If you’re a regular Dangerous Minds’ reader than you most likely know how much I hate the newly-released CBGB movie. It makes Tommy Wiseau’s The Room look like Citizen Kane. Over the weekend CBGB sold a miserable $4000 worth of tickets in New York City, the one place where the movie might have had an audience. That translates to less than 300 attendees (tickets are $14).. Dire. The upside: the film will have negligible impact on the way the club is perceived by future generations. Unless, of course, it finds an audience on Netflix. There it could turn into the next Birdemic.
For a grittier and more honest view of the early days at CBGB, check out Ivan Kral and Amos Poe’s 1976 cinéma vérité, low-budget (but beautifully shot) The Blank Generation. With its post-dubbed sound and chainsaw editing, the movie doesn’t work as a strait-on, conventional documentary but it does capture some important rock and roll history, a time when rock was starting to feel dangerous again.
And for those of you who think I’ve got it in for the hacks who made the new CBGB movie, you’re right. I do. For several years in the 70s, CBGB was my church and I get upset, real fucking upset, when people piss in the holy water.
The Blank Generation with
Patti Smith Group
New York Dolls