New wave music at CBGB in New York in 1976-78

New wave music at CBGB in New York in 1976-78


CBGB was a music club opened in 1973 by Hilly Kristal at 315 Bowery, intersecting Bleecker Street, in the East Village. The letters CBGB were for country, bluegrass, and blues, Kristal’s original vision. Yet CBGB soon became a famed venue of punk rock and new wave bands like the Ramones, Television, Patti Smith Group, Blondie, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, and Talking Heads. From the early 1980s onward, CBGB was known for hardcore punk.

On October 15, 2006, upon Patti Smith’s last show at CBGB, the storied bar and club closed.

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Garbage Truck, Bowery 4 a.m. “And here’s what it looked like out on Bowery after closing when the Garbage Trucks ruled the NYC streets. They still do.” Image: David Godlis

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Bowery View. “The long view across Bowery that fabulous summer of 77.” Image: David Godlis

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CBGB Interior at Closing Time. “Walking out of the club at 4 a.m., it all looked so romantic to me.” Image: David Godlis

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CBGB’s Bathroom “The Metropolitan Museum of Art used this photo to recreate the legendary CBGB bathroom for their ‘Punk Couture’ show last year. That’s one way to get into the Met, I guess.” IMAGE: DAVID GODLIS

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Sylvia Reed and Anya Philips, Bowery. “Two fashion icons out on the Bowery. Sylvia would later marry Lou Reed. Anya who managed James White, died in 1981.” IMAGE: DAVID GODLIS

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Klaus Nomi, Christopher Parker, Jim Jarmusch, Bowery. “I knew Jim Jarmusch through a mutual friend studying film with him at NYU, and he was hanging out at CBGB’s. Christopher Parker was in Jim’s first film ‘Permanent Vacation.’ And Klaus Nomi, was just getting ready to shine over at Club 57 in the next year or so.” IMAGE: DAVID GODLIS

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Dictators, Bowery. “I photographed ‘Handsome Dick’ Manitoba and his girlfriend Jody under the awning to thank him for returning my lost wallet. Considering that I used to have to explain to people what the letters CBGB OMFUG* meant every time I’d show this picture, I never could have imagined that CBGB would someday grace iconic T-shirts worldwide.” IMAGE: DAVID GODLIS

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Dee Dee and Joey Ramone, Bowery. “Dee Dee once told me that he chose this for the cover of his book “Poison Heart – Surviving The Ramones”, because he remembered this as a ‘really good night.’ I like that reason.” Image: David Godlis

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Roberta Bayley, Mary Harron, John Holmstrom, CBGB. “All three were essential at the classic Punk Magazine. Roberta Bayley shot the cover of the first Ramones album and also worked the front desk at CBGB’s, Mary Harron did the first U.S. piece on the Sex Pistols for Punk and later directed many films including American Psycho, and John Holmstrom founded Punk magazine and still runs the punk empire online.” Image: David Godlis

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Hilly Kristal, Bowery. “Hilly overseeing his Bowery kingdom. It was essential that I had a good shot of him. But back then when I showed people this photo they would ask why I had a photo of this bearded guy in a flannel shirt mixed in with my pictures of punks on the Bowery. Now everyone knows. Without Hilly, I wouldn’t have any of these photos.” Image: David Godlis

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Lester Bangs, CBGB. “Lester Bangs brought his pen and typewriter to NYC to report on what was going on down on the Bowery. Here shown wearing a Punk Magazine T-shirt. Philip Seymour Hoffman played him in the film ‘Almost Famous.'” Image: David Godlis

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Richard Hell, Bowery. “Around 3 a.m., I caught Richard exiting CBGB before catching a cab in the Bowery rain.” Image: David Godlis

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Alex Chilton, Bowery. “Alex was a big photography fan, photographer William Eggleston being a family friend in Memphis. So we tried shooting this out on the Bowery median strip, getting very lucky when a drop of rain landed on the lens transforming this shot from pretty good to iconic. Used as the cover for his independent 45 ‘Bangkok,’ an outtake of this session is the cover of the recent biography ‘A Man Called Destruction,’ by Holly George-Warren.” Image: David Godlis

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No Wave Punks, Bowery. “I think it was Terry Ork who came up with the idea to name the next thing after New Wave, No Wave. All participants in this scene, here hanging right outside the club are Harold Paris, Kristian Hoffman, Diego Cortez, Anya Philips, Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Jim Sclavunos, Bradley Field and Liz Seidman. Well actually, Harold Paris was not a participant, but he was a best friend of Thurston Moore who once told me he should have been in this photo instead. He was probably standing right next to me when I took it, and his Volkswagen can be seen parked in the background.” Image: David Godlis

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Cramps, Bowery. “A Bowery night photo session with the Cramps. I think Alex Chilton, who was getting ready to produce their LP may have introduced us.” Image: David Godlis

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Patti Smith, Bowery. “Patti lit up by the Bowery streetlights. I tapped her on the shoulder and asked to do a picture. Took two shots and the rest is history.” Image: DaVID Godlis

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Blondie, CBGB. “Another view from the side of the stage. Debbie Harry with Chris Stein on slide guitar doing a cover of ‘Little Red Rooster’ at the Punk Magazine Benefit show.” IMAGE: DAVID GODLIS

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Ramones, CBGB. “I love that Joey Ramone is holding up the ‘Gabba Gabba Hey’ sign himself, before they started bringing Zippy onstage to hold it during ‘Pinhead.'” Image: David Godlis

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Talking Heads, CBGB. “This was the first time they played CBGB as a foursome, after adding Jerry Harrison (formerly with the Modern Lovers). They used to do a great cover of 1910 Fruitgum Company’s ‘123 Red Light.’ It’s on YouTube.” Image: David Godlis

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“A typical quiet night out on the Bowery — pretty much an abandoned zone except for us and the skid row residents.” Image: David Godlis

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Ramones, CBGB. “The Ramones were my favorite band to photograph,” Godlis said. “A wave of sound and a thrust of energy in that very small club. This is the view from the side of the stage, barely a couple of feet off the ground. I was trying to shoot the band and the audience at the same time.” Image: David Godlis


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