The Bars Of Our Youth: CBGB (New York City, NY)

CREDIT: Adam Di Carlo/Wikipedia
If you're searching for a definitive image of what a hardscrabble cutting edge rock club might have been, then look no further than the preserved images of the now extinct but once mighty CBGB.

Truth be told, I never considered myself worthy enough to pass through its doors but when I finally did summon the courage and cash to catch a few shows there in the late '80s, it was with much reverence and awe that I stepped through those doors.

I remember being floored by its rock n' roll pedigree and humbled by the names that had graced its stage before I was even walking well on my own (due of course to youth, not intoxication). Also etched deep in my gray matter is the revolting recollection of what may have been THE most vomit-inducing bathroom I HAVE EVER SEEN.

Still, I wish now that I had managed enough foresight to snap some photos or take a souvenir off the filthy walls in remembrance of a hallowed cave of pure raw rock energy.

Hot, sweaty, and loud, it embodied everything you wanted in a club and then some.

Agnostic Front, Sonic Youth (two that I actually saw), The Ramones, The Police, Blondie, Talking Heads, the list goes on and on and had it not been for the rantings of the Bowery Residents committee, who said a huge amount of back rent was owed, and the death of Hilly Kristal it may have lived on in some form or another.

As it was, the club closed its doors after birthing the careers of some of the world's most beloved acts and hosting nearly 50,000 bands on its grimy stage.

For the record, I remained ignorant up until THIS YEAR about the meaning of the name. CBGB & OMFUG means Country Bluegrass Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers. And yes, I had to look up the meaning of gormandizers. --Dufmanno

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