CBGB’s: Debbie Harry and E Street’s Steven Van Zandt pay tribute to founder

'There would be no Ramones without Hilly Kristal'

Tributes have been pouring in following the death of CBGB founder Hilly Kristal.

Kristal passed away yesterday (August 27) at a New York hospital after a 14-month battle with lung cancer.

Blondie’s Debbie Harry was one of the first to make a statement saying:

“I am very sorry that Hilly is gone. He was a big help to Blondie and to the New York music scene for many years. His club CBGB’s has become a part of New York lore and rock n’ roll history”

Meanwhile, E Street guitarist Little Steven Van Zandt who campaigned relentlessly against the closure of CBGB, said that the club was Kristal’s “whole life” and that New York will never recover from it’s closure.

“Losing CBGB meant it was only a matter of time before Hilly followed” said Van Zandt “It was his whole life. He created the space to allow Indie Rock, Pop Art Rock, and Punk to be born. There would be no Ramones without Hilly Kristal. And who would want to live in a world without them? He loved this city and in the end, the city spit in his face.”

Van Zandt, who also hosts a radio show entitled the ‘Underground Garage’ continued:

CBGB was a tragic loss New York will never recover from and maybe its better Hilly doesn’t have to watch the town that invented personality slowly turn into the Mall of America. Rock and Roll will miss him.”

You can check out Hilly Kristal’s obituary on NME.COM.

Plus read Patti Smith’s tribute to Hilly Kristal now.

–By our New York staff.

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