Punk Rock Impresario Kristal Dead

NYC club CBGB launched some of movement's top acts
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2007 1:40 PM CDT
CBGB rock club owner Hilly Kristal, seen in the club in this December 16, 1993, file photo, died Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007, at the age of 75. Kristal, whose dank Bowery rock club served as the birthplace...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hilly Kristal, whose iconic club CBGB was the epicenter of American punk rock, died yesterday at 75 after a battle with lung cancer. The New York venue—fully titled CBGB & OMFUG, or "Country, Bluegrass and Blues & Other Music For Uplifting Gourmandisers"—showcased the Ramones, the Talking Heads and Patti Smith before it closed down last year in a dispute over rent.

Kristal "was our champion and in those days, there were very few," said Smith, a regular at the Bowery venue after its 1973 opening. The club's logo found a home on clothing, and its apparel store, CBGB Fashions, lives on a few blocks away. "Everywhere you travel around the world, you saw somebody wearing a CBGB T-shirt," one regular said.