Wednesday, August 29, 2007

CBGBobit: Hilly Kristal

Hilly Kristal, the founder of CBGBs, has died at the age of 75.

Born in Manhattan in 1932, Kristal was performer in his own right, before turning his hand to managing a string of New York clubs in the 1950s - including The Village Vanguard. He opened his own club, Hilly's On Ninth Street, which over the years would move and change its name to Country Bluegrass and Blues. The titular music was quickly pushed aside, though, as CBGBs became the home of US punk in the 1970s.

Debbie Harry led the tributes:

I am very sorry that Hilly is gone. He was a big help to Blondie and to the New York music scene for many years. His club CBGB’s has become a part of New York lore and Rock n’ Roll history.

Kristal remained associated with CBGBs for thirty-three years. His death on Tuesday morning was related to the lung cancer from which he had been suffering.


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