August 30, 2007

Legendary CBGB Owner Hilly Kristal Has Died

Filed under: Music Review — N @ 9:13 am

Hilly Kristal, owner of the legendary New York club CBGB, has died. Kristal died after battling lung cancer during the last year.

Kristal and his legendary bar, located in New York’s Bowery district, were the catalysts behind the birth of punk and underground music. Bands and musicians like Blondie, Patti Smith, Television, the Talking Heads and later bands like Living Color, were given their first shot at CBGB. However, it was Kristal’s decision to let the Ramones play the club that made rock and roll history. The Ramones are credited with stoking the fires that brought Punk Rock, and all the alternative music that has followed. Without Kristal’s openness to the music and the shows he booked in his club, music today would look a whole lot different, and certainly not for the better.

CBGB was forced to close last year after a dispute about back rent and future agreements with the building’s owner. The club was given a proper farewell with a set of concerts that was capped by a three and a half hour show by Patti Smith. Right to the end Kristal promised to open a new CBGB in Las Vegas with pieces from the Bowery club including urinals from its infamous bathroom.

An accidental rock legend has died and will be sorely missed.

1 Comment

  1. Dang, and I was looking forward to CBGBs become a local club to me…

    Comment by zenferret — August 30, 2007 @ 7:50 pm

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