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Your e-mails: Saying goodbye to a punk-rock legend

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(CNN) -- After a long legal battle, legendary New York City nightclub CBGB's has lost its lease and is closing its doors after 33 years. CBGB's help launch the careers of the Talking Heads, Joan Jett, Patti Smith, Blondie and the Ramones.

We asked our readers to share their memories of CBGB's and tell us what they think about the club's closing. Below are some of those responses, some of which have been edited.

I saw the Sex Pistols there. I was in heaven. Sid spit in my eye as I walked past the stage.
John Wands, Verona, New Jersey

I played in a rock band in the NYC music scene during the 90's and early 2000's. I will never forget the thrill I felt the first time walking out on that rickety but great sounding stage and realizing that I was standing and about to play in the same place so many of my idols and influences had.It was a great place for original bands and it will be sorely missed by all of the NYC rockers.
Matthew Pedzick, Syracuse, New York

I have lots of great memories of CB's. Back in the day (that would be the mid-80's), I was in a few heavy bands and I played there about a dozen times. To have been on that legendary stage, where so many of my heroes had played, was an incredible feeling. Sometimes there were only a few drunk NYU students hanging out by the time we went on at 2 AM, but it was always fun. And they had a great pizza shop next door, too. The greatest night was when we played CB's the same night as the Greenwich Village Halloween parade, which was one of the most "interesting" events I've ever witnessed. I was stuck in traffic, held up by the parade, trying desperately to make the gig on time - I was running extremely late-my girlfriend dropped me off out front, I ran inside, my band was already standing on stage, playing the first few notes of the set - I walked up on stage, turned on my keyboards and let it rock. Only in NYC, baby. What a night.
Todd Heft, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

I remember growing up in NYC in the late 70's and early 80's spending time with friends watching the greats like Blondie, Talking Heads, and MANY, many hardcore bands like 247 Spies etc. Caught the farewell performance of Token Entry and Rest In Pieces- What a show! Sam (one of the bouncers at the time) had a time keeping all the Punks from diving the stage (without splitting their heads wide open!:)) It was one of the few places where no matter what the artistic vision, artists had a venue, a voice and a home. Thanks, Hilly, for all the great memories and the amazing legacy you gave...Not only to the bands, but the fans as well. We will miss CBGB's. I wonder where the underground scene will play now?
Angel Brown, Roanoke, Virginia

It is completely upsetting. Another stepping-stone in the in the gentrification of the Lower East Side. When I first went to CB's the bathrooms had no doors and it was a wild and exciting place to be. Today's bands played on the same stage that yesterday's heroes such as the Ramones and the Dictators made history. Without CB's New York becomes a little less interesting and little more like everywhere else. Another crucial Landmark in rock and roll history lost forever.
Yakov Gonzoberg, Hillsdale, New Jersey

Our 16-year-old son is a rock historian, especially about the golden era of CBGB's and the artists who got their start there. In the summer of 2005, we finally had a chance to go to CBGB's. It was mid-afternoon and quiet in the place. Hilly Krystal was at his tiny, cluttered desk just inside the door. Hilly invited us in, posed for a picture, signed the book of photos from CBGB's for which he wrote the forward--but more than that, he was a real gentleman who treated our son with great respect. He told him stories of the old days, asked questions about his band, encouraged him to keep making music, let him go up on stage to feel it out, introduced him to his son-in-law who photographed some of the legendary artists. The ghosts hung heavy in the air and we could imagine the club at full tilt '76. It's a shame that other young rock aficionados won't have the chance to see for themselves where music changed forever. Thanks to Hilly for hanging in there and for giving us an afternoon to remember...see you in Vegas
The Foley Family, Reston, Virginia

I can remember sitting in one of the dank, graffiti-filled greenrooms with a friend back in the early 90's just imagining the people who had sat in the same space we were in. It was like the spirits of The Talking Heads, The B-52s, The Ramones, Blondie and the countless other bands that had played there were drifting around us. I blacked out at that point, but it is still a fond memory.
Wade Collin, New York City

This the site where on March 30, 2005, I unknowingly met my crush from 22 years ago. He was there to support a friend. I came from Baltimore to photograph a local band. Coincidently, his friend was the bandleader. That night the lighting was bad and the band not in top form, but the history of the place was very present. You could feel the music in the air and see it's history on its walls. Outside, CBGB's evening residents drank, smoked and asked passing women out to dinner. It was under the city streetlight, where I looked into my fiancée's eyes and my world shifted. We talked until 1:00 in the morning. When we each got home, we wrote the other's name and the date on our CBGB bracelet. CBGB's will always be the place where we fell in love at first site. Well second site for me. It was magical.
Kafi Washington, Baltimore, Maryland

I hate to hear about CBGB's closing its doors in NY City. What I will remember is that I had the privilege of playing there with two different bands in the 1990's. When you walk in a place like that you immediately feel the history of it. I am glad that they are planning to reopen in Las Vegas. I hope they continue the tradition of showcasing original music.
Jamison Sampson, Matthews, North Carolina

I spent much of my younger years attending Sunday afternoon shows of legendary hard-core, punk bands that shared the same political idealisms that I did. I was exposed to such great music that the typical MTV wouldn't play, because it lacked commercial appeal, no matter how genuine it really was. CBGB's may be closing its doors, but the legend will live on forever.
Tony Pereira, Bridgeport, Connecticut

It was indeed a nasty, scary place. Saw the Bad Brains there sometime in the early '80's. I was road crew, audience and punching bag for my friend Rick Rubin's first real band the Pricks when they played on amateur night and proceeded to engage in a staged fight w/the audience, including myself. This was in an effort to get the band thrown out and to create a buzz of some sort. I guess it worked because he's still in the industry despite the broken chairs and spilled beer.
Joel Lugo, Stockton, California

Back in the early '80's, my band, the Schmoozbusters, was a regular CBGB's act. It will always remain the greatest rock club of all time for the following reasons: the undeniably sleazy rock ambiance (dilapidated graffiti-covered dressing rooms, claustrophic crowd area and famously disgusting men's room), unbelievably great sound (both on stage and on tapes of your gig) and pervasive sense of musical history. I love it, I will miss it and it can/will never be replaced.
Matthew Auerbach, Wellington, Florida

Yet another historical landmark passes. What is unfortunate is that only those who truly appreciate the contribution CBGB made to music will have reason to remember it. CBGB deserves the same appreciation as the Fillmore (east & west), Haight Ashbury or even Robert Johnson's mythical crossroad. It not only allowed bands like the Ramones a place to express themselves, but it helped the reactionary musical movement of the 70's & 80's grow. It will be missed.
Elliott Truman, Louisville, Kentucky

Coming from the Midwest, we had always heard about how NYC was rude and scary. In 1995, my wife and I were on our honeymoon and the one place I wanted to go was CBGB. We got there before the doors opened so we went to 313 had a beer and pizza. So many patrons came up and started talking to us, buying us a round and playing video games. It was better than being back home. Once the doors opened we went and listened to bands all night. The only two I remember were the Falafel Mafia and Sam I Am. The sound was the best I ever heard (and I've been around the music scene for years). We kept meeting the greatest people on the planet that night. Mohawks, dread-heads, skinheads, long-hairs, it didn't matter, everyone was great and the music was awesome. I can only imagine what it was like to see the Ramones, or Gen X or Blondie there. !
Greg Mellang, Saint Paul, Minnesota

People talk about CBGB's in its legendary heyday of the late 70's and early 80's, but it was also a place where people from my generation, who were teenagers in the 90's, came of age. As a punk rocker who lived on Long Island, CB's was a place where on any given Saturday and Sunday afternoon, you would see hundreds of mohawked kids lined up outside to see bands like NYC's own The Casualties play to a packed house. I have nothing but the fondest memories of going to shows at CB's, trying to get older guys to buy us beers, making out with girls in the bathrooms downstairs, and jumping off the stage into tons of spikes and leather. I haven't been there in years, but I will miss its seediness, its unique atmosphere of dangerousness and excitement, and the feeling that, at any time, something legendary could be taking place.
Tim Sweetland, Boston, Massachusetts


James Brogan of Social Unrest played CBGB's in the 80's. "The place smelled of piss, but you always had a great turn-out and the sound was usually spot-on."



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