Showing posts with label CBGB. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CBGB. Show all posts

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Remembering Taylor Hawkins as Iggy Pop in the 'CBGB' movie

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins died on Friday at age 50. 

As Vulture noted, "Hawkins impressed fans and peers alike with his full-throttle style and rambunctious energy." 

Perhaps that's why, as an EVG reader reminded us, Hawkins was signed to play Iggy Pop in the 2013 "CBGB" bio-pic

We're introduced to Iggy in the clip below ... who then interrupts a Blondie performance and later duets with Debbie Harry on a rendition of "I Wanna Be Your Dog."


That never actually happened — outside the film, anyway.

As the "CBGB" end credits pointed out: "And we know Iggy Pop never performed at CBGB. Deal with it!"

Monday, August 24, 2020

Speculating about the future of John Varvatos in the former home of CBGB on the Bowery

The gate remains down at the John Varvatos outpost at 315 Bowery. The shop between First Street and Second Street has been locked up for the past few weeks.

Bowery watchers are speculating about what might be happening with the address, considered hallowed ground by some for being the home of CBGB from 1973 to 2006.

First, some background on what has been happening with JV, the menswear designer. According to the retailer's website, all of the brand's locations are currently closed. (The Bowery shop returned on July 2, and stayed opened for several weeks.)

As The Wall Street Journal reported on July 24, John Varvatos was in financial trouble long before the COVID-19 pandemic. The business filed for bankruptcy protection on May 6, with a buyout offer from an affiliate of Lion Capital of London and Los Angeles.

(The Journal article also outlines an Equal Pay Act class-action lawsuit that began in 2017 by female sales associates at the retailer. Earlier this year, the sales associates won a jury verdict in an Equal Pay Act class-action lawsuit. "Varvatos denied discrimination. The jury ruled against the retailer, awarding $1.7 million in legal fees, as well as the $3.5 million in damages.")

In late July, WWD reported that a Lion Capital subsidiary was expected to acquire the bankrupt brand and merge it into the AllSaints portfolio. (AllSaints the British fashion retailer, sells menswear, womenswear apparel, footwear and accessories in more than 230 stores.) Varvatos was also rumored to be leaving the company.

John Varvatos opened here in April 2008... the first tenant since the storied music club shut down on Oct. 15, 2006, after a losing a deal to renew the lease with their landlord, the Bowery Residents' Committee.

JV preserved part of the former CBGB space, keeping parts of the wall with sticker and flyers intact and preserved behind glass inside the shop.


At the time, there was debate about all this. Some were in the "it's-better-than-a-bank-or-a Fuddruckers camp." Others preferred that the old space was gutted rather than turned into a museum alongside $300 Cheap Trick t-shirts. (In 2008, Arturo Vega, creative director for the Ramones, told the Post: "I like it. I'm relieved. We were expecting a drug store in the space. So when I found out it was Varvatos moving in, it was a relief.")

For now, the speculation is on whether JV will ever reopen, and if not, will a AllSaints outpost open in the space, perhaps keeping the CBGB memory alive on the walls?

Thursday, January 30, 2020


This has been making the rounds ... first spotted by Brooklyn Vegan: Dr. Martens have paid tribute to CBGB, the iconic Bowery club (not restaurant at the Newark Liberty International Airport) with a line of boots "to relive the mayhem from its heyday."

You can find the two styles at the Dr. Martens website.

And as BV noted, Dr. Martens previously paid tribute to Joy Division, New Order and Sex Pistols with a line of boots.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

This week in East Village music history

Hilly Kristal debuted the short-lived CBGB's Theater at 66 Second Ave. at this time in late 1977 ...

Here's one description of the CBGB Theater via: "The place was disgusting. It made the CBGB club look like the Rainbow Room. We were talking about eighty years' worth of dirt. I mean there was popcorn left over from the last performance of the Yiddish theater in 1925...They did manage to clean up the entryway, and made it look like a subway station."

Read more about the Anderson Theatre, 66 Second Ave. between Third Street and Fourth Street, at Cinema Treasures and It's All the Streets You Crossed Not So Long Ago.

Previously on EV Grieve:
When you could see the Grateful Dead on Second Avenue for $2

Monday, December 24, 2018

Engineering the return of CBGB in this model train set at Grand Central Terminal

[Image via New York Transit Museum]

The New York Transit Museum is hosting its 17th Annual Holiday Train Show at the Museum's Grand Central Gallery Annex & Store (it started on Nov. 15 and runs through Feb. 24).

An EVG reader shared this photo below ... showing a replica CBGB outpost — next to a Santa's Corner Workshop — in this “O” gauge model train layout... not sure if this is an annual part of the show, or if the CBGB is new to this train town...

No sign, however, of a TRGT outpost.

H/T Mary!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

'Punk' talk tomorrow night at Cooper Union with Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain

Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain will read from and talk about their book "Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk" tomorrow (Sunday!) night at Cooper Union.

It starts at 6 p.m. in Cooper Union’s Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square at Seventh Street. It's a free event, though the organizers are asking you to RSVP via email —

Saturday, July 21, 2018


Workers are setting up for a sidewalk extravaganza outside the just-opened Target store on 14th Street and Avenue A... which includes a replica CBGB storefront — called TRGT...

A few readers have already chimed in about this via email (one with a subject line LOL) ... early, unscientific consensus is that this storefront homage is wholly unnecessary.

Updated noon:

Pinch shared this photo of the sidewalk event — complete with wrapping reminiscent of tenement buildings — on 14th Street here at EVGB — the "East Village's Greatest Building" ...

Updated 2:30 p.m.

Brooklyn Vegan paid a visit to the faux storefronts ... erected just for today as part of the Target's official grand opening.

Most notably, this includes an homage to CBGB, with “TRGT” in the old Bowery punk venue’s classic font (with “BANDS” in smaller font right below it), and display windows sporting TRGT t-shirts, “rock on” foam hands, and poster that said “The Resistance.” You couldn’t actually buy that stuff from the stand but, wink wink, they did have “bands” in the form of free boxes Band-Aids and exercise bands with the Target logo on them. Right next to the TRGT was a little stage with a “Battle of the Bands” banner and an oversized novelty Target bass guitar for selfie-ing. I did not enquire about the bathrooms.

Updated 8 p.m.

EVG reder Lola Sáenz shared these photos from the afternoon grand-opening event...

Updated 9 p.m.

Jeremiah Moss has a post on this at Vanishing New York... describing it as "the most deplorable commodification of local neighborhood culture I’ve ever witnessed."

Updated 7/25:

Target issues an apology.

Previously on EV Grieve:
New 7-floor buildings for East 14th Street include 150 residential units

Target offers details about its flexible-format store opening summer 2018 on 14th and A

The disappearing storefronts of East 14th Street

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Catching up with the hardcore matinee crowd

NPR has a feature today on "Matinee: All Ages On The Bowery," Drew Carolan's photo book on the afternoon hardcore scene at CBGB from 1983-1985 ... Carolan, who grew up on the LES, photographed people coming and going to the matinees.

At NPR, there's a now-and-then feature that shows what some of the people featured in the book are doing today... such as Joshua:

In hindsight, I think that my early adolescent treks from Staten Island to the Bowery to catch the weekly matinee at CBGB's may have been training me to spend my life on the road. After getting out of university I started traveling more seriously, eventually expatriating when I was 24. Since then, I've probably spent half my life living overseas, working mostly as a journalist and travel writer in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. I have a new book coming out in 2018 — my 14th — titled Formosa Moon and have recently switched from original Star Trek "continuing journey" mode to a more Deep Space Nine mode by hooking up with a Taiwanese travel company that does custom tours around the country. It kind of fits, in a weird way. There's a decent punk scene here, and Beijing calls us a renegade province, so yeah, there's that. Currently listening to: Kou Chou Ching, The White Eyes, Frank Zappa, Gentle Giant, Yes, Bad Brains, The Germs, Black Flag, Minor Threat

There's a book celebration Saturday over at Generation Records on Thompson Street ... and another one Dec. 8 at Rough Trade in Williamsburg.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The story behind one of the original CBGB awnings that's now up for auction

[Photo by Rainer Turim last winter outside the John Varvatos store on the Bowery]

According to research by Gothamist, there were three awnings during the life of CBGB at 315 Bowery. One was up from 1973 to 1987, another from 1987 to 2000 and the last until the club closed in 2006.

And where are they now? The most recent awning is at the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Museum in Cleveland. The original awning was allegedly in the possession of JFA (Jodie Foster's Army), who may have borrowed it after a show in the mid 1980s. And the third awning has been with East Village resident Drew Bushong since 2004.

Now Bushong is selling the awning at an auction at Sotheby's on Dec. 10, where it could potentially fetch between $25,000 and $35,000.

I asked Bushong, a former CBGB employee, about the awning and how it came to live in a box under his bed... and why he's selling it now.

How did you come into possession of the awning?

Totally randomly. I was walking home from Mars Bar on a sweaty night in 2004 and saw a cardboard box that was very familiar. It had sat above my desk for a year. I heard later it was just waiting for postage stamps to get to Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but was tossed out with a bunch of other crap in a cleaning rage.

So I saw it sticking half out of the trash in front of the club, and just threw it over my shoulder. I didn't really lose my shit about it until the next day when I woke up in bed next to it, torn open with the awning peeking out of it. Was quite an exciting hangover.

How do you know that it’s the real deal?

There's no doubt it's real. In my research, it's one of only three awnings that hung there. It went up as a replacement after punk rockers JFA are rumored to have stolen the first one.

It's a bit of a mess with paint splotches over some tags and it stinks a bit. It's been under my bed mostly since I found it.

Why are you selling it?

I had a beautiful baby girl, Thorn, 3-and-a-half-weeks ago and could use the space and money in better ways now. Dad ways now. Life's pretty exciting.

How long did you work at CBGB?

I worked as a door guy/security starting in late 2000 and was just working a couple shifts a week here and there. I had been there a few months and was getting pretty good at it. One boring night I ended up stopping a fight from happening and got stabbed in the neck in the process. I held the knifer down, under this awning actually, and called [owner] Hilly [Kristal] before calling the cops. I guess I handled the fight pretty well as I was promoted to management pretty soon after.

I have to say it was the best job I'll ever have. Best crew of people and employees and some of the most exciting shows I'll ever see in my life. Really got to be a part of something real special by working there.

[The middle awning is the one up for auction on Dec. 10]

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Rock is Dead? at John Varvatos

EVG reader Cheap Trick took this photo outside the John Varvatos storefront at 315 Bowery this morning... per Cheap Trick: "The windows are boarded up. Is it closing?"

There's nothing on JV's social media accounts noting a closure... or any kind of special in-store concert event, as they've had in the past with their Bowery Live series... The Rock is Dead? signage suggests some kind of concert. (Iggy Pop-Josh Homme is the rumor.)

The storefront opened at the site of the former CBGB here in April 2008.

Updated 5:20 p.m.

Here's another look via EVG reader Margarita...

Updated 2/1

An EVG reader shared this invite for Wednesday evening...

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The CBGB restaurant is open at the Newark airport, though you won't be able to order the Marquee Moons Over My Hammy

The CBGB restaurant is now open at the Newark airport, as you can see.

Now what to eat there?

Imagine the possibilities via the folks at Lucky Peach, who have created a parody menu...

"All orders come with a Suicide salad." (We can dream!) Heh.

Here's the actual menu via @WFMU ...

Meanwhile! We're now in the Backlash to the Backlash Phase...

In response to headlines such as 'Birthplace of punk' CBGB to be reborn as airport theme restaurant, throwing human progress into doubt (Mashable) ... the Post has countered with Stop whining – Newark Airport is where CBGB belongs.


Even if the grand opening of CBGB in Newark were to feature a reunited Talking Heads playing, Richard Lloyd and Tom Verlaine working as busboys, while Debbie Harry waits tables and serves up Kristal’s original recipe chili, it still wouldn’t change the fact that CBGB is basically a brand that represents New York City to people who don’t live in New York City. That’s the way it’s been for years, and that’s why the idea of it being reborn as a restaurant in Newark fits perfectly.


Monday, December 21, 2015


In case you didn't already hear/see this everywhere earlier today... CBGB is opening as restaurant in the Newark Airport. (No one noted which terminal.)

Per Grub Street:

What exactly pre-flight dining has to do with the seminal punk institution is not clear, but it was previously reported that Harold Moore, the otherwise-celebrated New York chef had been recruited to handle food duties at this strange business. And a quick glance at the menu reveals that the people behind this outpost think wedge salads and turkey clubs served in a fun environment will make diners nostalgic for that time they saw Bad Brains rip up the stage for the first time.

And to some mostly negative reactions on Twitter...


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Revisiting 'Bettie Visits CBGB'

[Debbie Harry and Bettie Ringma]

Via the EVG inbox...

David Owen, the co-founder of London vintage booksellers IDEA Books Ltd, has chosen Marc H. Miller and Bettie Ringma's “Bettie Visits CBGB” as what he calls a “Superbook”: a rare work of exceptional cultural significance. Owen makes his point in an entertaining and evocative radio program just released by Radio Wolfgang.

A sound collage that mixes interviews with music, the program evokes the Bowery and the glory years of CBGB, using as its centerpiece this collection of 10 color snapshots in a handmade leatherette portfolio. The photographs in “Bettie Visits CBGB” show a young Dutch woman posing with Patti Smith, Blondie, the Ramones, Talking Heads, Richard Hell and other musicians ...

The program, produced by Olivia Humphreys, provides a human look at a remarkable five-year period of cultural history. Among those interviewed are Ringma and Miller, the creators of the portfolio; painter Curt Hoppe, their Bowery neighbor and collaborator; photographer Roberta Bayley, the doorwoman at CBGB; cartoonist John Holmstrom, the founder of Punk magazine; and Susan Springfield, the singer in the Erasers.

Miller, one of the creators of the portfolio, is founder of the website 98 Bowery and the related Gallery 98. To see pictures from the “Bettie Visits CBGB” series, click here. The radio program can be accessed on the website of Radio Wolfgang.

By the way, CBGB closed nine years ago today.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Q-and-A with Curt Hoppe: Living on the Bowery, finding inspiration and shooting Mr. Softee

Life at 98 Bowery: 1969-1989

Q-and-A with John Holmstrom, founding editor of Punk Magazine

John Holmstrom on the CBGB movie and the East Village of 2013

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Joey Ramone-CBGB 40th anniversary mural for the Bowery

A new mural featuring Joey Ramone is going up today on Bleecker at the Bowery... across the way from the former CBGB... EVG reader Lola Sáenz says that the mural is by Solus and John CRASH Matos...

The mural is via The L.I.S.A. Project to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Ramones debuting at CBGB.

[Top photos by Lola Sáenz]

Here was the view around noon...

A photo posted by Solus (@solusstreetart) on

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Birthday Debbie Harry

[Cover photo from 1979 via Facebook]

The singer-songwriter-actress-Blondie lead singer turns 70 today.

On Saturday night, Blondie opened for Morrissey at the Garden, and drew high marks. Per the Voice: "Blondie’s sound has become (and will continue to be) the soundtrack to generations of fans’ lives. Last night’s performance at Madison Square Garden was a reminder of why Debbie Harry and her band continue to keep their audience enthralled after all these years."

On Friday night, Harry was at 292 Gallery on East Third Street to hear Romy Ashby read from her new novel "Stink."

(I do not know what she did last Thursday night.)

Now back to the music with "Rifle Range" from 1977...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Watch David Johansen interview Johnny Thunders outside CBGB circa 1976

Courtesy of a post at Dangerous Minds today, we have this impromptu video interview between now-former New York Dolls bandmates David Johansen and Johnny Thunders.

You can head over to Dangerous Minds for all the background… One thing: The interview was shot with photographer Bob Gruen's video camera and included on the New York Dolls DVD of Gruen footage, "Lookin’ Fine On Television."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

If you'd like some free tickets to the CBGB Music & Film Festival

The 2014 CBGB Music & Film Festival gets underway tomorrow.

And festival organizer Tim Hayes passed along 50 free pairs of tickets for EVG readers. (Thank you Tim!)

UPDATED: We've reached the 50-pair limit!

Here's what you have to do to receive a pair: Mention EV Grieve (or, if you wish, "EV Grieve") and RSVP to this email for the free pair of tickets.

And please specify one of the following events that you'd like to attend:

Wednesday – Oct. 8

• U2, Bob Dylan, & The Killers producer, Daniel Lanois & The Modern School of Film Present: Flesh And Machine...The Films @ Landmark Sunshine Cinema, 6 pm

• An Evening with Dirty South: Screening, Q&A, and Album Listening Party Cocktail Reception @ Landmark Sunshine Cinema – 8:30 pm.

Thursday – Oct. 9

• Billy Idol, Duff McKagan’s Walking Papers, Ex-Cops & The Skin Festival HQ Launch Event @ Center 548 – doors at 6 pm.

Friday – Oct. 10

• Adam Horovitz, aka AD-ROCK, of the Beastie Boys, hosts anniversary screening of “Up In Smoke” @ Village East Cinema – 4:20 pm.

• Music Talks With Open Bar Featuring: Galadrielle Allman, Erin Davis & Vince Wilburn Jr., and Stephen Trask @ Helen Mills Theater – 6 pm to 8:30 pm.

• Exclusive Film Clips with Michael Alago & Duff McKagan
Village East Cinema – 9:30 pm to 11:30 pm.

• Hardcore DEVO Live! Film Premiere with DEVO members Gerald V. Casale & Mark Mothersbaugh doing a Q&A @ Village East Cinema – 7 pm.

Head to the 2014 CBGB Music & Film Festival website for more details on these events.

Monday, May 26, 2014

RIP Karen Kristal

[Photo via CBGB on Facebook]

Word is spreading that Karen Kristal, matriarch of CBGB, died this past weekend.

We don't have a lot of biographical information at the moment. She was in her late 80s. We will update this post when more details are available.

Tim Hayes, who owns the CBGB brand and is the founder of the CBGB Festival, said that "she made a huge impact on the music scene in NYC."

"She was the godmother of hardcore music in NYC," he told us. "She took care of the kids that came to CBGB and the hardcore shows on Sundays were all hers. Her role in CBGB was immeasurable and history has not done her justice yet. I will miss her deeply."

David Poe wrote this about her on the newly created CBGB: Punk and Hardcore page on Facebook:

"I will always remember Karen on Sundays checking id's and calling kids' parents when she sniffed out a fake one Her contributions to CBGB are well-known, and it's true enough that venerated space would not have existed as it did had it not been for her efforts. Karen was a true patron of the arts and embodied the indie spirit."

Here's more on her from a Village Voice article from September 2007:

Through the late 1970s to the early 1990s, Karen was a fixture at the door of CBGB and behind its bar. In that time, she developed a reputation, among patrons, bouncers, bartenders, and musicians alike, as a bit of a humorless hard-ass. Skinheads obeyed her command. The Ramones hid their joints when they saw her coming.

"I was more scared of Karen than I was of the skinheads," said George Tabb, a founding member of the False Prophets, former CBGB employee, and longtime Kristal family friend, as well as a reporter who covered the scene at the club for Maximum Rock'n'Roll. "They all had this respect for her. She put on the matinees — it was her idea, and that basically started the whole hardcore movement in New York."

Karen had been involved in an ugly legal battle over the estate of her husband Hilly Kristal following his death in August 2007. You can find the background of that suit at the Voice.

Friday, April 11, 2014

High times! CBGB to sell 'gourmet cannabis edibles'

Just noting a Help Wanted ad that Gothamist spotted at Eater:

Recipe Consultant , CBGB, New York

CBGB is globally recognized as the birthplace of punk & new music. One natural expansion is into world of high-end, gourmet cannabis edibles. From the Bowery & Berlin to Red Rocks and The Gorge Amphitheatre; CBGB is a trusted curator for new experiences. This includes the exciting world of hand made cannabis treats.

We have developed a full line of edibles that will soon be available in 20 states but we need you to fine tune the recipes as we strive to set a new industry standard for quality, taste and originality.

Do you have the punk spirit? Can you speak well on camera and in the press? We want to hear from you!

The ad is dated March 25.