Ugh! It really happened, all the legal battles and bag of tricks in the end couldn't save a punk icon...CBGB's finally closed it's NYC doors for good.
"October 15, 2006 - It was the last night for seminal punk club CBGB, which is closing this week after a lengthy rent dispute ended with the building's owner, the nonprofit Bowery Residents' Committee, opting not to renew 76-year-old owner Hilly Kristal's lease.
The media folk were gunning for just the right shot — which they got when punk legend Patti Smith, CBGB's final performer, stepped outside into the crush to snap some Polaroids of the club's faded awning. The aged punks — who seemed to feel it was their right to be there even if they didn't have a ticket for the gig — wanted to be a part of rock and roll history and kiss one of the city's most beloved musical landmarks goodbye.
For most present, Smith's closing concert was about honoring the bastion of punk's fabled past, its lasting impact on a still-vital genre and all the bands whose careers the decrepit place helped to launch, including the Ramones, Blondie, Television and Talking Heads. American punk rock may not have been born here, but Kristal — who is battling lung cancer — certainly gave the genre its first big break.
Before she left the stage, Smith played a somber "Elegie," which concluded with a list of the many musicians who have died in the years since they'd played CBGB, including Joe Strummer, Johnny Thunders and Joey Ramone. The moment brought tears to her eyes, and many in the crowd paused to consider the gravity of the club's closing before they strode out the entrance for the very last time. Some tore mementos from the walls as they left." Article
Russ Turk from Glorious Noise says it best about the end -
"...I stumbled out of the club onto the Bowery, exhausted, hungry, thirsty, with throbbing feet, where hundreds of people were still outside waiting to get a glimpse of Patti and CBGBs before it was shut for good. I got a cab to go home, and said my last goodbye to another NYC landmark gone forever.
Goodbye CBGBs. Long live rock and roll. "
Hilly Kristal is supposedly moving as much of the place he can to Las Vegas, but that's the place of the "Rat Pack" not the Ramones - it just won't be the same.