CBGB’s: I Hardly Remember Ye

by Venomous Kate

In case I haven’t made it clear in previous posts, I don’t remember much of the mid-80’s. I remember that I sang with a band. I remember that I was the size 4 of which I can only dream about one day being again. I remember that after leaving NPR I worked for an “alternative” (which, in those days, meant ‘punk’) radio station as Promotions Manager and DJ. I remember when Henry Rollins wasn’t a vegan (don’t ask for details… I’m legally prohibited from providing them) as well as bits and pieces of an evening spent talking with Viggo Mortenson who was, at that time, a nobody. And I remember (since it took me darn near 20 years to pay them off) that I had a lot of credit cards at the time. A lot.

I also remember CBGB’s. Or at least bits and pieces of having been there. Several nights. Over the span of a month-long stay in NYC that I mostly don’t remember.

Turns out, it’s a good thing I still remember what I do.

After Sunday, memories are all that will remain when the cramped club with its capacity of barely 300 people goes out of business after 33 years. Although its boom years are long gone, CBGB’s remained a Manhattan music scene fixture: part museum, part barroom, home to more than a few rock and roll ghosts.

You know what? I handled my approaching 40th birthday, my widening hips, my forfeiture of being “That Girl” in any given bar, and my battle with both gravity and the bulge infintitely better than this news.

It’s the end of the world as I knew it.

But I feel fine.

UPDATE: Fittingly, Patti Smith rocked CBGB’s to its grave.

6 Comments to “CBGB’s: I Hardly Remember Ye”

  1. I walked past there a couple nights ago. You should see it. It’s a disgrace. It already looks like it’s been closed for 40 years.

    (Not that there was a surface in the place I’d have eaten off of when it was open, but still…)

    I remember too much from CBs in the 80s and early 90s.

  2. Not asking for details, just expressing a little bit of shock: Henry Rollins is a vegan? How in the world did he keep his physique up the way he’s done on *ahem* soy?

  3. No freakin’ way…I am totally bummed. If I was more of the woman I was when I partied there, I’d do Tequila shots all day while blasting the music of the era loudly. Those were indeed the days…

  4. Well then I’ll just have to cheer you up with the news that Irving Place is still open for biz and that I saw Mike Ness and the boys form Social D. last night (Supersuckers warmed up). It was a great crowd as it spanned teens to us ..mmm.. double X teenagers 🙂

    I have one half decent photo from the balcony if anyone has interest.

  5. uh, does guays in rota spain count?

    the venomous kate, a lawyer, and a punk dj? you ARE perfect!

  6. We had Neo, Tuts and Club Metro in Chicago. I’ve been in that neighborhood but never back to those clubs. After punk got “popular” it got kind of creepy.

    I understand not remembering the 80s. Don’t have much recollection of the 70s after about ’77 either.

    It’s funny, no one ever said, “Hey Tim, why’d you quit drinkin’?”