CBGB is a New York City music club opened in 1973 by Hilly Kristal in Manhattan's East Village. The club was previously a biker bar under the name Hilly's on the Bowery and before that was a dive bar. The letters CBGB were for Country, BlueGrass, and Blues.
CBGB was founded on December 10, 1973, on the site of Hilly Kristal's earlier bar, Hilly's on the Bowery, that he ran from 1969 to 1972. Initially, Kristal focused on his more profitable East Village nightspot, Hilly's, which Kristal closed amid noise complaints from the bar's neighbors. After Hilly's closure, Kristal focused on the Bowery club. Its full name of CBGB & OMFUG stands for "Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music for Uplifting Gormandizers". Although a gormandizer is usually a ravenous eater of food, what Kristal meant was "a voracious eater of... music". CBGB's two rules were that a band must move its own equipment and play mostly original songs—that is, no cover bands. Since booking new acts was nearly impossible, two neighborhood music fans, Bill Page and Rusty McKenna, convinced Kristal to let them book concerts, filling a void left after the collapse of the Mercer Arts Center. The collapse left unsigned bands little option in New York City to play original music. Mercer refugees—including Suicide and the Magic Tramps—soon played at CBGB.
Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers. Edit
Meeting with Nate Druker and Agent Seeley Edit
Richie Finestra meets Assistant U.S. Attorney Nate Druker and Agent Seeley at the seedy biker bar to discuss the terms of his deal. Richie is dismayed to learn that informing on Corrado Galasso comes with no offer of protection.
Richie again meets with Agent Seeley at the biker bar but only offers a benign tip that both Galasso and Tony Del Greco were wearing the same raincoat, perhaps they were stolen? After a disappointed Seeley leaves, the bartender, Hilly Kristal, tells Richie he's turning the bar into a live music venue. He shows Richie a scrap of paper with the proposed name: CBGB OMFUG -- Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers.
- Hilly Kristal's original vision for the club was to have country, bluegrass, and blues artists, hence the name CBGB, yet it soon became a famed venue of punk rock and new wave bands like the Ramones, Television, Patti Smith Group, Blondie, and Talking Heads. From the early 1980s onward, CBGB was known for hardcore punk.