So sad! This morning I picked up the Times on the way to work and saw this article about CBGB closing its doors permanently. I remember reading a few articles about the problems between CBGB’s owner Hilly Kristal and the venue’s landlord, but the front page article in the Times this morning still surprised me, and made me get nostalgic for the punk rock 80’s and post-punk 90’s.

I’ve only been to CBGB a couple of times, but I still hold my attendance up as a badge of punk rock honor.  It was 1989, and me and my friend Byron Hipp drove up to New York in my dilapidated Dodge Coronet. I can’t even remember the headlining band, to be honest, but I’m pretty sure the opening act was 24-7 Spyz.

I remember how totally punk rock I felt, hanging out at CBGB. I knew I had to really enjoy it, since I was prohibited from going to New York by my mom, and when I returned to DC, it was a foregone conclusion that I’d be grounded and car-less for at least two weeks.

CBGB is gone, and its time had probably come. It is sad to see such a landmark, an historic icon of ‘underground rock,’ punk-rock and the New York music scene shut down. But I suppose I can take solace in what Patti Smith said during the closing show last night: “CBGB is a state of mind. There’s new kids with new ideas all over the world. They’ll make their own places.” The way things are going, the places those kids make might not even be physical places, but let’s hope she is right.  Out with the old, in with the new, I suppose.