Patti Smith speaks on CBGB’s final night

The singer says goodbye to New York club

CBGB might be set to re-opening as a venue in Las Vegas, but Patti Smith – who played the farewell show at the original venue last night (October 15) – won’t be performing there.

Talking to a crowd of reporters – including NME.COM – during a question and answer session held during her soundcheck, the singer admitted she felt more at home with the original CBGB in New York.

”We had a job in Las Vegas four years ago and we sold 85 tickets and they cancelled the show,” she explained. “I’ve never been there. When you only sell 85 tickets out of 2,000, you don’t go into that town.”


Referring to the closure of the club, Smith said she was optimistic new bands would find their own home in the future.

CBGB is a state of mind” she declared, “and what’s going to happen is young kids all over the world are going to have their own fucking clubs and they won’t care about CBGB because they’re going to have the new places and the new places are always the most important.”

She also paid tribute to CBGB owner Hilly Kristal who welcomed punk into his club in the 1970s when no one else would.

Hilly believed in us, he shepherded us, he was non-judgemental and he always gave us a job, just like tonight,” Smith explained “Hilly was our friend, he was our champion and in those days they were very few, so we’re all grateful to Hilly.”

She continued: “We were all thinking ‘What word should we put on our piano? Should we put “CBGB”? Should we put “Farewell’? Should we put “Peace”? Should we put “Save the Environment”?’ We all decided the best word we could write was ‘Hilly’. And I have to say it was a very Hilly existence here!”

For a full report from CBGB‘s last night go to NME.COM/News now.

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