Skip to comments.NY Punk Venue CBGB Faces Closure Over Unpaid Rent
Posted on 03/08/2005 6:36:50 AM PST by itsamelman
NY Punk Venue CBGB Faces Closure Over Unpaid Rent
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York's legendary rock club CBGB, which helped launch everybody from Blondie to the Ramones, faces closure if it does not resolve a dispute over unpaid rent with the homeless charity that owns the building.
Club owner Hilly Kristal said the dispute dated from 2001, when the landlord presented a $300,000 bill for unpaid rent.
Though most of that has now been repaid, the club was handed another bill earlier this year for $76,000 which CBGB has not paid. The club's lease comes to an end in August and talks on renewal are stalled.
"The real thing is they don't want me back," Kristal said, adding that there had been a series of disagreements over renovations and building certificates in recent years.
CBGB, which stands for "country, bluegrass and blues" even though it is most famous for punk music, rents its downtown space from the Bowery Residents' Committee -- a non-profit organization that runs a homeless shelter above the premises.
"I am not going to subsidize CBGB at the expense of homeless people," Muzzy Rosenblatt, executive director for the organization, was quoted as saying in The New York Times.
MTV's Web site quoted him as saying CBGB had not met its obligations on safety.
The Committee wants to double the rent and negotiations over a new lease have ground to a halt amid legal wrangling that will result in a court hearing later this month.
Kristal, who founded the club in 1973, converting what had been a Hell's Angels hangout into one of the most famous venues for live music in the city, said he would fight closure of what he called a New York City institution.
"We've established something here. ... This is a kind of symbol of helping young musicians and new artists," he said, recalling early gigs by the likes of Pearl Jam.
"I think we do a nice thing for a lot of people; maybe it's not quite as wonderful as helping the homeless but it has its benefits," Kristal said.
Rosenblatt could be immediately reached for comment.
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Oh, the memories of schlepping across the Bowery at 2:00AM after a night at CBGB.
What were we thinking?
Funny, that also is the last time they cleaned the men's room.
Having taken bands into CB's I can say that while it may be an institution, it is a real hole. They were good times though.
The same thing we were thinking at 3 A.M. . . "Duuuuude"
Ahhh youth is waisted on the young :)
sweet post. thanks!
Follow the money,...smell those dollar$$zzz,...The Bowery is vanishing
Never been there myself, having lived in the the L.A. area all my life, but I've seen pics and video. I think I'd let my bladder burst before I ventured into that bathroom. And I've heard of couples getting it on in there, including, I think, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein.
I think the closest we may have had in L.A. was Al's Bar downtown.
This sure brings back memories.........those that I can remember, anyway......LOL
Being a Florida girl who was just a little too young for the original scene up there, I could only dream of CBGBs as if it were some far off Holy land... but, we did have the Cameo Theater in South Miami Beach in the mid-80s.
Before the SoBe craze in the 90s, it was a pretty wonderful and ratty place.
Any freepers who want to share their memories, feel free to freepmail me... I must live vicariously...
Paying rent is soooo un-punk.
What a shame. The Wetlands closing a few years ago and now this. NY is losing the great clubs fast.
CBGB's heyday was long ago. I've driven past it and they sit on primo NYC real estate. Meaning it needs to be converted into some narcissistic boutique or cell phone store. (/sarcasm)
1966: Bruce Springsteen
Plays at Café Au Go Go
I've only been to one rock club in NYC--the Lakeside Lounge.
That's funny. I have played CB's and Al's several times. Comparing the two is fun. The truth is CBGB's is the best sounding dive I have ever seen. The acoustics are great and the since of history makes you feel like every gig could be something special. The great thing is that it actually could be the start of something. The contacts we made there helped me for years to come.
Al's on the other hand is a great place to get that Bukowski LA vibe going. The blocks around it are not as scarry as the Bowery can get but you are actually in more real danger. Playing Al's will do nothing for your career but it is a must do for anyone that thinks they're hard.
CBGB's was the first club I got booted from, at age 17. Broke a finger that night too, but don't remember how. Do remember Jesus Lizard.
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