Tuesday, October 17, 2006

End of the Century

So CBGB closed on Sunday? Actually, my first thought after reading the NY Times' story on the club's final night was, "I thought it closed already."

It'd been rumored for so long, with all kinds of battles between the club and its landlords, along with movements to save the place where bands like The Ramones, the Talking Heads, and Blondie became famous - or maybe sort of famous, in Sonic Youth's case. (Paul Collins wrote about his one shot at CBGB last week at Slate.)

I'm not going to pretend I have any love or cherished memories of CBGB (which stands for Country Bluegrass Blues, if you didn't know). I never saw a show there. But on my first visit to New York, Mis Hooz made sure to walk me over there so I could see it for myself.

And she laughed in agreement when she saw the "that's it?" reaction on my face. I mean, the bodegas look better, man. Plus, it just seemed so... small, like it could never have possibly contained the rock greatness that it legendarily spawned. How many people got to watch the Ramones play at a time? 25?

So I can't rant with any believability about how CBGB's closing represents the official end of an era and a testament to just how #@$%ing great new wave and punk rock music was. But I guess I do feel a bit sad, because the world sure as hell seemed like a cooler place with a club like that - and all its history - still standing. (And a new one in Vegas just wouldn't be the same thing, would it?)

Edit (7 p.m.): Here's Jon Pareles' eulogy for CBGB from today's New York Times.