From Publishers Weekly
The inside cover shows a men's restroom with its urinals plastered in stickers and graffiti. The first photo is of the Ramones posing on the sidewalk, thumbs hooked inside the front pockets of their skinny jeans. It's punk-rock documented in all its glory in this fabulous chronicle of the happenings at CBGB & OMFUG, the dingy, legendary music hangout in Manhattan's East Village. In his introduction, Kristal, CBGB's founder and owner, explains that the place was "originally meant to be a country and blues club," but "is famous for being the birthplace of a new era of punk." Opened in 1973, the club's early years saw AC/DC, Blondie, Debbie Harry, Patti Smith, Television, the Talking Heads and, of course, the Ramones, of whom there are plenty of pics. The '80s brought Sonic Youth, the Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Live and Pearl Jam. And with the 90s came Courtney Love, Liz Phair and the Goo Goo Dolls. (The chronological history ends with the Libertines in 2003.) The b&w pictures, taken by Roberta Bayley, Bob Gruen, Godlis, Kate Simon, Ebet Roberts and others, come in two wavelengths: posed and candid. Quotes from the photographers on the artists, the music and the locale add depth-says Tommy Ramone, "The initial patrons were artists, bohemians, drag queens and Hell's Angels-who could ask for more?"-but these raucous, invigorating photos really stand on their own.
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About the Author
Hilly Kristal is the founder and owner of CBGB & OMFUG, CB's 313 Gallery, and CBGB Lounge. Kristal's determination to showcase original music launched the careers of numerous legendary performers.
David Byrne is cofounder of the influential and innovative musical group Talking Heads. In addition to being a critically acclaimed musician, he is also a director, producer, documentarian, composer, photographer, and designer. He has published many books of his artwork, and has recently shown at Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.