Posted in NYC | music | venues on April 17, 2008

inside the John Varvatos store (Hardcore Shutterbug)
Gabba Gabba Hey

this + this =

A small band of Takeittothebridge musicians demonstrated last week in front of the John Varvatos store opening in the space that was once CGBG's. It was a davey-vs.-goliath, spontaneous protest, but ended up hitting a nerve and getting some positive coverage in the press and real dialogue.

The John Varvatos store sells USED leather jackets for $1600, and t- shirts for $130. Converse sneakers -- the sneakers of all the poor kids in the neighborhood where I grew up - - are $110 dollars there, specially branded by Varvatos himself. Pants are $800.

We want to go out again tomorrow, to greet the glitterati who show up for the store's official opening night. We hope you will join us!
This is an historic moment to NOT be silent about your music and your artistic community being co-opted to sell luxury goods.

This is not about one music space, or just about cb's, or whether you thought Hilly was a good businessman or not, or whether you gigged there - - but it is about the type of intense gentrification being used to sell the Lower East Side; it is about the co-opting of culture to sell overpriced luxury goods. This is about small music and cultural and community spaces getting pushed out of the city, so that the wealthy can position themselves as saving it (or just the buildings) ... but in fact, only using it as a marketing tool for their unaffordable wares.

Please meet us on the southwest corner of the Bowery and Bleeker Streets at 9:30 pm sharp! We'll have more humorous (and pointed) neon pink signs...PLEASE RSVP and let us know you will come and STAND WITH US AT THIS AWARENESS EVENT... help let nyc know that you want REAL music spaces to stay in NYC - - not gigs where you have to be a shill for $800 pants.

Best,
Norman and Rebecca

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Comments (100)

Varvatos has brilliant PR. Open in the old CBGB space and say you are "preserving" it's history. Then convince a bunch of punk rockers to play for free for charity. Varvatos gets tons of exposure with almost no expenses. Brilliant. He is a cultural parasite.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 9:48 AM

you can't put the genie back into the bottle, folks.

Posted by butternuts | April 17, 2008 9:51 AM

what's this? hot topic for rich people? WE MUST TAKE IT TO THE STREETS!

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 9:58 AM

last time i was in new york trash and vaudeville was selling a used def leppard shirt for over a hundred dollars a couple of years ago!!!

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 9:58 AM

I love Rebecca and all she stands for. And when Tonic shut its doors, I was truly heartbroken. However, I'm not entirely sure I can jump on this bandwagon. It's not as though JV kicked out CBs. The place had been an empty lot for a year. Yeah, his clothing is way expensive, but one walk around SoHo makes that seem like a drop in the bucket. Have you ever seen 'Downtown '81'? That's what SoHo and the Lower East Side used to be like. Change happens and not always for the best. Then again, it's probably safe to safe that a good majority of people reading this blog everyday, those who live around NYC, would not be here if some of those changes didn't take place. I'm all for supporting small venues that allow artist to speak freely which is why places like John Zorn's Stone, Roulette and The Kitchen are so fucking important today. I believe tonight's event is for charity so that's the only way I can imagine justifying the absurdity of it all and high ticket price. Hopefully there will be some intelligent dialogue to follow. Thanks BV.

Posted by NoWave | April 17, 2008 10:05 AM

"davey-vs.-goliath", "positive coverage in the press and real dialogue", "humorous (and pointed) neon pink signs". Jeez, I never thought I'd say it, but I'm beginning to feel empathy with Varvatos

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:05 AM

Parading around and yelling at the Varvatos store to protest gentrification is like tossing molotovs at McDonald's to raise awareness of animal cruelty. These retail spaces are the result of the problem, not the problem itself or its cause. And greedy developers and indifferent local politicians are as much to blame as the incompetently run grassroots businesses, which is what CB's was. Shitty bands, rude staff, awful space and sound system. Just because it was relevant 30 years ago does not make it so now. Good riddance. Anyone who attends this is a tool.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:05 AM

It's depressing seeing people so desperate to cling on to a piece of their history. Times change, and money talks. Instead of these completely pointless CBGB protests they should be organizing and promoting events to support the few small venues left. They're not mutually exclusive, but honestly, what could come of this?

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:06 AM

Let's at least remember that it wasn't Varvatos that kicked CBGB's out. He opened up his store there after the fact. He could have opened his store in SoHo and let a bank or Starbucks open in the old CBGS's space. Making this about Varvatos and his selling overpriced luxury goods is a little ridiculous. People can open up whatever store they want and sell whatever they want. If you're mad that there is demand for overpriced clothes, well tough shit.

And no I am not affiliated in any way with this Varvatos store.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:09 AM

Here's a lesson kids - NOTHING IS OUTSIDE CAPITALISM. If you think you are, you're wrong.

Posted by me | April 17, 2008 10:09 AM

"Converse sneakers -- the sneakers of all the poor kids in the neighborhood where I grew up."

Are you fucking kidding me?

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:19 AM

if people spent their time protest for meaningful things (animal and human rights, environmental causes) progress would come sooner.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:20 AM

I think the reason they're singling out Varvatos is the way he's appropriating the "history" of CBGB to sell overpriced clothes. It's not about change, but the way wealthy businesses exploit culture and the arts for profit and in the process make NYC less hospitible to the kind of people who actually keep culture and the arts going.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:20 AM

anon @ 10:06 is exactly right. I don't much like the Varvatos store, but the important thing is to support the adventurous venues that we have left, like the Stone. Wonder if anyone out protesting CBGB's has actually been to the Stone.

Posted by edwyn the bear | April 17, 2008 10:21 AM

I don't think this protesting Varvatos so much as raising awareness. (Though Varvatos is little insincere, I will let that slide.) The point is that the SPACE where CBGBs was is a symbol. Varvatos knows that and created a store that exploits that symbol. The protesters know it and use it for their purposes. Yeah, they are digging at Varvatos too, but I think that's just added fuel to the fire.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:25 AM

very good point. i wonder, out of all the people responding here and protesting tonight...exactly how many of them ever went to cbs or have ever been to the places we still have left. the stone is a perfect example as it was established along the lines of the way the very first knitting factory was with no drink or food, just performance. get out and support and stand up for what we have NOW!

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:28 AM

"the stone is a perfect example as it was established along the lines of the way the very first knitting factory was with no drink or food, just performance. get out and support and stand up for what we have NOW!"

I wouldn't mind a venue with no drink or food, but as a rock music lover, the curated acts over at Stone just don't do it for me. Can't stand beebop and its offshoots. Book something I like, and I will attend.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:35 AM

such is life in Manhattan of 2008. NoWave had it right in that JV did not have anything to do with CBGB's closing. I think it sucks, and it could be something better, but to protest??? come on... pick your battles, people.

Besides, there is not a whole lot edgy about Manhattan anymore. You want that feeling, try Berlin. It's a shame, but what do you expect when the only people that can afford to live here are successful actors and investment banker types (blue oxford button-downs by day, $200 "vintage" tees by night).

Rock n' Roll lifestyle... what a joke. before you know it dude will design a line for Target.

Posted by jp | April 17, 2008 10:37 AM

""Converse sneakers -- the sneakers of all the poor kids in the neighborhood where I grew up."

Are you fucking kidding me?"

I'm not the original poster, but I grew up poor in NYC, and many of us wore Converse. American made Chucks were $20 back in the '80s.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:38 AM

Varvatos picked the location for his store to exploit it's history.

The protestors picked the store to protest that it's history is being exploited.

It all ends up being the same thing doesn't it?

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:39 AM

when my dad was a kid, converse sneakers were for the rich kids at $16 a pop.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:41 AM

a few points:

No, CBGB did not have an awful sound system. Quite the contrary in fact, as CB's had one of the best sound systems for that size venue in the whole city.

Grassroots businesses can not stand up to development and/or City politics, not because they are incompetently run, but because in many cases they lack the money or political clout that the developers or corporations have at their disposal.


Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:42 AM

"Can't stand beebop and its offshoots."

even more reason you should at least look at the stone's schedule because they don't have beebop, or its so called offshoots, performances. hardcore, noise, rock, classical are what i've seen there.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:44 AM

I can think of about 110 more significant things to protest tonight.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:51 AM

"JV did not have anything to do with CBGB's closing"

Maybe directly and technically that is true, but indirectly he is part of why CBGB was forced to close.

The whole reason why the landlord shut CB's down is because the area went upscale and catered to the kind of clientel that would support a store like JV. The landlord realized this and wanted more money for his space. For thirty years the landlord was happy to have CB's there because no one else would ever have wanted to rent that space in that neighborhood. Once the area gentrified, the landlord got greedy and now we have another rich designer who can afford the rent.

Whether Hilly was a good businessman or not, the space would have never ended up in dispute if the area hadn't changed itself into the kind of place where a boutique like JV would open.

So yes, JV didn't personally shut CBs down, but he is by association, part of the reason why it was shut and is benefiting from it.


Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:53 AM

When I was a kid we didn't have shoes. We duct taped empty milk cartons around our feet, and we liked it.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 10:56 AM

>>So yes, JV didn't personally shut CBs down, but he is by association, part of the reason why it was shut and is benefiting from it.

ok, now you're seriously walking on thin ice with that comment. more than likely everyone reading this, with the exception of the milk carton footed kid, wouldn't be seeing shows around here if change didn't happen. people would be too afraid to visist the lower east side, soho, alphabet city or, um, anywhere in brooklyn. come on, seriously. i'm not supporting the ridiculous notion of excessive commerce, but really, you make a comment like that and we can say everyone is guilty by association to some degree.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:00 AM

I wonder how many of the protesters will stop off in the bank machine at 3rd Avenue and 2nd Street to pick up some cash to buy a $6 coffee across the street before decrying the gentrification.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:01 AM

When I was a kid we didn't have duct tape or empty milk cartons. We scotch taped the broken glass from the milk bottles to the bottom of our feet and we liked it.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:01 AM

Wait, so let me get this straight..so the iraq war's still going on, we're pretty much in a recession, oil prices are through the roof, property prices have tanked..and THIS is what we're organizing protests for? Really?

Posted by Lars | April 17, 2008 11:02 AM

i used to beat up broken glass kids like yourself, and i liked it.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:03 AM

This debate about gentrification v. the arts is interesting to me in view of how vibrant the NYC music and arts scene seems to be, especially in comparison to anywhere else in the US. How many freaking bands are based in Brooklyn? London sent us Brit Pop, but it seems all they read about over there now is Williamsburg.

And go to Tokyo if you wanna bitch about over-priced Converse. They sell 'em used and smelly in Harajuku/Shibuya for $100.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:04 AM

do you think the skinheads from hardcore matinees will show up for this protest?

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:07 AM

""""Wait, so let me get this straight..so the iraq war's still going on, we're pretty much in a recession, oil prices are through the roof, property prices have tanked..and THIS is what we're organizing protests for? Really?""""

RIGHT MOTHER FUCKING ON!

the best comment so far. i'm all sad about the state of the city i love getting too expensive, but really, i do believe that one glance at the daily news, and not the comedy show, will give us all more than enough to protest about. come one people, we're better than this.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:12 AM

"do you think the skinheads from hardcore matinees will show up for this protest"

The hardcore matinees were over way before CBGB closed, like over a decade.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:13 AM

"This is not about one music space, or just about cb's..."

Yes it is.

With all of the ridiculous businesses who are guilty of "...intense gentrification being used to sell the Lower East Side..."

You feel you protesting will help change that?

You're wasting your time.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:13 AM

can't wait for the casino to open

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:16 AM

"When I was a kid we didn't have shoes. We duct taped empty milk cartons around our feet, and we liked it."

i would pay over $200 for those "vintage"!!!

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:20 AM

I think they should restore old CB GB's, I really do. We owe it to our children and their children. Come on people, this is our collective history we are talking about!

They restored John Lennons childhood home so why not this? BOmbed places have been rebuild from scratch to pre war condition. I wish someone would do something like that here.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:21 AM

Also this whole Converse thing, when I grew up they were $16, and they were half or 1/3 the price of any other sneaker outside of payless knockoffs.

At least you could wear them and feel some kind of self worth, that you weren't a total loser yet and your parents did something nice for you.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:25 AM

when i was a kid we couldn't even get the milk. we had to walk around with cows taped to our feet.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:30 AM

feet? when i was growing up on the LES, we couldn't afford feet...

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:31 AM

"more than likely everyone reading this, with the exception of the milk carton footed kid, wouldn't be seeing shows around here if change didn't happen. people would be too afraid to visist the lower east side, soho, alphabet city or, um, anywhere in brooklyn"

Oh come on. Gimmee a break. Like no one was seeing shows back when the area was dangerous? That was the best era for shows in this neighborhood period. Bar none. Now there is hardly anywhere in that area to see live music anymore and its nice and safe.

Thin ice indeed.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:40 AM

"when i was a kid we couldn't even get the milk. we had to walk around with cows taped to our feet."

thats not vegan!

Posted by cleveland! | April 17, 2008 11:41 AM

>

Exactly! However most people find protesting futility much more important.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:45 AM

shows were better before blogs and gentrification.

Back when the masses were "too afraid to visit the lower east side, soho, alphabet city or, um, anywhere in brooklyn". the scene was immeasurably better and cooler. Live music was plentiful, venues were all around, and the people that filled them were much cooler than today's whiny complaining complacent trust fund blogging hipsters. Trust me, these areas were the places to see live music back then. And if you were there in any of those neighborhoods to see a band, you were surrounded by other interesting real people, not poseurs and transplants and lattee drinking vintage t shirt buying retro geeks.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:49 AM

feet? You had feet? We couldn't afford legs.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:49 AM

i had to roll my head along the street to get around.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:56 AM

CAN'T WE JUST GO BACK TO HATING ON WILLIAMSBURG HIPSTERS? COME ON PEOPLE, LET'S GET ALONG HERE AND PROTEST ALL OF BEDFORD.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:57 AM

I was seeing shows on LES since mid to late 80s? Cant say it was any dangerous. Just watch out for the skinheads and you were ok. Also if youre talking btrooklyn there was only one place Lamour, and that was closed down. There was nothing in Greenpoint Williamsburg like there is now.

anyway, peace, I support this protest on principle, I am the 16 dollar converse person

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:59 AM

Yeah, peace here too. If you can't find anything better to protest in the city knock yourself out.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:01 PM

this is obnoxious.

CBGB's and its management don't deserve any blame for the gentrification of the Bowery. Sure, it was the sale of t-shirts and stickers emblazoned with the CBGB logo in malls across the country that rendered the club irrelevant. And they agreed to let that happen, and then started arranging tours for tourists from Japan and Iowa, and somehow couldn't manage to meet the increased rent prices despite selling their merchandise globally, but none of that is their fault. They were all about punk rock not profit. You'll totally be able to see that when you visit the new CBGB's in the New York, New York casino in Vegas.

And, whatever you may think, this isn't just a case of a bunch of kids desperately seeking a New York that doesn't exist anymore because their "culture" was borrowed from generations that came before them. And it's certainly not related at all to Bauman's theory of Community. Not at all. So don't even suggest that.

These protesters just genuinely believe that restoring the Bowery to its former state would improve our city. They're just starting with the 70s. Most people don't realize this, but the Bowery was really nice in the 18th Century. George Washington swung by once or twice. And that's the ultimate goal: to restore the Bowery to how it was in 1785. Sure, it would be a completely unrealistic representation of the current state of our city. But it would make the Dutch settlers feel right at home. And just like Punk rock kids, Dutch settlers deserve to feel a bit of community, too.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:04 PM

Anon 10:53 - thats life. Would you rather the place degenerate into a favela?

JVs promotion has always been based on rock music, so yeah its a natural fit, they didnt shut the place though. I'd rather have a store in there that celebrates (and yes, exploits) the heritage of CBGB than a starbucks. If people dont know what was once there can they be inspired to recreate it in their own way? Or support shows in the city? Is it a bad thing if some trust fund brat ten years from now opts to spend their inheritance recreating the dive?

Posted by clairepetrol | April 17, 2008 12:09 PM

Down on Ave D you couldn't afford feet, legs or a torso or arms and legs. We were just heads rolling down the street to the bar.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:12 PM

dude, you could afford to go to a bar? park bench for me.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:15 PM

They should protest the addition by many of the extraneous apostrophe-ess to the name of CBGB.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:23 PM

back in the 80s we could not afford heads - we existed in a spiritual state only.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:34 PM

Indeed... Long before they were co-opted by hipster douchebags, Chucks were the sneakers of working-class kids all over New York. My Pop wore 'em in the '50s, I wore 'em in the '70s and even well into the '80s, by which time they had fallen out of fashion.

$20/pair sounds about right, from what I remember.

Posted by NewYorkDave | April 17, 2008 12:39 PM

Back in the 80s all of you people lived in Missouri and New Jersey. STFU.

The Bowery, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, all these places were off limits, now things are different. Big fucking deal. Change is the only constant.

Deal with it and stop with the nostalgia for an era you don't even remember.

Fuck it, i'm nostalgic for benezdrine hits in wash sq park with the beats. what has our town come to!

bleh

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:45 PM

I still go downtown and protest outside the Mudd Club every weekend - getting pretty lonely nowadays, and most of the residents in the apartments seem a little confused by my pointy signs, but I'll be damned if I let the man win.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:45 PM

who was complaining about a lack of live music?

do you even get out of the house?

Posted by nick | April 17, 2008 12:48 PM

for perspective: standard issue chucks are no longer $20. the last pair i bought [purcells] were around $60. paying an additional $40 for "desginer-enhanced" pairs may not be for everyone, but i don't see it as big cause for worry.

like many of you, i have/had reservations about the JV store. i stopped by last weekend and (with a bit of guilt) enjoyed the experience. does it exploit cbgb's history? sure. are there some ridiculously overpriced goods for sale? unquestionably. but the vibe was a lot more spot-on than anything else i could imagine have replacing the club. have any of you been to the cbgb store on saint marks? why isn't anyone talking about that? it's as exploitive (albeit at a lower price point) as JV. i'm not defending or maligning either, just pointing it out.

i'd rather be able to browse some rare and import records (at decent price) in a cool, "historic" location, than have a bunch of ladies getting their nails done. or - regrettably - having had to suffer through more bad bookings at the old CBs.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:54 PM

" more than likely everyone reading this, with the exception of the milk carton footed kid, wouldn't be seeing shows around here if change didn't happen. people would be too afraid to visist the lower east side, soho, alphabet city or, um, anywhere in brooklyn"

As hard as this is to believe, people actually did live here before you moved in from Ohio.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:56 PM

lets get something straight, I lived here in the 80s and was never afraid to go to the village downtown or anywhere, any of the clubs, the ritz, irving plaza etc

worst thing that would usually happen would be getting ripped off by some dude trying to score some hits or smoke in Washington Square. It wasnt really that bad as people make it out.

Some parts of brooklyn is another matter. I did go to Bayridge though, no worries. Far Rockaway was pretty nice, now its ghetto. no one went to coney island, now people go. thats biggest differences.

rent was less though, you could have a regular job and an apartment with no roommates? but whateveve, carry on.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:56 PM

rare import records at a decent price? Have you looked at the prices of the records in the JV boutique? HA HA HA HA ! You call those prices decent? $195 for a 1970's Japanese import is not a decent price by any stretch of the imagination.

His record prices are on par with his clothing prices.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:06 PM

Yes because Japanese imports - CD singles, LPs, or otherwise - have always been priced favorably right? PERSPECTIVE PEOPLE! Learn about it. Love it.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:20 PM

GO JOHN V! I am getting sick of these fucking ignorant cry babies

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:30 PM

what time does daft punk come out and protest?

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:31 PM

for perspective: standard issue chucks are no longer $20. the last pair i bought [purcells] were around $60. paying an additional $40 for "desginer-enhanced" pairs may not be for everyone, but i don't see it as big cause for worry."


Amen.

I really like what he does to the Chucks. And yes its more than putting his name inside them. so he charges 30-40 more for them, so effing what?

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:33 PM

Rebecca Smyrna will be there, she will be the chick shooting with her camera above the head.

watch for pics in VV and Spin.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:44 PM

"even well into the '80s, by which time they had fallen out of fashion."

No way, in the '80s, Chucks were worn by tons of NYC skateboarders.

"standard issue chucks are no longer $20."

Not only that, but the current Chucks are not even made in America. Chucks in the '80s were American made and much better quality. I ripped my chucks from skateboarding (the grip tape is like sandpaper) and they still last longer than the current Chinese ones from just walking.

"It wasnt really that bad as people make it out."

I remember the Bowery and Delancy being just covered with bums. Every three feet was another homeless person, no joke. But Orchard St shopping was very very cheap.

"As hard as this is to believe, people actually did live here before you moved in from Ohio."

Amen!

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:47 PM

yeah! bums lounging on the bowery, good times!

btw this just in- the NYU cool kid is hooking up with the SUNY Purchase virging girl at the protest, she will bring the map of the woods with good spots to sneak through and shit like that.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:56 PM

and dont forget - Tompkins Square police riot, 20th anniversary is this year. big protest planned.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:58 PM

Yeah, they're having some kind of rock show there tonight, with a $75 cover charge. Supposed to be a "benefit" for the opening night, sponsored by Vh1, like Vh1 needs a fucking benefit!

it's for Save The Music. Save The Music, my ass! With $1600 leather jackets and a $75 cover charge, sounds like it's more to pay the rent than benefit anyone but the current tenant.

Give me a break.

I'm with ya in spirit, 2,401 miles away............

Posted by Gail Jeanne McGillicuddy | April 17, 2008 2:21 PM

i'd hit it.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 2:38 PM

I'll be protesting this protest if anyone wants to join me.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 2:57 PM

all the bums moved to atlanta.

better weather

Posted by nicks | April 17, 2008 3:21 PM

>it's for Save The Music. Save The Music, my ass! With $1600 leather jackets and a $75 cover charge, sounds like it's more to pay the rent than benefit anyone but the current tenant.

Give me a break.

I'm with ya in spirit, 2,401 miles away............


...and honestly, thank god you're 2400 miles away. you're an idiot and nyc has quite enough of them to go around.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 3:30 PM

FUCK YOU JOHN VARVATOS, YOU FUCKING FOX NEWS GUEST, BALD BOURGEOIS MOTHERFUCKER.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 3:41 PM

are you guys fucking serious with this converse bullshit? the last pair I bought was at foot locker about 2 years ago for $15. yes, $15 no lie. If you paid $60 you just got your ass ripped off. Yes, they are made in china but who gives a fuck at $15 a pop you can afford to get a new pair every few months.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 3:47 PM

another helpful hint: ever heard of a concept called currency inflation?

http://www.westegg.com/inflation/

Using the above inflation calculator... $16 in 1967 dollars is equivalent to $101.20 in 2007 dollars. so yeah, converse are actually cheaper than ever. STFU.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 3:56 PM

im gonna drive to the protest in my VW. can't wait for Hilly's casino to open. up the punx oi, oi!

Posted by felix havoc | April 17, 2008 4:04 PM

anyone that pays $1600 for a used leather jacket deserves it. Who's the idiot here?

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 4:16 PM

yes, the tompkins riot anniversary - get MIA and obama on the phone, stat!

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 4:16 PM

people are ridiculous with this converse shit....everyone wore converse back in they....everyone in the nba did also...and i doubt they were poor.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 4:17 PM

not true, if you could afford it you got Adidas. I get the 20 dollar adidas instead of converse. Added comfort is worth it.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 4:30 PM

>get MIA and obama on the phone, stat!

haha. awesome.

fuckin' mia. she's the shiznit.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 4:50 PM

WHY oh WHY did I not burn this shithole to the ground when I had the chance.

Please remember people $illy had MILLIONS in the bank when he died.

FUCK HIM FUCK CBGB's the most over rated piece of shit rock club that had a few amazingly talented and influential people play there 30 years ago.

NONE of which showed a shred of regret that they DIDN'T DECIDE TO RENEW THE LEASE.

Posted by RazorRamone | April 17, 2008 5:41 PM

as a graphic designer, i must to object to the font used in that gabba gabba hey sign

Posted by ComicSans | April 17, 2008 5:57 PM

"NONE of which showed a shred of regret that they DIDN'T DECIDE TO RENEW THE LEASE."

you mean none of the talented and influential people that played for free at the club's SAVE CBGB's rally in Washington Square Park including Blondie and Public Enemy? You mean none of the people who graced the club's stage in it's final month(s) to say goodbye to the club, like Patti Smith, Bad Brains, lots of Hardcore matinee bands, etc.?

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 6:08 PM

Gabba Gabba Rip Off

Beat on the Trust-Fund-Brat

Fuckin' Poser !!!!!!!!

sneak in the back door, go inside, and throw up on all the expensive vintage t-shirts.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2008 8:55 PM

here is what you peeps don't understand... CBGB was nothing but a money scam for the last 2 years they were around... they stopped paying RENT and went on a save cbgb's spin... they never INTENDED to stay open... once and for all... let it go... and this comes from a local biz owner... bring on the yuppies cause the heroin addicts weren't paying my bills...

Posted by Me, Me, Me | April 17, 2008 10:39 PM

"SO, the Varvatos thing was s t u p i d. i couldn’t get backstage (backstage, it’s a store now right, what?) because, as the very large gentleman bouncer said “I don’t know what that purple bracelet means.” pointing me back into the overdressed huddle of people not understanding at all what was happening. I was rather sponsored by the magic and kind of shrugged and I responded “no problem, thanks” which was great. I didn’t have to stay and despite not seeing Jesse, it means I get to see him at a diner or home without having to already be so hearing impared and watch people shout thinking that will make it easier to not hear them. by the way, when you are going deaf, loud noises are not better. they are just more confusing. anyway i am super blonde. "

Posted by Anonymous | April 18, 2008 2:57 AM

The show was amazing - everybody showed up - D Generation was wonderful, followed by Cheetah Chrome, Clem Burke, Ronnie Spector, Ian Hunter & Andy York. Joan Jett, Perry Farrell, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Wayne Kramer of the MC5
Handsome Dick Manitoba. Slash of G'n'R, Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains. Cypress Hill

Posted by anonymous as well | April 18, 2008 6:29 AM

2:57 am - were you drunk typing that or what?

Posted by Anonymous | April 18, 2008 10:07 AM

was Bradford there?

Posted by Anonymous | April 18, 2008 10:37 AM

It is the fucking disneyFUCKation of all things real, soulful and adult in America. First Las Vegas, then Times Square..CBGBs was bound to happen like this. When retards in America would vote for Ghouliani for preznit, well the writing's on the wall. Know your rights; they are revised from The Clash song for the new millenium.
You have the right to decide at which Wal-Mart you shop.
You have the right to decide at which TGIO'Chili's you eat.
You have the right to decide whether you will be made into Soylent Green or Soylent Brown.

Posted by eric | April 19, 2008 7:25 PM

It is the fucking disneyFUCKation of all things real, soulful and adult in America. First Las Vegas, then Times Square..CBGBs was bound to happen like this. When retards in America would vote for Ghouliani for preznit, well the writing's on the wall. Know your rights; they are revised from The Clash song for the new millenium.
You have the right to decide at which Wal-Mart you shop.
You have the right to decide at which TGIO'Chili's you eat.
You have the right to decide whether you will be made into Soylent Green or Soylent Brown.

Posted by eric | April 19, 2008 7:29 PM

Handsome Dick showed up to Varvatos' shindig? I'm disappointed. I don't expect that from a Dictator.

RE: Chucks, they were most definitely NOT trendy in the '80s. The trendy kids wore Pumas or Adidas. Chucks were for punks, skaters and weirdos (like me!).

Posted by NewYorkDave | April 23, 2008 10:32 AM

Wow, I came across this article trying to find out why people dig Varvatos' shittily made shit. It genuinely perplexes me. But that is neither here nor there. What I find fascinating about this is how exactly the same the tone of this anti-gentrification argument is in New York as it is where I live in Lawrence, KS. (Some relevance for you folks that don't know, it's been the home of William S Burroughs, Langston Hughes, The Get Up Kids, Appleseed Cast, Mates of State, Mac Lethal, Reggie and The Full Effect, check Lawrence.com)
It's an old art town and lately more and more influence from the affluent(neighboring Johnson County, the second richest county in the US) has brought in the Starbucks etc. businesses in to the traditionally independent art/music oriented downtown.
The arguments go like this: people who actually go to places that are being driven out and care about the soul of the area, complain and also actually try to do something about the things they love. Then, people who perhaps have passed by a place once and don't give a shit(as they prefer a comfortable safe McWallmart world), say to stop whining, this is progress, it's inevitable, this is such a non-issue why don't you do something important instead(though they themselves do nothing about anything).

So, although, this case of gentrification is none of my business since I'm an outsider. I'll opine. Obviously, CBGB will never come back or be relevant again. But there is absolutely no need to just accept big money coming and shitting on the legacy or what was once something important. Protesting world issues is great, but people have so much more relative power in the places where they live, the places that actually affect their lives, that it's insane to not try and have an effect.

Posted by Basin | April 26, 2008 8:50 PM

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