This Ain't No Disco
CBGB is dead. I never saw a show there, but Hubs' favourite college band (the now-defunct AshCan Van Gogh out of Detroit) played there on what I'm told was a memorable night. Many of my favourite bands (Blondie, The Ramones) got their start there. In a world of glitz, glamour and high drama, CBGB was always about the music. You could only play there if you played your own stuff. No covers allowed.
But now in the aughts, the rough and tumble rock club has fallen to the same fate as Vandyland here in Nashville. The landlords want the club out, the lease is up and that's all she wrote. CBGB is no more. The part of me that loves history mourns the loss. The part of me that loves progress understands why.
What I don't understand is the punk palace's second chapter. Get this:
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. ... "I always said Hilly should go to Vegas," said McNeil. "Girls with augmented breasts playing Joey Ramone slot machines. It would become an institution."
Huh? Are they serious? Apparently so. It would seem that the best way to memorialise rock history is with the very glitz and plastic that the club eschewed. On one level I get that this is Rock and Roll, and is never far from flashtrash glamour. But on another level, CBGB was always about the music. Oh well. I suppose that's just another side effect of life during wartime.