CBGB was located on the Bowery; its initials stood for Country, BlueGrass, and Blues, which was the owner’s original idea when the club opened in the early Seventies. Yet it turned into one of the premier venues for punk and new wave bands; particularly hard-core punk. Groups such as Patti Smith, Blondie, Joan Jett, the Ramones, and the Talking Heads performed there.

I remember sitting in the Kiev, a Polish diner on Second Avenue that stayed open until 2 am, and seeing a bunch of guys coming in bleeding from a bottle fight at CBGB. The waitress refused to serve them, and a big ruckuss ensued. The club eventually closed in 2006, but it’s now on the register of “historic places”.

Photo: National Register of Historic Places

Leslie Wells is the author of Come Dancing, a novel about publishing and rock and roll set in New York City in the 1980s. Visit her at www.lesliewellsbooks.com

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