CBGB, the history of a prolific musical landmark.

CBGB or Country, Bluegrass, and Blues played home to the likes of The Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie, Patti Smith Band, and Television during its 33-year stand in Manhattan’s East Village. It was hailed as the breeding ground for punk rock and new wave in the 1970s and still remains an iconic cultural incubator despite it’s close in 2006.

As disco echoed out of the jammed dive bars, punk and new wave took up residency and this gloriously dingy venue had scene influencers pushing to get through the door. Including Andy Warhol who made GBGB his regular haunt. CBGB was an angsty teen watering hole filled with avant-garde new romantics and leather-laden punks clutching packs of Marlboro, a place where they could find solace in being young and rowdy whilst also getting to sneak a peek at New York’s grimiest bathroom.

The Ramones made their seminal appearance as a foursome at CBGB in 1974 to a smaller than average audience, also on the bill was Angel And The Snake, featuring Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, and Fred Smith. CBGB and The Ramones became almost synonymous and their debut gig pinned a moment in music History. Danny Fields who discovered the band and later managed the unruly quartet after the 1974 CBGB debut,  suggested that they had managed to breed a new generation of artists by infuriating them with unstructured and messy displays on stage. “Look at them. They can’t play. They’re terrible! They don’t know more than three notes….Let’s start a band!”.

Daily Telegraph writer, Tim Burrows and his book ‘From CBGB and The Roundhouse’ gives a first hand and detailed exploration into iconic venues and the influence it has popular culture and the consumption of live music for millennials. It’s only 272 pages and you can buy it here [https://www.amazon.co.uk/CBGB-Roundhouse-Tim-Burrows/dp/0714531626]

Carla Langley