We've had Tony Wilson, Lee Hazelwood, and Max Roach pass away already recently. Now add to the list one Hilly Kristal, the founder of the legendary CBGB's club way back in in 1973. Those were different times and it was certainly a different New York City but while punk did the majority of it's greatest works in the mid 1970s (like my boy Richard Hell in the photo) it was Hilly's little dive that became a beacon to the world for decades to follow. Of course punk has become a laughable genre at best over the past twenty years it did have it's moment and I thought I would share a press release from Big Shot magazine to help close the book on this important musical pioneer.
CBGB owner Hilly Kristal lost his battle with cancer yesterday and is being remembered for his role in fostering the American punk rock scene. Located on the Bowery (a neighborhood filled with homeless people and tranisents in the ’70s), CBGB gave birth to seminal bands like the Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie, Television, and countless other acts during the venue’s 33 year history.
Kristal opened his venue in 1973 and continuously operated the Lower East Side club until he was forced to shutter it in 2006 due to a dispute over $300,000 in unpaid rent. Kristal had hoped to open a version of the club in Las Vegas. Hilly Kristal was 75.