Thursday, December 08, 2005

CBGB's Lease Extended

CBGBs lease has been extended, after Mayor Bloomberg and others intervened for the greater glory of NYC and the Post-Ramone Empire. The Punk Mecca, which sits adjacent to "Joey Ramone Place" will close next year, on Samhain (10/31/ 2006), ending a nasty real estate dispute with landlord----the Bowery Residents' Committee, a nonprofit organization that serves homeless people. Owner Hilly Kristal is searching for a new location with the help of the mayor's office. CBGB's has been operating without a lease since September 1.

Friday, December 02, 2005

NY Dolls Live Miami by Evelyn Mcdonnell

NY Dolls Live at Collins Park, Miami

You *can* put your arm around a memory. Turning the clocks back three decades to the dawn of punk, the New York Dolls made up for the tacky, overpriced art at this year's Art Basel Miami Beach by blowing away the sands at Collins Park. Skeptics figured that a band with only two of the remaining members would be a shadow of its former self. But David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain honored their deceased collaborators by being everything other aging rockers with big- mouthed singers are not: sexy, sloppy-tight, relevant, generous, provocative. They even still write good songs.

Johansen must have been joking when he introduced a mournful ode to song and beauty by saying they'd written it that day, it was just too perfect to be that fresh. The singer looked un-fucking-believably gorgeous. His Buster Poindexter persona must have been the aging Dorian Gray portrait he showed to the public, while the real Johansen, the New York Doll, was preserved in a pickle jar somewhere. How does a 55-year-old stay that skinny and have such good hair? And have such a great sense of style, that funky but chic, semi-drag trash look the Dolls invented back when culture wasn't so binary about boy/girl. Sylvain put his all into his playing, as if he'd been waiting three decades for just this moment. "Let's do a song for Johnny Thunders,'' he said, then sang and strummed "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory.'' Johansen joined in, looked down at his old/new partner, and put his arms around his neck.
Guest review by Evelyn McDonnell

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Village Voice 50th Anniversary Issue

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 26, 2005--Fifty years ago today, The Village Voice burst onto the scene in New York City defending truth, exposing the powerful and taking the unpopular point of view. Five decades later, what began as "a Greenwich Village weekly" is now the nation's largest alternative publication.

To mark the occasion, the Voice will publish a special issue highlighting significant historical and cultural moments from the past 50 years. The Village Voice maintains the same tradition of no-holds barred reporting and criticism it has always embraced, winning nearly 200 editorial awards (including three Pulitzer prizes), earning a reputation for groundbreaking investigations, and as the premier expert on New York's cultural scene. Always ahead of the curve, writing and reporting on local and national politics, with opinionated reviews and comprehensive entertainment listings, the Voice remains the authoritative source for all New York has to offer.

To celebrate 50 years this special issue contains: -- Excerpts from content published over the last five decades from some of America's finest writers including: Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, Jonas Mekas, Andrew Sarris, Jack Newfield, Nat Hentoff, Susan Brownmiller, Edward Albee, Jerry Rubin, Vivian Gornick, Jill Johnston, Greil Marcus, Philip Roth, Karen Durbin, Gary Giddins, Pete Hamill, James Wolcott, Lester Bangs, Teresa Carpenter, Roberta Smith, Guy Trebay, Nelson George, Stanley Crouch, J. Hoberman, Joyce Carol Oates, Donna Gaines, Gary Indiana, Michael Feingold, Toure, and Mark Schoofs

A mix of original essays: Nat Hentoff on the history and spirit of the Voice, Jarrett Murphy on the history of Voice ownership, Wayne Barrett on city politics, J. Hoberman on film, Robert Christgau on music, Michael Feingold on downtown theater and the rise of Off-Broadway, Michael Musto on NYC nightlife and Ellen Willis on feminism.

50 Village Voice covers reproduced full size, with an interactive slideshow on -- A historical timeline posted on featuring major milestones for NYC and the Village Voice over the last 50 years

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Native American Religious Freedom Threatened: World Prayers Needed

The San Francisco Peaks, a mountain located in Northern Arizona, which are also sacred to over 13 native American nations, are the center of a legal battle that will determine the future of Native American religious freedom. A lawsuit has been filed by the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Havasupai, Hualapai, White Mountain Apache, Yavapai Apache, Sierra Club, Flagstaff Activist Network, Southwest Center for Biological Diversity, Dine’ Medicine Men’s Association & a Hopi traditionalist against the United States Forest Service due to its attempt to allow the Arizona Snowbowl Ski area expansion, which includes; clear cutting 74 acres of rare alpine ecosystem, building a 14.8 mile buried pipeline, and snowmaking from wastewater on the sacred mountain.

On October, 12th, 14th, 17th, & 18th, the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act will be the focus of the trial at the Federal Courthouse in Prescott, AZ. Prayers of all faiths and denominations are needed to support the tribe’s and environmental group’s lawsuit and to ensure that Judge Paul Rosenblatt will make a ruling that upholds religious freedom and human rights. The court will be in session from 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. People will also be gathering outside of the courthouse in downtown Prescott all day.

For more information please visit:
Please email if you are organizing a vigil.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Ramones Museum in Berlin

NY Times
Sunday, September 25, 2005
"HEY HO LET'S Go (to Berlin)"

*(reprinted for scholarly purposes only)

In the East Village, the battle to keep CBGB from being bulldozed rages on, but in Berlin the cultural legacy of New York's punk scene has recently been enshrined for the ages. On Sept. 15, The Ramones Museum Berlin - billed as the world's first Ramones museum - opened to the public. A project of a die-hard German fan, Florian Hayler, it houses more than 300 photographs, records, news clippings and other memorabilia. That includes an unwashed pair of jeans owned by the guitarist Johnny Ramone, the drummer Marky Ramone's sneakers and an autographed black leather jacket.

The museum had the blessing of the living members of the group, Marky and C. J. Ramone, Mr. Hayler said. Marky Ramone, speaking from his home in Brooklyn, said, "I'm very flattered that another country will help keep the Ramones legacy alive."

Dee Dee Ramone, the songwriter and bassist who died in 2002, spent much of his childhood in Berlin, a connection made evident by Ramones songs like "Born to Die in Berlin" and "It's a Long Way Back to Germany." Referring to the deceased band members Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee, Marky Ramone said: "Knowing them, they would have been flattered, because they worked very hard. Luckily, they saw most of the punk bands naming the Ramones as an influence. At least they saw that."

Admission to the Ramones Museum is free. "It's a museum for fans, by fans," said Mr. Hayler, 32, whose personal collection, which includes 170 Ramones T-shirts, supplied most of the museum's holdings. Mr. Hayler, who said he attended 101 Ramones concerts, opened the museum because "I didn't have any more space at home."

Traces of vintage New York are everywhere in the museum - issues of the magazine New York Rocker, now defunct, and photographs of the Ramones on the subway and posing on the Bowery near CBGB. "The first time I went to New York, I took a cab to CBGB's at 6 a.m. and waited in front of it until it opened," Mr. Hayler said. The New York-based sociologist Donna Gaines, who has crusaded to keep CBGB open, said: "We need an American Ramones Museum. Seattle has the Experience Music Project, and Cleveland has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; what do we have in New York?"

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Saving CBGB's

An article by Donna Gaines was published today in the Village Voice, covering CBGB's benifit shows and the fight to save NYC's punk Mecca from demolition and oblivion:,sotc1,67478,22.html
The story appears next week in hard copy---9/7/05 (street date).

After speaking at the SAVE CBGB's rally organized by Little Steven Van Zandt on 8/31/05, at Washington Square Park, Dr. Gaines was interviewed live by Denis McNamara regarding cultural politics, youth and the importance of the club. This interview and much more is now available at:

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

CBGB's Rally August 31, Washington Square Park, NYC

Square Park , NYC AUGUST 31
Today, on the last day of CBGBs current lease, legendary musician and actor Steven Van Zandt along with CBGB owner Hilly Kristal, will host an unprecedented rally in Washington Square Park to "Save CBGB." This event, which will take place from 3-7 pm, will serve as a tremendous rallying cry for New Yorkers to save this national treasure. Speakers will include City Councilmen Alan Gerson and Bill DeBlasio, Talking Heads' Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, filmmaker Jonathan Demme, actor and musician Jared Leto, The Ramones' Marky Ramone and actor and co-President of the Creative Coalition, Joe Pantoliano as well performances by world-renowned musicians including a rare performance by Blondie. Other performers include Gavin Rossdale, The Bouncing Souls, Chesterfield Kings, The Charms, and other special surprise guests. for more information: