CBGB’s Owner Hilly Kristal Dead

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Sad news about one of New York’s great characters. Longtime CBGB’s owner Hilly Kristal passed away on Tuesday. You know the whole CBGB’s story about how the club launched the Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, Blondie and a bunch of other bands… We won’t bore you with that. What matters is that Kristal ran one of New York’s most prominent nightclubs for well over 30 years and gave generations of local bands their start. True, CB’s physical legacy might be limited to a clothing boutique (!) on St. Mark’s Place, but the guy was an institution. Meanwhile, the former CBGB’s space remains vacant.

Kristal had been battling lung cancer. He was 75.