Hilly Kristal Dead At 75
August 29, 2007 at 6:30 AM (PT)
It is with deep sadness and regret that we inform you of the death of HILLY KRISTAL, who died on TUESDAY, AUGUST 28th 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.
Former RAMONES drummer MARK RAMONE, host of "MARKY RAMONE’s Punk Rock Blitzkrieg" on SIRIUS Radio, stated: "HILLY was an integral part of the punk scene from 1974 until his death. He was always supportive of the genre and of bands like the RAMONES, BLONDIE, TALKING HEADS and RICHARD HELL AND VOIDOIDS and will hold a prominent place in music history. In an era when disco was the mainstream, HILLY took a chance and gambled. The gamble paid off for both him and for us. We are all grateful to him and will miss him."
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.