Last night, Patti Smith performed the final concert (see here as well) at punk rock Mecca CBGB. Today, they are planning on beginning to dismantle the club. The club’s demise was the result of a prolonged landlord-tenant dispute, and the landlord declined to renew the lease.
Many bands that I grew up to love, like Talking Heads, Blondie, the Ramones, and the Patti Smith Group got exposure there and grew into national acts.
It is truly a sad day in music history, and owner Hilly Krystal’s solution just won’t be the same:
Kristal plans to move the club far from its roots with a new CBGB’s in Las Vegas. The owner plans to strip the current club down to the bare walls, bringing as much of it to Nevada as possible.
“We’re going to take the urinals,” he said. “I’ll take whatever I can. The movers said, `You ought to take everything, and auction off what you don’t want on eBay.’ Why not? Somebody will.”
Even a longtime CBGB’s devotee like McNeil thinks the best advice for the 74-year-Kristal is go west, old man.
“I always said Hilly should go to Vegas,” said McNeil. “Girls with augmented breasts playing Joey Ramone slot machines. It would become an institution.”
As blasphemous as it may be, my suggestion is that, if CBGB must move to Vegas, the only appropriate place for the new CBGB to relocate would be at New York, New York.