The first time I played CBGB's was in 1984. I was singing in a death metal band and the last time was 2004 playing punk/hardcore guitar. I remember flying in from CA to play 4 shows with Discharge (NY, NJ, Boston &Philly) I brought nothing w/ me and all I wanted was to get back. I broke a string in the first song and had to borrow a guitar from someone, our bass player had just been in an accident and had been thrown thru the windshild, he was wearing a stupid bandage around his head like in a cartoon and had a concussion, so everything was like it had always been playing at CBGB's, an organized mess. It was strange being there the last few times. There was no smoking which was VERY strange. There were rumblings at first of it being closed down, then talk about moving it to Vegas but it all seemed unreal, i guess i had seperated myself and thought it didn't matter very much either way but when our friend sent this picture this morning it really hit me and brought back a flood of memories and nostalgia. Mixed emotions really. Just going into the city in those days, the lower east side, the bowery, getting arrested, the cops, the beers, drugs, the music, the "scene", friends (lots of em gone now), driving uptown, harlem, seeing someone get shot (twice), muggings,beatings, lots of nonsense, which all seems meaningless now all these years later. The good times take a front seat today. The excitement, the "ignorance is bliss" of youth, the harmless partying, the friends & fans, the incredible sense of meaning in a meaningless era of Reaganomics, fighting for an unknown cause (but really just looking for an excuse to party), all the greatest bands of those days came thru CB's, The Bad Brains, Circle Jerks, AgnosticFront, COC, DRI, Mental Abuse, AOD, wayyyy too many to recall them all, all the ridiculous circumstances we all put ourselves in that make me cringe today. So it really does mean something, what? not sure but not nothing, ha!
I remember vividly the last time I was there, I had to go grab my amp head from about 2 blocks away. I had probably 10 too many drinks and seemed to have gotten lost on my way back (maybe more than 10?) so I ask a few people on the street "hey *hic* where's CBGB's?"until one decent guy proceeds to tell me "right there you idiot!"and points directly across the street. I had been standing right in front of it on the other side of the street the whole time. StupidA$$! But in my defense the whole block was under construction with scaffolding covering much of it but I know, I know, I'm still an idiot for getting lost right across the street from the club.