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Punk club CBGB gets one-year reprieve

Deal will let storied New York venue stay open until next Halloween
/ Source: Reuters

New York’s punk rock music mecca CBGB reached an agreement with its landlords on Wednesday that allows the music club to stay at its East Village address for another year.

The legendary, grimy punk-rock club, which launched acts from Blondie to the Ramones, had been involved in a rental dispute dating back to 2001 with a charity for the homeless that owns the building.

The agreement calls for CBGB to close its doors on the Bowery by Oct. 31, 2006.

Owner Hilly Kristal, who in 1973 founded the joint whose initials stand for country, bluegrass and blues, said he was unhappy about losing the location but said the agreement gave him time to look at other possible sites in Times Square and downtown Manhattan.

“We are only going to leave the smell and the echo of the rock ’n’ roll sound -- 32 years of it -- and there will be ghosts flying around beating drums and loud music,” he said.

The dispute escalated this year when the charity, the Bowery Residents Committee, refused to renew the club’s lease which ran out in August after a series of disputes over renovations and back rent.

The Bowery Residents Committee could not be immediately reached for comment, but in the past the group has said it was unwilling to subsidize CBGB at the detriment of the homeless.

CBGB was the latest in a line of New York clubs that have succumbed to climbing rents and tougher regulations.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement the city would help CBGB find a new home in New York.

“CBGB has served as an incubator for cutting edge artists and entertainers,” Bloomberg said. “With today’s agreement and our efforts, I believe CBGB will continue in its prominent role in setting trends in music and culture.”