50,000 Bands and 1 Disgusting Bathroom
-CBGB movie trailer
On December 3, 1973 Hilly Kristal, having put up boards on the wall and fixed the slanting floor under the bar, opened up his country, bluegrass, blues bar CBGB in the Bowery. It took him a few months to realize the country, bluegrass and blues scene wasn't really happening in the city.
"But I covered myself, " Kristal told Spin Magazine. "The place's full name is CBGB and OMFUG. The OMFUG stands for 'other music for uplifting gourmandizers'.
With the collapse of the Mercer Arts Center and Max's Kansas City booked, CBGB eventually became the only place for local bands to play. Kristal had two rules: Play your own music and haul in your own equipment.
On March 31, 1974 Television made their CBGB debut. Five months later The Ramones played their first CBGB show.
Most of the bands that followed have long been forgotten. But the ones who made it were among the most exciting musical acts in the world : Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Blondie, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, The Heartbreakers, Johnny Thunders, The Dead Boys .
The Police played their first American gig at CBGB on October 20, 1978.
In the 80's CBGB became a hotbed for the US punk rock scene. Bands like the Bad Brains, Beastie Boys and Misfits all played there,
The club close in October of 2006 with a final concert by Patti Smith. Kristal died the following year.
Today there's a clothing store standing in its place.
Oh, and somebody made a movie