CBGB & OMFUG [CBGB; Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music for Uplifting Gormandizers]
- M. Montgomery Wolf
[CBGB; Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music for Uplifting Gormandizers]
Nightclub founded by Hilly Kristal in New York in December 1973. It was located below the Palace Hotel, a flophouse on the Bowery in a rough and rundown section of the city. Following his own tastes, Kristal intended to host mostly acoustic Americana, but a few months later, the guitarist Tom Verlaine convinced Kristal to let his band Television play there. The club became a rare site of original rock in an era favoring either folk clubs or arena rock. It also became the physical center for the New York punk scene, which was emerging at the time, allowing Patti Smith, Blondie, the Ramones, and Talking Heads, among others, to hone their craft. Despite its dark, dirty interior, famously squalid bathrooms, and dangerous neighborhood, musicians loved CBGB for its fabulous sound system. By 1975 it had demonstrated the viability of original rock, and Max’s Kansas City, another club in New York, began booking local, unsigned acts. Max’s and CBGB remained the principal venues in New York for punk rock through ...