Friday, January 31, 2014


Watched CBGB tonight, with an improbable Alan Rickman as Hilly Kristal, the founder of the legendary NY club which ran from 1973-2006. 
Although CBGB actually stood for Country Blue Grass & Blues plus the bizarre suffix, Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers, it was the Other Music that made its name. Basically, Kristal and his club introduced punk to the world: Television, Patti Smith, The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, The Dead Boys (whom Kristal also managed) and hundreds more.
I saw Suicide play there in '86. It was just as I imagined it: tiny, smokey and claustrophobic, with terrible loos. I wondered if a Chinese band had ever graced its stage. The nearest thing I could find was a (US) band called, inexplicably, Chinese Forehead who played there in '79, didn't release any records and then disappeared without trace - the same fate as hundreds of others. 
The film's overly romanticised, and there's probably a better straight-forward documentary waiting to be made, but it was a fun, easy-going, middle-aged trip down memory lane. 

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