You had to be there at CBGB, and for once I am feeling grateful that I wasn’t. Hilly Kristal’s legendary New York City music club is one of the great stories in American underground history. An enterprise intended to host the country, bluegrass and blues (CBGB) that Kristal loved instead became the hive, the Petri dish of American punk and New Wave. The homely downtown club is every bit as emblematic of that cultural and musical revolution as the Ramones, Blondie, Television and Talking Heads.
When underground history goes aboveground in a fictionalized film account featuring a bona fide movie star, it is always a nervous moment for the Old Guard and their legacy. My most deeply invested friends are saying things like, “Well, Alan Rickman is good, so at least there’s a chance they got it right.” And if they didn’t, there’s always the secondary hope of camp value and a good laugh.
Randall Miller’s film CBGB’s will be shown at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock on Thursday, October 17 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10. The Bearsville Theater is located at 291 Tinker Street in Woodstock. For more information, call (845) 679-4406 or visit www.bearsvilletheater.com.