Firefly Pointer Fiberglass Jacket: CBGB Movie review: New York's Gorgeous Garbage

Thursday, January 29, 2015

CBGB Movie review: New York's Gorgeous Garbage

  After much ado, I have finally seen CBGB Movie due to the convenience of Youtube. Thanks to the user who posted it! You can also check it out here. It wasn't available online otherwise as far as I could find, hence my taking so damn long to see it. I've been excited for the most part of the result of this film and I'm glad I finally found it.

 The movie marks the journey of CBGB's founder Hilly Krystal. He picks the Bowery neighborhood in Manhattan to make his space because it's seedy and the cops just wont care. For the most part he's right. But before long bands like Television start showing up, playing an attracting the seedy punk element. This especially kicks in when the Dead Boys and Iggy Pop begin to play there.

 Any punk fan is familiar with this story, and how CBGB's opened the door literally and figuratively for acts that "performed only original music." Although Hilly planned of open a venue for County and Blue Grass, he quickly found him self interested in the budding local scene. I think the film did a good job of capturing the feeling of New York and the neighborhood where CBGB once stood. The movie opens with a comic book style panel to panel story of punk, jumping from the creator of Punk Magazine to back in time when Hilly Krystal was born punk and tried to fly the coop as a toddler.


 Band wise, the movie starts out with Television, The Talking Heads, the Dead Boys, Ramones, Blondie, Iggy, Lou Reed, & Patti Smith and the movie closes with the Police performing "Roxanne." The CBGB movie the glory and vommity pit falls of running a classic punk venue. When I last visited New York in May, I hung out with a few of my close New York buddies. During that time I chilled at a pub in Manhattan with my friend Jillian, who saw the movie opening night. She proceeded to warm me that I was probably going to have some bones to pick with this movie...so I've heard.

 Before I sat down to the movie, I broke open a PBR, bracing myself for potential disappointment. It's not that I expect it to be totally accurate, I just hope it's not going to be totally stupid. When the movie was in production and some screen shots were released, I was on NEEDLES AND PINS
waiting to see what the Ramones looked like. I was particularly interested in what their Joey Ramone looked like. Even though I've got some lofty Joey Ramone ambitions, I was not disappointed by the Joey presented in the movie. There was, however, a blaring inconsistency that my music loving heart couldn't ignore: the Ramones were playing Joey Ramone's solo music in the movie. The songs that were performed by the Ramones "I got knocked down" from Joey's "Don't worry about me" solo album, along with "Spirits in my house". Sorry to be a stickler here, but those songs are Joey solo songs, not Ramones songs, and they are being played a good 25+ years before the music was actually made (2001).

 The movie fixated on portraying the people of CBGB's, not just the artists but the everyday folks who came in for the show. The sex, the piss, the vomit, and the shit, it really didn't hold back and was at times shocking (which I appreciate). I won't lie that I made a grumpy face when I heard about the cast including Harry Potter people like Rupert Grint, but even he surprised me with his performance. Nothing about this movie sucked, but there was also nothing stellar about it. I would have liked to see it done more in a indie film way vs the over done comic strip style. But all in all this movie was worth seeing purely as a music and punk rock fan. This movie presented New York's most gorgeous garbage... it's gritty, real, punk rock music.

1 comment :

Bring The Needle Down. said...

Sounds like an interesting movie. I imagine that it would make me angry with music inaccuracies as well!! Stick to the truth, people! :)