Over at the Village Voice, Patti Smith guitarist/Nuggets compiler Lenny Kaye bids a long, fond farewell to CBGB, which shutters at the end of the month. It's a little soupy and wordy, but hey, the man's earned it. (And at least the Voice shitcanned Christgau.)
You had to be there, and if it was a- happening, there you were, though because it was so happening, you weren't thinking or even appreciating it much, just living in the groove of its moment, not wondering how its movement into legend was influencing and inspiring and creating waves that soon found a CBGB in every major city, each with its own roster of local bands and camp followers. For when the first wave of CBGB bands signed their contracts and went off on their individual odysseys–some to fame and some to spectacular flame-out–that to me is when the club became the rallying cry that it is today, the pledge of allegiance hailed in the wearing of the souvenir T-shirt, the icon enjoying its third-of-a-century lifeline, a hallowed shrine and a stopover for the tour bus, whether an on-the-roadeo band that wants to take its territorial piss on a sacred stage or a sightseeing double-decker traveling down the corridor of glass box real estate that has become CBGB's neighborhood.
The club hasn't been relevant for a long while. That doesn't mean this isn't sad.