R.I.P. Hilly Kristal, CBGB’s Founder

NPR: CBGB’s Hilly Kristal Championed Punk-Rock Spirit

NY Daily News: The value of CBGB’s founder Hilly Kristal

NY Sun: Hilly Kristal, 75, Began CBGB, Home of Punk

I’m reprinting a MySpace Bulletin the band Cheap Perfume sent out:

RIP Our dear friend,

How different our lives would have been without Hilly Kristal. Upon hearing the sad news of his passing at the too-young age of 75, we took a moment to reflect upon the influence Hilly had on literally thousands maybe millions of people. He was a true original forward-thinking enough to turn his creation CBGB/OMFUG into the launching pad for the second wave of hyper-creative rock musicians since the 60s. Would any other club owner have recognized the genius of the Ramones and afforded them the opportunity to grow and develop into the groundbreaking innovators they ultimately became? What about Television? Or Blondie? Or The Talking Heads? Or Patti Smith? Not to mention The Dead Boys, Sorrows, The Shirts, The Plasmatics, The Revelons, Nervus Rex, Quincy, Son, The Police, Marshall Crenshaw, The Tuff Darts, The Demons, The Miamis, The Laughing Dogs the list goes on and on of the crazed and colorful acts that graced the stage of Hillys gritty and authentic music haven. Our own band, Cheap Perfume, had its first gig ever at CBGB in early 79 (where two of our founding members, Susan Palermo and Alison Berger, worked as waitresses), and we came to regard the place almost like our alma mater, our home away from home, our base. Hilly was frequently to be seen in the neighborhood of the East Village. When you saw him, he’d greet you in a very gentlemanly and cordial way, and you just knew he remembered who you were, which band you were in and what instrument you played. (Or at least he made you feel like he did.) The world has lost one of the shapers of popular culture and he will be sorely missed, but fondly and affectionately remembered always.

L, Brenda, Susan, Bunny and Nancy

Cheap Perfume


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