Hilly Kristal, founder of CBGB, passes away at 75...

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    Hilly Kristal, who founded CBGB, the Bowery bar that became the cradle of punk and art-rock in New York in the 1970s and served as the inspiration for musician-friendly rock dives throughout the world, died in Manhattan on Tuesday. He was 75.

    His son, Mark Dana Kristal, told The Associated Press that the cause was complications from lung cancer.
    From its opening in late 1973, when Mr. Kristal, a lover of acoustic music, gave the club its name, an abbreviation of the kinds of music he originally intended to feature there — country, bluegrass and blues — until a dispute with its landlord forced the club to close last October, CBGB presented thousands of bands within its eternally crumbling, flyer-encrusted walls.
    Most famously, it served as the incubator for the diverse underground scene of New York in the 1970s and early ’80s, with acts like the Ramones, Patti Smith, Blondie, Television, Talking Heads and Sonic Youth playing some of their earliest and most important concerts there, at a time when there were few outlets in the city for innovative rock music.
    “There was no real venue in 1973 for people like us,” Ms. Smith said today. “We didn’t fit into the cabarets or the folk clubs. Hilly wanted the people that nobody else wanted. He wanted us.”
    Besides his son, Mr. Kristal is survived by a daughter, Lisa Kristal Burgman, and two grandchildren.

    Side note trivia for extra credit: who knows what CBGB stands for???
  2. I remember this place from the 70's. Sad that he's passed, and nice to know what CBGB meant, I never knew!
  3. CBGB = Country Blue Grass and Blues

    What does OMFUG stand for?

    I actually went to the closing of CBGB last year. Patti Smith with Red Hot Chili Peppers was one of the last performers that night. This club had a hard core following. I remember (jeez, I'm dating myself) back in the day seeing many up and coming bands such as The Ramones, Blondie, and others. There is a homeless shelter above the club now.

    There are so many new clubs that have opened up in the Bowery in the last year and it is becoming and up and coming neighborhood again. Which in itself is sad. It's pretty sad when Whole Foods and condos are on the same block! The same thing happened with The Palladium which is now condos. RIP Hily!
  4. The full name is CBGB & OMFUG which stands for "Country Bluegrass Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers". Gormandizer usually means a ravenous eater of food, but according to Kristal here it means "a voracious eater of ... music".[

    Interesting, huh?