The Metropolitan Museum Of Art’s “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” exhibition includes a re-creation of the legendary bathroom at CBGB’s, the Mecca of merde. But, as we see in the above photo of the museum’s replication of the tortured toilet, duplicating mayhem is impossible. Like most forms of wildlife, if you remove it from its habitat you kill it.
As someone who waded into that hellhole with the regularity of a bottom-feeding crustacean with a bad beer habit, this feeble installation doesn’t come close to evoking the dank horror of the place. The shithole at CBGB’s was punk rock’s Petri dish, spawning a virus that would radiate outward and forward into the future changing pop culture forever. Rock ‘n’ roll’s DNA was re-tooled in this stool garden. Oh, how I miss it.
For the sake of historical accuracy, the bathroom’s floor should be soaking wet, the toilets overflowing with shit and piss and shards of broken beer bottles everywhere.
This was one of the few bathrooms in Manhattan where it was impossible to snort a line of coke discreetly and every bowel movement was performance art. The toilet truly lived up to the appellation of “throne.” You had to ascend a small staircase to reach it. You defecated from on high while below drunken rockers staggered around the urinals trying to hit their mark in an appallingly comical version of Sin City’s dancing fountains. This was Las Vegas for cockroaches.
Here’s a photo of the real deal. Lean into the monitor and smell the stomach-churning aroma of punk rock.
Via The Gothamist.