Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Save CBGB's!

Wow. I just read that legendary Manhattan club CBGB's has announced it will close indefinitely on Halloween 2006. I don't know when this news broke, but I just read it on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.

I had looked up CBGB because for some reason I was thinking of the place and I couldn't remember what the letters on the sign outside the club stood for. The letters on the awning are:


As it turns out, according to Wikipedia:

The full name is CBGB & OMFUG which stands for "Country, Bluegrass, and Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers".

"And gormandizers is a voracious eater of, in this case, music." - Hilly Kristal, proprietor of CBGB.

CBGB's is most famous for being the place where The Ramones became famous. Since then, virtually every band who ever made it (as well as countless other bands who never made it), played at CBGB at one time in their careers. When I was in college my friends and I used to see shows there all the time. The first time I went there, I thought it was an absolute dive. I couldn't understand what the big deal was. I knew some big names had played there in the past, including Tom Petty, and that in some ways it was the birthplace of American punk rock, but when I looked around, all I could see was that the place was a wreck! Obviously I was not cool enough to appreciate what "punk rock" was all about. Heh, heh.

Anyway, regardless of what the place looks like, CBGB is a little piece of history of American music, and it will be a damn shame when it closes. The owners are working to find another location in Manhattan, or God forbid, Las Vegas. In the meantime, head down to CBGB while you still can. And you may want to ignore what the place looks like, but don't. Embrace it. Eventually I came to realize that true rock and roll isn't all polished and neat and shiny. It's all about the energy, and I've never been in a club with more energy than CBGB.


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