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Forget that shitty ‘CBGB’ film, ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ from 1978 takes you inside the real CBGB

Three aspiring musicians: Richard Hell, Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd were looking for a place “where nothing was happening” for their band Television to play. If nothing was happening then the bar owner had nothing to lose. One day, down in the Bowery, Verlaine and Lloyd spotted a place initialed CBGB-OMFUG. They sidled across, went inside and talked to the owner a former singer and musician Hilly Krystal. As Lloyd recalled in Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain’s essential oral history of punk Please Kill Me, Hilly wanted to know what kinda music they played. They answered with a question:

‘Well, what does ‘CBGB-OMFUG’ stand for?’

He said, ‘Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music for Uplifting Gourmandizers.’

So we said, ‘Oh yeah, we play a little of that, a little rock, a little country, a little blues, a little bluegrass…’

And Hilly said, ‘Oh, okay, maybe…’

In fact, the only real stipulation for appearing at CBGB’s was to play new music, and although Suicide and Wayne County had already appeared at CBGB’s (after the demise of the Mercer Arts Center), it was not until Television, Patti Smith, The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads and The Dead Boys started taking up residency that CBGB’s changed from something where nothing happened to somewhere it all happened.

If you were disappointed by the shitty CBGB’s movie made a couple of years back starring Alan Rickman, then you will get a better sense of the energy, talent and musical revolution that took place at CBGB’s in the mid-1970s with this hour-long TV documentary Blitzkrieg Bop . Focussing on The Ramones, Blondie and the The Dead Boys, Blitzkrieg Bop mixes live performance with short interview clips and a racy newscast voiceover. It’s recommended viewing.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Awesome video of The Dead Boys at CBGB in 1977
03:08 pm


The Dead Boys
Pat Ivers
Emily Armstrong

From the archives of Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong comes this excellently shot video of The Dead Boys, with Stiv Bators in all his glory.

Ivers and Armstrong have nearly 100 musical performances from New York City’s punk era (1975-80) that they’re currently restoring. Check out the archives. It’s mindblowing. The collection would make an amazing DVD box set. Ivers and Armstrong were there, right in the middle of it all.

“I Need Lunch,” CBGB, 1977:

More Dead Boys after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Ramones and Dead Boys: ‘Punking Out’ 1977

These clips of The Ramones and The Dead Boys at CBGB in 1977 capture the birth of punk in all of its raw glory. Taken from the film Punking Out directed by Maggi Carson and Ric Shore, this is the scene as I remember it: unpretentious, fun, full of energy and kind of goofy.

Punking Out is a terrific time capsule of a time and place and really should be more widely seen. You can order a DVD copy at the film’s website.  The site hasn’t been updated in a few years, but the ‘shopping cart’ appears to still be functioning.

Dee Dee’s glue rant is hilarious.


Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment