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CBGB Rocks Again

United States
NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2008 — The iconic and legendary NYC Rock Club, CBGB known for launching the careers of Television, Ramones, Blondie, Patti Smith, the B-52’s, and the Talking Heads, is making a comeback under a new ownership team headed by James Blueweiss and Robert Williams, partners in the newly formed CBGB Holdings based in New York City. The new team includes members of founder Hilly Kristal’s immediate family, long-time employees, and music industry advisors that have a history with the club.

“This is an awesome responsibility,” says Williams, “and we are pleased to have arranged for CBGB to be a featured exhibit at the new Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ANNEX opening this week in New York City. It honors the club’s place in Rock & Roll History and preserves important artifacts for all to enjoy.”

CBGB exhibit at the new Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex in NYC.

“There were and are lots of clubs around the world, but there was only one CBGB,” says Terry Stewart, president of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. “Its contribution to rock & roll is undeniable. It is only fitting to have the awning, graffitied walls, and other important pieces of the club here as a key exhibit.”

According to Blueweiss, who worked closely with CBGB’s founder, Hilly Kristal, during the club’s last year, “Everyone knows Hilly wanted to re-open CBGB’s in Vegas so we are meeting potential developers and partners there as well as exploring options in a select handful of other entertainment capitals. The company also plans to revamp www.cbgb.com/into an online destination and community built around 360 degrees of CBGB, the place to discover cutting edge music, meet friends, share music news, and celebrate the club’s past with a CBGB type Wikipedia that will invite everyone who experienced the club to tell their story.”

Next summer, CBGB will hit the road with the Vans WARPED Tour as an interactive traveling exhibit with integrated media, mobile, and internet linkages. Kevin Lyman, the founder of the WARPED TOUR, was a big fan of the club. “We wanted CBGB on the tour to help us celebrate our 15th year,” Lyman says. “Kids who never got the chance to go to CBGB’s will get to see and experience first hand how so many of their favorite bands of today were influenced by the bands that played within those sacred walls. CBGB’s is an iconic property and one that we intend to introduce to a generation that would have been there if they could have.”

Long time CBGB employee, Louise Staley, is now in charge of mining the vast vault of live CBGB performances taped over three decades. “In October, MVD released Living Colour -- CBGB OMFUG Masters: August 19, 2005 The Bowery Collection,” says Staley. “It’s the 8th live performance CD in the series. Look for more electrifying moments in the club’s history soon to be rolled out on CBGB’s website and other digital platforms.”

Lisa Kristal, Hilly Kristal’s daughter said, “I believe that my Dad would have been very proud of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s new CBGB exhibit, especially the display of the men’s urinal.”

Last month CBGB signed a worldwide apparel and accessories deal for its core line of logo’d merchandise with Bravado, a Universal Music Group company. Bravado is the world leader in rock & roll themed apparel and merchandise. “CBGB’s is one of the coolest properties out there,” says Bravado’s CEO Tom Bennett. “We are honored to be working with them.”

“Our ultimate goal is to make CBGB’s relevant again to a whole new generation by putting it back on the frontlines of discovering the next Ramones whether that be on www.cbgb.com/, a CBGB Radio Channel or live at a CBGB venue,” says Blueweiss. “Our plans were enthusiastically embraced by Hilly before he passed away. In fact, he was looking forward to his new role with us as Chairman Emeritus of CBGB Holdings. I think Hilly would have been very pleased with what we have accomplished to date.”
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