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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

CBGB

Birthplace of Punk Rock

 

— 315 Bowery —

 
CBGB Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 15, 2016
1. CBGB Marker
Inscription.  This is the birthplace of punk rock. A grungy and chaotic laboratory of musical innovation, it witnesses early performance by The Ramones, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Television, Richard Hell, Blondie, The Police, Dead Boys, Joan Jett, Lou Reed, AC/DC, the B-52s, Alan Jackson, Green Day, Guns ‘n Roses, and Pearl Jam.

CBGB was the brainchild of Hilly Kristal (1931-2007), a former marine who played violin and guitar, sang at Radio City Music Hall and managed the Village Vanguard before starting the Rheingold Central Park Music Festival and opening Hilly’s on 9th Street. In 1973, he opened CBGB, intending to book Country/BlueGrass/Blues, but drifted into rock. OMFUG means Other Music for Uplifting Gormandizers. Sacrificing all to make his vision a reality, he took odd jobs to make ends meet. He rejected cover music, stressing instead a nurturing commitment to new songs and new bands.

Despite a high profile campaign to save the club after a protracted legal dispute with Hilly’s landlord, CBGB closed on October 15, 2006. Battling cancer, he died in 2007. Patti Smith wrote, “Hilly Kristal was the good shepherd of a flock of
CBGB founder Hilly Kristal image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 15, 2016
2. CBGB founder Hilly Kristal
black sheep. We are forever grateful.”
 
Erected 2016 by Bowery Alliance of Neighbors.
 
Location. 40° 43.513′ N, 73° 59.52′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Bowery near Bleeker Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 315 Bowery, New York NY 10003, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Alexander’s Musee (a few steps from this marker); World’s Smallest Opera House (a few steps from this marker); Then You Saw It/Now You Don’t (within shouting distance of this marker); Hats, Hardware & Horses (within shouting distance of this marker); Tin Palace Jazz Club (within shouting distance of this marker); McGurk’s Suicide Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Secret Cemetery Secret Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); 21st Century Fashion In A 21st Century House (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
More about this marker. One of more than sixty entries in the “Windows on the Bowery” series.
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
CBGB, March 2001 image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, March 1, 2001
3. CBGB, March 2001
CBGB's last day; October 15, 2006 image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, October 2006
4. CBGB's last day; October 15, 2006
Gone; October 17, 2006 image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, October 2006
5. Gone; October 17, 2006
Like this is so much better? image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, 2009
6. Like this is so much better?
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 15, 2016
7. Inset
The Ramones, 1975
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 15, 2016
8. Inset
Patti Smith, 1976
Extra Alley image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, October 2007
9. Extra Alley
The CBGB doors opened onto this dead-end alley where performers waited between sets.
 

More. Search the internet for CBGB.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 19, 2019. This page originally submitted on July 19, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 108 times since then. Last updated on August 10, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on July 19, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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