Long, narrow home of the late 70's NYC punk scene. (CBGB OMFUG - "Country, Bluegrass, and Blues and Other Music for Urban Gourmets"). Formerly a Bowery biker bar, owned by Hilly Kristal. Bands that played there included Tuff Darts (with Robert Gordon), Blondie, Stumblebunny, the Ramones, Television, New York Dolls, Heartbreakers (with ex-Doll Johnny Thunders), the Shirts, Talking Heads, Patti Smith (ex-Sam Shepard liaison), Richard Hell and the Voidoids.

There is a bar by the same name in St. Louis, Mo. Never having been to the New York club I can't make comparisons, but the St. Louis bar rarely has bands, isn't as punk as I thought it would be, and is a damn cool place to hang out.

Located on South Grand it is a pretty hip place. The crowd is usually a few neighborhood drunks and a bunch of younger 20-something regulars. Matt, the bartender and just about the only employee, spins some of the bests tunes in St. Louis. The decor is on the dark side with some cool paintings and a door to hell. It also has a few bar games, darts and shuffle board. On Wednesdays the bartendar shouts out trivia questions and you can win drinks. Speaking of drinks I recommend giving the gin bucket a try.

Richard Hell: I liked it that if there was a cool band and if you wanted to see them, they'd always be playing on friday nights at the Pit, or wherever. It seemed like the ideal way, if you were good, to draw the people who would be interested in you as quickly as possible.
So that's what I proposed: that we find a place where we could do that. And I figured "Where is a bar where nothing is happening? With nothing to lose if we tell them to let us play there one night a week." . . . So we all decided to keep our eyes open.

Hilly Kristal, proprietor:The beginning of what we now think of as CBGB came early on. I was on a ladder in front of the club fixing the awning in place, when I looked down to notice three scruffy dudes in torn jeans and T shirts looking up at me inquisitively.
"WHAT'S GOIN' ON?" or something of that nature, was the question they asked.

Richard Lloyd: Hilly was like, "What kinda music do you play?" We said, "Well, what does CBGB-OMFUG stand for?" He said "Country, Bluegrass, Blues, and Other Music for Uplifting Gourmandizers." So we said, "Oh, yeah, we play a little rock, a little country, a little blues, a little bluegrass . . ."
And Hilly said, "Oh, okay, maybe . . ."

Hilly:They were Tom Verlaine, Richard Hell, and Richard Lloyd, three of the four members of the rock group "Television." A few days later, Terry Ork, Television's manager came around to try and get the band a gig at CBGB.
He was a pudgy little dynamo with a pension for non-stop talking; energy and enthusiasm up to here. He believed Television was going to be the hottest new sound since John Cage first played his "clothes line."
Since at that time we weren't open on Sunday, I decided to give Television a try out, about three and a half weeks hence, on a Sunday.
The admission was one dollar. ----It was not an impressive debut (at least not in my opinion). There were only a few paid customers and not too many more friends. They not only didn't pay admission but didn't have any money for drinks.


Hilly Kristal quotes from: www.cbgb.com/history
the two Richards from: Please Kill Me: the uncensored oral history of punk, by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, Penguin Books, 1996.

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