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Celebrities and Others Urge NYC to Declare CBGB an Official Landmark

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What do Jonathan Demme, Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye, Deborah Harry of Blondie, Juliette Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Tommy Ramone, Charlotte Lesher (mother of the late Joey Ramone), Arturo Vega (artistic director for the Ramones), Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads, Richard Lloyd of Television, Little Steven, Legs McNeill, Richard Hell, Fab 5 Freddy, Seymour Stein of Sire Records, Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys, Bob Gruen, the Bullys, Richard H.D. Manitoba, Dennis McNamara, Daniel Wolff, John Holstrom of Punk Magazine, John Foxworthy of Garage Radio, cultural sociologist Dr. Donna Gaines, Rockefeller University Professor Dr. Sanford Simon, an entrepreneur and survivor of spina bifida, and a teacher in Honolulu all have in common? They are supporting efforts currently underway to help CBGB & OMFUG stay on the Bowery (the club currently faces a rent dispute and lease expiration on August 31, 2005), and are backing a campaign to preserve the club’s legacy with an official New York City landmark designation for 313-315 Bowery.

CBGB’s is already featured as a New York icon and destination location in ads by NYC2012, Continental Airlines, and real estate developments such as Avalon Chrystie Place; club t-shirts have been worn by television stars on shows such as ER and Gilmore Girls.

“CBGB is a treasure of New York culture,” says Tommy Ramone, “It was the original magnet that drew people from every corner of America to come to New York and participate in its rebirth.” In a statement to Project Save CBGB, Seymour Stein of Sire Records says, “At all costs, CBGB’s must be preserved. It is more than a landmark. CBGB is an international treasure!”

CBGB’s, launching bands since 1973, receives on average about 1,500 visitors a week who do not necessarily attend its shows but who just want to step inside and take a look. “With daily visitors from Japan, Argentina, Norway, to New Zealand among other countries, CBGB functions as an historic destination in New York as much as does the Dakota Building,” says Athena of Project Save CBGB.

Widely acknowledged by music critics as the birthplace of the Punk and Underground Rock movement, CBGB’s is also credited with launching the careers of some of the most important artists in musical history — including The Ramones, Talking Heads, Patti Smith Group, Television, and Blondie. More recently, CBGB’s has become a shrine to punk’s departed music heroes—the club resides adjacent to the street corner designated by the City of New York as Joey Ramone Place.

“Project Save CBGB” organized with the intention to keep CBGB’s on the Bowery, and to preserve it for future generations.

Official Save CBGB Site

CBGB Homepage

Press release courtesy of Athena.

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About ZMethos

screenwriter/author
  • Eric Olsen

    excellent, thanks ZM, CBGB’s must live!!

  • http://www.chocolatebarnyc.com chocolate bar

    NEW YORK- (16 May 2005)- Chocolate Bar cordially invites you to “Save CBGB” with limited-edition products dedicated to saving Manhattan’s cultural institution. The Save CBGB Benefit Bash will take place on Monday, 16 May 2005 at 7pm at CBGB located at 315 Bowery with the band Chocolate Genius. A press conference with CBGB owner Hilly Kristal and Chocolate Bar owner Alison Nelson will take place at 6:00pm at CBGB Gallery located at 313 Bowery. Winner of the 2004 Timeout New York Eat Award for “Best Chocolate Store” and New York’s candy store for grown-ups, Chocolate Bar celebrates CBGBs: Home of Underground Rock. For more than 30 years, the eternal downtown nightclub has with ragged pride, served as the incubator for much of the punk and art-rock which came out of New York over the last thirty years including The Ramones, Patti Smith, Television, Blonde and The Talking Heads. Founded in 1973 by Hilly Kristal, the now grandfatherly 73-year-old converted a Hell’s Angels hangout into one of the most famous venues for live music and in doing so established a New York City landmark.

    Press who wish to obtain credentials must send a request on media outlet letterhead. Requests should be faxed to Workhouse Publicity at (212) 645-1950 or sent via email to Workhouse Publicity at info@workhousepr.com. You will be notified of your access prior to the event by email. If you have additional questions please contact us directly at Workhouse Publicity at 212. 645. 8006.

    Debuting on Monday, 16 May, 2005, Chocolate Bar, in collaboration with Hilly Kristal unveils two edible lines of CBGB products including the CBGB Punk Rock Box ($25.00); a 16 piece truffle collection embossed with the pioneering history and iconic imagery of CBGBs illustrious music scene. Served in a chocolate brown box, hot-stamped with the venues famed logo, it comes complete with a postage-paid petition to save CBGB, a record-shaped biography, steel logo keychain and a collection of CBGB stickers. CBGB Retro Bars ($3.00 each); Inspired by those colossal flavors from late-night, post-show snack attacks, discover pure 1970 nostalgia with two new retro flavors. Each is wrapped in a limited-edition CBGB keepsake, weighs an impressive 2.25 ounces and comes complete with a postage-paid petition to save the venerable venue.

    Chocolate Bar is located at 48 Eighth Avenue between Horatio and Jane Streets. Consumers can pre-order CBGB product for delivery anywhere in the U.S. by calling 1.800.481.2462 or by visiting http://www.chocolatebarnyc.com.

  • Eric Olsen

    good luck with that, CB

  • gonzo marx

    ok..as someone that has not only seen many bands perform there, but who has actually performed there himself in the past….

    i find myself ambivalent about all this

    on the on ehand, the historical import of the location cannot be overstated..the club is/was Important to the american music scene/history

    on the other hand, it’s current financial woes, etc are COMPLETELY due to the current owner/manager who has made plenty of money on the place and who has just not paid his bills

    hopefully it can be taken away from this greedhead and run as the historic/vital venue it should be..

    Excelsior!

  • jason

    I quote from above,

    “Debuting on Monday, 16 May, 2005, Chocolate Bar, in collaboration with Hilly Kristal unveils two edible lines of CBGB products including the CBGB Punk Rock Box ($25.00); a 16 piece truffle collection embossed with the pioneering history and iconic imagery of CBGBs illustrious music scene. Served in a chocolate brown box, hot-stamped with the venues famed logo, it comes complete with a postage-paid petition to save CBGB, a record-shaped biography, steel logo keychain and a collection of CBGB stickers. CBGB Retro Bars ($3.00 each)”

    It’s become a brand, not a bar. Can’t wait to visit CBGB land in Orlando, Florida this summer!

  • Monte Three

    I played in CBGBs many times in the early-to-mid eighties. At first it was a showcase thing, then a regular night and some holidays. It was dismal and it paid nothing. I lost money coming from Jersey into this crap city with snotty patrons and legions of warhol rejects. That said, it was still better than the Ritz and other bar joints around.

    Like any bar-band transaction, one needed a large regional following to cut a deal. I understand that, no problem. Now I suppose the ipod spawn of the yuppies go there to have a Woodstock “I was there” moment. Then bounce up and down and jiggle their cells as lotsa top don’t move.

    I’m happy that Hilly and the celebrities had good experiences.

    Personally, I wouldn’t, and didn’t, hang out there on the nights off. Plenty of other clubs were band friendlier, such as Dobbs in Phily. The Dirt Club, was a CBGBs clone in Jersey. John Dirt, like Hilly, was a clever businessman. City Gardens in Trenton was better, probably due to drunk college students and friendly waitresses.

    The point being: making this hole a monument destroys it. Turn it into a joke like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and by the way, rock and roll itself. Next, they’ll be marketing corn chips with its name.

    I’d like to remember it the way I experienced it: dressing rooms with with puke on the floor and dirty bathrooms and a high stage that made you feel like god for a couple of minutes before butch with the nose ring flipped you the bird.

    Farq,
    Monte