Thursday, August 30, 2007
CBGB FOUNDER DIES
CBGB Founder Hilly Kristal R.I.P.
Photo by JR Rost
Hilly Kristal, founder of New York City's legendary rock club CBGB, died yesterday (August 28) following a battle with lung cancer, according to various reports. He was 75.
Kristal opened CBGB in the Lower East Side's then-seedy Bowery neighborhood back in 1973, on the same site as his earlier club, Hilly's on the Bowery. His intention was to showcase country, bluegrass, and blues acts (hence the name CBGB). Instead, the club would go on to serve as ground zero for the burgeoning New York punk scene, hosting early gigs from the likes of Talking Heads, Television, the Ramones, Blondie, and Patti Smith.
CBGB remained open for 33 years. Following legal wrangling and last-ditch efforts to save the establishment amid financial crisis, the club closed its doors in fall 2006. Kristal spoke of plans to start a new CBGB in Las Vegas.
Kristal was born in Hightsown, New Jersey, and is survived by his ex-wife Karen Kristal, daughter Lisa Kristal, and son Mark Dana Kristal.
Kristal also wrote an extensive history of the club he founded. Well worth a read, it's available on the CBGB website.
I got a chance to perform at the venue before it closed. Piss, smelly, punk as you can get and i loved every mintue of it. Thank you.