CBGB gets last-minute legal reprieve

Maybe the legendary New York club can be saved after all...

NEW YORK’s legendary punk venue CBGB has been given a last-minute legal reprieve in its battle against closure.

The club, which saw bands like Blondie

and Ramones kickstart the US punk scene in the 70s, is involved in a legal dispute with its landlord over $91,000 in unpaid rent increases.

CBGB proprietor, Hilly Kristal, said that it was all down to a book-keeping mix-up, but the Bowery Residents’ Committee, who own the building, were fighting to have him evicted.

Civil court judge Joan Kenney refused the eviction petition on Wednesday (August 10), recalling how the neighbourhood had suffered from “destitution, degradation and substance abuse” before the club opened in 1973.

“CBGB has proven itself worthy of being recognized as a landmark,” she said, and argued that it would be unfair to allow the eviction, as the landlords had not noticed money was owed to them for four years.

The future of the club remains uncertain, as negotiations over a renewal of its lease are still going on, and the current contract runs out on August 31.

A benefit concert and rally are to be held in Washington Square Park, New York on the same day.