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CBGB: Decades of Graffiti Paperback – September 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Mark Batty Publisher (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977282759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977282753
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 9.1 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
CBGB (the initials stand for Country Blue Grass Blues) is the officially designated birthplace of Punk Rock. It is a bar located in the Bowery of New York City described by author Christopher D. Salyers as 'No better place to drink in the wonderful nothingness of the 1970s Bowery and Lower East Side than at this bar. On the streets outside, crime soared, cracked-out bodies imitated corpses as anxious junkies scurrying like alley cats scratched around for their next fix'....'Cheap rent, cheap beer, cheap sex.' And inside CBGB the likes of Talking Heads, Ramones, Richard Hell (who writes a colorful Forward for this terrific little book), the Voidoids, and the Dead Boys introduced punk rock to the patrons.

What this superb little book celebrates is the atmosphere in which all of this history took place, a club notoriously filthy, whose owners invited the patrons to graffiti the walls, the floors, and especially the bathrooms. Photographer John Putnam has supplied designer/writer Salyers with gritty photos of the stage and the seats, the green rooms (where artists prepared before performing), the bathrooms with some of the most wonderfully vile language and demonstrations of man's ability to deface public property are at a peak, and the bar. The colors are rich and ludicrously dirty and the words left behind are scribblings by minds toked on drugs and loud music.

Is it pretty? No, but it is definitely art, if art reflects life. The form follows function here as well as any design team could approach a subject. The book is fascinating, a bit repulsive as graffiti is often meant to offend, and an art piece that makes the reader want to wash up after reading and perusing!
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By Robert Clark on September 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
Back in the mid-90's, a friend got me into punk music and I hung around the edges of the punk scene for a couple of years. I was in my early 20's at the time and well past any adolescent angst, so I was only in it for a couple of years. I did my duty though: supported local bands, bought a record player because much of the music that came out at that time was on vinyl, and even created a fanzine with my friend. This was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, pretty far from New York and CBGB. Shows in the Burque were usually in bars, but they didn't hold a candle to the mythical CBGB.

This book is a testament to the building itself and the lives that passed through it. The graffiti that lines nearly every inch of space tells the history of the events that went on in there. It's a disgusting place. It's every inch a punk rock haven. This book gives a peek at what went on in there in it's 30+ year existence.

I never made it to CBGB during my punk years and I'm kind of glad I didn't, but I'm glad to have been given the opportunity to take a peek at it. In 2006 CBGB was closed for good to make way for upperscale establishments. This book is as close as anyone will ever be able to get to its history now.

The short text pieces that accompany the pictures give you a greater sense of being there and the pictures are gorgeous, even when they show you the disgusting side of the whole place. Anyone who has never been there and is curious to know what it was like should pick this up. Also, anyone who was lucky enough to have been there should get this as well. A souvenir to remind them throughout the years ahead.
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By Julia G. Hickman on March 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
it is a fantastic book especially in light of the demise of CBGB, great memories have been preserved for future historians.
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