Thursday, July 28, 2005


Here's the latest on the CBGBs story from

Punk acts young, old and reunited have pledged their support for embattled New York club CBGB, which is fighting to renew a soon-to-expire lease and may be forced to close up shop entirely. Artists such as the Misfits, Thursday, Against Me, Liars, Dead Boys, Gorilla Biscuits and the Vandals will perform at a series of benefit concerts at the club in the coming weeks to raise funds for the effort.

The Save CBGB fund is earmarked for the club's legal fees as it lobbies its landlord, the Bowery Residents Committee (BRC), a not-for-profit organization that provides services and shelter to homeless and disabled New Yorkers. Additional artists set to appear include Living Colour, Flipper, Kid Dynamite, Bush Tetras, Chevelle, the Exit and World Inferno Friendship Society.

Beyond the shows, acts such as the Bangles, Elvis Costello and Sting have donated memorabilia for a fundraising auction, and the E Street Band's Steven Van Zandt has made efforts to personally negotiate with the BRC. Former Talking Heads vocalist David Byrne has also offered to assist in mediation.

"CBGBs supports the BRC's fight to help the homeless -- we just want our lease renewed to keep this historic venue in its original place," says CBGB owner Hilly Kristal.

The conflict stems from a series of rent hikes. According to CBGB spokesperson Scott Goodstein, on several occasions the BRC raised the rent on CBGB's home at 313 Bowery without properly informing the club, later bringing the issue to court in order to collect interest. The most recent dispute involves about $80,000 in back rent the BRC claims it is owed.

...[Kristal] adds that if the lease were renewed, "We'd be more than happy to turn all the money over from the 'Save CBGBs' account to [the BRC]." The homeless organization serves the community, he says, and artists would be happy to be given a chance to help those in need. "Musicians love doing that type of stuff," he says.
I don't see any real villains in this dispute, so I'll blame Nixon.

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