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  1. #1
    Baluchitherium sisca's Avatar
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    06.12.16 @ 07:51 PM
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    Default Hilly Kristal, Founder of CBGB, Dead at 75

    NEW YORK - Hilly Kristal had no idea what he was unleashing when he welcomed a rash of unknown bands onstage in his dank Bowery dive: Television, the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, the Patti Smith Group.

    Kristal, a New Jersey farm boy whose musical tastes ran to tamer fare, had opened CBGB as a haven for country, blues and bluegrass music. Instead, his cramped club became the epicenter of the punk rock movement, setting off a three-chord musical revolution that spread around the world.

    Kristal, 75, died of complications from lung cancer at a Manhattan hospice after a long fight with the disease, his family announced Wednesday. CBGB closed last October with a blowout concert by Smith and her band, ending a 33-year run for the dingy space where Kristal operated from a small desk just inside the entrance with its familiar white awning.

    "He created a club that started on a small, out-of-the-way skid row, and saw it go around the world," said Lenny Kaye, a longtime member of the Patti Smith Group. "Everywhere you travel around the world, you saw somebody wearing a CBGB T-shirt.

    "It was a real rallying point for musicians trying something different."

    At the club's boarded-up storefront Wednesday morning, a spray-painted message read, "RIP Hilly, we'll miss you, thank you." There were also a dozen candles, two bunches of flowers and a foam rubber baseball bat an apparent tribute to the Ramones' classic "Beat on the Brat."

    David Byrne, lead singer with Talking Heads, remembered Kristal's low-key demeanor and generosity.

    "Other clubs were all about models and beautiful people, and he was about letting the musicians in for free, to hear music and get cheap beers," Byrne said. "It automatically created a scene, and we'd just hang out all night."

    Kristal was an unlikely avatar of punk music, opening his own club in 1973 after booking acts such as Miles Davis at the Village Vanguard. "At first, they didn't play so well," he once said of the seminal punk bands that came to CBGB.

    But he became a beloved figure to the performers who used his small venue as a launching pad to stardom, including several that reached the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He also served as manager for the Dead Boys, whose appeal was summed up by their album title "Young Loud & Snotty."

    "In an era when disco was the mainstream, Hilly took a chance and gambled," said drummer Marky Ramone. "The gamble paid off for him and for us. We are all grateful to him."

    The influence of Kristal's club was pervasive, extending to generations of bands around the country and the globe. Even the landlord who finally evicted Kristal from CBGB first kissed his wife inside its walls, which were plastered with mementoes from bands across the decades.

    Kristal's plans for a club attuned to his tastes disappeared when Television, led by Tom Verlaine, began playing Sunday nights in the mid-1970s. Other bands were soon joining them, and CBGB became the place for punk fans to mingle with performers like Joey Ramone, Debbie Harry or the doomed Sid Vicious.

    The club lasted into the next century, still adhering to Kristal's insistence that it would only book bands playing original material. He started a lucrative CBGB marketing arm, selling T-shirts and accessories with the club's familiar logo.

    In recent years, CBGB became embroiled in a bitter rent fight with its landlord, the Bowery Residents' Committee, an agency housing the homeless. Despite the efforts of musicians to keep the club open, Kristal who owed a reported $300,000 in back rent agreed to vacate the club last October.

    Kristal, who once hoped to have his own singing career, was survived by son Mark Dana; daughter Lisa Kristal Burgman and her husband Ger; two grandchildren, "and the thousands of artists and musicians who played the club," the family said in a statement.

    ___

    went to CBGB the last time i was in NYC...man that place was a total dive, but when i thought back at the history of that place...ill tell you what, it gave me chills just thinking of what it was like back in the day. RIP Hilly Kristal.
    """"\//-/""""


    The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!


    www.myspace.com/mikesisca

    "If ladies want Valentines Day so bad either make Superbowl Sunday an actual holiday or give guys Steak and Blowjob Day and we'll call it even." T.RYAN, sharing thoughts on valentine's day.

    " SHUT UP, FAGGOT." - Vinnie Velvet, showing off that sharp wit of his.

    DIRTY SANCHEZ- It's not just for breakfast anymore!



    Originally posted by FORD
    History tells us that oppressive nations build walls to keep people IN, not out.
    (See "Berlin Wall" and "Likud Israel" for examples) FORD- when i told him i'd build a wall between the US and Mexico.

    then ill build it from the mexican side. -my reply.

  2. #2
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 02:36 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by sisca View Post
    Kristal, a New Jersey farm boy whose musical tastes ran to tamer fare, had opened CBGB as a haven for country, blues and bluegrass music. Instead, his cramped club became the epicenter of the punk rock movement, setting off a three-chord musical revolution that spread around the world.
    So is that what CBGB stood for - Country BlueGrass Blues?

    Man, to have been around during those times - I mean, I was around, just not in New York City and I doubt that even if I was I would've been the type to go see these bands that we know so well today at CBGBs. Kind of like being around West Hollywood in the mid '70s when some other bands we've heard of were playing those clubs regularly.

    Rest in Peace, Hilly, and thanks for having a place for the music to happen.

  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing!
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    03.02.10 @ 03:28 PM
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    The full name of CBGBs was : CBGB & OMFUG - Country, Bluegrass, Blues & Other Music For Uplifting Gourmandizers - and, yes, Hilly did at first envision it as a country music venue.
    Mr. Horseradish courtesy of the International Horseradish Council and Brett.

  4. #4
    Sinner's Swing!
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    03.02.10 @ 03:28 PM
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    Sorry, my computer crashed mid-thought.

    And, yes, you had to know that to prove yourself a regular. I wasn't really a regular, much preferring Max's Kansas City a bit further uptown, but when Johnny Thunders' Heartbreakers played I was there pressed up against the stage. In fact that was the only way you could see a band at CBs. There were no vantage points. The place was small, hot, and smelled like beer.

    I was a hole-in-the-wall situated on New York's notorious Bowery, underneath a flophouse called The Palace Hotel, whose denizens, bottle in hand would come down to dance, piss their pants and ask for money.

    I was 15/16 at the time and, you know what, I hated about 90% of the bands that played there. The Ramones - we used to call Joey "tall and ugly" to his face. The Talking Heads - David Byrne always looked like he had to pee real bad when he sang (that was a unanimous consensus, not just me). Patti Smith - although we loved Lenny Kaye, who at the time was a premier rock writer and photographer. we hated the off-key, arm swinging, blabbering of the lead singer. The only CBs bands (as opposed to Max's bands) that I can remember liking right now were the Dead Boys and, of course, my beloved Heartbreaakers. Stiv Bators would literally swing from the rafters and the band were hard-driving guitar energy. The Heartbreakers could go from oldies to upbeat originals to heartbreaking ballads on a dime.

    When one entered CBs, the earlier the better to get your "spot," you first encountered the smiling face of Roberta Bailey, who would later go on to become a great rock photographer. Just past her was Hilly, a great bewhiskered bear of a man, never without his equally big dog (whose name I have since forgot, but that was another test to prove your regular status). Hilly usually had a long pole in his hand, to chase away the neighborhood riffraff.

    In fact, that's the way I prefer to remember Hilly, tough on the outside with a pussycat interior. Not the emaciated lung cancer victim of yesterday's paper.
    Mr. Horseradish courtesy of the International Horseradish Council and Brett.

 

 

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