Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

May 13, 1988 - Image 37

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1988-05-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Hard corps: A club where all kinds of rock get equal respect-and amplification
Where Rock Thrives
Long after the new wave crashed, C.B.G.B. lives on

was like that. Hanging out
and exchanging ideas and get-
ting loaded at the bar. Music
was the center of everybody's
attention. There's no other
reason to hang out at a place
like C.B.G.B.'s."
Seismic levels: For first-time
visitors, the place seems a lit-
tle underwhelming. The only
light upon the small tables
(which are removed for hard-
core shows) comes from neon
beer signs overhead and patio
candles. Tattered remains of
ancient handbills dot the
walls, and near the ceiling off
stage left, someone has spray-
painted "Giant Metal IN-
SECTS." Maximum seating is
350, and the stage can hold
only four energetic musicians
comfortably. But the sound
system produces extremely
clean music, even at seismic
levels, and musicians love to
play there. "It's the most mu-
sic-oriented place in the city,"
says Binky Philips, who's per-
formed there with a variety of
bands over the past 10 years,
and who recorded a live EP
there last year. On a recent
Thursday night, Philips's trio
churned through a dynamic
set of pure power pop to an
audience of about 60. Among
the crowd were Takayuki
Chuma and Akitsugu Morita,
two law students from Japan
College in Tokyo on a three-
week American visit. Asked
what they thought of the
place, the two replied, "Good
livehouse." And indeed it is.
R. G.

t sounds like a thermonu-
clear train wreck. It looks,
as near as you can tell in
the dim light, like a riot.
Onstage, a hardcore group
named Murphy's Law is surg-
ing through an awesome se-
ries of power chords, when its
lead singer dashes across the
small stage and does a half
gainer off the edge while sing-
ing at the top of his strong
lungs. He's in no danger, how-
ever, because the crowd-a
mix of skinheads, longhairs
and everything in between-
is packed so tightly he cannot
land on the floor. The three
very large bouncers on the
apron of the stage pull the
singer back while simulta-
neously fending off the half-
nude bodies that seem to be
swimming toward the band as
the slam-dancing audience
passes them aloft. This is
the regular Sunday hardcore
matinee at C.B.G.B., what
Rick the doorman describes
as "totally, seriously mental."
Now in the 15th year of its
current incarnation, C.B.G.B.
celebrates the spirit, energy

and creativity of rock mu-
sic. (The full name of the
club located in New York
City's East Village, where
Bleecker Street dead-ends at
the Bowery, is C.B.G.B. and
O.M.F.U.G. The initials stand
for Country, Bluegrass, Blues
and Other Music For Up-
lifting Gourmandizers.) All
kinds of rock get performed,
from speed metal to power
pop to art-rock, and the
only restriction is that
bands play original material.
The open-ended musical na-
ture of the club reflects the
approach of its owner, manag-
er and booker, Hilly Kristal,
56. "I don't make things hap-
pen," he says. "I struggle to let
them happen."
Of course, it was the explo-
sion of the New York City mu-
sical scene known as new
wave that put C.B.G.B. into
the history books. Starting in
1974, and lasting through the
end of the decade, the club be-
came the center of the rock
revolution as several local
bands got national record con-
tracts and became famous.

Television, Patti Smith, Talk-
ing Heads, The Ramones,
Blondie and others came out
of C.B.G.B. Chris Frantz of
Talking Heads remembers it
as a special time: "I grew up in
Pittsburgh, Pa., during junior
high and high school. I would
read about all this stuff that
was happening in England
and in Liverpool at the Cav-
ern Club, and then we moved
to New York and C.B.G.B.'s


Where Bleecker dead-ends at Bowery: Owner-manager Kristal


MA Y 1988


Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan