New York, New York, USA

Closed 2006

The Disappointed Tourist: CBGB, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

CBGB was a music club opened in 1973 by Hilly Kristal in New York’s East Village. The name CBGB & OMFUG, stood for Country, Blue Grass, Blues and Other Music for Uplifting Gourmandizers. The venue was known as the New York birthplace of punk and featured The Ramones, Blondie, the Talking Heads, among many other notable bands. In 2005, Kristal was sued for back rent allegedly owed to the landlord, Bowery Residents Committee. The case was decided in Kristal’s favor with the judge claiming that CBGB should be declared a landmark, but the landlord declined to renew CBGB’s lease in 2006. This painting is based on an uncredited photograph.

Because CBGB was so much the center of a particular rock and roll universe, playing on that stage, you felt like you’d really arrived. You felt like a part of history. It was a total dive, but it also had the beautiful sound system of all the downtown clubs, so it was both the loudest and the clearest place to play.  Brooke W.

Also requested by Josh L.