CBGB follows the story of Hilly Kristal's New York club from its conceit as a venue for Country, Bluegrass and Blues (CBGB) to what it ultimately became: the birthplace of underground rock 'n roll and punk. When Kristal had difficulty booking country bands in his club on the Bowery he opened his doors to other kinds of rock music. Kristal had one demand of the acts he booked; they could only play original music. No top 40's, no covers. It was the credo he lived by, support the artist at whatever the cost. Hilly Kristal ironically became known as the godfather of punk giving a chance to such bands as Blondie, Television, Ramones, Talking Heads, Dead Boys and The Police.Written by
Alan Rickman was in his mid to late sixties when playing a man in his mid to late thirties. See more »
Hilly specifically requires all performers to play all-original material and no covers, yet Blondie is depicted performing their cover of the 1963 doo-wop hit "Denise" (gender-reversed to "Denis"). See more »
"This film is dedicated to... Hilly Kristal and all those who worked at and lived at CBGB. MAY THEY ROCK ON FOREVER! No animals were harmed during the making of this film... The cockroach guts were Fig Newtons. And we know that Iggy Pop never played at CBGB... Just deal with it." See more »
When I finished this movie my first reaction was - WoW - what an experience CBGB would have been. Of course I realize the movie is not a historical chronicle of life and time of Hilly and his CBGB. The movies first intent is to entertain the viewer - and it does entertain very well.
I think the director and writers wanted to show the beginnings of the Punk Rock phenomenon paralleled by the beginnings of CBGB which would grow in fame just as the punk movement grew internationally. So the focus of this film is the beginning of three things - CBGB, punk rockers, and Hilly's personal beginning finding his way through his vision.
Alan Rickman gives a top notch performance as Hilly and the supporting cast do just as well, which makes this a diamond of a movie. The music may be too 'studio perfect' but how many people that will see this movie actually heard these bands live in their early days. Most all of us know these bands by their records.
Give this a look - it's quite a story with a really lovable dog too!!
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