1932 - 2007 .R.I.P.
for August.30.2007 news update about the CBGB ROCK CLUB
official statement form the Kristal family.
It is with deep sadness and regret that we inform you of the death of Hilly Kristal, who died on
Tuesday, August 28, 2007, from complications from Lung Cancer. Kristal, 75, founded the
legendary rock club CBGB and ran the club for 33 years. A singer and songwriter himself, Kristal
opened the club to showcase "Country Bluegrass and Blues"; instead the club became a breeding
ground for Punk rock. Among the many acts that called CBGB home were Blondie, the Talking Heads,
Television, Living Color, Patti Smith and the Ramones. The club closed in October 2006, but CBGB
continues, with a retail store in New York City and worldwide merchandise sales; in addition, there
currently are plans to open new CBGB clubs in several locations. Kristal is survived by his daughter,
isa Kristal Burgman, son, Mark Dana Kristal, son-in-law Ger Burgman, grandchildren Jenny and
Adam Burgman, CBGB, and the thousands of artists and musicians who played the club. A private
memorial service is planned. A public memorial will be held at a later date. Contributions in Hilly's
honor may be made in his name to the American Cancer Society or to the Hilly Kristal Foundation
for Musicians and Artists (168 Second Avenue, PMB 207, New York, NY 10003).
CBGB closed at 315 Bowery on Sunday October 15th, 2006.
Hilly Kristal LOST HIS BATTLE WITH CANCER ON AUGUST .28.2007 HE ONE OF ARE SAD STORYS OF SOME ONE LOST TO CANCER
LIKE NOY AND PETER AND MY DAD (DAVID .J.GARCIA ) HOW ALL PAST AWAY DEW TO CANCER THEY WHERE
GOOD PEOPLE AND WELL BE MISS BY THERE LOVE ONES AND FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND ALL THAT GOT TO
MEET THEME THIS GUY WILL ROCK ON IN A BETTER PLACE NOW R.I.P. Hilly Kristal
http://www.cbgb.com/ TO HIS HOME PAGE
FOR AUGUST.1.2005. NEW YORK
Clock Ticks Down for CBGB in Rent Dispute
Hilly Kristal was feeling optimistic.
Though CBGB, the landmark Bowery rock club he founded in 1973, is embroiled in a legal
dispute with its landlord and faces eviction at the end of the month when its lease expires,
there were signs, Mr. Kristal said, that an agreement would be reached soon.
"I think it's going to be settled amicably," he said by phone last week from his office at the
club, where, at 73, he still arrives early each morning and answers the phone with a quick,
But as Mr. Kristal discussed the situation, his attitude changed. He said he was certain that
his landlord - the nonprofit Bowery Residents' Committee, which aids about 8,000 homeless
people each year - "wants me out," and he soured on the prospects of a new lease.
Then he excused himself to go to a meeting where, Mr. Kristal said, he would discuss moving
the club to
out there who do want me."
With 31 days left in its lease, CBGB's future remains uncertain, and though a motley group of
celebrities, public relations specialists and punk activists have worked steadily in recent weeks
to help the club negotiate with its landlord, no agreement has been reached, and stomachs
have tightened all around.
Today, Steven Van Zandt, of the E Street Band and "The Sopranos," who has been leading
the celebrity volunteer effort to save the club, is to announce an Aug. 31 rally, planned for
submitted to the committee on behalf of the club, the rally could be CBGB's last hurrah or the
start of its new life.
"This is the last rock 'n' roll symbol left," Mr. Van Zandt said. "We have seen one iconic rock 'n'
roll venue after the other disappear, and we finally said, 'Let's draw a line here, and save at least one.' "
If CBGB closes, it will join a number of downtown clubs that have shut down in the last several
years. This year
Bottom Line was shut over a debt of more than $185,000 to its landlord,
Four years ago the Bowery Residents' Committee sued CBGB for about $300,000 in unpaid rent,
which the club has been paying back, both sides say. But early this year the landlord, which has
a 45-year lease on the building and subleases the ground floor spaces and basements of 315 and
313 Bowery to the club, found that CBGB owed an additional $75,000 because it had not been
paying the scheduled increases in its monthly rent, and the case landed back in court.
Mr. Kristal has said he did not pay the increases because he was never billed for them. The case
has been in
the committee has listed the property for September occupancy at a rate that would more
than double the current rent of $19,000 a month.
For Muzzy Rosenblatt, the executive director of the Bowery Residents' Committee, the matter
is simple: CBGB has a debt and it must be paid.
"I don't understand why," he said, "if they admit they owe it, they want to withhold money that
goes to help homeless people."
He estimated that the dispute, between the lost rent and the legal expenses over it as well as
a flurry of building violations, has cost the organization about $200,000, which "would put enough
outreach workers out on the street to help 100 homeless people every day."
The organization has an annual budget of about $32 million, mostly from government sources
and Medicaid; in its 18 locations around the city, CBGB is its only commercial tenant.
(An arts reporter for The Times, Julie Salamon, is the committee's chairwoman.)
Relations between Mr. Kristal and Mr. Rosenblatt, never warm, froze over completely this spring,
when the committee withdrew from settlement discussions. Then a series of celebrities and
assorted fans and businesspeople, concerned for the club's future, tried to help restart negotiations.
Among the first were the singer David Byrne and the filmmaker Jonathan Demme, who hoped
to arrange a meeting with both sides but found them unwilling.
"We said, 'Can we sit down and maybe both sides can compromise a bit,' " Mr. Byrne recalled.
"Both sides seemed to be open to that idea, but then some of them decided that they weren't
open anymore, that they would take their chances with the courts."
· "It's nice to have a place thats in-your-face countercultural, even if theyre so countercultural that they havent
been able to pay the rent for decades." -- Reasoner
· "CBs has always kept its prices affordable for all music lovers, evolved to fill the needs of the music and
cultural communities of New York City, and jump started the careers of thousands of performers. Now CBGB
needs your help to keep its doors open." -- Burb Rocking
In June, Mr. Van Zandt said, he was recruited by a panicked Mr. Kristal to negotiate with Mr.
Rosenblatt. Mr. Van Zandt, who organized Artists United Against Apartheid in the mid-1980's
and was active in environmental and Native American campaigns, assembled a team.
After an initial meeting with Mr. Rosenblatt on June 20, Mr. Van Zandt and his team began to
put together a proposal that would meet Mr. Rosenblatt's demands. A new lease would have a
third-party guarantor and any outstanding building violations would be addressed. A foundation
would be set up to contribute $100,000 a year to the Bowery Residents' Committee, raised in
benefit concerts. A new lease, for 15 years, would include a modest rent increase.
The proposal was delivered to the organization last month, but Mr. Van Zandt said he had
not received an answer and had had difficulty communicating with Mr. Rosenblatt and his staff.
On Thursday evening, with a half-dozen associates gathered around him, Mr. Van Zandt sounded frustrated.
"I feel bad about this," he said. "I wish I could have done more."
But Mr. Rosenblatt said he had not yet made a decision on the proposal, and said he was
considering it carefully.
Among his biggest concerns, he said, are a number of building violation notices the club received
in October 2003, during inspections that followed a fire that killed 100 people at a
The violations included lack of certification for flame retardant curtains and an aisle by the stage that
was found to be too narrow.
Mr. Kristal and his representatives are adamant that the most serious faults were corrected immediately
and that they are working to correct the remaining violations. Mr. Rosenblatt said too many were still
The committee houses 175 people in the floors above the club; hundreds more pass through a
second-floor "drop in center" - where they can rest and receive basic care - that is directly
above the CBGB stage.
Mr. Rosenblatt, who said his first date with the woman who became his wife was to a concert
at CBGB, said he believed an agreement could still be reached.
"We believe," he said, "that people can change."