CBGB Gets The Boot: Wake-Up Video

Part of the punk rock ethos is the idea that nothing can lasts forever. In fact, since today is the only day worth living for, tomorrow isn't worth worrying about. Or, as the Sex Pistols put it, "No future." So it shouldn't have been surprising when the most notorious punk venue in the world finally shut down on this day in 2006. CBGB & OMFUG (which stood for "Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers") opened in 1973 as a juke joint but was taken over in the late 1970s by the punk and new wave movement. It gave a stage to groups like the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Television — basically, anybody who was important in the New York rock scene during that era. As time moved on, CBGB became more of a haven for hardcore and amateur bands, but it remained a seminal (and meaningful) stage for any group looking to make a name for themselves in Manhattan.

On October 15, 2006, Patti Smith (one of the venue's early breakout stars) played the final concert in the space. The loud, raucous, sometimes amateurish show saw Smith give the place an emotional farewell. The concert was also a tribute to all of the punks who got lost along the way, including Joey Ramone. As the singer for the Ramones, Joey was an unlikely frontman: Super tall, impossibly skinny and socially awkward. But his sweet voice provided the right amount of sugar for the Ramones punchy three-chord jumps. As a tribute to CBGB, Joey and all the other punks who aren't with us any more, check out the video for Joey's cover of "What a Wonderful World," the saddest happy song ever recorded by a geek from Queens.

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