Hustling down to The Bowery Electric to pick up my all-access credential for the events, I took a moment to capture the midday environment surrounding the area.
That big bus would be out in front of most significant events festival wide.
Very first show attended would be for the legend that is drummer Ginger Baker.
The midtown jazz club Iridium was an unlikely 'CBGB-like' venue, but who could pass up an opportunity to see this accomplished drummer's first solo show in New York since 1997?
He's a jazz musican now, and therefore actually much better suited to this club than one of the downtown rock venues. Still, my apprecation for his brilliantly fluid playing style with Cream has never waned and makes regular appearances on the many playlists I create.
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Having been tipped off in advance that CBGB Keynote Speaker Duff McKagan's daughter would be debuting her own band at Pianos back downtown - it was off to frequent stomping grounds Ludlow Street.
On arriving at the venue I noticed a crowd across the street. Investigating I discoverd an original "Bansky!" The grafitti artist that has established a renedage street 'residency' in New York has been most prolific. Since I fully embrace the current age we live in - an instragram was fired off in celebration of it. None other than banksy himself clicked his approval of this momentous achievement.
Scuttling upstairs at Pianos, I soon came face to face with Jamie Brooks and Grace McKagan - who perform as an acoustic duo called The Pink Slips.
Their music is sweet, seductive and dark - all at the same time.
Have a listen:
Till then - here's another live one - this time with dad adding some acoustic guitar accompaniment.
The family McKagan (and bandmember) - gracious hosts and in general, pretty good people.
And it's always nice to discover that the tweet you sent their way gets "favored."
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Thursday October 10 served as the central day of this CBGB Fest. Duff McKagan's Keynote Address would kick off the proceedings gloriously.
Introducing Duff to the podium was his longtime friend (and manager/buyer for punk clothing store Trash and Vaudeville) Jimmy Webb.
The podium was set up in front of the orginial CBGB walls, which had been kept in storage up to this point.
Duff's Keynote Address focused on how influential the punk music being played at CBGB's was on him.
The visual image from my center row seat was very cool A projected image of CBGB's hovered over the speaker (who stood in front of the actual walls being projected above).
At a crucial moment in the speech, a video ran showing Duff and the other members of Guns N' Roses sitting at a press conference at CBGB's from around 1986. When the image stopped at this photo of a younger Duff with that classic t-shirt on, the audience was treated to this particularly enlightening moment (in the video here):
Going off the prepared text, Duff spoke from the heart about what this era of music meant (and still means) to him.
How without all the bands who played there - who influenced him throughout the years - that he's pretty sure he wouldn't have evolved into the musician - and man - that he is today.
You gotta love the true heart, soul and rock n' roll spirit of Duff McKagan. I know I do.
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Leaving the Landmark Sunshine Cinema (where the Keynote Address had been held) I made my way up 2nd Avenue and around the corner to the Anthology Film Archives.
The purpose? To catch the US film debut of "Livin' Out Rock 'n' Roll - the story of The Babysitters and The Last of the Teenage Idols.
On the way there I ran into The Orchard's Richard Gottehrer.
He's the coolest! Learn more about him Here
It was a film I came to see, however - and this one looked to be most entertaining:
Filmmaker and documentarian Paolo Sedazari poses with his movie poster, just before the showing at CBGB Fest.
And with this intrepid journalist out on the gritty streets of New York City.
The film (which is awesome, by the way) is described this way:
Livin' out Rock'n'Roll is about the dirty disregarded history of the London 80s rock scene, the story of the Babysitters and The Last of the Teenage Idols as told by the people who have somehow managed to survive it. Among the interviewees are Shuff, Vom Ritchie (Die Toten Hosen) and journalists Ben Marshall and David Stubbs. Charlie Harper, Captain Sensible and Mike Read also make cameo appearances. There is also a section on the legendary rock'n'roll table - the chaotic epicentre of the London rock scene below the offices of the Melody Maker.
In this clip, Paolo introduces and briefly explains why this film needed to be made:
Which leads into this clip I shot of a segment during the film:
And the full length promotional video from the producers themselves:
Afterwards, a film critic in attendance asked Paolo a number of questions that helped clarify the experience further.
A movie about an amazing time in UK rock and roll that's very much worth checking out!
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After enjoying a few refreshing beverages with Paolo and his entourage over at The Bowery Electric, it would soon be time for the evening portion of this day's events.
This was happening. the Carry On Band Series that featured original CBGB artists who played the club many times.
With the set times prominently displayed for all to see, it was time to get down to it.
Leading things off was violinist Walter Stedding. I recall seeing him play the club in it's heyday.
His sound is unique - quirky - and accomplished. A "fringe" artist of the scene who stands as a reminder that the music played wasn't always what people traditionally think of as "punk."
Extra Virgin Mary with DeerFrance delivererd worthwhile sounds.
She was sweet and cute - and rocked out in true CB's style.
The Planets brought back memories of many now long forgotten nights at the club.
Time may have aged and altered their appearances, but the sharp wit and attitude was as edgy as ever.
The Rattlers feating Mickey Leigh (whom most also know as Joey Ramone's brother) were up next, and their performance kicked the energy level up a notch.
Check out this clip from the show:
The Rattlers really brought their A-game on this night.
Next up was Rob Duprey and another opportunity to show the room from a wider angle.
Another big buzz moment of the night was when original Television member Richard Lloyd played.
Richard played all his songs on acoustic guitar, but the set did not lack for intensity.
With the attentive audience hanging on his every word, he sprinkled some interesting anectdotes in between his songs.
In fact, one of the most amusing aspects of the night was the soundman (burdened with the task of keeping everything on schedule) telling Richard his "time was up" - but Richard - either not hearing him - or simply just choosing to ignore it - plowed on and played another song. No one in the audience was complaining!
Following that was another original CB's rocker playing an acoustic set - Andy Shernoff of the classic heavy punk band The Dictators.
Check out how he sounded on this night:
The sets continuted to come fast and furious as the night went on.
Of particular note were sets from Lenny Kaye and Cheetah Chrome.
In fact, the one and only Bebe Buell made an appearance and sang a killer version of The Dead Boys classic "Sonic Reducer."
Check it out right here:
The full band performing with Cheetah and Bebe also included Enzo Penizzotto, Peter Bennett Marshall, Frank Ferrer.
Special thanks and video credit goes to Bicycle Joe (with permission from Bebe Buell).
Long live CBGB's!
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