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March 15, 2007



Since CBGB's heyday was a long time ago, its importance may need some explanation:

'CBGB was, for the rest of its life, a place of safe haven for the aspiring, the creative and those living in exile from mainstream culture, either by force or choice. The place was a pit, the downstairs toilets infamous. At one point in her second set, Smith wondered aloud if Sirius Satellite Radio was simulcasting the show, as scheduled. "I haven't seen any Sirius people here," she said. "Maybe they chickened out." When guitarist Lenny Kaye told her the equipment and engineers were in the basement, she grinned in amazement. "There's nothing chicken about being in that basement."

'Yet CBGB had always been there, until last night, for any musician with a bright new idea, especially those young bands that couldn't get booked anywhere else in the city. The flood of obituaries for the club has focused, naturally, on its mid-Seventies heyday, when the Ramones, Blondie, Richard Hell and Talking Heads were among the nightly entertainment with Smith and Television. But some of the best shows I ever saw there were in this century, including but hardly limited to: Soundtrack of Our Lives (their first U.S. tour), the Raveonettes (their first U.S. show) and, just a few months ago, proto-metal gods Blue Cheer, who played to what looked like half a house. In comparison, the line into the club last night ran around the block; I was in that line for ninety minutes and missed Smith's first four songs.'

Patti Smith, Flea Bid Farewell to Iconic Punk Club,
The legendary NYC rock club gets a worthy send-off courtesy of its most famed progeny,
by David Fricke, Rolling Stone, 16 Oct 2006

Smith summed it up:

"Anyone else could start a club just like it, she said, anywhere in the world. All it takes is the will."


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