Circling the Drain
The venerable CBGB's is closing its doors this week. The only question this raises for me is how something younger than I am became an institution. I suppose we should be grateful to CBGB's for enriching the world of music by nurturing bands like Talking Heads and Blondie among many lesser known though influential bands.
But perhaps the current lack of relavence of the bands produced during CBGB's heyday explains alot about why its closing today. My only experience with CBGB's at all was when I was in college and went to see a now long lost friend sing at CBGB's Gallery -- next door to the club. The punk scene was over in practically the blink of an eye, just few years in the late 70's. I just missed out on the punk scene, and instead grew up on the 80's New Wave, a time period that in my recollection produced far more one-hit wonders (and later, hair bands) than muscians of any lasting influence (R.E.M. and U2 excepted). My favorite artists from the 80's never achieved any kind of success. The current state music reminds me much more of the 80's now than more artisiclly fertile times.
Then again, perhaps it is as simple as the fact the club's lease is up, and cultural significance is just irrevelvant. Maybe its a just case of "lost our lease, everything must go!" the mantra of every shady liquidator. And just like the liquidators, CBGB's may yet return -- in Vegas, where cultural landmarks get recreated, only cleaner, like some monument graveyard.