Slash, Tom Morello, Perry Farrell perform impromptu set in New York

Joan Jett, Ronnie Spector, The Hold Steady also perform at store launch

Slash, Perry Farrell, Tom Morello and Joan Jett were among the rock heavyweights who showed up to the much-hyped opening of John Varvatos‘ new store in New York City last night (April 17).

The launch, at 315 Bowery, the former home of CBGB, saw performances from The Hold Steady, Care Bears On Fire and Joseph Arthur before the ex-Guns N’ Roses guitarist, Morello, Jerry Cantrell, Breckin Meyer and Handsome Dick Manitoba, played a rousing impromptu set which included covers of ‘Jailbreak’ and ‘Kick Out The Jams’.

They were later joined by Perry Farrell for a performance of Jane’s Addiction classic ‘Mountain Song’ while Sen Dog from Cypress Hill also played ’Insane In The Membrane’.

Wrapping up the show Joan Jett took to the stage for ‘Androgynous’ and ‘Bad Reputation’ while Ronnie Spector brought the house down with ‘Be My Baby’.

“I loved seeing people I haven’t seen in years telling stories, seeing the old crowd, Jesse…and Joey’s crowd,” Spector commented afterwards. “It was amazing, it was as if the spirit of CB’s came back for one last rave up.”

Varvatos took over the lease at 315 Bowery last year after CBGB closed its doors in late 2006.

The store opened over a week ago to mild protest, and last night’s launch was picketed by a small group of people who objected to the commercialisation of the space.

Varvatos has preserved much of the original interior of the ‘birthplace of punk’. An ‘altar’ with candles greets you as you walk through the front door and glass panels have been placed over the walls which bear stickers and graffiti from the former venue.

The original bar serves as the register counter and Varvatos is hoping to host monthly music performances from now on.

–By our New York staff.

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