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CBGB’s Last Shows

CBGB has closed its doors for live performances after a Saturday set from Blondie and a Sunday gig by Patti Smith, two artists whose careers the legendary punk-rock club is credited with launching. The Bowery venue, opened in 1973, is also considered the birthplace of such seminal punk acts Talking Heads, the Ramones, and Television, whose guitarist, Richard Lloyd, reportedly performed his band’s “Marquee Moon” with Smith. Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Flea also joined Smith onstage, helping her cover the Who’s “My Generation.”

For many, the weekend gigs were all about nostalgia, and the closing of CBGB represents the end of a generation. “We can have CBGB in our hearts, but the new generation is going to have their own places to play,” said Smith singer during her Sunday night set, according to reports. “They’re going to find some shit hole and play in it like we did.”

Here’s what the people are saying:

“What could have been a retro tribute drawn out farewell ode to the past was quite possibly the best show I’ve ever been to in my life…It was raw, live, and the songs were just as rife with relevance…How f*cking punk rock is that?” —

“A guy was playing [the Ramones’] ‘Blitzkreig Bop’ on his acoustic guitar outside. A former punk drummer (now waste of space) was recalling old stories from his glory days. Bums were passed out near by. No one seemed to know each other, but the camaraderie was there. The end of CBGBs closed the book on a story that ended a long time ago. It’s sad to see it go.” — Mike,

“Man…tonight was bittersweet. Thanks to [CBGB owner] Hilly and the staff for all these years and thanks to Patti for a hell of a send off. I’m gonna miss that place.” — Tony,

“Was this the righteous send-off it should have been? Was this the most punk rock show? Did Patti tear the roof off the venue? It’s hard to say. It was such a weird and emotional night that I don’t think I’ll have an opinion fully formed for a long, long time. All I know for sure is that I am so thankful to have been to that final night.” —

“[I] forced myself to drive by [CBGB] Sunday night and shed a tear or two. I parked out front for awhile and listened to Patti Smith and left, remembering all the great nights I had there.” — STJAMES,

Talk: Who do you wish you saw play CBGB in its heyday? COMMENT

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