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Remembering CBGB
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According to Rolling Stone, the New York City rock club, CBGB is in trouble:

With twenty-nine days to go on their lease, CBGB announced a month-long effort to save the legendary punk club, whose rent will double in September....The club building is owned by the Bowery Residents Community, a non-profit organization that helps the homeless, and the group is now claiming tens of thousands of dollars in back rent that they claim Kristal has neglected to pay. To aid with these and legal fees, benefit concerts will be held throughout August, featuring the reunited Dead Boys, Chevelle, Living Colour, the Misfits and others. On August 31st, this show of support will culminate in a rally to be held at downtown Washington Square Park.

There's some fascinating musical history and a great picture of the entrance to CBGB at . You can see the sign for the Palace Hotel next door. I guess, the hotel was pretty much a flophouse, but a flophouse with fantastic music coming in through the walls for free. Plus, it seemed like most of the residents were employed in the music industry -- panhandling the fans who lined up waiting to get good seats inside the cramped, narrow bar that passed for a club. The panhandlers all had cancer, or family members who had cancer, or else they were fresh out of prison and their uncle had a job lined up for them out on Long Island but they needed bus fare to get there. They had their acts together better than some of the bands.

The community association claims Kristal owes them around $100,000 but he claims he hadn't realized they'd raised his rent, or something like that. It all seems a little vague. Maybe he forgot. Rumor used to be he forgot to clean up after the dogs who roamed the club when it wasn't in business so watch your step. Not easy to do in the near pitch darkness. The only place where you could see your feet was in the slightly better lit toilets in the basement. Not that you had to fear stepping in any dog leavings there. I'm sure the dogs avoided them out of disgust.

The articles say the Dead Boys are reunited, which can't be true since singer Stiv Bators has been a real dead boy for a long time. I saw the band perform once. Another time I saw Stiv arrive for someone else's show. He was wearing a scarf and it wasn't winter. What was that, everyone wondered? Forget Iggy Pop, now he wants to be Noel Coward. I wasn't too surprised when Stiv died in France.

I remember the street sign in the photo too. The night I saw Blondie I went out for a break during intermission and Debbie Harry was standing beside that very sign, dressed in a wispy pink scrap of a dress. She was taking a drag, looking gaunt and hollow eyed. She might've been anyone out of the audience. During the show the technician working the sound board remarked "$25,000 worth of sound equipment for a 25 cent voice." Wonder where he is now?

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