Grateful Dead

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gypsy soul's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007

nice article golden road. there goes another brave independent spirit

nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile

Golden Road's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
CBGB Founder

Regrettably, I never made it to the club but enjoyed those bands that may have never been apart of the music scene without Hilly.

CBGB Founder Kristal Dies at 75
By LARRY McSHANE, Associated Press Writer

Wed Aug 29, 4:30 PM

NEW YORK - Hilly Kristal had no idea what he was unleashing when he welcomed a rash of unknown bands onstage in his dank Bowery dive: Television, the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, the Patti Smith Group.

Kristal, a New Jersey farm boy whose musical tastes ran to tamer fare, had opened CBGB as a haven for country, blues and bluegrass music. Instead, his cramped club became the epicenter of the punk rock movement, setting off a three-chord musical revolution that spread around the world.

Kristal, 75, died of complications from lung cancer at a Manhattan hospice after a long fight with the disease, his family announced Wednesday. CBGB closed last October with a blowout concert by Smith and her band, ending a 33-year run for the dingy space where Kristal operated from a small desk just inside the entrance with its familiar white awning.

"He created a club that started on a small, out-of-the-way skid row, and saw it go around the world," said Lenny Kaye, a longtime member of the Patti Smith Group. "Everywhere you travel around the world, you saw somebody wearing a CBGB T-shirt.

"It was a real rallying point for musicians trying something different."

At the club's boarded-up storefront Wednesday morning, a spray-painted message read, "RIP Hilly, we'll miss you, thank you." There were also a dozen candles, two bunches of flowers and a foam rubber baseball bat _ an apparent tribute to the Ramones' classic "Beat on the Brat."

David Byrne, lead singer with Talking Heads, remembered Kristal's low-key demeanor and generosity.

"Other clubs were all about models and beautiful people, and he was about letting the musicians in for free, to hear music and get cheap beers," Byrne said. "It automatically created a scene, and we'd just hang out all night."

Kristal was an unlikely avatar of punk music, opening his own club in 1973 after booking acts such as Miles Davis at the Village Vanguard. "At first, they didn't play so well," he once said of the seminal punk bands that came to CBGB.

But he became a beloved figure to the performers who used his small venue as a launching pad to stardom, including several that reached the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He also served as manager for the Dead Boys, whose appeal was summed up by their album title "Young Loud & Snotty."

"In an era when disco was the mainstream, Hilly took a chance and gambled," said drummer Marky Ramone. "The gamble paid off for him and for us. We are all grateful to him."

The influence of Kristal's club was pervasive, extending to generations of bands around the country and the globe. Even the landlord who finally evicted Kristal from CBGB first kissed his wife inside its walls, which were plastered with mementoes from bands across the decades.

Kristal's plans for a club attuned to his tastes disappeared when Television, led by Tom Verlaine, began playing Sunday nights in the mid-1970s. Other bands were soon joining them, and CBGB became the place for punk fans to mingle with performers like Joey Ramone, Debbie Harry or the doomed Sid Vicious.

The club lasted into the next century, still adhering to Kristal's insistence that it would only book bands playing original material. He started a lucrative CBGB marketing arm, selling T-shirts and accessories with the club's familiar logo.

In recent years, CBGB became embroiled in a bitter rent fight with its landlord, the Bowery Residents' Committee, an agency housing the homeless. Despite the efforts of musicians to keep the club open, Kristal _ who owed a reported $300,000 in back rent _ agreed to vacate the club last October.

Kristal, who once hoped to have his own singing career, was survived by son Mark Dana; daughter Lisa Kristal Burgman and her husband Ger; two grandchildren, "and the thousands of artists and musicians who played the club," the family said in a statement.

"All energy flows according to the whims of the Great Magnet. What a fool I was to defy him."

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
RIP Karl

So sorry for your loss, Stella.

Joined: Jun 6 2007

Karl, my brother-in-law and friend. He was more of a little brother to me as I'vw known him since he was 12. He was a good uncle to my kids and always brought joy and fun to wherever he was. At a Steely Dan show back in the early 90's, we were about the 10th row. While the rest of the slightly older gen was being layed back, we were partying our faces off. Karl rips of his shirt and starts swinging it around, hooting and holloring like the Dead just came on stage. We stood out like sore thumbs, but it was funny as shit.
Karl was killed in a car accident near the Jersey shore early Friday morning. His 37th birhtday is this Mon. I miss and love him more than words can tell. We'll meet again in the after life, my brother.

Steve-O's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Jim Shogun and Randy Lee

To Shog, my roomate at college, who turned me onto so many new things, but I got to turn you onto the dead. PS I can actually listen to the Scorps now. Thanks for being my friend. I miss you everyday!!! To Randy agreat friend whom I miss everyday also. Remember the floyd shows. How about that drawing of Jerry you bought at Silver stadium. Yes, I still have it and it will be my sons someday. THANKS Please watch over me and my family and I will see you both again someday PEACE!!

Joined: Jun 25 2007
Happy Birthday Jerry~

Just wanted to say Happy Birthday Jerry...I really miss this world. Thanks again for the positive... influence, and the light...what a beautiful sunrise your sunset left. And after 198 shows... sometimes ...WoW far~out...
Love One Another

Joined: Jul 20 2007
My sister, my friend

I lost my Sister this past October 17,2006. ( my birthday too) to breast cancer. Her name is Patty, she was my sister and best friend for 47 years! We went to all of our Dead shows together. We loved to party in the parking lots and shopping on Shakedown street.We would dance and spin to the music til we all fell down. I love her and will miss her everyday for the rest of my life!
I hope you are dancin with Jerry now! Peace Patty.... I will miss you always!

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
and a dark day it was, too...

thanks for the reminder.

WalpoleChinaCat's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
In Memory Brent Mydland

Hey All

17 years ago today we lost our brother Brent

Jodester's picture
Joined: Jun 14 2007
Bill had long wavy red hair

Bill had long wavy red hair and a red beard. He always used to wear a cap with a Hot Tuna patch on it. I think it was a blue cap, Chinese type. I met him in NYC between shows. I was broke and he helped me out. We hit up the Floyd shows at Nassau and made our way down to the Capital Centre by train and hitching for the boys. He told me a weird story about his childhood which lead me to believe he was from the mid west perhaps. I remember catching up with him on the Haight and then at MSG during the Rainforest run. He passed out in a car next to me after booting dope. Worrying! Later he told me someone had taken his money while he was out! Something I never liked about NYC shows, THAT kinda stuff! A bro' named Tanith told me he'd read a newspaper article that said Bill had been shot in the head in Alphabet City. We guessed he'd been trying to score and got robbed! He was a really far out brother and sadly missed! Peace to u where ever u are brother!!!

Are you kind?


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