Today is the 37th anniversary of the Ramones' first gig at New York City club CBGB. The Bowery venue would be an integral part of punk-rock history, with the bands who played there nightly in its musty confines becoming the legends that would pave the way for millions of bands to come.
CBGB stands for "Country, Bluegrass, and Blues," for those of you who don't own copies of Legs McNeil's Please Kill Me, or were too punk to care.
Rocks Off visited the club once on a trip to NYC and took in a few local teen bands. It wasn't exactly a half-hour set from Joey and the bruddahs, but it was enough to soak in the flavor of the hallowed location. Merely standing next to the stage was intoxicating for a rock geek, not to mention the restroom, which was the site of so many overdoses and drug use by some of the artists that litter our own record collection.
CBGB, owned by Hilly Kristal and shuttered in 2006, obviously helped birth numerous bands. From the early pub-rock bands that made their scratch on the stage, the earliest stabs at relevance from various art-school grads, the leather-clad sneers of punk royalty, and the bloody Sunday matinee shows from the hardcore and crossover groups who kept the club's spirit alive in the '80s, it was the beating heart of too many scenes to count.
We compiled a list of just 15 bands that first made their mark on the stage at 315 Bowery at Bleecker Street before finding themselves on shirts and jackets on everyone from Nebraska to Mumbai.
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Well, maybe not so much Wayne County - she's kind of an acquired taste.