Wednesday, August 29, 2007

RIP Hilly Kristal

forkliftWhen news broke that legendary CBGB's founder Hilly Kristal died yesterday, I found myself not at all surprised. It's common for people to follow their significant others into death's door, and there's a strong argument that Hilly was married to CBGB's. So when that decrepid punk-rock landmark shut it's doors last October, there had to have been a pretty big hole in Hilly's life. It remains to be seen if the club gets moved to Vegas, but both it and Hilly will live on as essential backdrops to the music. (photo by forklift)

Playlist: Story of CBGB's

Much of this playlist comes from a fine 2-CD compilation on UK's Salvo label ( The Definitive Story Of CBGB - import only.) It features all the big names that got their start with the club and made up the NY Punk scene. Television, The Ramones, Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers, Patti Smith, Suicide, Blondie, Talking Heads and the Plasmatics are all represented, as well as a few pre-punk legends that helped influnence the scene (and all eventually made their way to the club.) The Velvet Underground, MC5, Iggy and the Stooges, The New York Dolls.... the compilation reads like a novel soundtrack to Legs McNeil's Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk (a soundtrack which I started some time ago and need to return to.)

The final song, you'll note, is from none other then Hilly himself, from an odd album he released in 1999 (Mad Mordechai,) that had it's beginnings 30 years ago ("Mud" was originally a b-side to a CBGB's Christmas single from 1976, re-done here in the late 80's with a synth beat.) While Otis Blackwell (Elvis Presley's chief songwriter) contributes a track ("Everybody's Buddy") the songs were intended to be sung to his kids. Like Dee Dee Ramone's rap career, it's not the memory that I'll have of Hilly, though.

1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Story Of CBGB's

1. See No Evil - Television
2. Redondo Beach - Patti Smith
3. Born To Lose - The Heartbreakers
4. X Offender - Blondie
5. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend - The Ramones
6. Soul Twist - Mink DeVille
7. Planet Claire - The B-52's
8. I Got You, I Feel Good - James Chance and The Contortions
9. Bored - Destroy All Monsters
10. Cool As Ice - Suicide
11. Human Fly - The Cramps
12. Sex Beat - Gun Club
13. Butcher Baby - The Plasmatics
14. Final Solution - Pere Ubu
15. Pay to Cum - Bad Brains
16. We Ended Up - The Mumps
17. Kick Out The Jams - MC5
18. Penetration - The Stooges
19. Jet Boy - New York Dolls
20. Run Run Run - The Velvet Underground
21. The Closet - Teenage Jesus
22. Cherry Bomb - The Runaways
23. Jocko Homo - Devo
24. I Know What Boys Like - The Waitresses
25. Adelaide - John Cale
26. Never Gonna Kill Myself Again - Rocket From The Tombs
27. Sonic Reducer - Dead Boys
28. It's Artistic - Electric Eels
29. The Next Big Thing - The Dictators
30. Too Many Creeps - Bush Tetras
31. Mud - Hilly Kristal