After 32 years in business, New York City and Punk Rocks most famous club, CBGB will close its doors
on October 31st, 2006, but not before alumnus Patti Smith takes the stage one last time.
A rent dispute that began last year, when landlord, the Bowery Resident's Committee sent a notice that the clubs owner Hilly Kristal owed $91,000 in back rent at the famous address of 315 Bowery. Kristal says that the enormous bill is from rent increases that he was never informed of and after the lease expired, on August 31st, 2005, the terms for hi to renew were double or triple the $19,000 he already paid in rent per month. A court order allowed Kristal to stay in the club for 14 more months, in exchange for ending the court battle and attempts to turn the space into a historic landmark. For the tiem being, Kristal will open an office on Bond Street in order to keep the brand name.
CBGB opened its doors in January of 1974 to legions of famous and infamous rockers over the three decades that it has been open. Names like the Ramones, Blondie, Television, Lou Reed, the Talking Heads and of course Patti Smith are just a few of the names that have taken that stage either on their way to or as the
world famous names they became. Lou Reed said of the clubs closing; "CBGB's changed the face of rock in New York City and gave countless bands opportunities they might never have had ... to be seen and heard ... at the palace of punk," "It will be sorely missed if it does in fact go into the ether of memories."
Hilly Kristal has told sources that he's negotiating a deal to re-open the club in Las Vegas as early as March of 2007. But wherever the next CBGB opens, Kristal says he plans on taking everything he can, including the stage, the bar, the floorboards and assorted memorabilia. Even unexpected memorabilia will go to the new location, "We're going to take the urinals," Kristal said. "Joey [Ramone] went to the bathroom there."We can charge admission," he said, laughing. "I'll be around for a few years. As long as I'm around CBGB will continue in some form", hinting at the additional bad news he recently received in June, when the 75-year-old learned he had lung cancer.
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