Tag Archive | CBGB

Morrison Hotel Gallery Presents: CBGB — The Age of Punk

Debbie and Chris
Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie (1980) By Allan Tannenbaum (All Photos of the Photos By Gail)

Do you like Punk Rock? I sure do. The true spirit of Punk really thrived in cities like London (where it was born), Los Angeles and New York back in the mid-70 to early 80s, before it became a commercial product and fashion statement that was appropriated by Midwest mall kids, and completely lost its teeth. Kill me. Fortunately, all of that great music still exits, and we can also travel back in time to the early days of the mosh pit with amazing photographs of the iconic musicians and style-makers who embodied the Punk credo. The place to see and live through those photos is the Morrison Hotel Gallery.

MHG CBGB Invite

As the definitive home of Fine Art Rock Photography, Morrison Hotels Gallery has just launched its latest collection, CBGB: The Age of Punk, and it is pretty sweet. I attended the opening reception here in Manhattan on May 17th, and the place was packed wall-to-wall with many of the legendary photographers who shot these photos, such as Bob Gruen, as well as a New York icons Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie. All of the photos in this post were shot while I maneuvered around a drunken, sweaty horde, so I chose to crop most them and you will just have to guess what they look like all framed and nice. Punk Rock!

New York Dolls
New York Dolls (1974) By Bob Gruen

Here’s the Gallery’s Official Blurb about the Collection:

Rooted in 1960s garage rock, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock and CB’s became one of the quintessential locations to perform. Bands had the freedom to experiment and bring their own artistry and social commentary, no matter how depraved and raucous, to audiences hungry for new art, music and freedom of speech.

Chris Stein
Chris Stein Being Interviewed at the Opening Reception

Contrary to what the series title would have you believe, not all of the photos were taken at CBGB, or even in New York.

Glenn Danzig
Glenn Danzig of The Misfits, a Band that Got Its Start Playing CBGB

Joan Jett
Joan Jett on Stage with The Runaways By Lynn Goldsmith

Patti Smith
Patti (1978) By Allan Tannenbaum

As you might expect, there a ton of great shots of Patti Smith, both on stage with PSG, and off stage. She was so photogenic.

Patti and Robert
Patti and Robert in NYC (1969) By Norman Seef

Here she is with her boyfriend at the time, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. So hot.

Patti Smith with TV
Patti in NYC (1976) by Frank Stefanko

Patti Smith Portrait
Patti Smith Portrait. Breathtaking.

Sex Pistols
Sex Pistols in Europe (1977) by Bob Gruen

The first wave British punks get their due as well. I got this shot on the wall behind the open gallery door!

Sid Vicious
Sid Vicious (1978) By Ebet Roberts

The Clash
The Clash in NYC (1981) By Bob Gruen

Joe Strummer

Joe Strummer of The Clash (RIP) looking like a Movie Star.

Ramones
The Ramones in NYC (1975) By Bob Gruen

And, of course, the Ramones are well- represented, as they should be.

There’s no telling how long this exhibit will be on public view in the gallery, but you can always view the full collection at This Link should you wish to make a purchase. All orders are filled on-demand up the run limit of that series.

Morrison Hotel Gallery is Located at 116 Prince Street, 2nd Floor in SoHo, NYC.

Joey Ramone Memorial Mural in the Bowery

Joey Ramone Mural
Photo By Gail

This image of the late Joey Ramone wearing a pair of Cheap Boxing Gloves was created to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of The Ramones debuting at CBGB. The mural went up on September 3rd, 2015 but it took me a few weeks to get around to seeing it for the first time, in early October, which is when I took this photo while (literally) standing in the middle of the street between idling cars that were waiting for the light to change at the corner of Bleecker and the Bowery — directly across from the former location of the legendary music venue, which is now a John Varvatos Clothing Boutique. The mural was painted by Solus and John CRASH Matos, who you might remember from This Post.

Update: As of August 24th, 2017 The Joey Ramone Mural has been Replaced by a Mural of Blondie’s Debbie Harry.

Brett Amory’s This Land is Not for Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures at Jonathan Levine

CBGB
CBGB By Brett Amory (All Photos By Gail)

Creating haunting representations of iconic LES storefronts, California-based artist Brett Amory puts a surrealist spin on paintings done in the classic style of Edward Hopper.

Economy Candy
Economy Candy

Jonathan LeVine is currently hosting Amory’s third solo show at the gallery, entitled This Land Is Not For Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures, and it is pretty sweet.

Economy Candy Detail
Economy Candy, Detail

In This Land is Not For Sale, Amory paints a visually gorgeous protest against the transformation of New York’s famed Lower East Side into a gentrified wasteland — something that you will hear NYC natives and long-time residents moan about on a weekly basis, as one landmark neighborhood treasure after another gets bulldozed to make way for a Starbucks or faceless chain store.

Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery
Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery

Brett Amory first earned international critical acclaim for his Waiting series: urban settings such as London and San Francisco portrayed as lonely abstracted landscapes of vanishing human assertion.

Cup & Saucer
Cup & Saucer

Pyramid Club
Pyramid Club, Still Located on Avenue A

This new series offers viewers an insider’s historical road map of East Village radical underground sensibility, from ABC NO RIO and The Nuyorican Poets Cafe to the headquarters of The Catholic Worker, The Pyramid Club and even Moshe’s Bakery.

Amory not only captures the breathtaking physical presence of these neighborhood landmarks but also movingly conveys the sense of the artist as witness. By delivering a painterly personal testimony and protest against the disappearance of these businesses, his work is an example of painting as real-time archaeological retrieval.

190 Bowery
Germania Bank at 190 Bowery

The artist’s foremost achievement in paintings, drawings and installations has been to document evolving personal, existential and political credo into masterfully rendered, aesthetically transcendent works of fine art with broad cosmopolitan appeal. In This Land Is Not For Sale he gives his most pointed evidence yet of his urgent need to merge his personal and social consciousness with the unsparing aesthetic demands of his art.

Lucy's
Lucy’s

This one is my absolute favorite.

Katz's Deli
Katz Deli

Old School Flyers

In conjunction with the exhibition, Amory has installed a faux construction site underpass leading to the gallery to parody the constant sledgehammering of gentrification. The show will also include the documentary ‘Captured’, the story of LES legendary photographer Clayton Patterson, as well as a display of LES posters and other neighborhood marginalia.

Mars Bar
Mars Bar

Brett Amory and Fan
Brett Amory chats with a fan at last week’s Opening Reception

Brett Amory’s This Land is Not for Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures will be on Exhibit Through November 14th, 2015, at Jonathan Levine Gallery, Located at 557C West 23rd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Brett Amory Signage
Levine Exterior

Block Drugs
Block Drugs

More Historic Photos of CBGBs Rock Club Interior by Joseph O. Holmes


CBGB (Mixing Board and Bench)

CBGB music club saw it all – the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Sonic Youth and so many more. The layers of flyers and playbills, graffiti, stickers and spilt beer seemingly coating the club’s every surface were as dense and sticky as the history of the place. Joe Holmes’ photos put the viewer right into the space – looking into the mixing board area, one can’t help but wonder at the cacophony of sounds that bounced off these heavily plastered walls. Purchase or read more about Mixing Board and Bench at This Link.


CBGB (Pipes)

In another view of the infamous rock club, Joe presents the cavernous main room. Resembling sticker-encrusted saguaros, the pipes stand sentry along the perimeter of the room, from which, despite its signage proclaiming otherwise, there appears to be no exit. Somehow, though, the headbangers, thrashers, and mosh-pitters managed to stumble their way out onto the Bowery. And now they are all gone. Purchase or read more about Pipes at This Link.

Jen Bekman’s 20X200 sells affordable art prints priced from just $20! Browse around and see what strikes your fancy at This Link. And don’t forget: Art makes a great gift!

Historic Photos of The Late CBGB


CBGB (Stage) by Photographer Joseph O. Holmes

ARTIST STATEMENT:

“In September 2006, I spent 10 days shooting the interior of legendary NYC rock club CBGB. Six weeks later the club closed its doors forever, and the fabled walls and stage were dismantled. A year after that, as former owner Hilly Kristal succumbed to cancer, a high-end clothing store negotiated to take over the space.

The club had been a favorite venue for countless rock and punk acts, but for those few days my experience of the club was the exact opposite of most people’s. I came to look forward to my visits as a time of peaceful solitude. I arrived each morning at 11:00 with my tripod and camera, greeted Hilly at his desk, and then passed into a silent and empty club. During the following three to five hours of shooting, I rarely saw another human. The club was so dark, even during the day, that I had to carry a flashlight. After framing each shot, I took five to seven bracketed exposures, with each exposure lasting as long as 30 seconds, and I ended up with more than 1800 individual frames.

And that’s how I came to spend hour after hour sitting stock still in CBGB, alone in the dark among the empty beer bottles and broken guitar strings and abandoned drum sticks, waiting in the silence for the shutter to close.”

Limited edition prints of the CBGB Stage (Above, click This Link) and the venue’s Cash Register (Below click This Link) are available while supplies last via Jen Bekman’s 20X200. All prints are available framed or unframed, Artist-signed + numbered with a certificate of authenticity included. These prints are very reasonably priced and will sell out fast, so get them while you can!


CBGB (Register)

Steven Tyler Does Impromptu Performance at Launch of Riff Pop Up Clothing Store


Click On Image to Enlarge

At the end of a very exciting week that included indulgent gourmet foodie events and a Rolling Stone Magazine-sponsored concert featuring cool bands like The Sheep Dogs and Cake, we rounded out the week in fitting scenester style at a party for designer Andy Hilfiger’s Andrew Charles line of ready-to wear-Rock ‘n Roll clothing, now on display/for sale at pop-up store Riff, located at 313 Bowery in the space formerly occupied by the Morrison Hotel Gallery. The designs in this moderately priced collection – which includes T-Shirts, blouses and tops, jeans, jackets and dresses – are inspired by the very fun style of legendary Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler and his daughter, model Chelsea Tyler.

Entering the store, it was time to wax full-on nostalgic for the ’70s, as the ground-floor showroom was decorated in an old school glam rock fashion that we can only assume must have been influenced by next-door neighbor John Varvatos’ upscale rock clothing boutique (which makes its home in the space vacated by CBGB).  Framing the racks of sequin-embellished tops and leopard print mini-dresses, the walls of the store were adorned with one-of-a-kind rock paraphernalia (especially loved a framed collection of Ramones’ Gold Cassette Awards, plaques, photos and CDs that most likely belonged to Marky Ramone) and a sizable number of large canvas portraits of Rockers that are part of The Smoking Series by artist Michael H. Most of these assemblage paintings are new additions to the series since we visited the exhibit this past summer. Great work, Michael!

This was definitely a see-and-be-seen event. It was fun to catch up with pals like Ken Scrudato, Scarlet Rowe, Dennis Dunaway and Vera Ramone King, but there were also lots of stars old and new in the crowd. Or course, once Steven Tyler arrived, the swarm of photographers was enough to get (literally) swept away in! Downstairs, the former CBGB’s Lounge was packed wall to wall with partiers while Andy Hilfiger’s band, Hired Killers, Inc. rocked and knocked everyone on their asses with their awesome tunes! The biggest surprise of the night came when Steven Tyler joined Hired Killers on stage for spot-on renditions of “Mama Kin” and the blues standard Aerosmith made their own on their self-titled debut, “Train Kept a Rollin.” Insane! The place was so dense with bodies that it wasn’t until we got home and checked our FaceBook news feed that we realized we’d missed seeing a ton of friends in the crowd, but it sounded like everyone had fun!

Steven Tyler with Andy Hilfiger (Photo by Anne Raso)

The RIFF pop-up store officially opens for business today, Saturday October 15, 2011 at 313 Bowery (at Bleecker), NYC, New York and closes its doors after the Holiday season ends three months from now. Drop on by while you can and get some of your gift shopping done in Glam Rock Style!

Don Hill’s Night Club Closes Its Doors Forever

Well, this is a bit of a surprise; but then again, maybe not so much. Less than a month after the death of its former owner, it’s been announced that live music and dance club Don Hill’s is officially bankrupt and will be closing, effective immediately. Current owners Nur Khan and Paul Sevigny were apparently overextended in the wallet area from running other restaurant and nightclub ventures here and in Los Angeles and couldn’t seem to get the rent check in the mail on time. You know how it is when you’re a wealthy, jet-setting hipster.  Still, I’m not sure why club owners don’t seem to grok that this kind of thing happens when you don’t pay your rent. Sure, Don Hill’s was a legendary dive where everybody went do drugs and party with rock stars (I know I had many good times there), but who really gives a shit? Nostalgia goes right into the toilet when the landlord has bills to pay. The same exact thing happened when the late Hilly Kristal let the rent on CBGB lapse for a year and then had the nads to feed the public outrage over the place being shut down. It’s worth noting that the new tenant in the former CBGB’s space at Bowery and Bleecker, hot shot menswear designer John Varvatos, is also a hardcore rocker who turned his new boutique into a shrine to its former inhabitant, preserving many of the original walls and fixtures and selling vintage stereo equipment, vinyl LPS and coffee table books by Mick Rock. On the flipside, Nur Khan told Page Six that the building will be turned over to developers, noting that the property offered a “moneymaking opportunity unconcerned with preserving Don’s legacy.” Clearly, real estate owners aren’t very sentimental in New York City.

Mick Rock Promotes New Coffee Table Book with Photo Exhibit at Morrison Hotel Gallery


Outtake From Cover Shoot for Queen II, 1973, By Mick Rock

Anyone who grew up in the 70s, loving bands like Queen and David Bowie, knows the legacy of photographer Mick Rock. Along with the equally phenomenal Bob Gruen, Rock is a photographer whose skilled eye captured images – fleeting moments in rock history – that were every bit as important to the times as the music being made by those he was shooting. It is not at all surprising that Mick Rock is also known as “The Man Who Shot the 70s.” Mick Rocks!

Beginning October 27, 2010, the Morrison Hotel Gallery (located at 313 Bowery, the former home of CBGB Gallery and Lounge) will host an exhibit on the photography of Mick Rock that includes many of his most iconic music-star images of the era – the aforementioned Queen and Bowie plus Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Blondie, The Ramones and so many others – as well as today’s superstars such as Bono and Lady Gaga. I attended the opening party last night and it was total glorious chaos – just like the 70s!

Just three feet into the Morrison Hotel Gallery, I couldn’t help but notice a small sign, maybe eight inches square, blood red with white block lettering perched on the front desk, which declared to all who entered “NO PHOTOGRAPHY.” How hilarious. Not only were there cameras everywhere (from fans snapping shots on their cell phones to pros toting huge amounts of gear), but the friend I was with was actually physically lifted off the ground and smacked in the head with a camera when she got caught up in a swarm of overzealous photographers desperate to get the best access to Mick as he made his way through the crowd. It was insane. As difficult as it was to squeeze through the throng of local celebs, aging scenesters and others who, like me, go out of their way to live in the past, the photos – which ranged in size from 30”x40” to 8”x10” – are simply amazing. They just don’t make rock stars like they used to, but at least Mick Rock was there to document the glitter, the glam and the drunken debauchery, so that today we can look back on that time and wish it never had to end.

The Morrison Hotel show is basically just PR for Rock’s new coffee-table book, Exposed: The Faces of Rock n’ Roll which includes 200 of Rock’s iconic photos that were previously unreleased. I’ve seen the book and I would most definitely classify it as “Must Own, dependent on whether or not you actually own a coffee table. Because NYC apartments, they are so small and short on storage space. Mick Rock!

Hartford Art Museum Recreates CBGB’s Bathroom

cbgb-bathroom-by-justin-lowe
CBGB Bathroom By Justin Lowe (Image Source)

Justin Lowe, an artist known for transforming white-cube interiors into cluttered labyrinths, has recreated the graffiti-covered restroom of the defunct CBGB punk rock club within the stately galleries of Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum. Lowe’s installation, which runs through September 5, 2010 takes over four of the museum’s galleries and features walls papered in Day-Glo collages involving movie stars, vintage book covers and illustrations of insects. The work aims to evoke the Bowery Street venue where punk bands like The Ramones and the Misfits found fame in the 1970s. CBGB closed for good in 2006 and the space is now home to an overpriced but very cool John Varvatos clothing store. Read more about the exhibit at This Link.

I’ll tell you one thing, as gross as CB’s bathrooms were – and the Men’s room was way worse than the Women’s – it was never as horrifying as the Trainspotting-style toilets at the Continental. Man, that place was a hole.

The Wadsworth Atheneum is located at 600 Main Street in the heart of downtown Hartford, CT with easy access from I-84 and I-91.

Thanks to Nick Caruso at The Littlest Winslow For the Tip!


The Real Thing

John Lennon: The New York City Years Exhibit at the R&R HOF Annex

JOHN LENNON NY T-SHIRT
Bob Gruen’s Iconic Photo of Lennon, The T Shirt is Part of the Exhibit

After suffering through what was most definitely the rainiest, dreariest, most super un-fun June in memory, we’ve finally gotten our much-coveted NYC summer weather! And I do not think you could have asked for better day than Sunday, when Geoffrey and I took off on one of our downtown adventures to see the John Lennon: The New York City Years exhibit at The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex in Soho. As described on the Annex website, “this feature exhibit explores John Lennon’s passion for music, art, politics and film, with New York City as his backdrop. Capturing a time in Lennon’s life that was full of political and social activism, the exhibit reflects the spirit of the era during which he created some of his best work. Highlights of Lennon’s artifacts include his inimitable fashion statements, iconic photographs, legendary instruments, original handwritten lyrics and artwork.”

If you’ve been to the Annex before, you’ll probably find, like Geoffrey and I did, that you’ll want to only spend about 15 minutes revisiting some of the better exhibits at the front galleries (such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, the CBGB’s diorama, etc) and devoting your full attention to the Lennon Exhibit, which is set up in a very brightly lit, bright white room. It is no secret that The Beatles are my favorite band ever in the Universe of All Time, and it follows that I have a keen, nostalgic interest in everything related to their as-a-band and individual legacies. I feel like I already know a lot about Lennon’s life and history, but through these photos, film clips, items of clothing and never-before-seen personal artwork, I was reminded of John’s extreme charisma, intelligence, vision and unique style in a way I’d not fully realized before. I especially enjoyed watching the various films of him and Yoko, particularly the filming of “Give Peace a Chance.” I had to dab the tears from my face a few times. More than anything, the exhibit made me wish John was still alive.

Admission to the HOF Annex is $26 plus a $4 service charge, but Goldstar Events has discounted admission (for weekends as well) priced at $13, plus the same $4 fee.