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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Breaking Music News: Punk Rock Godfather Hilly Krystal Dead at 75

Hilly and his daughter Lisa in front of his legendary club CBGB

Hilly Krystal, founder of New York's punk spawning ground CBGB, died Tuesday of lung cancer. He was 75. CBGB was the original venue of choice for New York's mid-70's punk explosion, launching bands like The Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie, and Television into rock history. CBGB stood for Country BlueGrass and Blues and that was the type of music Krystal originally intended to showcase in 1973 when he opened its doors on the seedy Bowery. In Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain's oral history of punk Please Kill Me, Television's late manager Terry Ork described the effect that early bookings Patti Smith and Television had on CB's:
"...they played Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at CBGB's, and it just became huge. Each weekend got bigger and bigger...After that I went to Hilly and said, 'You can't beat these figures with your country and bluegrass, dude!'" It was a sad day for music on October 15, 2006, when CBGB closed its doors for good after a long running rent dispute with its landlord. In another life when I managed a band, one of the best bookings I got was at CBGB in the main room, though I never met Hilly. Here is alink to Billboard's article on Hilly. Here's a list of bands that played CBGB . Hilly Krystal, rest in peace.

1 comment:

Bob Andelman said...

You might enjoy this exclusive audio interview with LEGS McNEIL, in which he talks about his books, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk and The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry ; and much, much more.