Thursday, August 04, 2005

Other Music for Atlanta's Gormandizers

Just found this story in one of the British tabloids. You all know anything about it?

Historic Club to Relocate?
August 3, 2005

FAMED New York rock club CBGB began the last month on its lease yesterday as E Street Band guitarist Steve Van Zandt stepped up in hopes of saving the grungy East Village rock palace.

The famous club that helped launch the likes of Blondie, the Ramones and Talking Heads is battling its landlord, the Bowery Residents Committee (BRC), over $98,000 in back rent and a $24,000 increase to its monthly rent.

The BRC, a non-profit group that aids the homeless, wants its money and guarantees of future rent payments before agreeing to a new lease.

"I can't put the needs of the club second to the needs of the BRC and the homeless," BRC director Muzzy Rosenblatt said, although he noted the two sides were talking.

Van Zandt, a star on The Sopranos TV show, put together Sunday night's punk-rock and grunge benefit featuring Blondies' Deborah Harry and said benefit shows would be held all month at the club and that a free Washington Square Park rally was in the works.

CBGB owner Hilly Kristal was less optimistic: "I don't think [Rosenblatt] has any intention of giving us a lease."

He said he thought the BRC was just out to double his monthly rent.

CBGB, with its familiar white awning, holds a special place in the city's music history. Apart from hosting top names, it was here the punk scene was created for small crowds that paid a $1 cover charge.

If CBGB closes, it will join a growing list of downtown clubs that have shut down in the last several years.

The famous Fez and the Luna Lounge have both closed this year because of development, and last year the Bottom Line was shut over a debt of more than $242,000 to its landlord, New York University.

A series of celebrities, including Talking Heads frontman David Byrne have tried to facilitate talks between Kristal and the BRC.

Van Zandt, who is now leading the charge, said the end of the CBGB would be the end of the rock 'n' roll era.

"This is the last rock 'n' roll symbol left," Mr Van Zandt said.

"We have seen one iconic rock 'n' roll venue after the other disappear, and we finally said, 'let's draw a line here, and save at least one'."

Mr Kristal is considering moving the club to Atlanta, Georgia if they fail.

"If New York doesn't want me then I'll do something else. There are people out there who do want me, who have a vision that highlights optimism, opportunity, and openness," he said. Insiders say that Mr Kristal has been eyeing a variety of locations near downtown Atlanta, in buildings that formerly housed local landmark nightclubs 688, The Great Southeast Music Hall, and The Earl.

The Daily Telegraph


Anonymous said...

The Earl?? Think maybe they meant The Echo? It would be nice if someone would do something with the Echo...

Smoove D said...

The Earl? Hasn't it always been in East Atlanta? I mean, the name is a frickin' acronym.

UTEKRYNK said...

Hi, I like your blog. I have a site on Metal Awnings maybe we could trade links?

Atlanta Attractions said...

" FAMED New York rock club CBGB " .. I just love that club