Okay. I know I already blogged today but this is in the same vein. Vain? I think it’s vein. It’s not vane, I know that. Anyway, I’m sure a bunch of fact checkers will be on top of it in response.
I spent 20 minutes reading this CBGB’s photo book last night while I waited for my boyfriend to finish his shopping at Virgin Megastore. Great pictures of the club, the former owner Hilly, the Ramones, New York Dolls…everyone. I know everyone was on coke or heroin or some glamour drug that doesn’t exist anymore but everyone looked soooo good. So pencil thin with their clothes executed so perfectly and I know glam rockers chose their look carefully but other “punks” didn’t. And everyone still looked good. So, “I just rolled out of bed, three days ago, I haven’t slept in three days.”
I love organic shit holes. (Not an endorsement of a vegan treat.) I really just think nothing seems authentic anymore. As the book progressed there were more pictures…pictures of bands in the 90’s. Everyone had a babydoll-cupie-whore dress on and the guys all had cut off tee-shirts, crazy tatooes, jacked up muscles, flannel, baseball hats (oh, God! How un-chic), white guy dreads and terrible long hair. What ever happened to a nice shag on a guy with some bangs…in his eyes?
The audiences in the more recent photos looked super aggressive, like they were ready to kick ass. What is weirder is that CB’s was around when Nixon was fucking shit up and the punks then seemed so harmless, people could pack it in close to the stage and not be worried about being punched or raped. And then you have these goofballs with all their missplaced anger in the ’90’s under the…….Clinton administration? It doesn’t add up.
I felt sad as the book ended because there was no way to bullshit. It’s just not the same. And I know it almost closed down. I was lucky to live in NYC when Joey Ramone died and I ran straight to the club to see the shrine that had already magically appeared.
I was telling my boyfriend about the book when we left the store. He rolls his eyes when I talk about the good old days, that I was not a part of. I think he thinks that I’m wishing he were some emaciated rocker in tight black jeans and black eyeliner. I’m not. Because if he were like that today, that would be too forced. If someone offered me a time machine? Well, I might have to go.
He also likes to remind me that people were just as awful back then and while the punks were rocking out (and I know that they were not neccessarily rocking out to voice frustration at the gov’t. that is only history putting it in context) and the freaks were sleeping on the floor at CB’s, the hippies and other people, working in the civil rights movements and more were probably like, “What wastes. They are not contributing anything.” That is true. But if you’re going to not contribue to society by being drunk/drugged and rockin’ at least be pure about it.
My boyfriend told me that as part of his job on this music show, he had to interview modern day “punk rock” bands and ask them how they felt about CBGB’s possibly closing and they said, “What is CBGB’s?” When he briefed them on the place, it still didn’t ring a bell. It’s not like they had heard of the scene but had not remembered the namesake.
I said, “They should be dropped from their label, their lives threatened, their guitars taken away and they should have to go to some rock star tutoring, “you must respect” type of class.”
Neil said, “I think you’re being overdramatic.”
Actually, I’m not being dramatic enough!