false—that BRC had never properly billed the rent increases—the judge indicated that CBGB ought to be declared a landmark, but noted that Rosenblatt did not need to renew the lease, soon expiring. Rosenblatt vowed to appeal. Expecting Rosenblatt’s resistance to lease negotiation, Kristal agreed that the rent ought to rise, but not to the $55,000 monthly that Kristal believed the BRC to want. A nonprofit corporation housing homeless above CBGB mostly through donations and government funding, the BRC had only one commercial tenant and raised its monthly rent to $35,000. Kristal and the BRC reached an agreement whereby CBGB would leave by September 30, 2006. Planning to move CBGB to Las Vegas, Kristal explained, “We’re going to take the urinals. I’ll take whatever I can. The movers said, ‘You ought to take everything, and auction off what you don’t want on eBay.’ Why not? Somebody will.”

The new facade of the former CBGB club in 2008 © Sbazzone CBGB club facade in 2005 © Adicarlo/cc-by-sa-3.0 Former CBGB in 2009 - Fancy acoustic Gibson © flickr.com - Angie Garrett/cc-by-2.0 Former CBGB in 2009 - Former stage © flickr.com - Angie Garrett/cc-by-2.0 Former CBGB in 2009 - Gibson Perspective © flickr.com - Angie Garrett/cc-by-2.0 Former CBGB in 2009 - Interior © flickr.com - Angie Garrett/cc-by-2.0 Former CBGB in 2009 - Lady Liberty © flickr.com - Angie Garrett/cc-by-2.0 Former CBGB in 2009 - Skull and Ramones © flickr.com - Angie Garrett/cc-by-2.0
<
>
Former CBGB in 2009 - Fancy acoustic Gibson © flickr.com - Angie Garrett/cc-by-2.0
Many punk rock bands played at CBGB when they found it was going to close in hopes that their support could keep it from closing. Rocks Off, a promoter in New York, organized CBGB’s final weeks of shows to book “many of the artists who made CB’s famous”. Jobless Bob, Avail, the Bouncing Souls, and such newer acts opened during the last week, which included multi-night stands by Bad Brains and the Dictators and an acoustic set by Blondie. The final show, broadcast live on Sirius Satellite Radio on October 15, was played by Patti Smith, helped on some songs by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Television‘s Richard Lloyd, too, played in a few, including “Marquee Moon“. Nearly finished, Smith and band playing “Gloria” alternated the chorus with echos of “Blitzkrieg Bop“—by the RamonesHey! Ho! Let’s go!. During “Elegie”, her final encore, Smith named musicians and other music figures who had died since playing at CBGB. On October 15, 2006, upon Patti Smith’s last show at CBGB, the storied bar and club closed.

After closing, the old CBGB venue remained open as CBGB Fashions—retail store, wholesale department, and an online store—until October 31, 2006. CBGB Fashions moved to 19–23 St. Mark’s Place on November 1, and closed nearly two years later in summer 2008. In December 2015, various news outlets reported on a rebranded CBGB “reopening” at Newark International Airport – as CBGB L.A.B. (Lounge and Bar) by New York Chef chef Harold Moore; which had opened as of the end of December 2015.

By late 2007, fashion designer John Varvatos planned to open a store in CBGB’s former space, 315 Bowery, but to tastefully trail CBGB’s legacy rock and roll stickers on the walls, and much of the graffiti at the toilets was preserved, as were some playbills, found behind a wall, from shows at the club’s 10th anniversary in 1983. The store opened in April 2008. In 2008, a SoHo art gallery dedicated to music photography, the Morrison Hotel, opened a second location in the onetime CBGB Gallery at 313 Bowery, but the Morrison Hotel gallery closed in 2011. The building is currently occupied by Patagonia, a clothing store. Called the “Extra Place”, the alley behind the building became a pedestrian mall. The Dead BoysCheetah Chrome rued, “All of Manhattan has lost its soul to money lords”, yet reflected, “If that alley could talk, it’s seen it all”. CBGB’s nomination as a landmark drew an explanation:

CBGB was founded in 1973 at 315 Bowery, in a former nineteenth-century saloon on the first floor of the Palace Lodging House. The legendary music venue fostered new genres of American music, including punk and art rock, that defined the culture of downtown Manhattan in the 1970s, and that still resonate today. In this role as cultural incubator, CBGB served the same function as the theatres and concert halls of the Bowery’s storied past. The former club, now occupied by a retail business, remains a pilgrimage site for legions of music fans.

Today visitors can see etched into the cement at the entrance to the clothing store, the name of the music venue and the date it was founded “CBGB ’73”. People often stop and take pictures of the inscription as well as the facade of the store.

Read more on CBGB, John Varvatos, Curbed, 4 October 2017: The ever-changing Bowery and Wikipedia CBGB (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Llangollen in Wales

Llangollen in Wales

[caption id="attachment_151394" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Plas Newydd © Wolfgang Sauber/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Llangollen is a small town and community in Denbighshire, north-east Wales, situated on the River Dee and on the edge of the Berwyn mountains. Today Llangollen relies heavily on the tourist industry, but still gains substantial income from farming. Most of the farms in the hills around the town were sheep farms, and weaving was an important cottage industry in the area for centuries. Several fact...

[ read more ]

The Albatros

The Albatros

[caption id="attachment_209925" align="aligncenter" width="590"] entering Cairns, Australia © Summerdrought/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]MS Albatros is a cruise ship, operated by the Germany-based travel agency Phoenix Reisen. She was built in 1973 by Wärtsilä Helsinki Shipyard, Finland for Royal Viking Line as Royal Viking Sea, and has also sailed under the names Royal Odyssey, Norwegian Star, and Crown. She is the second Albatros for Phoenix Reisen as she was the replacement of the original SS Albatros. MS Albatr...

[ read more ]

The Principality of Andorra

The Principality of Andorra

[caption id="attachment_151441" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Arcalis - Pleta de Castellar © Simonjoan[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Andorra is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of 468 km2 (181 sq mi) and an estimated population of 84,082 in 2009. Its capital, Andorra la Vella, is the highest capital city in Europe, being at an elevation of 1023 metres. The official language is Cat...

[ read more ]

The Anthem of the Seas

The Anthem of the Seas

[caption id="attachment_165230" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © flickr.com - slgckgc/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]MS Anthem of the Seas is a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean International (RCI). She is the second ship of the Quantum class, which surpasses the earlier Freedom-class ships by over 14,000 GT, becoming the second largest class of passenger ships behind RCI's Oasis class ships on a gross tonnage basis. On February 11, 2011, Royal Caribbean announced that they had ordered a new class of ships from the...

[ read more ]

Theme Week North Korea - Hamhung

Theme Week North Korea - Hamhung

[caption id="attachment_218615" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Mass Dance © flickr.com - Mario Micklisch/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Hamhŭng is North Korea's second largest city, and the capital of South Hamgyŏng Province. With an estimated population of 768,551, Hamhung is the second largest city by population in the whole country of North Korea. Located in the southern part of the South Hamgyong province, Hamhung is the main and most popular metropolitan area in the whole province, and serves for almost all touris...

[ read more ]

Boom on Rupel river

Boom on Rupel river

[caption id="attachment_161068" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Mainstage Tomorrowland 2010 © YouryDW[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Boom is a municipality located in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium, and in the province of Antwerp. The municipality only comprises the town of Boom proper. It has a population of 16,000 inhabitants. Residents are known as "Boomers". Boom is located between three big cities (Brussels, Antwerp and Mechelen) and near the Rupel river. Tomorrowland is held in Belgium as an electronic ...

[ read more ]

The European Union: Migration debate, xenophobia, racism, religious hostilities, LGBTQIA+ hostilities, antisemitism and right-wing extremism

The European Union: Migration debate, xenophobia, racism, religious hostilities, LGBTQIA+ hostilities, antisemitism and right-wing extremism

[caption id="attachment_208818" align="aligncenter" width="590"][/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"](Latest update: 23 August 2022) It is actually unbelievable: the wall fell, fortunately the Soviet Union failed in its own right, as a result of which most of the Eastern Bloc gained its freedom. There was great hope for democracy, freedom and the rule of law. Especially in the eastward expansion of the EU, which only knows freedom from history lessons, the hope for freedom and democracy was huge. It is all the more surprising that parts o...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Navarre - Villava-Atarrabia

Theme Week Navarre - Villava-Atarrabia

[caption id="attachment_231421" align="alignnone" width="590"] Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario © Zarateman/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Villava (Basque: Atarrabia) is a town and municipality located in the province and autonomous community of Navarre, northern Spain. The population is about 10,000, and the town is located 4 km away from Pamplona, the capital of Navarre. The village was founded in 1184 by King Sancho VI the Wise of Navarre. For several centuries, Villava was just a little town, but in the...

[ read more ]

Theme Week East Jerusalem - The Jaffa Gate

Theme Week East Jerusalem - The Jaffa Gate

[caption id="attachment_168684" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Jaffa Gate plaque © Djampa/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Jaffa Gate (Bab al-Khalil, Hebron Gate) is a stone portal in the historic walls of the Arabic East Jerusalem (Old City). It is one of eight gates in Jerusalem's Old City walls (Damascus Gate, Dung Gate, Golden Gate, Herod's Gate, Huldah Gates, Jaffa Gate, Lions' Gate, New Gate, and Zion Gate). The Crusaders calling it "David's Gate". Jaffa Gate is the only one of the Old City gates positioned at a r...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Peru - Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire

Theme Week Peru - Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire

[caption id="attachment_219286" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Plaza de Armas © Lunaloop/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Cusco is a city in southeastern Peru near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region and of the Cusco Province. The city is the seventh most populous in Peru and, in 2017, had a population of 428,450. Its elevation is around 3,400 m (11,200 ft). The city was the capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th century until the 16th-century Spanish conquest. In 198...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
Port-Cros © Richard Gertis/cc-by-sa-2.5
Port-Cros National Park on the French Riviera

Port-Cros National Park (French: Parc national de Port-Cros) is a French national park established on the Mediterranean island of Port-Cros,...

© Avishai Teicher/cc-by-2.5
Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv

The Yitzhak Rabin Center is a library and research center in Tel Aviv, Israel, built in memory of assassinated Israeli...

Art Deco Hotel in the North Shore Historic District © flickr.com - Phillip Pessar/cc-by-2.0
North Miami Beach

North Miami Beach (commonly referred to as NMB) is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Originally named Fulford-by-the-Sea in 1926...

Close