Historic CBGB Nightclub Closes in New York

New York City's famous CBGB nightclub is closing shop. The club is well known for ushering in punk music in the United States and headlining legendary bands like the Ramones and Blondie.

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(Soundbite of music)

Mr. JOEY RAMONE (Singer): (Singing) Rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n roll high school.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And our last word on business today, is the business of rock.

CGBGs, the legendary New York night club held its final concert last night. It was founded in 1973, and it was considered by many as the cradle of American punk rock.

This club helped to spawn acts like The Ramones, The Talking Heads, and Blondie.

Ms. DEBORAH HARRY (Singer for Blondie): (Singing) One way or another, I'm going to find you. I'm going to get you, get you, get you…

INSKEEP: The club's founder, Hilly Kristal, originally expected to showcase country, bluegrass, and blues, but he proved willing to book anything.

Now, as the punk movement ran its course, Kristal struggled with the bills, and in 2001 he settled with his landlord for $300,000 in back rent. But he fell behind again when the rent was raised, and after the lease expired last year Kristal agreed to shut the doors.

He hopes to reopen soon though, in Vegas.

With much fanfare, one of the club's original acts, Patty Smith closed it down last night. She said the new kids have to have their own places, but also said, CBGBs is a state of mind.

Ms. PATTI SMITH (Singer): (Singing) Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine.

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

(Soundbite of song “Gloria”)

Ms. SMITH: (Singing) Midnight, hot thieves, wild card on my sleeve, in my sleeve.

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