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Enough With the Fucking CBGB's Shirts Already

By Benjamin Shapiro

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This is what it's come to.

If you were to take an afternoon stroll down the Bowery back in 1955, you'd be treated a mile-long toilet filled with retching winos, shifty-eyed thieves, and passed-out nobos. This concrete Heart Of Darkness was captured in Lionel Rogosin's 1956 laff riot On The Bowery, which basically proves that anyone who says Manhattan is a tough city deserves to be publicly pantsed. Then in the 70s, New York new wavers and punks started lounging around the Bowery with their torn jeans and stupid hair. A dive bar called CBGBs opened up to give dropouts a place to shoot up and Joan Jett a place to play.

The club closed in 2006, and by 2008 the birthplace of punk rock had been turned into a John Varvatos store. Now there's a movie in production called CBGB that stars Alan Rickman. And, as if the ghost of Hilly Kristal needed any more mouth-raping there's an army of bloated suburban dads playing fantasy football in $20 CBGBs shirts every Sunday night. The times they are a-changin'!

I hereby propose a moratorium on CBGBs shirts. Forever. Like, you can't wear them anymore. And your parents can't either. Because this might happen:

Now look, I understand why you'd wear a CBGBs shirt. I get it. You need that extra little boost that tells everyone at Chili's you've got the Spirit Of '69 pumpin' through your little punk rock heart. When you're sweatin' balls on the elliptical, you need the bruiser next to you to know that you were there, man. You were there when Patti Smith and Debbie Harry triple-kissed with Richard Hell. You were there when Sick Of It All and U.S. Chaos bumped balls after a Cro-Mags show. I get it.

But what you should maybe think about when you're strolling through Shaw's trying to decide between Healthy Choice Zesty Gumbo Soup and Healthy Choice Zesty Gumbo Low Sodium Soup, it might not matter one little eensy weensy teeny tiny bit that you bought Agnostic Front's Victim in Pain from Roger Miret.


"Sorry Thomas, I just don't think Marci and I are going to be able to make it to the Cape this weekend. Goosebumps is playing at 538."

Furthermore, I'm willing to bet that the corporate strategist photographing the Brooklyn Bridge in his CBGBs shirt doesn't own a single punk record. Sure, maybe his older brother had Combat Rock or something, but did he really do the legwork? Unless you can name songs--not albums, songs--by Dropdead, then you can't wear punk shirts. But even if you can, if I see you wearing a CBGBs shirt I'll give you an atomic wedgie.

Because let's be honest: When you're wearing a CBGBs shirt, you're a walking obscenity, an advertisement for John Varvatos, and the head of the funeral procession marching punk rock's rotting ass down the road.

If you're a proud wearer of a CBGBs shirt, and this article pisses you off, go ahead and log into your AOL account and write me an email explaining that I don't know my ass from my elbow, because I was born in the eighties and I just wasn't there. Well you know what, I was at CBGBs in the early aughts and it was probably the worst club in New York. Does anyone remember Thursday nights at CBGBs circa 2003? They looked sort of like this:

So yeah, send me that email. I'll be sure to read over it carefully and send you a reasoned response.

 

@b_shap

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