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The facade of the CBGB, taken in October 2005

CBGB (also CBGB’s or CB’s for short ) was a New York punk club on the Bowery in Manhattan from 1973 to 2006 . The complete name of the club is CBGB OMFUG - an acronym for " C ountry, B lue g rass, B lues and O ther M usic F or U plifting G ormandizers" . The club is considered an important nucleus of American punk .


The CBGB stage in summer 2005
The CBGB after its closure in October 2006
The facade of the fashion boutique in the rooms of the former CBGB, taken in 2008

The owner of the club, Hilly Kristal , which opened in 1973 in building number 315 - directly opposite the confluence of Bleecker Street - originally wanted to present folk , country and bluegrass events. The first live performances were also played by musicians from these genres - from The Con Fullham Band from Maine and the folk and country musician Elly Greenberg. However, Kristal was convinced as early as 1974 to let the rock band Television perform. The shop soon became a hot spot for the new New York punk bands. Here punk rock and new wave legends such as the Ramones , The Dead Boys , Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers , Patti Smith , Blondie , Richard Hell And The Voidoids , James Chance and the Contortions , Suicide , Talking Heads , The Feelies found , Band of Outsiders , Certain General , The Bongos , Bush Tetras , Living Color and many others have the opportunity to play in front of an audience for the first time. The musical diversity of the performing groups is decisive for the CBGB scene. One of the main conditions imposed on musicians by the owner Kristal since the opening was that they only played their own compositions when performing there. Since the club was founded, the bands appearing in the CBGB have each received 80% of the entrance fee minus food as a fee.

After the death of the Ramones singer Joey Ramone in 2001, the club became a place of pilgrimage for punk fans from all over the world. One corner of the Bowery / E intersection . 2nd Street in the immediate vicinity of the club has been renamed Joey Ramone Place .

On October 15, 2006, the club had to close due to the termination of the lease and a drastic rent increase from US $ 19,000 to $ 65,000 per month. Patti Smith played the last concert before closing on October 15 with longtime guitarist Lenny Kaye . However, it was initially announced on the CBGB website that the club should reopen in Las Vegas in 2008 - including the old facility; after Hilly Kristal's death in August 2007, however, this seems questionable.

At the beginning of April 2008, a boutique for men's clothing by the designer John Varvatos opened in the former premises of the CBGB . Since the new tenant himself is a music fan and understands nostalgic people, John Varvatos tried to preserve as much originality of the music club as possible during the renovation: All tour stickers were stuck to the walls and can now be viewed from behind glass. Gold records and memorabilia adorn the shop. Pilgrims from all over the world are still very welcome to enter the boutique in order to trace the old CBGB spirit, even if the visitors do not want to buy anything in the boutique, says managing director John Varvatos.

See also


  • CBGB & OMFUG. Thirty Years from the Home of Underground Rock . Published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York 2005, ISBN 0-8109-5786-8 . Extensive, documentary photo book with foreword by Hilly Kristal and afterword by David Byrne (English)
  • Steven Lee Beeber: The Heebie Jeebies at CBGB's. The Jewish roots of punk . Ventil Verlag, Mainz 2008, ISBN 978-3-931555-64-1

Individual evidence

  1. a b Christian Graf: Punk! - The lexicon . Extended new edition, p. 126.
    Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf Verlag, Berlin 2003. ISBN 3-89602-521-X

Web links

Commons : CBGB  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 40 ° 43 ′ 30.6 "  N , 73 ° 59 ′ 30.8"  W.