Thursday, August 30, 2007

Prince of Punks is now their patron saint

Hilly Kristal, founder of CBGB (where some of the great punk bands got their start) has made his way to the next level of concerts: he'll be host to the angels with razor blades and safety pins for jewelry.

I never got down to CBGB in its heyday. I never quite reached it at all, and now both the club and its founder are gone.

Nevertheless, I will always be thankful Kristal made it so open and friendly to musicians, or I'd have lived my entire life without the pleasure of singing along with the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated." Quite honestly -- no joke -- some of the most fun I had was to a punk soundtrack, without actually living the lifestyle. In my old records and tapes still lie copies of Richard Hell and the Voidoids, the Patti Smith Group, the Sex Pistols (of course) and countless other obnoxious, filthy, crude, often-musically-challenged groups whose main purpose, it seemed, was purposelessness, but, in fact, was about breaking free of rigid, disco-conformity.

All that furious wildness is in the past, now, where disco and that hippie-sh*t which preceded it should all be. Still, I thank Hilly for my latter formative years. They did kick hindquarters, when I wasn't genuinely insane.

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