During the ’70s and ’80s, the music venue, CBGB, pumped out some of the biggest names in music — Blondie, Patti Smith, the Ramones, the Talking Heads, the Police, Iggy Pop and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. But since then, what has the NYC underground music scene been doing? Would it be possible for another small club like CBGB to exist? Well, here is an op-ed where we debate that prospect.

The Ramones at CBGB, 1977 via Vince Van Guff


New York was once a city where cultural anarchy reigned supreme, especially with the small LES club known as CBGB at 315 Bowery. Even though CBGB was really just a building, it was the people — the bands, the fans of OMFUG (Other Music for Uplifting Gourmandizers) and its owner, Hilly Krystal — who helped shape the impact it would have on pop culture worldwide. In a space infested with rats, cockroaches and dog shit, there was beauty in the ideas of its musicians and their fans. After all, the club turned out some of rock’s greatest legends, like Patti Smith, the Ramones, Blondie, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Iggy Pop, the Police and the Talking Heads to name a few. But outside the fucked-up visual eye sore of CBGB, why were so many people attracted to it? What besides talent made its musicians go platinum? More importantly, are there any similar music venues in today’s NYC? What would be…our own version of CBGB?

As today’s youth generation ,*sigh “Millenials,” we’re expected to have plans. In the past several decades, most of us have attended college, and as a result of that, we are expected to act like professionals. And the same goes for our own version of NYC. As many of us make that clichéd move to Brooklyn, we’re creating an expensive, almost unattainable environment, which is now driving many people away from the once impoverished borough. So instead of only living off of Ramen, we’re eating Eggs Benedict and sipping mimosas at our favorite brunch spot.

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