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CBGB & OMFUG: Thirty Years from the Home of Underground Rock Hardcover – July 1, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; First Edition edition (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810957868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810957862
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Warren Z. on August 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Forget the current controversy surrounding CBGBs, this book isn't about that. This book uses pictures to describe the life and times of this Bowery landmark from it's early days in 1973 to the present. The first picture (not counting the inside cover shot of their famous toilets) is of The Ramones, and the last shot is of Handsome Dick of The Dictators. In between lies b&w photo after b&w photo of punk and New Wave in its infancy. If you were there this book will remind you of how it was. If you weren't this book will graphically tell you the story of NYC area kids tired of corporate rock who just wanted to play a few chords as loud as they could so they could feel the rush.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paula Ehler on December 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The days of punk are long gone in a haze of AquaNet, black eyeliner and black leather. But thankfully, a handful of artists had the forsight to immoralize the scene in glorious black & white. The photographs are arranged in chronological order and include a who's-who of the punk scene. Some of the in-your-face images bring you to front center stage where you're right there with the usual suspects--Ramones, Television, Blondie. There are lots of surprises too including a great shot of Stiv Bators with Divine, and a shot of Klaus Nomi, Christopher Parker & Jim Jarmusch taken outside at the front of CBGB's. If you ever wanted to know what the punk scene was like in its early days, or if you were there and need a bit of a jolt to jog your memory, you've got to get this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stefan Bucher on September 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A beautifully produced book of mostly band photos. I'd hoped for more photos of the crowd and the venue itself. I wanted more history and a better sense of the place. But again, a very nice coffee table book.
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By GWLT on December 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The history captured in the pictures in great. It was bought as a gift for a music fan. After spending a lot of time looking for a DVD history of the CBGB, I "settled" for this book. While there isn't much narrative on the history of the place, the pictures tell a great story on their own. The baby faced pictures of artists we grew up with makes it a great purchase for music fans.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My punk-rock fiance with abnormally discerning tastes enjoys it - so it must be good. Great for the history & the photos.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Zephy on September 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved the photos. I would have loved more text and commentary from band members of the era and hear some of their thoughts about what it was like to be there at that time. Would be interested to hear how it was like to be a part of making it happen. How did it feel when it was happening and how does it feel in the rear-view?
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