Posted in music | venues on April 10, 2008

John Varvatos Opens at 315 Bowery (Curbed)
CBGB

The interior looks dark and a little foreboding, perhaps in homage to the space's gritty past and the punks who once performed here. Red glowing church candles are positioned next to racks of vintage vinyl to the right, and spectacular black and white photographs of rock gods are framed on the left wall of the store. A gigantic Statue of Liberty stands in the left front window--an interesting touch that got the attention of many passers-by. [Racked]
Boots where the stage was (Curbed)
CBGB
After the John Varvatos boutique officially opened its doors last weekend in the old CBGB space, activist Rebecca Moore held court on the sidewalk. This past Tuesday she sat outside the retail shop in protest with a sign that read: "One small loss of a music space, one large step for pants," and was joined by a few other supporters. Moore says her statement isn't about just one music space (CBGB).... [Gothamist]
CBGB
Photo by Robert Kreizel

The 313 Gallery next door is now a Morrison Hotel.

RIP HILLY

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Comments (35)

cool. what's the point of the protest?

Posted by chinolam | April 10, 2008 12:23 PM

"It's about Tonic closing, and Fez, Theater Club Nada and Charas...about Copacabana being forced from their space by the city using eminent domain. These are not abandoned dusty relics. These are places that still cater to strong and vibrant, burgeoning communities. They are being ousted by people creating a Disneyworld, expensive version of the real culture that was here."

"It would be great to see Mr. Varvatos not just stepping in to save a building he deems a shrine, and using that environment to help sell his clothing -- but rather actively petitioning the city to save and recognize local cultural arts and community spaces that have a rightful place in these neighborhoods! Mr. Varvatos caters to a wealthy, male-dominated major-label mainstream rock world that has no claim on the CB's legacy whatsover."

Posted by the protest | April 10, 2008 12:28 PM

"major-label mainstream rock world"

I wonder if she realizes that the only reason anyone cares about CBGB is because the Ramones, Talking Heads and Blondie entered the "major-label mainstream rock world"

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 12:30 PM

GET A JOB, HONEY

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 12:38 PM

CBs was a really lame place to be for the past +15-20 years. I'm almost glad it's gone. it is too bad about Tonic and some of the other places. This is the changing face of the city as NYU buys up everything and destroys neighborhoods. I think there is a brand new, posh NYU dorm just a block or two away from CBs if I'm not mistaken. somebody firebomb that school.

Posted by DeadEnd | April 10, 2008 12:38 PM

I don't feel bad about CBGBs closing anymore after I read about how much money Hilly had when he died. He was a dead beat.

Posted by E | April 10, 2008 12:43 PM

SO whats the rent, 21 grand a month?

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 12:43 PM

the only one to blame for CBs closing is Hilly. It was a shithole that gave up on trying a couple decades ago anyway.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 12:58 PM

"the only one to blame for CBs closing is Hilly. It was a shithole that gave up on trying a couple decades ago anyway.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 12:58 PM"

Spoken by a guy who knows nothing about the situation. Congrats douchebag.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 1:07 PM

"I don't feel bad about CBGBs closing anymore after I read about how much money Hilly had when he died. He was a dead beat.

Posted by E | April 10, 2008 12:43 PM"

You are an asshole.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 1:08 PM

protest is to point out now everyone is happy with how things are going.

punk is not dead. Looking forward to Tompkins Square this summer.

I wish people were more kind to each other on this blog.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 1:12 PM

NYU dorm is on the same block, but it's not new and anything but "posh"

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 1:26 PM

I actually think Varvatos is a good fit for the space - at least he is aware of it's history, and tries to pay homage in his own way to it.

Other possible tenents (Citi or Chase) like a bank or insurance company would be a greater "injustice" if you ask me.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 2:00 PM

at least they left the stickers on the walls!! leave some remembrance of a venue that used to be but not anymore

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 2:05 PM

yeah I don't understand the problem with varvatos goin in - hes a cool designer and has an affection for music.

What do these people want from their protest? another tenent that's NOT CBGB's? Weird.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 2:09 PM

How am I an asshole?? It's an opinion. I didn't know Hilly personally and I don't have anything against the man (RIP). But he did have the money to pay his rent and he didn't pay it, that makes him a dead beat. Asshole . . . that's all you could come up with. How about giving a reason or disqualifying my statement.

Posted by E | April 10, 2008 2:24 PM

Yeah she's an "activist" - active in everything but paying taxes, like people who have to be at work instead of sitting on the sidewalk all day.

Can't we just use gutter punks for cannon fodder? At least we'd get some practical use out of them this way.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 2:26 PM

Big party at the space next week for the real opening - Ian Hunter, CHeetah Chrome, ALan Vega and D Generation are playing ... thursday night

Posted by rebecca | April 10, 2008 2:42 PM

Varvatos is a bit of a poser. He's a good designer and all, but total poser.

CBGBs was never about getting "good" bands to perform there. Good bands just ended up performing there because they couldn't get shows anywhere else, and CBs didn't give a shit who played (pretty much true until the end). It's "coolness" always was an accident.

That being said, has anyone been to the bathroom at this place? It's so clean; it's disgusting!

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 3:03 PM

Hey at least Rebecca has the balls the make her opposition to the Disneyfication of NYC to be known, unlike all the pricks and poseurs like myself safely commenting on blogs like this.

Unlike most of us, Rebecca Moore grew up here in NY in the arts community and herself being a fixture of the community. Not that her actions are going to get Varvatos or another tenant like Chase to give a fuck about being in the former smelly dump of CBGBs but she's at least trying to create an awareness of the decimation of outlets for the music community here.

To be honest I'm much happier with a place like CBGBs closing or even Tonic closing because of NY economic reasons rather than institutions like those being bought out and run by the corporate agendas of the likes of Clear Channel, Live Nation or The Bowery Presents. At least when places close down because of their own mistakes they can go down with some integrity, honor and legend.

I actually think it's brilliant that Varvatos moved in there. It's much more reflective than a WAMU branch or a Starbucks setting up exploitation there. This will standout as a stronger landmark to what NY once was and to which it now is. A Chase bank there would have just camouflaged the CBGBs lineage into the suburban eczema rash of the new Bowery.

Look at a band like Sonic Youth, though around just after the peak of CBGBs they're sell outs to the Disneyfication of NYC just as much as another other corrupted punter. During fashion week you can catch exclusive SY concerts at Marc Jacobs and Dior Homme, they're no different.

I give kudos to Rebecca Moore for being an activist rather than being a passivist. The Generation Y of NY is full of "whyners" anyhow, the Xers seems to be trying at the very least.

Sadly to survive here I choose to whore myself out these days, though my ass is getting desensitized to it, which frightens me.
Can one still live here with any chastity?

“But Satan now is wiser than of yore, and tempts by making rich, not making poor.”

Posted by punksnotdeaf | April 10, 2008 3:48 PM

Yes, the continued Disneyization of NYC, started in Times Square and carried on downtown by NYU is annoying as hell, no doubt. And CBs becoming a store that nobody but investment bankers and rich Europeans can afford sucks too. But, let's all pray tonight that the continued downward spiral of the economy will eventually hurt NYC speculators fast and hard.

Oh, and I have to admit that the Varvatos store sucked me in. I find it to be a retail triumph. If any store had to go in there, well, they did a bang-up job.

Posted by Guerilla Shopper NYC | April 10, 2008 3:51 PM

my teenage years are officially dead.

Posted by jay | April 10, 2008 3:56 PM

"Yeah she's an "activist" - active in everything but paying taxes, like people who have to be at work instead of sitting on the sidewalk all day.

Can't we just use gutter punks for cannon fodder? At least we'd get some practical use out of them this way.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 2:26 PM"

Just because you have an income it doesn't mean you need to pay income taxes.

Gutter-Punks, Emo-brats, and Misshape-skags will be used for Soylent Green. So Nutritious!


Posted by punksnotdeaf | April 10, 2008 3:59 PM

Rebecca Moore is probably one of the nicest people you could ever meet.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 4:08 PM

I second that.

Posted by jeffbarkley | April 10, 2008 5:08 PM

"How am I an asshole?? It's an opinion. I didn't know Hilly personally and I don't have anything against the man (RIP). But he did have the money to pay his rent and he didn't pay it, that makes him a dead beat. Asshole . . . that's all you could come up with. How about giving a reason or disqualifying my statement.

Posted by E | April 10, 2008 2:24 PM"

E,
you are an asshole because you are talking about a situation you have no idea about. iT had nothing to do with him having the money to pay his rent and him not paying it. I am not going to get into the facts with you but keep spouting information you think you know. You will remain an asshole.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 5:35 PM

baudrillard, anyone???

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 7:29 PM

cb's was a business. they come and go. time to move on. unfortunate maybe, but this is how shit works. no one' fault really. certainly not an assault on the arts.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 8:01 PM

So a store is in place of a scuzzhole that lost its relevancy years ago. I'm not trying to downplay the impact that the place had on the music scene, but please, let's grow the fuck up and move the fuck on.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 8:10 PM

i really don't understand what this protest is about. was there a law that was broken? were human rights violated? CBGB was a small business, among thousands of others in new york. it's just capitalism.
there must be something else to the argument that i don't know about. wish someone would fill me in.


Posted by jk | April 10, 2008 8:49 PM

bourgeois bullshit.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 9:21 PM

bourgeois bullshit.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 9:22 PM

So here sign read something about a small step for the arts and giant leap for pants??? Give me a fucking break lady.

One could say fashion design is art, I mean hell, you have to go to an art school for it usually. So her attack on a clothing store is sorta an attack an the arts, granted a successfull designer and marketer of goods, but they're all connected.

If an art gallery went in there where only "rich snobs" get buy great art, would there be protests?

This whole thing is a bit dumb of the Rebecca lady.

Posted by Anonymous | April 11, 2008 8:35 AM

To the above poster calling Hilly a deadbeat:

Hilly had the money to stay.
Hilly paid the rent on time, all the time.
The issue was not money.
The BRC (our landlord) wanted us out.
When our lease expired they chose not to renew it.
We fought. We offered more money.
We stayed beyond our lease, paying double rent, while we fought to stay.
In the end we lost.
Our landlored had no obligation to renew our lease and didn't care what the community thought.

The false claim of owed rent was thrown out of court in 2005.
It was just a tactic by the landlord to get us out before our lease was up.
No money was ever owed.

-Brendan
(ugly CBGB doorman and punk promoter for many years)

Posted by Brendan | May 8, 2008 4:05 AM

Anonymous | April 10, 2008 12:30 PM :
Congratulations. You get the moronic post of the day award.

It's good to hear from Brendan again.

Posted by adam | April 18, 2009 2:25 AM

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