CBGB follows the story of Hilly Kristal's New York club from its concept 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. —anonymous
Sure, the accents are terrible and it's very glossy for a film about punk but it's so much fun.
I was a fan of CBGB music before I even knew what it was. I remember going to a second hand record store and asking them if they had any John Cale records. They said, yes, in the CBGB pile. The what? CBGB. Seeby-Jeeby..? And then they pointed at the section and there was a bunch of punk/new wave that I love. Heaven? Yes. Randall Miller seems to have a big passion for this music of the 70s and 80s too. I'm way more interested in the other upcoming project he had in mind called The Drummer, which was to star Vera Farmiga as Christine McVie and Aaron Eckhart as Dennis Wilson, but that film seems to not be happening anytime soon. Instead, I'm happy to check out CBGB to at least learn more about the place than 'it was a club.' The film prominently features musicians such as Television, The Dead Boys, Talking Heads, Blondie and Iggy Pop, but this story is about Hilly Kristal, the founder of the club, played by Alan Rickman. Although the film appears to glide through the narrative without much of a sense of jeopardy or pressure, it's very entertaining and colourful, designed in a magazine style with split screens and annotations every now and then. Even though that caricature tone does not match the gritty punk attitude of its topics, it's an accessible and simplified version that's great fun to watch, even if most of the accents are terrible.
- Oct 16, 2013
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