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.
Press release courtesy of Athena.