CBGB is a club with a worldwide reputation, but it started out as a tiny, dirty hole in the wall furnished entirely in wood. It opened in 1973 and quickly became a favorite destination for the artsy weirdos and outcasts of New York City. Although known as a punk club, and birthplace of The Ramones, it housed a diverse mix of mix, including Patti Smith’s art rock and later the Talking Heads new wave stylings. The most commercially succcessful band was Blondie, fronted by the iconic Debbie Harry. Cuepoint put together a wonderful history of the club with numerous high-res images and a link to a CBGB-inspired music playlist.
Our Hole in the Wall: An Oral History of the CBGB Scene
The Decline of Western Civilization was for many years like catnip to rock nerds everywhere. It had it all: exclusivity (only available on VHS or bootlegs), insight (footage of major bands before they were famous) and cache (punk rock rules!). Iconoclastic filmmaker Penelope Spheeris released the series in three parts over 17 years, although Part I stands out as the most famous. In honor of a full-blown DVD re-release in 2015 Noisey compiled a four-part oral history of the groundbreaking documentary.
Part I “detailed the Los Angeles punk scene as it transformed from a dangerous dayglow playground of drunken mischief into ground zero for the grim, tough-as-nails testosterone driven genesis of American Hardcore Punk.”
Part I: The Complete Oral History of Legendary Rock-Doc Series “The Decline of Western Civilization”
Part II covers the metal scene and the logistical difficulties of filming punk/metal shows.
Part II: The Complete Oral History of Legendary Rock Doc Series ‘The Decline of Western Civilization’
Part III covers the gutter-punk scene and the clash between new punk and the greying originals.
Part III: The Complete Oral History of Legendary Rock Doc Series ‘The Decline of Western Civilization’
Part IV talks about the documentary’s 17-year release process and legacy
Part IV: The Complete and Oral History of Legendary Rock Doc Series ‘The Decline of Western Civilization’
Cuepoint provides fascinating excerpts from New York Rock, a book about the punk rock/counterculture explosion in 70’s New York City. Included are anecdotes from Joey Ramone, Lester Bangs, and Glenn Danzig about the origins and oddballs as well as legendary venues such as CBGB, the Paladium, and the Lone Star.
New York Rock: The Birth of Punk, an Oral History
When Bikini Kill and their riot grrrl successors burst on the scene in the early 90s they showed that girls could be as punk rock as the boys, and a legion of combat-boot-wearing teenage girls was born.
Sisters Outsiders: The Oral History of the ‘Bikini Kill’ EP