Saturday, April 19, 2008

CBGB's Goes Varvatos

A few weeks ago, the world famous punk rock bar/club CBGB's was reopened as clothing designer John Varvatos's new LES boutique. I had a chance to go over there last weekend and snap a picture inside before I was (very politely) asked to not continue to do so. I know that CBGB's is sacred ground and that a ton of people were heartbroken and depressed by it's closing, and I knew there would be protest about it like this article in the New York Post. But I must say, given the spectrum of things that could have been put in there, and the very conscientious preservation effort that Varvatos undertook to pay homage to the club, people should really count their blessings. What would they prefer it became, a Starbucks or a Burger King? At least with what Varvatos did (keeping some original graffiti covered walls, bringing in vintage speakers, amps and instruments, and vintage rock photographs and posters) pays serious homage to the club's legacy. Sure, he sells high-price faux-aged denim, but so what? I think folks should reconsider and appreciate Varvatos's efforts just a bit, even if it is for a high-end retail commercial endeavor. Sure, be sad that the original classic is gone, but don't take it out on the guy trying to do the right thing.

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