Saturday, August 19, 2006

There Goes the Neighborhood

Change is permanent

Now both CBGBs and the Continental Club are closing their doors this year. If you know what these places are then well you feel the pain (maybe) and if not you probably wont care.

CBGBs is where punkrock started, with gigs in the mid-70s set-up by the fellows from Television, and then The Ramones (and assorted others . . Blondie, Talking Heads, the Jam, Heartbreakers (not the Tom Petty kind), Dictators and just about everyone else who was around at the time). The Continental is around the corner from CBGBs - next to the MacDonalds :-) is what you hear if you ask doormen around the Village where it is - and had been home to Patti Smith, Guns n Roses (yuk), the Lyres and most 'importantly' is where Joey Ramone would hold his annual birthday bash.

CBGBs as of late has turned into kind of stereotypical rockclub where 5 or 6 bands a night play, all the kids dress in black, etc. But every once in while they have the world greatest people's band Cheap Trick. And coming up two of San Francisco's greatest punk bands - Flipper and the Avengers. I guess everybody wants to play there now that its closing.

So what you may say. So what indeed. Change is permanent. As cities all over get gentrified, the older nabe (NY Post slang for neighborhood, like it? ) institutions lose out to the big money and white-bread stuff like Starbucks and chain Thai restaurants and crap that the Jersey suburban kids come in for.

It used to be that the Continental and CBGBs were on the far end of the long tail, now other things will take their place. Everything is in motion, and life is like traffic, go with the flow.