Thursday, December 07, 2006
Goodbye, CBGB  

CBGB 2006 or 1976?
Originally uploaded by TheJerseyTomato.
Country, Bluegrass, or Blues wasn't played the last week CBGB was open. Lucky and I caught its last ska show (headlined by The Pietasters) on October 5.

Although we had been to the Stone Pony a gazillion times and I had been to both The Bitter End and The Bottom Line, CBGB was never visited. So it was odd... discovering something that we could come to love and knowing that it was too late to develop the relationship.

As most of you know, the Ramones, Television, and Talking Heads all got their start in this hole in the wall. And I am NOT kidding about it being a hole in the wall. The bar is what some call "shotgun style", meaning that it's long and narrow (a bullet could go through the front door and out the back). Dust on the monitors hadn't been moved since the 1970s and the walls were being held up by poster glue and stickers.

The end of CBGB is a sign of the times. The landlord, Bowery Residents' Committee -- a non-profit organization that runs a homeless shelter above the premises kicked it out, saying there was back rent due (paperwork is iffy on that)... the fact is that they wanted a bigname company to move in. Just like many landlords in Westfield, NJ had done... kick out the independent businesses that created the feel of the neighborhood and make it another Starbucks/Gap outside mall.

CBGB's owner says that he has plans to move it to Las Vegas. A perfect fit, I think. As long as they don't make it too shiny.

(More photos on Flickr)

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