CBGB’s: Punk Rock Music Mecca – Musicians
For anyone who has listened to and participated in punk rock in the last thirty years, CBGB’s is the place that started it all in America. One night some thirty years ago a man named Hilly Kristal gave some kids from New York a chance to play. The group was Television and that night few people showed up and Hilly was not impressed. A couple of weeks later Television brought some friends in to play with them on the same bill. The Ramones shared the stage that night to as many people as Televisions first night and the owner was still not impressed.
CBGB stands for the music genres Country, Blue Grass, and Blues, but to those of us who love underground music it is the place that started it all. The first few shows highlighted local folk musicians in the Bowery district of New York, but as the seventies showed very little promise, the locals fell for the hard aggressive sounds of punk rock. Mr. Kristal found a way for those who wanted to express themselves in manner that best suited their needs and if you had your own equipment, you probably had a shot at performing in those early years. The one rule was that you had to play your own music. As word got out the floodgates for new bands showed up at his door to play and a legend was born.
For most punk bands of the last twenty-five years playing at CBGB’s was the pinnacle of success. Bands like The Ramones, Blondie, Patty Smith, and Agnostic Front got their start at this phenomenal club. Now at most rock shows you will witness someone wearing a shirt from the club. This is a club that has surpassed the celebrity of most of the bands who have played within her walls.
If you are looking to experience music history first hand, I recommend you visit that little club in the Bowery district of New York. You will see music the way it should be seen. Up close and with fellow fans within the walls of a true legendary venue.