Tag Archives: cbgbs

BOXING DAY ON THE BOWERY by Peter Nolan Smith

Every Christmas my mother cooked a 20-pound turkey, I mashed seasoned potatoes, and my sisters set the dining room table with yams, creamed onions, turnips, peas, stuffing, and all the fixings for my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmothers, friends, cousins, sisters, and brothers. Grace was said with bowed heads. Our plates were swept by forks and […]

Cleveland’s Finest

Cleveland was supposedly the site of the first rock and roll concert. March 21, 1952. A little more than two months before my birth in late May. 20,000 youths crowded the 10,000 capacity Cleveland Arena. The police shut down the show before the opening act, Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams, finished his first song. The civic leaders […]

# 17 by Peter Nolan Smith

One wintry December night in 1976 I stumbled home from a derelict bar at the corner of the Bowery and Houston. The icy wind slashed through my thin clothing and I was about to hail a taxi to my SRO tenement on 11th Street, when the thump of a frantic bass emanated from a white […]

HUNG by Peter Nolan Smith

The Village in New York had always attracted a kaleidoscope of radical, deviant, and perverse characters considered abhorrent by mainstream America. The Reds of the 40s gave way to the beatniks of the 50s, who in turn evolved into the hippies of the 60s before surrendering the shattered counterculture ghetto to the junkies, artists, punks […]

315 The Bowery

CBGBs existed from 1973 to the summer of 2008 as a mecca for punks. Prior to Hilly Kristal’s leasing the ground-floor and basement of 315 The Bowery, the location had served as a The Palace Hotel Bar for the flophouse above it, housing as many as 600 men every night. There was life at 315 […]