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Blasphemy!

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John Varvatos, a fashion designer in New York, has opened his latest boutique in the same space that once was the famous underground music club CBGB.

Artists such as The Ramones, Patti Smith, and Blondie all performed there.

CBGB first opened in 1973 and lasted all the way through October of 2006, when they were forced to close after a rent dispute.

Varvatos has decided to preserve much of CBGB's original look, such as CBGB posters and walls covered in graffiti along with crystal chandeliers, velvet curtains, and a black ceiling to help recreate the look.

There are even plans to have an in-house DJ and concerts.

Varvatos tries to defend his decisions, by stating that "We're not trying to reinvent CBGB's. We're just trying to respect the past and let people have an opportunity to enjoy what was there. It sounds kind of hokey, but the walls kind of talk in that place.

The store has already been open for a few days, but it's scheduled grand opening will be on Thursday, April 17th.

You hear that???

That's the sound of dead rockers rolling in their graves!!!!

[Image via WENN.]

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135 comments to “Blasphemy!”

More comments: [1] 2 »

  1. becky says – reply to this


    1

    FIRST!

  2. Luis Luna says – reply to this


    2

    NOT FIRST!! SUCKS FOR CBGB

  3. ericaaa says – reply to this


    3

    damnnnnnn

  4. Loady Smurf says – reply to this


    4

    I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Dis-Fucking-Custing….

  5. Jeff says – reply to this


    5

    first

  6. Bebe says – reply to this


    6

    23rd?

  7. V says – reply to this


    7

    THATS BULLSHIT!!…HOW COULD THEY FUCK UP A ROCK BAR ICON LIKE THAT??..ASSHOLES..BOYCOTT!!

  8. ugh says – reply to this


    8

    Re: Loady SmurfStop saying that!!!!
    It's sooooo 2007!!!

  9. bathog says – reply to this


    9

    furst

  10. danny says – reply to this


    10

    third!

  11. Jessy says – reply to this


    11

    At least he's preserving the interior as much as possible, and respecting what the space stands for. That's much better than a Baby Gap or a Starbucks.

  12. me says – reply to this


    12

    hi

  13. GBGBOMFUG says – reply to this


    13

    CBGB's is NOT suppose to be a store!-why can't the man let this place die with some dignity?

  14. eeeeeeeefuh says – reply to this


    14

    oldest? story? ever?

  15. chichi says – reply to this


    15

    I can't believe that some stupid designers try to make profit from that cult place… Instead of trying to reopened it. And I can't believe that stupid people will spend their money to buy these clothes, instead of hanging there while it was still open!

  16. jax says – reply to this


    16

    I think it's great– I have pretty much "lived" at CB's since the late 80's and I'm glad that someone is going to preserve and respect it's history. CB's started because of a vision…just like Varvatos' clothing. CB's was a place to show art…just like Varvatos' clothing. It would have been HORROR and blasphemy if it was turned into a corporate-whore GAP or something like that.

  17. ROB says – reply to this


    17

    Oh dear god thats just sad

  18. skeletor says – reply to this


    18

    i can believeable

    so LAME

  19. Marissa says – reply to this


    19

    i feel depressed…

  20. Naomi says – reply to this


    20

    WOO it opens on my birthday!

  21. cross_buster says – reply to this


    21

    Fucking fashion fags. They'll never understand what CBGB stood for.

  22. Suz says – reply to this


    22

    If they turned it into the Gap and wallpapered out the history.. it'd be worse. Good for him to retain much of it as is!

  23. sheesh says – reply to this


    23

    Re: beckyCongrats!!! I'm sorry your chest isn't big enough to wear this medal you've won.
    SO…….MAYBE IF YOU GROW THE FUCK UP, MAYBE I WON'T KILL YOU!

  24. cs says – reply to this


    24

    Better than the alternative you fat nipple.

  25. lys says – reply to this


    25

    John Varvatos is a designer for Converse and other lines. His designs reflect the lifestyles that all of these amazing performers once lived. I think he deeply respects CBGBs roots and in no way would he make it the "cool" new thing. But let's face it, it will be. Let's just be thankful the place isn't being torn down. He is keeping the integrity for the club.

  26. miss says – reply to this


    26

    at least they arent demolishing the place. r.i.p dead rockers.

    GREAT MUSIC LIVES FOREVER

  27. Lynne says – reply to this


    27

    Perez, what the hell do you know about the punk rock scene of the 70's and 80's?? NOTHING. If you did, you'd know that you represent everything they detested about the celebrity culture of this country, so stop embarrassing yourself by pretending you're a "part of."

  28. how's it hangin? says – reply to this


    28

    Re: bathog
    all thirteen feet of it.

  29. ariel says – reply to this


    29

    well what else are they gonna do with the space? Make it luxury condos?

  30. molly says – reply to this


    30

    New toilet. I hope.

  31. krazihottkelli/bchygrl says – reply to this


    31

    Perez, your mom and my mom was pregnant the same time. You are almost exactly one month older than my oldest brother. Which means your mommy was a teen in the 70z…I'll bet she got high, huh? luv y'r azzz, honeybabe
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  32. GABBA GABBA HEY!!! says – reply to this


    32

    DEAD BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. amy says – reply to this


    33

    Re: Jessy – true

  34. Sally says – reply to this


    34

    Yeah but… at least the guy is preserving the look and feel. Just about any other tenant would have simply gutted the place.

  35. james says – reply to this


    35

    uhhhh CBGB"s is long gone. John V makes some pretty cool clothes.just because the dont come in your beastly size dont be mean.

  36. Sally says – reply to this


    36

    At least he's preserving the look and feel. Anyone else would have simply gutted the place.

  37. cross_buster says – reply to this


    37

    I guess I'm just sick of the music scene now. Every time I see some 12-year old girl with a brass knuckles necklace and pink chucks on, I just roll my eyes at the desperation of it all.

  38. RRRRRRRRRRR says – reply to this


    38

    Okay folks, saying things like boycott and this is a disgrace really shows your ignorance regarding this matter. According to reports Hilly Krystal, the owner of CBGB's was worth $3.7 million at the time of his death. CBGB's could have been saved, not just by the bands that played benefit shows (kudos to those that tried to save CBGB;s) but by the actual owner of the establishment.

    John Varvatos is a designer, however he is also a music fan. If you do a little research you will learn that Mr. Varvatos is very generous, donating large amounts of money to a rape treatment center in Los Angeles and to VH1's Save The Music. Sure it sucks that CBGB's closed down, but where were any of you that are so up in arms about its closing when it desperately needed money? Additionally, a gossip blog is not very punk rock!

  39. Dawn says – reply to this


    39

    I think it's an awesome idea. Unfortunately, time moves on and if Hilly Krystal really and truly wanted to save it, he could have and would have.

  40. Kate says – reply to this


    40

    Yeah, but what do you all suggest happens to it? It just stands empty forever?

  41. goodgodpeople says – reply to this


    41

    To all you "At least it's not the GAP" people: John Varvatos IS THE FREAKING GAP. He designed for them for years and collaborated with them last year selling expensive, limited edition Converse sneakers in every Gap store across the nation. Is there anything less punk than expensive Cons? Varvatos is buying his street cred as a designer and has been for years. A thief and a joke, how sad.

  42. jen says – reply to this


    42

    big deal, that happens all the time to historic little holes in the wall. at least it's not being overtaken and completely replaced by a starbucks or walgreens.

    at least there's SOME history left.

    what could be done? the original peeps didn't have the cash flow to stay open, and the owner died shortly after it was sold.

    quit trying to be hardcore, perez. we all know that you never listened to punk anyways.

  43. lechemimono says – reply to this


    43

    You people are fucking stupid. Blasphemy would have been the fucking Gap moving in and tearing shit down. As much as we'd all like it to still be in business, it's not. Apparently you dumb asses didn't go enough when it was open to keep it in business. Furthermore, it apparently doesn't qualify for historical preservation. Therefore, when someone who DOESN'T have to keep the place alive in spirit chooses to do so, you should be cheering. Idiots. Plus John Varvatos rocks. I can't think of too many other designers who would fit that space like he will.

  44. Gwen says – reply to this


    44

    Aw, fuck that. I saw Patti at CB's once… and I think Blondie, too, I don't remember.

  45. Chelsea says – reply to this


    45

    actually, it's a pretty cool idea. Varvatos is quite respected by musicians, and since he is staying very true to the layout of CBGB's, i see it as more of a tribute than selling out. i would much rather have it like that then have it be something completely different!

  46. kindacra z says – reply to this


    46

    will someone explain what 'omfug' stands for

  47. STIV LIVES says – reply to this


    47

    Does anybody remember the STEEL TIPS?

  48. K-Swan says – reply to this


    48

    Good job, Perez. I heard about this on TV a few days ago.
    And you know how the news is– almost always behind.

  49. c says – reply to this


    49

    at least it is being somewhat preserved… it could be much worse, with a new tenant that disrespects the history of the space

  50. Anonymous says – reply to this


    50

    Goddanm People!!! fuckin bullshit!!!

  51. jason says – reply to this


    51

    Get over yourself! Much better this than a fucking chase, citibank or Duane Reade!

  52. erin says – reply to this


    52

    i think it's great! At least he's keeping it similar to it's roots.

  53. bailey says – reply to this


    53

    Patti Smith would be so happy when this place opens up cause she loved that place and now someone is going to open a new place and keep it the exact same. Oneday she will come and perform there. You corporate people will never understand the true beauty of music and what this will mean to the people who started out there. Start listening to underground music and stop listening to corporate music.

  54. t says – reply to this


    54

    Re: goodgodpeople
    first - learn about JV
    second - learn about GAP
    third - learn about Converse
    fourth - don't talk about things you don't know.

  55. clementine says – reply to this


    55

    oh big fucking deal? the damn bar was closed anyway. john varvatos is tied to rock and roll anyway. his ads have always featured musicians…marketing gimic maybe? big deal. if all you crybabies really gave a shit then you should have given all your 401K to keep it open when you had the chance. at least it's not a zara or a forever 21 or urban turdfitters.

  56. yourmama says – reply to this


    56

    Geez. Would you rather the building just sit there empty going to ruins? I think the dude is smart…by maintaining the interior he is preserving the history…and using it to attract people who might not come to his boutique otherwise.

    Smarter than Perez, anyway.

  57. Heath says – reply to this


    57

    You guys don't know what you're talking about. At least Varvatos is preserving the space and memorabilia and saving it from becoming a bank or Duane Reade.

  58. Euromongrel says – reply to this


    58

    Big deal. At least it isn't a homeless shelter or thrift store or dry cleaner.

  59. David says – reply to this


    59

    Since when do you care about rock music, Perez?

  60. VICTORIA NYC says – reply to this


    60

    I LIVE & BREATH NYC! I WILL MISS CBGB! I HEAR THAT THEY ARE OPENING IN VEGAS?!?! THAT WILL BE SOOOOOOOOO CHEEZY!!! STAY OLD SCHOOL! VEGAS???????? I WOULD RATHER YOU MOVE IT TO JERSEY!

  61. sam-n-ella says – reply to this


    61

    you're such a fuckin' creep and a phoney man.

  62. Crooklyn says – reply to this


    62

    The Bowery is filled with $5 million dollar condos, and overpriced restaurants, therefore the neighborhood doesn't really suit "punk" very well. At least Varvatos kept in musical. Did you support the acts when you were in town? PROBABLY NOT, you go to Marquee and Bungalow 8 so PLEASE DON'T PRETEND TO CARE.

    People didn't go…it shut down, that simple.

  63. CROOKLYN says – reply to this


    63

    TALKING HEADS!!!!
    THE POLICE!!!!
    LIVING COLOUR!!!!

    you choose Blondie over them!!!

    PEREZ IS AN IDIOT

  64. sarah says – reply to this


    64

    IF YOU KNEW WHO JOHN VARVATOS WAS YOU YOU UNDERSTAND. HE'S PROBABLY PRESERVING THE SPACE SO IT DOESN'T GET TORN DOWN. ALL OF HIS DESIGNS ARE INSPIRED BY CLASSIC ROCK AND ROLL. I THINK ITS AMAZING THAT HE DID THAT. RESEARCH JOHN VARVATOS BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY ASSUMPTIONS, SERIOUSLY.

  65. YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK.. FASHION FAGS? GET REAL says – reply to this


    65

    WHY WOULD SOMEONE IN THE MUSIC SCENE CALL PEOPLE IN THE FASHION SCENE "FASAHION FAGS"???????? THOSE 2 GROUPS OF PEOPLE ARE SO SIMILAR IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY. DO YOUR FUCKING RESEARCH. DON'T PUT DOWN A DESIGNER THAT'S MORE OF THE MUSIC COMMUNITY THAN YOU EVER WILL BE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU EXPRESS YOUR DUMBASS OPINION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PEREZ YOU BETTER DO A LITTLE REASRCH AND GIVE VARVATOS SOME CREDIT. HES AN AMAZING DESIGNER AND HE'S THE BEST FIT TO BE IN THAT SPACE.

    GOOD FOR YOU VARVATOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  66. Amelia says – reply to this


    66

    Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That SUCKS more than a super-powered gigantic vacuum. What is wrong with people?????

    Oh and p.s. you forgot to mention the Talking Heads!!! Hell-O!

  67. Wellllll says – reply to this


    67

    What were they supposed to do? Leave the building empty for all eternity? CBGB is the one that didn't stay in their spot.

  68. o says – reply to this


    68

    Perez-

    You are a borderline morbidly obsese gay Cuban. You like the musical stylings of Mika and Madonna. What in the hell do you know about punk? Rock even for that matter. Oh, my bad, you like that brand new band Paramore. I know you recently have begun claiming to discover bands that most people knew about 5 years ago, but that just makes you a bigger (fatter?) poser. If John Varvatos opened a store in Studio 54 or some roller skating rink where greasy, hairy gay Latinos hung out in the 70's, then you might have a gripe

  69. dAcB says – reply to this


    69

    Max´s Kansas City in NYC was a better club, so were Studio 54, and Plato´s Retreat.

    (I first saw Johnny Thunders in 1980 at Max´s, the best concert I ever saw, and later during the same night, New York Dolls reunion, i.e. Johnny Thunders, David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain, Jerry Nolan wasn´t behind the drums though.)

    (I saw Johnny Thunders 15 times, worked with him 6 times.)

    (I did see DNA at CBGB´s, a great show.)

  70. pumpkin says – reply to this


    70

    Well, don't know if I would quit call it blasphemy. Last time I checked, blasphemy was someone claiming to be God, but OK.

  71. robynnn says – reply to this


    71

    that fucking sucks.

    i hope he goes out of business and his designs end up in the dumpster where a hobo takes a giant shit on them

  72. tiffany says – reply to this


    72

    my daddy played in that bar in the early 90's. The band's name is Damnage. you can find em myspace. but yeah that's pretty sad. i always wanted to go there. ever since i started playing bass i wanted to play on that stage. ugh! so sad!

  73. mama coco says – reply to this


    73

    SHAME ON THE CBGB'S THING, MAKE SURE TOO SEE BLONDIE TOUR THE SUMMER OF 2008 IN CELEBRATION OF THE 20 MILLION SELLING PARALLEL LINES HITTING 30 YEARS OLD…

    BLONDIE ROCKS…

  74. cross_buster says – reply to this


    74

    Re: RRRRRRRRRRR – "a gossip blog is not very punk rock." There sure are a shitload of people discussing punk rock on this blog. This site is very much like watching the carnage of a car crash.

  75. Jessemm says – reply to this


    75

    I had heard the space was bought out by one of the universities. huh. I also heard that the original owners were gonna open up a cbgb's copy club in vegas. miss the place though. this one time, at cbgb's….good times.

  76. Liz says – reply to this


    76

    WOW. You didn't rip this story off MTV NEWS now did you?

  77. Sarah says – reply to this


    77

    Are they at least going to fix the toilet?

  78. beeg says – reply to this


    78

    so preserving it is selling tshirts for 130-fucking dollars? whatever.

  79. Shelby says – reply to this


    79

    simply, the place was going to be torn down, turned into a store (think Starbucks) this man preserved the interior- the graffitti, the holes, the stickers, and is trying to live up to that CBGB reputation… he is only hiring musicians or those connected to the music industry. give the guy a break

  80. Cassie says – reply to this


    80

    A read an article about this the other day…at first I thought that what he was doing was in essence disrespecting what was once there…but, now–not so much. :)

  81. sd-b says – reply to this


    81

    if what poster #25, Lys says is correct, about the fashion designers clothing than i think it is great that he is preserving CBGBs and if anyone stops to think about it long enough, they to should feel good about this choice. I believe that people react negatively without really giving it proper and full thought.

  82. Mel says – reply to this


    82

    is the OMFUG for real??

    …. oh my fucken ugly god?
    no?

  83. Mai Pie says – reply to this


    83

    that makes me so mad I hope new york punks piss on the wall! haha

  84. sd-b says – reply to this


    84

    Poster #27 - Lynne is dead on accurate in her assessment of Perez and how he represents everything people in the music industry ( of that genre ) would be horrified with. It is somewhat ironic to see Perez comment negatively upon this designer trying to keep the spirit of CBGBs alive.

    Again, people, THINK before you react with such negativity. I think what this designer is doing is wonderful!!!!

  85. James says – reply to this


    85

    You're all ridiculous. at least someone with style and a vision is making use of the EMPTY SPACE. jackasses…

  86. Moimeme says – reply to this


    86

    Awww…but I like John Varvatos, and his luxe chucks. I could see his stuff on the Jonas Brothers. Speaking of which, he did the cutest Spring 08 spread using Cheap Trick as his models.

    CBGB's has been closed, so at least it'll be a museum to its former self rather than just another abandoned East Village rat's nest.

  87. Nooooo says – reply to this


    87

    Re: Mel – No - this was pre-internet.
    The full name is CBGB & OMFUG which stands for "Country Bluegrass Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers".

    For real. check Wikipedia.

  88. OMFUG says – reply to this


    88

    sorry, but a lot of the people here, perez included, have no idea what they're talking about - it's all about the kneejerk reaction. CBs was sadly shut down last year & i don't seem to remember perez being up in arms about that at all (in fact, do a search on "CBGB" & you'll only find this post).

    now varvatos comes along, saves part of what's left of CBs & it's "boycott this!" since most of the commenters here have prob never been to CBs & apparently haven't been to the bowery in the last 5 years, they have no clue that the only other option really would have been a starbucks or a condo building. so let's just say that this is the least of possible evils. but hey, don't let that keep you from getting outraged for a few minutes until you move on to something new tomorrow. fucking posers!

  89. Dindie says – reply to this


    89

    Wow. Did Wikipedia tell you all that? Please, you know nothing about this shit.

  90. Cbrady says – reply to this


    90

    I could throw up. RIP CBGB, Ill always rember the good times.

  91. adt says – reply to this


    91

    I don't think it's a bad idea. I love CBGB, and had been going there forever. I was crushed when I heard it was closing. But at least the person who bought it is trying to preserve the meaning instead of ripping it apart and pretending like it never existed like most other people would have done.

  92. alyson says – reply to this


    92

    you should have posted the rest of the article that this came from and know that it states that he inquired about it before it went on the market based on the fact that it probably would have been bidded on for a bank or kmart…not exactly something that would go with the LES now would it

  93. hot mess says – reply to this


    93

    oh, good, maybe they'll find my liver when they clean the place out

  94. Ratta ! says – reply to this


    94

    I wish Perez pretended to care when Hilly died. He must be writing about this for the fashion.

  95. darbycrash says – reply to this


    95

    Perez, you know nothing about music, stop trying to get kudos.

  96. m says – reply to this


    96

    OLD NEWS! i read about this months and months and MONTHS AGO!

  97. Jessica says – reply to this


    97

    this breaks my heart a little bit.

  98. Anonymous says – reply to this


    98

    On the contrary, it would be worse it if were all destroyed. He's trying to pay homage and respect. You can't fault that.

  99. Madge D Vadge says – reply to this


    99

    I think JV is doing the right thing. I love his stuff and I thunk he is very smart about preserving the spaca (BTW I went there and it was great)

  100. Erica says – reply to this


    100

    OMG, I walk by this spot every day as it's on my way to work and yesterday walking home I noticed that it was a John Varvatos now….my neighborhood is turning into a commercial shit storm! WTF!!!!

More comments: [1] 2 »