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so long, cbgb

Posted on 16 February 2005 by Caryn Rose (1)

The Manhattan club scene – in fact, the club scene of any city, really – is highly volatile. Clubs come and go, depending on real estate, the political climate, and a long list of other random factors. It’s not an easy business to be in, and in most cases, it’s a pretty thankless one.

But what’s hitting everyone hard today is the confirmation of the rumor that CBGB‘s (which, believe it or not, is actually a club, and not a t-shirt brand, you mall punk morons) may be priced out of its current location within the year.

From this week’s Village Voice:

It used to be a lot simpler. When Hilly Krystal started CBGB almost 32 years ago, its monthly rent was $600. But CB’s gradually made the Bowery chic, and new ground-floor space on the legendary punk club’s street now rents for around $55 per square foot. Krystal’s third lease ends this August; a new lease would cost him somewhere between $38,000 and $40,000 a month, in addition to the almost $80,000 a year he pays for liability insurance.

“I pay approximately $20,000 a month now

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One Response to “so long, cbgb”

  1. Lisa says:

    Well said, sistahfriend.

    Man, don’t even get me started about DC. The Bayou (where I once saw Bruce jump onstage, and where I first saw Joe Ely and Robert Gordon–in the same week!–and so many others), Desperado’s (Nils Lofgren’s band Grin was practically the house band), The Cellar Door, The (original) 9:30 Club (can you believe some kid asked me how it got that name? I had to explain that 930 F Street NW was its original address..sigh–it’s a brand name now), Clyde’s (yeah, they used to have music–you know, the place where Gram Parsons discovered Emmylou Harris), The Howard Theater, where Duke Ellington performed his magic for the hometown folks…And lest we forget DC Space (home to all the Dischord bands) and Twist and Shout (well, that was Bethesda, but close enough).

    DC proper doesn’t even have a small to midsize “general audience” music venue anymore–most up and comings are relegated to the hipper-than-thou Black Cat (indie rock duds required) or exiled across the Potomac to IOTA (latest copy of No Depression required for entry…well almost). And believe me, there is NO audience crossover between these two clubs (well, very little). Oh and let’s not discuss how all the go-go music venues are being closed down for “safety reasons”…

    Sigh. Well I guess there’s always–gasp–D.A.R. Constitution Hall. Yeah I wanna see a rock show in the place that banned Marian Anderson…

    end of rant. :)