Rock 'n' Roll Schmuck
The legendary New York club CBGB closes upon a legacy including the Ramones, Talking Heads, and Television. And then there's me.
"If this place ever closes, they should give that backstage wall to the Historical Society."
"That won't happen," she said.
I was about to protest—conservators can move Roman frescoes, why not Manhattan drywall?—but then I realized that maybe she meant that the closure would never happen. And for a long time, longer than thousands of half-employed musicians could have ever guessed, it seemed to be true.
Paul Collins teaches creative writing at Portland State University, and his latest book is The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars. Follow him on Twitter.
Photograph of CBGB by Adam Di Carlo.